Every year the most influential people in the world of social marketing descend on San Jose for F8.
If you’re not aware, F8 is Facebook’s developer conference. Facebook gathers its best app developers and outlines how the platform will evolve.
Smart marketers watch F8 to get a head start on changes in the industry. They listen to see what direction Facebook has decided on because these discussions outline the future of the industry.
In 2016 Facebook made plans to improve their live video functionality. A feature which is now at the center of many brands marketing and is a staple recommendation of big marketers like Ezra Firestone.
In 2017, Facebook improved and rolled out its business chatbots. Live chat functionality is now a staple of brands with a strong focus on digital.
In 2018, it was a promotion of smaller community features like group tabs. That community focus has bled over into their main platform resulting in a loss of visibility and reach for brands.
Every year Facebook focuses on a handful of changes. Every year they push a new idea or concept. But often, these changes continue to evolve over the years.
In the past 3 years live video, chatbots, and Facebook’s community focus have become increasingly important, changing the way marketers approach their Facebook strategy.
And that’s the most important thing.
The announcements at F8 aren’t just about the Facebook platform. Each change has a wide-ranging impact on brands of all sizes.
And if there’s one thing you can be sure of, it’s that the brands who take note of these changes will be the more profitable brands of tomorrow. Whilst those who ignore them often fade from the limelight.
Take the below for example.
More than a year after Facebook announced live video as a key development opportunity, brands were seeing incredible results.
Socialbakers tested the effect live had on their engagement and saw all key metrics spike when running live videos.
The same can be seen for other brands including Wishpond, Smirnoff, and countless others.
Lego worked with Facebook to run click to Messenger ads in partnership with 2017’s big announcement, business chatbots.
By switching from regular ads to Messenger ads Lego saw huge improvements in engagement and sales and a sizeable decrease in cost per acquisition.
You’ll find similar stories with Facebook groups after the announcement to focus on communities.
Caitlin Bacher focused on growing a group and now runs a million dollar business. Brands of all sizes are flocking to Facebook groups because they have much better reach and engagement.
Whatever is announced and focused on at F8 is almost certain to be the next big thing in social marketing.
For years Facebook has doubled down on its announcements by rolling out new features and processes that favor their selected developments.
And the brands who take note of these announcements often set themselves up for years.
The big question now is, what is Facebook focusing on from 2019 and beyond?
What’s the next big thing in social media marketing that will form the core of the next generation of profitable businesses?
The F8 2019 News that Will Cause Massive Growth Over the Next Five Years
Just like every other year, Facebook revealed a slew of new features, methods, and ideas at F8 2019.
But there was one which took center stage. A method which was featured in several talks and was the focus of an expert panel of their top partner developers.
The method is social commerce.
Social commerce, if you’re not aware, is the act of selling products directly to users through your social media account.
Rather than redirecting users to your store where they have to progress through multiple different stages, potential customers are now able to buy from within their timeline on Facebook or the posts they view on Instagram.
This is something Facebook (and other networks) have been trying to perfect for over a decade.
After 10+ years of testing, they now feel their user base is ready for social commerce. So much so they made it a core feature of F8. Which, history suggests, means this has the potential to blow up and transform businesses for the better.
But hold on a second. What changed in the industry? What is it that made Facebook decide now was the time to roll their latest method that’s been 10+ years in testing out to their key developers?
Why Now is the Best Time for Social Commerce
When you look at the statistics of social media growth over the last five years you’ll notice a startling trend.
Year-on-year growth in the number of social media users.
This is a commonly known statistic to marketers. We all know that Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and more are driving countless people to sign up and try out their services.
What most people don’t realize is that there’s been a similar growth in the number of people signing up and using Messenger apps.
An increasing number of people are turning to Messenger apps to communicate with friends. So much so that Messenger apps are outstripping social media apps in terms of daily usage.
Modern users are now spending more time messaging one another than scrolling through social media.
And this presents a huge opportunity for marketing companies.
You see, this shift in behavior has presented a new opportunity for brands. One that could help make millions. In fact, the consumer’s shift to conversational platforms has already helped a lot of brands make a lot of money.
How Brands of All Sizes are Already Leveraging Social Commerce
If you spend even five minutes searching the web for conversational commerce, chatbots, or live chat solutions you’ll find dozens of examples of people putting this into play.
Approaching your users through social messenger channels is a sure fire way to massively increase the engagement and sales of any campaign.
Take the below for example.
Marvel wanted to better engage with their audience when promoting Infinity War and Ant-Man and the Wasp.
They knew their current social media presence garnered huge engagement, but the complex purchase journey (social post > bio > Marvel site > local cinema site > local cinema purchase journey) converted poorly.
