Emerging Retail Trends: Fusion of Physical & Digital / Social Commerce, etc.

We recently wrote about how retail expanded from brick-and-mortar stores to include ecommerce and has been expanding further to also include social and livestream commerce. Many attributes of Switzerland and the Swiss people make us an ideal audience to target with new retail initiatives.

What trends are we now seeing within this new, broad scope of retail?

Merging the Point of Inspiration with the Point of Purchase

With the inclusion of social commerce and even AR, brands aren’t selling to distinct, separate audiences with isolated tactics. New retail involves connecting with your audience in innovative ways and merging the point of inspiration with the point of purchase.

Based on a recent survey, Accenture identified three emerging retail trends:

  • The anxiety pivot
  • The spending shuffle
  • The virtual reality check

Shopping for Real-Life Products in Virtual Worlds

The third trend includes a blurring and blending of physical and virtual worlds. “It is certainly true that some consumers who shopped online in 2020 and 2021 are likely to return to brick-and-mortar stores, and that the store of tomorrow will look very different… And what may be surprising is that people of all income levels and generations are interested in shopping for real-life products in virtual worlds.”

39% of consumers have had a consultation in a virtual or augmented reality environment on topics from health and wellness to DIY projects. In agreement with our own guidance, Accenture advises, “The metaverse has arrived, and the best thing that retailers can do today is starting to experiment.”

Collaborate Cohesively

Deloitte also emphasized the need for cohesion. “Social commerce trends are not only reshaping consumer shopping experiences, but unlocking new opportunities for platforms, brands, and creators. Social commerce success depends on collaboration and integration of key players in the ecosystem.” 

Deloitte provides social commerce services that solve operational and technical challenges, including architecting technology stacks to integrate brand and retailer e-commerce systems with platform systems.

Influencer Marketing Success Case

Cohesive integration of marketing campaigns between brands and influencers is equally important.

Kingfluencers recently executed a campaign in which influencers discussed how to start your day successfully with SUPER SHOTS by hohes C, while taking their communities along for the day. The communities showed high qualitative interest with an engagement rate of over 5%, and the influencers received many questions on where to buy the SUPER SHOTS. In addition to indicating high trust in the brand and the creators, this reveals how social campaigns can drive purchases from brick-and-mortar stores.

Fusing Digital & Physical Experiences 

While we may think of ecommerce and retail stores as distinct modes of shopping, Deloitte’s 2022 Retail Industry Outlook describes the accelerating fusion of digital and physical experiences. “Over the next five years, leaders are buying into the prospects of digitization of the physical world, such as voice commerce, staff-free cashier-less stores, and the selling of digital goods.”

Burberry opened a shoppable digital version of one of its flagship stores. Customers can navigate themselves around the virtual store and purchase items by selecting digital icons.

Experiential Retail and Flagship Stores

To attract new customers and build loyalty, retailers are developing immersive shopping experiences and building innovative flagship stores. Athletic apparel brand On’s first-ever flagship store, On Labs, is situated beneath its Zurich-based headquarters and features a foot scanner that details your shoe size to within 1.25mm of perfection. Kingfluencers’ team was part of the flagship store launch, sharing the good vibes, sporty challenges, and benefits of joining the club for running lovers with content creators like HaVy Nguyen. The campaign achieved over 1.6M impressions and a 3.11% engagement rate. 

Zurich is also home to the Freitag tower, made from used freight containers. The flagship store sells recycled, one-of-a-kind products, such as bags, smartphone cases, and wallets. Additionally, consumers can personalize their bags by becoming involved in the production process at the Freitag Sweat-Yourself-Shop.

Social Commerce on Instagram

Social commerce usually takes place on the move, i.e. via smartphone or tablet, as social media offers are preferably used via mobile devices. Brands can excel by building a social media strategy optimized to cash in on the movement and avoid losing out to competitors. 

Instagram enables you to use real-time and pre-made content to create an interactive, visual shopping experience that deepens connections with your community. With Instagram Shoppable posts, you can sell products directly from shoppers’ feeds. Product Tags let you highlight items from your catalog directly in your images and videos, so people can easily tap and learn more.

As part of our Instagram marketing services, Kingfluencers can help make your products easy to discover on Instagram. Earlier this year, Mondelez launched limited edition Oreos in collaboration with Warner Bros and the brand-new Batman movie. Kingfluencers ran a campaign in which influencers showed how biting the new cookies in a creative way can lead you from a serious world into a playful one.

Technology-Driven Convenience

Some retail trends originally expanded in response to COVID-19, such as self-checkout, buy online pick-up in-store (BOPIS), and contactless payment. These technology-driven experiences remain popular for convenience and their ability to reduce staff, (plus the preference of antisocial shoppers!). 

Retailers must also consider macroeconomic trends, including inflation. On July 26, 2022, The International Monetary Fund (IMF) wrote, “Several shocks have hit a world economy already weakened by the pandemic: higher-than-expected inflation worldwide – especially in the United States and major European economies – triggering tighter financial conditions.” Of course, inflation can lead to consumers buying fewer items and being more price-conscious about the items they do purchase. While many consumers worldwide are worried, CH inflation is expected to fall in the new year and Switzerland should avoid a recession.

Sustainability is Sought After

A 2022 report shows that two-thirds of consumers say they would pay more for sustainable products, and nearly three-quarters value product sustainability over brand name. Interestingly, retailers are largely unaware of the strength and prevalence of these preferences, creating a greenfield for savvy retailers.

Buying and selling secondhand products, referred to as “recommerce” is also on the rise, enabled by platforms such as Poshmark. In addition to helping buyers save money, it’s a sustainable practice. Some great options in Switzerland include Depop and Secondhandkiste for clothes. Tutti, Ricardo, and Brocki.ch are popular Swiss sites that offer a variety of items. 

