While social media connects consumers with each other, it also plays a role in connecting marketers with current and potential buyers. Marketing strategies used in social commerce engages online shoppers through graphics, endorsements, and customizable buying options. In 2018, it was found that the majority of companies in the United States used Facebook and Instagram for marketing purposes. Product brands with the most Facebook fans include Samsung, Coca-Cola, YouTube, and McDonald’s.
With over a third of U.S. internet users using social media to connect with brands to learn more about products and services, user engagement is a focus for brands and retailers. Digital campaigns are measured by user interactions such as clicks, likes, retweets, comments, and shares. Other reasons to connect with brands on social platforms are discounts and coupons, as well as showing support for favorite companies. According to a May 2018 survey, 58 percent of responding U.S. consumers stated that they felt somewhat influenced by social media when making purchasing decisions.
Retailers and consumers have already directed their attentions towards automated chatbot and messaging app commerce as an extension of social commerce. However, unlike regular e-commerce, social commerce still needs time to reach the mainstream. As of 2018, most customers in the United States is still reluctant to purchase directly through social media due to security concerns and only 18 percent of U.S. consumers made a purchase directly through social media.