These days, you’re nobody without a social media account. It doesn’t matter if it’s your grandma’s cookie business or a local band who hasn’t released a song in years: you’ll find them on Facebook. So it goes without saying that your e-commerce store needs to be represented on social too.
In this article, we’ll discuss how social media can help you with your success. We’ll tap into the different ways of how to make good use of the different channels and we’ll explain how you can take full advantage of the platforms in order to see your efforts pay off.
Integrating your social media channels with your e-commerce store will help you drive more traffic and generate more sales. And with the use of social media growing each year, you know it’s time to give your social media marketing a little boost! Let’s discuss how.
Driving traffic to your website
The first use of social media that can be highly important for your e-commerce store, is driving traffic to your business. Social media is ideal for introducing your brand to the world, attracting new customers, showing your products and collecting positive reviews. It’s the platform where you reach out to your audience and engage in conversations with them.
There are different ways of driving traffic to your online store via social media. You can either let organic posts do their charm in order for people to get to know your brand. Or you can invest some money in ads and discover a whole new world of potential customers. Let’s have a look at both.
The first way doesn’t cost you any money, but it will cost you some more time (we know, time is money too). Nevertheless, will the effort you put into driving organic traffic from your social media account to your website result in longer-term benefits. And to get this organic traffic, you’ll have to focus on quality social media content.
Creating valuable content for your social media channels is a great way to reach your audience. This can be content of all sorts and forms, ranging from awesome how-to articles to in-depth video guides. You can even work with a funny infographic or an inspirational quote.
It doesn’t matter what content you create, if it’s good, people will interact with it. This can be in liking, commenting or sharing your content – which will make it visible for a broader audience. It will help you get your brand known with new customers, but it will also get back on top of your existing customer’s mind.
Another way of driving traffic to your e-commerce business is by spending some money on social media advertising. Even though you might be a bit reluctant towards spending parts of your marketing budget on ads, it will be worth the investment. Ads on social media offer you the opportunity to work with a highly targeted audience, where you can reach the exact right people at the right moment.
There are different ways that social media advertising will be able to support your online shop. You can, for example, introduce your company to the world, by working with brand awareness ads that show your unique selling propositions so people find their way to your website. Alternatively, you can advertise different products in your shop, which will bring interested buyers directly to the right products they’re interested in. Thirdly, you can retarget website visitors that have already shown interest in certain items, reminding them of your products and giving them the little push they need.
Maintaining the relationships
A second important part of social media is your customer retention, where you maintain the relationship you have with both new and existing customers. By being present on social media, you hang out where your customers are too. It gives you the option to integrate your brand into your customers’ conversation, making it a lot easier for them to reach out to you and trust you.
A good example is customer service, which has been a lot more approachable now it’s mostly done on social media. Picking up the phone and being on hold for hours, used to be a good reason to not reach out to a certain company – but sending a message on Facebook or Tweeting to them is a lot easier. Make sure you listen to your customers on the platforms where they are trying to reach you. If they have inquires about their order, the size or shipping status, you have to make sure you can help them out in a fast and easy way.
Another advantage that social media offers to both businesses and their customers are online reviews. Online reviews have basically replaced word of mouth recommendations, making them more important than ever to attract new customers. There are a lot of platforms where people can leave their opinion, but social media remains a favourite. Work on collecting those reviews by sending out emails asking people for one, and make sure to comment on them once you’ve received them.
In line with your customer service is the instant messaging feature. It’s never been easier for people to get in touch with their favourite brands, so it’s up to you to keep that ease. People can reach out to you for a number of reasons and you should be prepared to be at the other end of that line. If you don’t have the means to have a full team permanently present, ensure to install automated responses and address the matter as soon as you’re available.
Live updates and stories
One last way to keep your customers engaged (and potentially drive traffic to your website) are the live videos and stories various social media platforms offer these days. On Facebook, you can go live with your company and consumer are getting more fond of this type of content. 82% of the people even prefer watching a live video over reading a full blog post. Live streaming is not only a great tool for publicity but can also lead to conversions. Think of introducing new collections, Q&A’s or giving tutorials on how to use your products.
Another tool that Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram offer are stories. Customer loves this type of content since it’s fast, honest and interactive. They are a great way of encouraging people to send a direct message. Stories can also help you collect data about customers through a simple poll. Working with stories can help you in promoting your items or giving customers a peek behind the scenes. Both of these more personal approaches will make them feel more connected to your brand.
Selling on social media
Social media doesn’t only help you drive traffic but also helps you to sell directly to your customers. The reason we didn’t make this chapter the first of our article is that people have to be ready to buy. That’s why we recommend focusing on your brand awareness and loyalty first. But when the time is right, social media is the platform to turn your leads into conversions.
Facebook offers a Facebook store, where your customers can directly buy your items without having to leave the social platform. You can upload your products to the Facebook store manually. Alternatively, you can work with integrations that will automate this process for you. Once you have set up your Facebook store, you can tag your products in different posts. The Facebook store is also used to create Dynamic Products ads to reach a targeted audience.
On Instagram, you can tag products in your posts through Instagram shopping. This feature will highlight the products that are for sale, offering customers more information when clicking on them. To make the purchase, customers will have to click through to your website. Alternatively, you can install links in your stories, where people have to swipe up to get to the right page.
Influencer marketing and User-Generated Content
One last way how social media can help your e-commerce store grow is through influencer marketing and user-generated content. Both are a good way of generating brand awareness and creating engagement, giving your online store the attention it deserves.
By focusing on influencer marketing you let a celebrity endorse your products or your brand. These ambassadors can use their own social media pages to promote certain items. By sharing these items with their followers they will create a relationship of trust with their own audience.
Another good strategy for your social media channels is user-generated content. This means you will use images, videos or product reviews of your customers’ to promote your own brand. And by letting a third party speak for you, you will not only create more engagement but also gain more trust.