Kingfluencers also had the pleasure of running a campaign for Ricardo focused on communicating the brand’s USPs through interactive campaigns. Influencers were given various challenges when putting together hiking gear on Ricardo. The total engagement rate was 5.1%.To further encourage sustainability and low-waste products, Brocki.ch also worked with Kingfluencers on a campaign to promote their thrift stores all over Switzerland. Impressions were 41% higher than forecasted, and the total engagement rate was 5.0%.

Click on the case studies and get inspired:

Author: Megan Bozman, Owner @Boz Content Marketing

Social Media Community Management: An Insider’s Guide – Part 2

How to keep your community engaged

Here are six actionable strategies to drive up engagement of your social media community:

  1. Welcome new members. Have a way to open up the conversation with those who are just joining you. This could be a post tagging new members and asking them to introduce themselves. Or it could be a direct message to anyone who is new (manual or automated). Making people feel welcome and warming them up for active participation is one of the best ways to create engaged community members.
  2. Post at the perfect time. This requires looking at your analytics for when most people interact with your content. Time zones and audience demographics play a big role in when exactly that is. If you figure out the best time to post, more fans will be there to engage with your content right away. The increased initial engagement then encourages social media algorithms to promote your content more – turning your time spent analyzing the best time to post into a double-win.
  3. Encourage discussion: Share interesting third-party posts. People love discussing the latest events relevant to their niche of interest. By sharing selected pieces of content that are sure to get the conversation going, you can drive up your members’ engagement with your social media profile and with each other.
  4. Make your content beautiful. Beautifully crafted posts and crisp images stand out from today’s sea of social media content. Everyone loves to consume, engage with, and share the most appealing things they come across online. If that’s your content – you can be sure people will love engaging with it.
  5. Use video. Video just feels more real than other types of social media content and is still the most requested and most consumed content on social media. If you use it well, your followers will feel more connected to you. As a result, they’ll stick around longer and respond more positively. Using Video is a great way to keep your community going strong.
  6. Gamify your content. Can you figure out a way for your fans to earn points, badges, or discounts for engaging with the community? That’s a perfect way to keep them coming back to your platform again and again. The increased fun factor is sure to keep your followers hooked – gamification can supercharge their community interactions.

Now, what are the exact tasks you have to do when you manage your social media community? 

We’ll dive into those below:

These are your tasks in social media community management

There’s four distinct types of tasks you have to carry out to manage your community well. 

If you do these right, and keep up your efforts over time, your fans will stay happy and you’ll continue to reap the brand-boosting benefits:

Task #1: Monitor

This means you’ll listen to any conversation in any way relating to your brand. There’s so much to glean from these:

  • Are your members venting about their unsolved problems?
  • Are they praising certain positives – that you could double down on in the future?
  • How are they talking about your competitors?
  • How is the general vibe, how are your fans relating to each other? Could you do something to facilitate their conversations?
  • Are they passionate about your brand’s offer to the world?

By staying “on the pulse” of your community, you remain agile – ready to pivot and implement new strategies in response to the insights you gained. 

A good social media community manager can read into what he’s monitoring, and quickly devise new tactics based on his learnings. In addition, a good manager keeps an eye on everything happening – are negative comments being spread or is there even a shitstorm approaching or something similar that should have been handled? You should always be able to react immediately.

Task #2: Moderate

As mentioned above, a social media community manager must respond quickly. Many people think of “moderating” first when they hear the term “community management”: 

The removal of comments using foul language, harming your brand, or otherwise misleading your community members. 

And indeed it’s an important part of the manager’s job. Additionally, you’ll need to address bad customer feedback and calls for support. 

Handle these well, with short response time, and your honorable attitude in dealing with criticism and dissatisfied customers will strengthen your reputation.

Task #3: Engage

The most fun part of social media community management: The (sometimes serious, sometimes playful) back-and-forth with your community members. 

Creating an actual connection with your fans. Making them feel like they’re part of the tribe.

While it’s a good idea to let your followers talk among each other without jumping into every conversation, you should strive for 100% engagement if someone directs a question at you or tags you in any way – within reasonably short response time. 

It’s just another aspect a great community manager is tasked with: Showing the members you really care.

Don’t leave any question unanswered. And draw attention to your profile by commenting on other creators’ or brands profiles and leaving funny comments.

Task #4: Measure

To measure is to make management much easier – that’s why this is one of your most important, but also most beneficial tasks as a community manager. 

There’s several metrics you can track: 

  • Audience size over time
  • Engagement rate
  • Post shares and content reach
  • Brand mentions across all media
  • Number of user-generated content pieces submitted
  • Participation in contests and giveaways
  • Product mentions within your community
  • Click-through to your sales page or product listings

The use of analytics is a powerful way to stay on top of managing your community. You’re able to see the full picture of how your community is doing. And you’re able to react swiftly if some of the data show room for improvement.

When you manage communities on social media, there’s certain things you have to get right to have everything run smoothly – the so-called best practices. You’ll now learn what these are, so you can make sure to implement all of them successfully.

Do you want us to take care of it for you? We have deep expertise in managing online communities. We’ve been a full-service digital marketing agency since 2016 and have helped many prominent brands with their social media community management.

Social Media Platforms

Community management best practices: How to get it right

What are community management best practices?

Best practice #1: Outline rules and guidelines

Before people start taking part in your community, it’s considered best practice to make them aware of the rules they’ll have to respect and the guidelines they’re expected to follow. 

Your standards for acceptable behavior might be different from other communities they’ve participated in in the past – so it’s only fair to let your fans know beforehand. Also, having strict boundaries as to what’s allowed for members and what isn’t makes them feel part of a special in-group: 

Not only does it make your community easier to manage, it’s also great for creating group identity and cohesion.

Best practice #2: Generate new members

It should always be your goal to find new users to join you. Managing a social media community well also means making sure it doesn’t shrink, but always keeps growing. 

So it’s best practice to use different strategies to make people aware of your community and entice them to join: Make sure to frequently share posts to new outlets – and encourage your members to share, too. Explore other outreach methods: Publish links to your community on your company’s website, or promote it to your email list. 

