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3 August 2022

5 Tips: Social Commerce Algorithm

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Your packaging is an algorithm. 

 

Although packaging doesn’t have an actual algorithm attached to it, (thanks to the fact that it’s a physical object rather than an online interface run by robots) just like the algorithms of Instagram or Facebook, your packaging also benefits or is restricted by the algorithm that exists on the human network called: Life. This algorithm is subject to change and thrives off of knowing the habits of its customers; it increases your chances of getting likes, sales and shares depending on how eye-popping it is; it can ruin your entire business with just one misled comment; and functions best in certain areas around a specifically targeted audience. Now put all of those factors onto a social interface platform such as Facebook – and you’ve got the core of social commerce. Here’s how to make it work for you. And what you can do with your packaging to make it your best selling platform yet.

algorithm data

Diagram Showing What The Algorithm Responds To

 

While advertising has been used since the earliest years of civilization, it became a main marketing technique in the 19th century when the Industrial Revolution increased business power and the consumer became a target which was invaluable in the success of the big business. However, while advertising in magazines and newspapers is still a popular practice, (just look inside a Vogue magazine to see that these pages are still coveted by top brands) the use of an algorithm is the most effective way for brands to get the right customers. But it works in a similar way to the old way of paper advertising and word of mouth; you wouldn’t advertise in every single magazine and newspaper and bus station across the world in the hope of getting every consumer on the planet behind you. You’d analyse who you’re trying to target and then decide where they live, the publications they read, what their main route to work is and the time their footfall is highest. Then you would use all of this information to optimize your advertising. It’s exactly the same with the algorithm online, but this one is always changing and subject to the whims of the network and data changes that come with a fast-paced environment packed with trends.

 

There are no robot consumers in life, but consumers are guided by robots into specific buying habits thanks to the algorithm that controls the online marketplace. The algorithm you’ll be most familiar with is the search engine algorithm made by Google called PageRank. This algorithm prioritizes content that has been clicked on, searched regularly and updated – this is without including an option that allows companies to pay for a higher ranking. Which is why you will only ever see Google Ads at the top of your search. 85% of retail paid Google search clicks come from ads that are paid for by businesses that want to beat the algorithm by using keywords to get customers to buy their products. This algorithm works so well thanks to cookies – actually HTTP data that stores all the information they need from your server after each session, so as to harvest all of the information from every platform and website you have ever used to get the right product in front of you – all of this is just from what you’ve clicked and looked at, not even what you’ve bought. Every conversion; from keyword, to website, to product gives the data a link that they keep in their database relating to your specific search history. This is why the really annoying ads that pop up on certain websites are linked to your searches and keyword usage. For your brand this is a godsend that you can use to your advantage, known as algorithmic business this is where you can use the data to improve your reach, your customer targeting, your community and your brand capabilities. And your packaging is a key element when it comes to conversions. The argument is that algorithms are starting to know us better than we know ourselves, they also know the products we will buy before we’ve even bought them, just because of what we’ve searched elsewhere. 

 

Different algorithms help feeds and advertisements to be customized so as to target the right consumer – machine learning means that these algorithms are getting more and more intelligent and refined. A few examples are listed below with how your packaging can be influenced by them and how you can in turn use them to get in front of more consumers:

  • News Feed Algorithms
  • Search Algorithms
  • Trending Algorithms
  • Recommendation Algorithms
  • Friendship Algorithms

 

But how can packaging help you get the algorithm on your side? Here are our top 5 tips.

Packaging is the visual algorithm you can use to influence the online algorithm, what people see influences everything else they see. Your packaging is full of keywords, visuals, links and customer interaction – it gets real-life clicks, (being picked up and looked at) views, (that double-check in the shop window) and the all-important purchase. Interaction is what the algorithm of commerce loves. So moving this online is simple once you realize that your packaging is still the main act.

  • Algorithms work differently on different platforms depending what the brand wants. However they usually revolve around the idea that certain people want to see certain things and will purchase certain items from certain companies if they are exposed to specific media. That’s why having a target audience is so important because you can niche down your packaging and make the algorithm work for you. How big is it, what are the materials, what color is it, where do you put it, does it ship the product safely. The point of the algorithm is to optimize the experience of the user while getting the brand as much paid usage as possible. The user is essentially the product and companies look to make as much money from them as possible, thanks to the regulators this is becoming more and more possible as social commerce steadily climbs.
  • Alt text even on social media is a great way to boost SEO ranking within the algorithms. This is why the use of hashtags is so important because it gives a shortcut to your post and therefore to your product as well as your brand. Having a branded slogan, hashtag and visuals are essential to getting a community who support, click, like and subscribe to your content as well as buying your products. A community are your old-school returning customers who know the sales people and are loyal to your products.
  • Categorize your packaging into materials, colors, brand identification – use the same keywords across platforms but change your tone. What is different about your packaging, what is different about your brand; how can you show this over social media? SEO is the key to boosting your posts with your brand’s niche keywords and phrases.
  • Use high quality visuals. The better the picture and the more it stands out (see our article on Blanding to find out more on this) the more likely it is to get interactions and climb up the ranking. Different packaging materials give different effects, so make sure you know your target audience and what your brand stands for and then it’s just lights, camera and action!
  • Understand the algorithms you’re working with – what’s your priority and what can they do for you.

 

Want to learn more about how packaging can shift your social commerce sales and elevate your brand? Get in touch with us today to start a packaging journey that will leave your customers wanting more.