So they implemented a simple social commerce strategy that helped them streamline the process.
By adding automated social commerce checkouts to their social posts, they were able to convert 68% of the people who engaged with the post. It also provided 18X more engagement massively increasing their reach.
That’s a huge improvement over the average social media conversion rate of 9.21%.
Ben & Jerry’s had a similar experience. They wanted to bridge the digital and physical product world divide.
To do so, they ran simple paid ads through social promoting their latest flavors. All users had to do was engage with social media posts. This kicked off a quick messenger chat which ended with a QR code.
That QR code could be redeemed at a nearby vending machine which dispensed their latest product.
The result? 22X more engagement and 5000 samples moved in just 72 hours.
But it’s not just big brands who are benefitting from social commerce.
In testing Messenger against email, Recart recovered 60.94% more revenue simply by moving their cart abandonment messages over to Messenger.
A small change that brought a huge difference.
Then there’s Courtney Wirthit, an independent artist who’d never sold anything through social before.
She’d built up a decent Instagram following by displaying her artwork. However, a lot of her fans were asking where they could buy t-shirt prints of her art.
Courtney decided to try implementing social commerce. She signed up for a free Jumper account and ran her first campaign selling an initial run of t-shirts she’d had printed.
Despite not having ever sold through the platform and only selling directly through Instagram, she managed to make $1000 profit off this first attempt.
Brands of every size and with varying audiences are using social commerce to make more money.
Facebook’s recent promotion of the channel at F8 proves that this is something we’re going to see more of in the coming years. It’s something that’s going to continually be at the center of what Facebook does and the new features they push.
The question you need to ask yourself is if you’re going to be like those brands who took advantage of live video, chatbots, and communities and jump on now, or if you’re going to see what else Facebook pushes next year and see how it can make you more money.
If you’re one of the ambitious marketers who want to grow your brand with social commerce, read on.
What Tomorrow’s Smart Brands are Doing Today to Capitalize on This Trend
Facebook obviously see the potential in social commerce.
They’re not only featuring it to their developer partners, planting the seed for future social app development, but they’re also rolling out their own features and solutions.
In fact, at around the same time as F8 we had an announcement that Instagram was implementing Instagram Checkouts. A social commerce solution that allowed brands to sell directly through Instagram posts.
Add to that the growing functions of Facebook Marketplace and there’s real potential for you to make some money through social.
But hold on. Unfortunately, Facebook’s developments in this area aren’t all they could be.
Instagram Checkouts has, unfortunately, only rolled out to select brands and influencers. Less than 60 people worldwide have been selected for the trial program.
It could be months or even years before the program and feature is rolled out to the majority of users.
And Facebook itself hasn’t yet implemented any native solutions that are perfectly suited for growing brands. They’re more suited to individual users looking to sell their own goods to other users.
Add to that the fact all of these solutions are platform specific and it presents a real problem.
You might have cracked the code and run a breakthrough promotion on Instagram. However, if you’re not able to easily port that over to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or others then you’re seriously limiting your earning potential.
Social commerce will be the next big thing. But the big platform developed solutions are still too restrictive to be useful for most brands.
Enter Jumper – The Cross-Platform Social Commerce Solution
A good marketing campaign is one that can be run across channels and mediums. It’s something that should be able to take advantage of the different areas your audience likes to hang out.
After all, you can’t safely assume that all of your audience spend all of their time on one social media platform, right?
Most of us tend to have one favorite yet skip between different platforms.
To make the most of this, those campaigns you’re working hard to promote need to be available to customers people across every social platform.
And as far as we know, there’s only one way to do this.
Jumper is a social commerce tool that integrates with every major social network, can be embedded on your site, and sets up a dedicated online store to showcase your products.
It leverages the power of conversational marketing by adding an automated chatbot checkout to each and every engagement regardless of the source.
This flexibility of use and the conversational approach has helped brands across the globe generate millions in sales in the past year alone.
And unlike Instagram’s solution that has a gradual rollout, or Facebook’s Marketplace that’s only good for individuals, Jumper is available to brands of all sizes right now with no upfront costs.
The best thing about using Jumper is that it only requires small changes to your current strategy.
The posting schedule, creative choices, and targeting you’ve got in place don’t need to change. All you need is to spend three minutes signing up and linking Jumper to your Facebook account.
Before long you’ll see your engagement and conversion rates double, triple or more.
If you want to jump on the social commerce bandwagon and be one of the profitable brands of tomorrow, head here and sign up for a free account. You could be up and running with Jumper in less than 5 minutes.