The ultimate way to generate new members is of course to manage your community so well that people are delighted to refer their friends by word-of-mouth marketing.

Best practice #3: Check your ratings

At least every month, make sure to monitor what people have said about being part of your community on review sites like Google, Yelp, etc. You want to be able to address any negative feedback you might have gotten. 

If you then visibly work to improve on what was criticized, it says a lot about how much you value keeping your fans happy.

Again, people don’t like to see unanswered reviews. Take a stand on negative comments or just say thank you on a positive review.

Best practice #4: Reward your fans for interacting

Above and beyond actually reading every post in your community and responding with a “like” or other response emoji – let your community managers show your fans even more love for their regular engagement with your content and your followers:

  • Respond with a GIF or meme
  • Write out a few thoughtful sentences 
  • Gift them a coupon or discount code
  • Share their post or mention them in your own

Follow the best practice of authentic, attentive interaction with your fans, and you’ll cultivate a wonderful feeling of community among your followers.

Community management on Facebook

What does effective community management look like on Facebook specifically?

More than other platforms, Facebook is all about two-way communication. So to manage your Facebook community well, it’s recommended you take the time to type out thoughtful responses to each post – consistently and in a timely manner. This shows your audience that you care. And it’ll keep your community engaged for the long run. 

By the way: Open communication with fans in your Facebook group or page will give you great insights into what your brand is doing well, and what could be improved when dealing with prospects and customers. 

If only for this benefit, investing effort in proper community management on Facebook should be worth it to you.

5 tips for effective community management on Facebook

  1. Publish educational posts. Only sharing links to your website or content you found elsewhere is not the best way to manage your community on Facebook. On the other hand: Create content that genuinely aims to teach your fans something and to improve their lives, and your community will be much more engaged.
  2. Ask your community’s opinion. Make your members actively participate in the group. This is the key to managing social media communities well: Have people actually be social. If you encourage (constructive & cordial) discussion, you’ll help your fans connect with each other. As a bonus, the added interaction will push your content from an algorithm standpoint, giving your posts a much greater reach.
  3. Answer in Facebook Messenger. Some of your customers will try to contact your business page or your community manager’s account through Facebook messenger with questions, remarks or concerns. If you attend to these messages quickly, respond in a friendly way, and try your all to help them out, it’ll do wonders for your community’s reputation and levels of engagement. Your fans will be thankful you care about helping them, so they’ll reward you by sticking around and possibly promoting your Facebook community to others.
  4. Have employees share updates. The community likes to gain a more private insight into the workings of your brand. Having your employees frequently share updates about what’s happening in your business will give your fans the feeling they’re a special part of everything. If your team members then share these posts on their personal profiles, you’ll also be gaining more reach for your Facebook community.
  5. Check your Facebook analytics. Inside the Facebook Creator Studio you get great tools to inform your community management efforts. You can track the performance of each piece of content you post in your Facebook group or to your business page:
  • Views
  • Engagement rates
  • Followers gained (or lost)

Also, it helps you filter, organize and respond to messages and comments all in one place. 

By frequently checking and analyzing your analytics, you can see what worked and what didn’t, and use what you’ve learned to manage your Facebook community even better in the future.

Instagram community management: It’s all about approachability

With over 2 billion monthly users and the average user spending 297 hours per year on the app, Instagram is a great place to build your community. 

On Instagram, creators are highly accessible to their audience. To manage your Instagram community well, you should be ready to interact on a whim. 

It’s also important to “keep it real”: 

The audience skews younger than Facebook, and they appreciate simple, down-to-earth communication. It’s common for even bigger accounts to still respond to DMs, sometimes even go through their followers’ profiles, like their posts and leave thoughtful or funny comments. 

If you want to excel at community management on Instagram, you could adopt the same strategy.

Instagram Profile

How to build a community on Instagram

Make your IG profile beautiful, interesting & helpful

The first step in building a community quickly is to create an outstanding Instagram profile.

This will drive up your conversion rate: A higher number of those who visit your profile will choose to start following you if your content is both visually appealing, educational and/or entertaining. It’ll amplify all your other growth strategies, because a higher percentage of the traffic you’re driving to your profile will convert into followers.

Search popular hashtags

When you’re first starting to build your community on Instagram, go where your target audience is already interacting. Join the conversation, comment on other people’s posts, and add your own relevant content under the same hashtags. 

Follow the most relevant hashtags, and be sure to participate where you can. If your own profile is somewhat enticing, people will start following you.

DM people in your niche

Once you’ve identified those who are engaging with topics in your industry, you can strike up conversations with them via Instagram’s DM feature. These can be bigger accounts, but also your regular would-be customers who are active in your niche. 

You’re starting to make real connections – creating the beginnings of your thriving Instagram community. Not only will the algorithm preferentially show your content to those you’ve interacted with via DM, but you’ll start an even more valuable relationship with your followers and peers. 

Real interactions are how community is built. Be it in real life or on Instagram.

Work with influencers

To jump-start your community building, consider working with influencers in your niche. 

You can have them promote your account on their Instagram profile, sending people over to your brand community. Or have them take over your own account to drive up the engagement there and spur new growth. Instagram influencers can lend instant credibility to your budding community and help you “humanize” your brand

And they’re experienced at building social media accounts – so it could make sense for you to borrow both their authority and their expertise to grow your own.

Engage your audience using stories

Instagram stories are a great way to engage your existing followers, but also to build your community by reaching new people. 

Every time your brand is tagged in someone’s story, a percentage of their followers will click on the tag to visit your profile. If they like what they see, they’re going to stick around – some of them might become your most engaged fans in the future or buy your products.

Make your stories real, fun, and informative: 

  • Present your products or services in an interesting way
  • Show insights into the day-to-day behind the scenes
  • Educate your audience about popular topics in your niche

Tag your fans

Do you have “Superfans” inside your Instagram community? 

Those who like every post, always add insightful comments, and share all of your content? 

Then make sure to tag them from time to time in your stories and profile posts. It’ll make their day – and they’ll continue to feel great about being your brand ambassadors.

