Vurdere Insights

Why Social Engagement Will Boost Your Business

Social engagement, yet another buzz word or another necessary component of eCommerce? In this article, I will explain how social engagement is ideal for eCommerce and your brand-image. 

Written by Koen Hoogendoorn, Business and Legal Analyst at Vurdere | October 2021.

Black Friday

Brand-building through engagement 

The Harvard Business Review already wrote in 2008(!) that ‘many business leaders, who are disappointed by online sales growth, see web customers as disloyal and unwilling to spend. But that’s because the managers are not exploiting what customers value most: engagement’. Engagement is necessary for an eCommerce business, because it is evident that the more time you spend on a webstore, the more likely you become to buy something. Furthermore, if the webstore is fun to engage with, through social interactions like reviews, likes and comments, the brand of the webstore will be positively appreciated. This will in turn result in more conversion, because of the increase in (positive) time spent on the webstore.

The Network Effect 

This creates a network of people that support your brand and will therefore market your brand for you through word-of-mouth marketing. Ultimately, this will bring more people to your brand through a process called the network effect. This is the phenomenon where the value or of a good or service is derived from the number of users. People will view your product or service as something positive, if they can actually see multiple people engaging with it and liking it. MIT Professor Sinan Aral wrote in his 2020 book: The Hype Machine, how the network effect was the primary reason that Facebook won from Myspace in the social media battle. Facebook won the battle because it focussed on the direct network effect of colleges and universities in the United States. If all of your college buddies are using Facebook, then it is more likely that you will too. That is why social engagement is so important, because it is a process which demonstrates people interacting with your brand or services.

Okay, but how do we get social engagement? 

Social engagement can be reached through different ways, for instance being active on social media and responding to comments on your posts. This is how most of social engagement manifests in today’s times. It just makes sense to use the platforms with the most users, such as Instagram. However, this does not mean that the quality of social engagement is of a high level. Some of us have been there, the idea to start an Instagram page that will have thousands of followers and will make us the next biggest influencer. Yet, whoever has tried, knows that this is harder than it looks. On top of that, personal accounts (such as influencers) have a higher chance of gaining qualitative and engaging followers than corporate accounts. This is because followers want to get to know you, and do not really care about a corporate entity since they know that an underpaid intern is probably in charge of the socials. 

 This is why creating social engagement on your own platform / website is worthwhile. For instance, you could start writing blog posts (such as this one ;-)), doing product-reveals live from your website, create a forum where customers can interact with each other, stream live Q&As with the founders or product designers. You can go wild, as long as it is authentic and causes engagement.  

What to write about? 

There does not even need to be a direct link between the product you sell, and the content you produce, Harvard Business Review states. For eCommerce websites, you could write blog posts about how the product-branche you are in helps people to better their lives. A fitness supplement company could write about the mental and productivity advantages of physical exercise. Engagement should not be focused on getting sales. It should be focused on engagement. Therefore, you need to make sure that your articles and social interactions are actually fun and representative of your company. Porsche does not exclusively have to write about their cars, they could also write about the things that their audience interacts positively with. For instance, luxury products such as watches or high-class events.  

Our solution to engagement for eCommerces 

We at Vurdere drive social engagement through our review-tools that use the same algorithms as the biggest social media platforms. This causes a 18% increase in organic web traffic, because search engines recognize social engagement and therefore prioritize these websites in the search results. This leads to an increase in average conversion rates of 292%(!) with our 6 biggest customers in Brazil. Do you want to know more?

Read our FAQ and set up a meeting with one of us to find out what we can do for your eCommerce through a demo.  

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