In life, some things just naturally pair well with each other. Peanut butter and jelly. Wine and cheese. Fall and football. Together, the sweet and savory joy that they deliver is amplified and everyone benefits.

Sticking true to the virtues of wine and cheese is the combination of social media and digital commerce.

Today, we know that pair as social commerce, a type of electronic commerce that employs social media to promote online transactions.

Since the beginning of time, location, location, location has been critical to a merchant’s success. Today, the concept of location is changing and becoming digital. More and more people are spending time on social networks. In fact, from 2016 to 2017 the number of active social media users grew by 21%. What’s even more interesting is that these social networks are transforming into something greater than just a place to hang out. Sure, pictures and birthday wishes are still being shared. However, social media users are also actively engaging with companies. They are sharing what they like, posting about negative experiences and shouting out their favorite brands. According to a study, 86% of people follow brands on social media and 75% of them have purchased a product because they saw it on a social channel. Together, those statistics have caught the attention of businesses that are seeking to harness the massive opportunity that social media presents.

For companies that are looking to maximize the impact of social commerce, Facebook’s 1.5 billion users present the largest opportunity. They represent a massive pool of prospects that companies are hungry to acquire, convert and retain as loyal customers. Businesses that are eager to capitalize on this audience are advertising on Facebook and using the Facebook shop feature to turn their “Page” into a convenient social storefront for customers. But, leveraging Facebook can be a complex process when trying to deliver a consistent look, feel and message that is aligned with a company’s other channels. It grows tougher when manually juggling a library of product images, descriptions and price changes while simultaneously managing product promotions.

Merchants should fear not! Leveraging the power of social commerce on Facebook doesn’t have to be frustrating. The right technology can remove a lot of the burden. Magento Social makes setting up a Facebook shop easier by directly integrating with Magento Commerce. This means within minutes, a company’s Facebook store is automatically created with all the correct product information, from photos and descriptions to pricing. Product listings are automatically updated on a regular basis to keep your store fresh, highlighting your latest products and promotions. This eliminates the need to manually manage product catalogs in multiple places.

Having consistent up-to-date listings is important because Magento Social makes it is more convenient for your customers to like and share their favorite products. Each product listing on a merchant’s Facebook store is equipped with icons that enable consumers to quickly share them to their various social feeds. Considering that 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family above all else, encouraging customer sharing can play a role in acquiring more customers and increasing your brand awareness.

Facebook advertising is also critical to a successful social strategy. With projected ad revenues of 23 billion dollars, merchants are aggressively investing in this channel. But, efficiently managing these ads can be a challenge if you are doing it on your own. Magento Social makes it easier. Thanks to tight integration with Magento Commerce, Magento Social merchants can save time and effortlessly create and optimize Facebook ads for specific products, in just a few clicks. There is no need to create or upload any additional content and you can easily monitor performance and available budget towards the best-performing products and categories. This allows for immediate turnaround and management when launching a promotion for a bestselling product, or perhaps one that you are looking to quickly clear inventory on.

At the end of the day, merchants that invest in delivering simple and integrated social commerce experiences will open the door to opportunities to charm and acquire customers that may not have existed before. Providing existing and potential customers with the convenience to learn about, purchase and share products in a continuous manner will drive success. This is why implementing a solution that helps save time and makes it easier for businesses to keep their initiatives aligned is becoming more and more important. From up-to-date product listings and flexible targeted advertisements to impactful sharing, Magento Social helps merchants turn their social media initiatives into an engine for growth.