Also, if anyone mentions you in their post or story, be sure to repost. 

Engage with your Instagram followers, authentically, as friends. You’ll build a strong, lively community.

Tik Tok community management

TikTok community management – It’s all about engagement

Your brand shouldn’t think of your TikTok community as just another social media outlet to be managed in a one-way fashion. 

It’s an entertainment platform where people dive deeply into connection and co-creation with others. 

If you show up as someone real, i.e. your brand acting as an authentic person – participating daily in conversations inside your community – you’ll see the best results on TikTok

Here are a few actionable ways to make that happen:

Host hashtag challenges 

Your TikTok community will thrive on user-generated content (UGC). 

How do you manage to have your fans create UGC around your brand’s niche? You come up with your own ideas for hashtag challenges. If your challenge goes viral – which happens frequently with TikTok’s algorithm – you could grow your reach exponentially. Not to mention how it’ll make your followers grow closer as a community. One example of this is the THOMY Mayonnaise dance challenge, where influencers like Kevin Bannier and Faye Leonie challenged their community to share their #thomyhappydance as well.

Hop on TikTok trends

Likewise, people love to take part in the latest trends across TikTok. You can ride that wave and gain a lot of momentum with your TikTok community. As there’s always new trends emerging on the platform, you’ll never run out of opportunities to engage your community.

Brands that know how to attach themselves to trends on TikTok, win.

Show your products in an entertaining way

Be it with special dance moves, unique outfits and makeup, or the specific way you speak about your product: You’ll engage your TikTok community if you manage to present your offers to your audience with fresh, engaging, and creative content that spreads your brand’s unique message. Manor provides a good example: on their TikTok channel, they publish recipe ideas, the hottest outfits, makeup tips and much more, and also interact with their community through quizzes.

Organic TikTok content can be a fantastic way to showcase your products and services to your audience – whether on its own or supplemented by paid advertising methods.

Build a narrative

Beyond fun, building a story connecting you and your fans can turn your TikTok community into something special that people want to be part of. 

One important aspect of community management is keeping that story alive with each new piece of content you publish and each conversation you have with your fans. 

A feeling of community goes deeper than superficial social media metrics.

Do you want our help turning your community into a thriving, engaged environment – priming your followers to become loyal customers and brand advocates? Then take advantage of Kingfluencers’ community management services.

Stay tuned for Part 3, where we’ll dive into 3 great examples of a brand’s social media community management.

The New Retail Formula to Leverage Social Media as a Purchasing Channel

Retail, formerly the exclusive domain of brick-and-mortar stores, expanded many years ago to include e-commerce. New retail has expanded again and now includes social commerce and livestream commerce as well. Many attributes of Switzerland and the Swiss people make us an ideal audience to target with new retail initiatives.

What is Social Commerce?

Social Commerce Instagram

Social commerce differs from social media marketing in that users are able to make purchases directly through social media networks, rather than being redirected to an online store. Social commerce makes the link between social media storytelling and revenue generation with clever shoppable features like:

  • Swipe up
  • Linked shoppable product catalogues
  • Temporary flash promotions

With well-structured campaigns, brands can leverage social commerce to engage with potential customers and drive revenue.

Social Commerce is on the Rise

In Switzerland, the social commerce industry is expected to grow by 26.7% annually.

Social commerce capabilities and features are evolving and advancing quickly. Platforms and influencers alike are investing in social commerce and experimenting with new approaches. In July 2021, Pinterest announced its first set of tools to let content creators earn money with affiliate links.

TikTok introduced Shopping Ads, a new three-in-one commerce ad solution with new formats brands can adopt and combine: Video Shopping Ads, Catalog Listing Ads, and LIVE Shopping Ads. Shopping Ads aims to simplify the media buying experience and include new automation features. Billions are spent annually on TikTok live-stream commerce in China. TikTok is still working through its livestream commerce integration, in efforts to increase uptake with western viewers, and published a new overview of the brand opportunities of TikTok Live. 

The Washington Post recently wrote about how more Gen Z and millennial shoppers are turning to TikTok and Instagram to find and buy gifts. For example, TikToker Savannah Baron can make as much as $5,000 per month from affiliate links and brand deals. 
Jens Knossalla alias “Knossi” recently hosted a gaming event on behalf of Kaufland. The event, live-streamed on Twitch, also included his streamer colleagues Sascha Hellinger (Unsympathisch TV), Starlet Nova, SelfieSandra, Sascha Huber, Shpendi, and Aaron Troschke. The theme was that all guests are on Santa’s “naughty list” and must convince him otherwise in order to celebrate with Kaufland’s mulled wine. More than 661,000 spectators followed the event live.

Livestream Commerce

Livestream commerce as part of social commerce

Livestream commerce is a specific type of social commerce. With livestream shopping, consumers are able to interact with the host in real-time and make purchases directly through the live video promotion. With the immediacy of the interactions, livestream shopping helps brands connect with consumers and reduces barriers to purchase.

Livestream commerce is also on the rise. Surveys show more than 40% of European consumers are interested in buying electronics during livestreams on e-commerce sites or apps, and 34% are interested in fashion shopping via social media livestreaming. Amazon has begun paying a sales commission to influencers on products featured in its livestreams. 

Swiss retailer About You is presenting the latest styles via regular live streams hosted by popular influencers. On 8 December, the “NIKE Gift Guide” hosted by Nardos also included a special Christmas surprise. Betty Bossi also features live shopping events with themes such as spicy cooking and grilling. According to Forrester Research, 70% of European shoppers are interested in at least one form of “shoppertainment,” defined as, “an emerging form of e-commerce that provides consumers with a more personal, interactive, and engaging shopping experience by leveraging pictures, videos, interactive games, and/or livestream events to ultimately drive transactions.” Social commerce and livestreams present an opportunity for additional revenue for brands and influencers alike.

Social Commerce in Switzerland

Switzerland is an ideal location for e-commerce and social commerce. As of 2022, the internet user penetration rate in Switzerland was 91%. Additionally, Swiss people can rely on the local delivery infrastructure. “In 2021, sales in Switzerland of Swiss online retailers continued to grow faster than those of their foreign counterparts. In total, Swiss residents spent CHF 13 billion ($13.35 billion) in local online shops in 2021, and around CHF 2.1 billion ($2.16 billion) in foreign online shops.”

Social Media is a Prime Purchasing Channel

A brand’s social media profiles have become some of their most essential storefronts. Among millennials and Gen Z, social media is becoming a prime purchasing channel. 97% of Gen Z consumers use social media as their top source of shopping inspiration. Additionally, data generated by social commerce platforms can also provide insights that can be used to optimize campaigns and improve performance.

Social Commerce on TikTok

TikTok has invested more heavily in commerce capabilities, recently introducing tie-ups with retailers including Walmart that allow consumers to purchase products without leaving the app.” The TikTok Pixel, a small piece of code that you place on your website, helps you find new customers, optimize your campaigns and measure ad performance.

On 27 October 2020, TikTok announced a global partnership with Shopify to help merchants create and run campaigns geared toward TikTokers. Shopify is a subscription-based software that allows anyone to set up an online store and sell their products. The partnership makes it easier for Shopify merchants to tap into the creativity of the TikTok community, be discovered, and optimize their marketing campaigns.

TikTok stores are not yet allowed in Switzerland, although they are in the US. Check-out in-app is not currently available in Switzerland, but we expect it to be soon.

TikTok Shopping with Shopify

Social Commerce on Instagram

Instagram enables you to use real-time and pre-made content to create an interactive, visual shopping experience that deepens connections with your community. With Instagram Shoppable posts, you can sell products directly from shoppers’ feeds. Product Tags let you highlight items from your catalog directly in your images and videos, so people can easily tap and learn more. As part of our Instagram marketing services, Kingfluencers can help make your products easy to discover on Instagram.

Connect with your Audience via Social Commerce

With Switzerland being an ideal market for new retail, contact us to explore how Kingfluencers can amplify your brand messages, helping you generate revenue with influencer marketing.

Source cover picture: Ad Age

Author: Megan Bozman, Owner @Boz Content Marketing

Social Media Community Management: An Insider’s Guide

You’re consistently posting great content on your brand’s social media account. Your follower count is growing. People clearly like what they’re seeing from you. They’re responding positively to what you have to offer.

Now what do you do with that attention? Do you just let the hype evaporate – like it usually does on social media? Obviously you want to avoid that at all costs. You’ve spent much time, energy and money crafting your social media posts. Don’t waste that effort.

What you need to do now is channel the momentum you’ve built up: 

  1. Turn mere followers into a lively community of fans.
  2. Manage that community. Use the right strategies to “keep the fire going”.

In our work at Kingfluencers, we’ve helped many brands bring their social media presence to life – building engaged communities through our social media community management services.

Below we’ll share our lessons from over six years of building social media communities: The exact strategies, processes and best practices you can implement to create the thriving community your brand deserves.

Let’s take a deep dive, shall we?

Effective Community Management

Effective community management: What it is and why you need it

Your community are those people who consume your content, your brand’s existing and prospective customers, and anyone who interacts with your business online in any way.

Managing the relationship of that audience and creating value for them – both with each other and with your brand – that’s what we call community management.

Social media marketing vs community management – the big difference

For most brands, most of their interactions with their community will take place on social media. So social media is where the community “exists” – and where your community management efforts will be directed.

What this doesn’t mean is that community management is the same as social media marketing:

ocial media marketing is building a strategy that works for the audience, creating your branded content, publishing it on a social media platform and learning from reported stats to optimize KPIs.

Community management is what you do right after posting and throughout your daily presence – talking to your audience, encouraging them to exchange ideas with each other, and having them participate on your social media. It’s about building connections and achieving brand love, as opposed to just sending out your brand message. 

It’s a two- or three-way exchange of information (and emotion!) vs. a one-way-channel.

What a thriving social media community offers to your followers

People join your community not because you asked them to – but because they receive something from it. And it’s something valuable that we nowadays increasingly get from online vs. real world interactions – a sense of belonging:

It instills a feeling of belonging and we all want to be part of something.

And it’s likely among those who:

  • have similar interests
  • enjoy the same activities
  • believe in the same values
  • like the same products as we do

that we find our tribe. 

Joining a community

Community management makes a brand that seems so far away totally approachable. In today’s world, this is a super important aspect to be successful in the social media game and to get closer to the consumers. 

Your brand can tap into this natural process. If you do community management right, you can channel this instinct to “tribalize”: 

You’ll be the connector between like-minded people. And your audience will be grateful for it as it builds authentic relationships between your audience and your team.

Not only will a well-managed community connect your followers with each other. They’ll also get to know, like and trust the members of your team – who they’re engaging with daily on your social media accounts.

This is why it’s vital to “keep it real” when managing your community. People don’t want to interact with someone who:

  • isn’t in tune with their followers
  • sees them only as a number and a dollar sign
  • doesn’t “speak their language”
  • sounds too corporate or robotic

Integrate (if possible) also faces and brand voices into your community management, as for example Edeka did, whereas an influencer took over the Tik-Tok account. Make your brand as close to people as possible, because people trust people and not brands.

Your followers want to feel like they’re talking to humans like them. To friends, even. And that’s when a tribe will start to form around your brand. Because people like to be part of something cool – but also something real.

Do you want to grow and manage your community and make your followers feel valued and included? Check out Kingfluencers’ social media community management services. We’re all about creating brand loyalty with real connections.

What benefits a community offers your business

Now let’s dive even deeper into how your engaged tribe of fans on social media is going to benefit your business. 

Sure, they’re loving you for the way you’re managing your community – but how exactly does that affect key metrics? After all, we don’t want to be chasing vanity metrics: We want to measurably improve our bottom line.

A community lowers your cost for customer support

Your community lowers your costs for customer support

Your community members’ first instinct if they have questions or problems is to ask the peers they know, like and trust. Not to call a hotline or fire up the customer support chat. 

In that way, your engaged social media community greatly reduces your need for these positions. When your customers can solve their problems without needing the assistance of dedicated support personnel – that’s real savings on your end. 

Active social media accounts drive new traffic at no extra marketing cost and boost revenue for free

Instead of paying a high cost to acquire each new customer, your community will by itself get your name out there, attract prospects, and create buyers. 

This means you’ll grow your revenue without having to dip further into your marketing budget. Whether on its own or combined with traditional methods of customer acquisition – an engaged social media community around your brand can significantly grow your bottom line.

Brand advocates multiply your reach

Your brand’s social media is also where your “Superfans” hang out. 

They’re in love with your products, care deeply about your brand, and are highly engaged in your community. These are the customers who will sing the highest praises about you and refer all their friends and family to your business. With a thriving community, you’ll help create more and more of these hyper-loyalists.

Each new Superfan is creating more ripples in the market, attracting new prospects and customers to your business. 

Your community can give you ideas for business growth

Have you ever thought about crowdsourcing ideas for the following?

  • New products, services, or features
  • New markets to enter
  • More efficient processes
  • Creative marketing campaigns

Your community will give you all these ideas for free – without you having to pay for any consulting. 

Whether it’s by brainstorming ideas directly or simply talking about their experiences (and possible issues) with your product or service, you’ll be able to glean much data to help you improve your offers or create new ones.

How to build a community around your brand in 7 steps

We’ve seen all the benefits you’ll gain from building a community on social media around your brand. 

What if you’re just starting to build it? How do you actually go about it? A thriving community is not built overnight – you’ll need effort, dedication, expertise, and continuity to make it happen. 

Let’s look at the necessary steps, one by one:

1. Listen & understand: Gain vital audience insights

Start by listening to the conversations your customers and social media followers are already having. 

Also actively encourage them to share their thoughts and feedback. Your goal is to get a complete picture of who you’ll actually be targeting. Their background, their circumstances, lifestyle, tastes, problems and desires. 

Only then can you come up with a strategic plan to create an online community perfectly matched with that target audience. 

2. Be strategic

If you want to make your social media community a success, it is worthwhile if you’re strategic about it. Your effort needs to be applied to the right actions. You need a plan and guideposts on your way to creating a tribe around your brand. 

Before you start, be mindful about several things that are crucial to the success of your community building efforts:

  • Choose the right channels to build your community with
  • Determine (and lay out) the types of content that make sense for you to share
  • Set a posting frequency that keeps your audience neither bored nor overwhelmed, but perfectly engaged
  • Be sure about the tone of voice you’ll be using when you address your community
  • Create a complete content framework, planning out your themes and topics

Once you’ve created this strategy, you’ll be much better prepared to successfully build and manage your online community – in a focused way that’ll pay off for you. 

Not just in the short run, but sustainably, for years to come.

3. Mind your branding & channel their passion

To really make an impact, your community needs to feel like a natural extension of your brand. 

To achieve this, also apply your company branding to your social media activities. Your branding is how you stand out in the marketplace – and it will make your community members proudly stand out, too. 

This comes down to how your content looks and sounds, but also how you refer to your followers and what they call each other. Ideally, your community members will share unique ways of expression, ways to view the world, and a special code of conduct. 

A passion around your brand’s distinguishing features will be created, and people will be proud to be part of your in-group. 

4. Rally around a social mission

It’s even better if your community’s passion can at the same time be used to rally behind a worthy or noble cause. They’ll feel a sense of purpose behind engaging with what you do – and they’ll stick together as a group even more. 

Being “part of your brand” is now about more than great products and services, more even than connecting with like-minded people. It’s about enjoying all those, while making the world a better place at the same time. 

Build a social media community right and you’ll be able to create something you, your members, and the world at large can feel good about.

Looking for creative inspiration

5. Be real, approachable & create connections

In all your work to build up your community, never forget the key ingredient: Keeping it real. 

It starts with:

  • You choose to sound like one friend talking to another – instead of a company talking at its followers 
  • You regularly ask your community for feedback
  • You actually act on their feedback: share your learnings and what you did to improve
  • You foster two-way communication between you and your followers by hosting giveaways and quizzes
  • You also have them suggest new content ideas, features, initiatives and events
  • You let your followers co-create with you – by encouraging user-generated content on your social media or website
  • You turn your community members into brand ambassadors by giving them access to referral programs / discount codes
  • You help everyone develop new, positive relationships every day

By being approachable like this and focusing on keeping it real and creating connections, you’ll turn your online community into a special place that your followers will cherish. 

Another powerful way to create a connection with your fans is to involve influencers (who they already like and trust) to strengthen that relationship. Many of our clients have successfully used that approach to build engaged communities around their brand. 

6. Share stories

Make your community come to life: Share authentic stories with a good storytelling approach

People want to be part of something exciting. Everyone loves to see stories unfold. And in an age where some of the content shared on social media holds up false appearances or is altogether fake, stories told in a real, down-to-earth way are refreshing. Real stories create a real bond between you and your community.

Think about what kinds of stories can have maximum impact: It’s revealing behind-the-scenes insights into your brand, telling your team members’ stories, showing your real and vulnerable side.

But also highlighting stories right out of your community. You’re giving your loyal followers a platform to share about themselves and their journey. It all ties back to your brand – you created this opportunity for them. 

This is how you build a tight-knit online community that lasts.

7. Execute masterfully

You now know what a successful community should look like and what parts are important. You have your strategy to build it all mapped out. Now you need to put it all into action. 

How do you make sure you’ll actually create this tribe of engaged followers, without the process of building it fizzling out at some point?

  1. Ensure a continuous content production flow
  2. Post new content often and interact with your community every day
  3. Always look for new ways to engage and grow

That’s how you create a thriving social media community in a nutshell. 

You do need the drive and discipline to put in daily work to keep it going. This is why it might be a good idea to create the dedicated position of “community manager” in your business. 

Either way, if you keep executing on your community-building plan, you can expect your efforts to increase customer loyalty – and ultimately, your bottom line.

Do you want our help turning your community into a thriving, engaged environment – priming your followers to become loyal customers and brand advocates? Then take advantage of Kingfluencers’ community management services.

Stay tuned for Part 2, where we’ll go into the nitty-gritty of what you’ll do to always keep the engagement inside your community at the highest level, and further differentiating between Facebook, Instagram and TikTok community managements.

Social Commerce: How To Use Social Commerce For Your Brand

Social media has risen to become an integral part of content marketing. It has completely revolutionized the way we communicate, share information, and interact with others. Originally, people worldwide depended on these various platforms to connect with friends and family, share photos and videos, and stay informed on news and current events. However, changes within the e-commerce space now make social media an excellent marketing tool for people within the e-commerce space to put out their goods and drive sales. In this article, we will thoroughly explore the place of social commerce in modern-day marketing.

What Is Social Commerce?

Social commerce uses social media platforms to promote and sell products and services. This trend is rapidly growing and transforming the world of e-commerce and it is also making waves among businesses and consumers alike. Social commerce involves the use of product catalogues, user reviews and ratings, social proof, influencer marketing, and other social media marketing tactics to drive traffic and sales. Businesses can now take more advantage of social media by tapping into the social networks of their customers and reaching new audiences, while also offering a more seamless and convenient shopping experience for consumers. Examples of this innovative idea include both Instagram and Facebook shopping features, which allow businesses to make sales on the platforms.

The Evolution of Social Commerce

It is essential to understand how social commerce evolved. E-commerce has been around for quite a while but became widespread during the rise of the internet in the 1990s. At its inception, e-commerce was limited to a monopoly of large businesses with the resources to build online e-commerce websites from scratch. 

However, the rise of online platforms like Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba made e-commerce opportunities available to small and medium-sized businesses. Another factor that influenced the growth of e-commerce was the dominance of mobile devices. With the increasing use of smartphones and tablets, consumers shifted towards mobile shopping. As a result, businesses had to adapt their e-commerce strategies to accommodate mobile users. 

The e-commerce industry is currently a multi-billion dollar industry with much room for growth. According to Statista, global e-commerce sales are projected to reach $ 6.54 trillion USD by 2023.
Find out in our article Emerging Retail Trends, which are the trends to keep an eye on in 2023.

The Rise of Social Media

While e-commerce was growing, social media was also experiencing rapid development. The first social media platform, Six Degrees, was launched in 1997. It wasn’t until the launch of Facebook in 2004 that social media started gaining widespread popularity.

Since then, social media has grown from a peripheral to an integral part of our lives. A 2021 report estimated that there were 3.78 billion social media users worldwide (almost half of the global population). In Switzerland, 3.5 million Swiss people use Instagram and 2.06 million use TikTok (Statista, 2023). Today, social media has undoubtedly become an excellent tool for businesses to promote their products and services, engage with customers, build brand awareness, and drive traffic to their website. If you’d like to learn more about this topic and also wonder what inspires and influences Swiss consumers on social media, don’t miss our study The Power of Digital Influence.

The Convergence of Social Media and E-commerce

The continued romance between social media and e-commerce led to a convergence. As more companies sought ways to better leverage social media for their e-commerce businesses, social media platforms started creating features that made it possible for people to buy directly on these various platforms. Social commerce has become more prevalent in recent years, driven by the increasing use of mobile devices and the rise of social media platforms that support e-commerce. Social interaction has also been fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has accelerated the shift toward online shopping.

Top Social Commerce Platforms

Here is a list of the top social commerce platforms that are being used for product sales worldwide:


Facebook has been around forever and is at the top of this list. According to Statista (2023), over 60% of users in the United States on Facebook have made purchases on the app at one point or another. That’s over 50 million people. And according to Statista (2023) it is predicted that this number will increase every year. So if you are trying to venture into social commerce, Facebook should be the first platform on your mind. 


According to statistics from Instagram, 50% of its users use the app to search for and discover new brands, products, and services. What’s more, 44% of these users shop on the platform. The features available on the platform for businesses include shop tabs, shopping tags, ads, and shopping through DM. Among GenZ, nearly one in two (46%) make purchases through Instagram, with influencers being key drivers of purchases, as we uncovered in our study The Power of Digital Influence.


TikTok might be new to the game, but it’s not playing. The users buy as they scroll, as reports indicate that over 33% of TikTok users are making purchases on the app. Through its in-app social media shopping, this over-performing newbie is taking its fair share of the social commerce cake. Now merchants with a business TikTok account can add shopping tabs to their brand profiles. It is also important to emphasize that TikTok is no longer the “Gen Z only” app in Switzerland, even though the proportion of younger people is still high. This is because the number of older target groups using the channel is increasing from year to year. For this reason, TikTok is a highly relevant channel not only for attracting the young customers of tomorrow, but also for reaching the consumers of today (Kingfluencers, 2023).

Types of Social Commerce

There are various types of social commerce, each with unique features. Here are the more prevalent versions of social commerce:

Online Shopping

Social Media Shopping

Social media shopping involves directly using social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok to promote and sell products to customers. Many businesses that operate this style of social commerce use it as an avenue to reach new customers, showcase their products, and build brand awareness. The presence of social media influencers also makes it easy to promote goods and services on these platforms.

Peer-to-Peer Marketplaces

Peer-to-peer marketplaces allow individuals to sell products to one another directly. Examples of such places include Etsy, Depop, and Mercari. These platforms are popular among small business owners, artists, and crafters as they allow them to reach a larger market without having to meet people physically or have an on-ground store.

Group Buying

Group buying allows people to come together and buy something at a discounted price. Group buying platforms like Groupon and LivingSocial have grown in popularity and allow businesses to offer their products and services to a larger group of people. It also allows consumers to save lots of money on products and services they would not have been able to afford all by themselves.

Social Shopping Platforms

Social shopping platforms are online marketplaces where users can discover and purchase products based on their interests and preferences. International examples of social shopping platforms are Wanelo, Polyvore, and Fancy. These markets are popular among young consumers looking for unique and trendy products. You can also connect with like-minded individuals on these platforms. In Switzerland, by contrast, providers such as Facebook Marketplace, Ricardo, Tutti and Ebay are the dominating players.

Benefits of Social Commerce

Social commerce offers a wide range of benefits to businesses and consumers alike. To find out what strategy you can follow for social commerce in Switzerland, check out our article The new Retail Formula to Leverage Social Media as a Purchasing Channel. We would also like to share with you some of the upsides of using this marketing tools:

Increased Brand Exposure and Awareness

Using social media platforms to promote and sell products can help businesses reach new customers and build brand awareness. Over half of the world’s population uses social media. This means there is an opportunity to get people through these platforms like never before. Social media platforms are a great way to connect with potential customers, as they offer a range of tools and features that allow businesses to target specific audiences and showcase their products in a visually appealing way.

Seamless Shopping Experience

One of the benefits of using this method is that the shopping experience becomes seamless and easy. Customers do not need to leave social media anymore to make purchases, as they can do that right within the apps. This makes buying less of an issue, as many consumers are not usually comfortable leaving social media apps to purchase products. Now they can buy and continue their surfing experience all in one breath.

Improved Customer Engagement and Loyalty

Social commerce can help businesses improve customer engagement and loyalty by offering a more personalized and interactive shopping experience. By using social media platforms to connect with customers, companies can build relationships, respond to their feedback and concerns, and offer personalized recommendations and offers. 

Greater Social Proof and Trust

Social commerce can help build trust and credibility among customers by providing social proof in the form of customer reviews and user-generated content. When customers see other people using and enjoying a product, they’re more likely to trust that it is high quality and worth purchasing.

Gather Data on Your Audience and Even Competitors

There has never been a time when it was easier to gather data. Social media offers an easy way to monitor consent and get data without struggling. All you have to do is pay attention to what they like or buy more. You can use this data to know exactly who is more likely to buy from you and what they are more likely to buy. You can also use this to monitor your competition and know precisely what they are doing. 

Higher Conversion Rates and Sales

Social commerce has been shown to impact conversion rates and sales positively. Using social media platforms to promote and sell products, businesses can offer a more seamless and convenient shopping experience, leading to higher conversion rates. Additionally, social commerce can help businesses reach new audiences and drive more sales, especially if they partner with influencers or use social media advertising.

Challenges of Social Commerce

Just like everything else, social commerce has its challenges. Here are some difficulties people encounter when using social commerce platforms:

Keeping up with Changing Algorithms and Trends

Social media platforms constantly change their algorithms and features, making it challenging for businesses to keep up with the latest trends and best practices. Additionally, as social commerce becomes more popular, competition will likely increase, making it harder for businesses to stand out. Businesses would have to continually make new adjustments to align with the changes in the platform’s algorithm.

Ensuring Data Privacy and Security

Social media platforms have been scrutinised recently for their handling of user data and privacy. Businesses that use social media for e-commerce need to ensure that they follow best practices for data privacy and security and are transparent about how they use customer data. While this might not be the easiest of tasks based on the fluidity of privacy laws and company policies, brands would have to find a way nonetheless.

Managing Customer Expectations and Complaints

Social media platforms can be a double-edged sword regarding customer feedback. While they offer an excellent way for customers to share their feedback and experiences, they can also make it challenging for businesses to manage customer expectations and complaints. Companies need to be prepared to respond to customer feedback and complaints in a timely and professional manner to maintain a positive reputation.

Best Practices to Use Social Commerce For Your Brand

Using social commerce for your business is a great choice to make right now. However, it is important that you do it properly. Here are some best practices if you want to use social commerce for your brand:

Choose the right social media platforms

It is one thing to choose a platform, but another to choose the right platform. There are different social media platforms out there, and choosing the right one for your business is paramount. One easy way to ground your activity and success on social media platforms is to choose the wrong one. So ensure your business is on the right platform. For example, if your target audience is primarily women, Pinterest and Instagram might be the best platforms. However, if your target audience is mostly professionals, LinkedIn might be a better option.

Create a shoppable experience

Make it easy for customers to buy from your page without any difficulty. What you should do is ensure that your page is user-friendly. Ensure that the right buttons are in the right places. This way, customers will easily make their purchases without struggling.

Optimize your content for mobile

Most people who use social media do so on their mobile devices. This is why it is important that you optimize your content for mobile devices. This would include using responsive design and creating content that’s tailored to mobile devices. 

Leverage user-generated content

There is almost no better way you could generate legitimate content for your brand. If ordinary users are making posts using your products, then you must take advantage and use these posts. One way you can achieve this is by encouraging users to share their experiences on the platform. This would generate natural traffic, as people would easily see this as a natural gesture and not a targeted ad.

Personalize your social commerce strategy

Use customer data to personalize your social commerce strategy. This can be done by offering personalized product recommendations and promotions based on their purchase history and browsing behaviour. Personalization can help you to increase sales and build customer loyalty.

Monitor and respond to customer feedback

Social media platforms provide customers with a direct line of communication with your brand. It is essential to monitor customer feedback on social media and respond to any questions or concerns promptly. This will help you build customer loyalty and improve customer satisfaction.

Measure your results

Use social media analytics tools to track your social commerce performance. This will help you identify which strategies are working and which ones need improvement. Use this data to adjust your social commerce strategy and optimize your efforts for maximum impact.


The years ahead really look promising for social commerce. Many innovations are happening in the social media space that would allow for more advances to be made. There is no better time to take advantage of the social commerce space than now. If you need help starting out on social media, you can reach out to us so we can work together to make your brand’s social commerce valid.

Author: Yoeri Callebaut, Kingfluencers AG