If you are running an eCommerce business, by now you should be well aware of how social media has become increasingly important in the evolution of online shopping.
As social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and Snapchat keep on growing, consumers are turning to social media platforms to help them make purchasing decisions.
However, in the content-riddled world of eCommerce, establishing yourself as a viable brand is no easy task.
Despite all the difficulties, there are a handful of tried and proven tactics that could help your brand find its way into the crowded digital marketplace. One of the tactics is to fully embrace the concept of integrating social media as part of your online marketing strategy.
In fact, 73% of marketers believe that marketing through social media is somewhat effective for their business. And brands that engage with prospects via social channels gain 20 to 40% more revenue per consumer as compared to businesses that don’t.
From creating and sharing appealing content to working with influencers, including social media marketing as part of your eCommerce growth strategy could push your business to the next level. The challenge comes in knowing where to begin.
Before we dive into marketing strategies for your eCommerce website, first…
Start with the basics
In the eCommerce world, sales are driven by website traffic. However, attracting customers to your website using social media platforms is easier said than done.
For any business, sustained success requires more than just tactics; it takes implementing a social media strategy that takes the following into account:
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Without setting goals, it’s hard to know exactly what success will look like. When setting goals, be as specific as possible by setting S.M.A.R.T goals. This will not only help propel your marketing strategy forward, but it’ll also help you measure your online progress.
Some of the common social media goals focus on the following:
- Drive traffic to your eCommerce website
- Create brand awareness
- Generate sales or leads
- Enhance public relations
- Establish online authority
Understand your customer content needs
Before you start posting content on social media, first know your customer’s needs. This will help you get insights about what they really want, making it easy for you to customize your content that meets their wants.
Your website’s analytical tools provide insights and data on consumer behavior that can be used to create a great user experience for your site’s visitors.
You can analyze your customers’ behavior, including most viewed content, the source of your website’s traffic, content engagement, and when your site’s visitors engage with your content.
You can use those insights to discover the best social media practices by posting at the right times, curating certain types of content, etc.
Share, don’t sell
Most social media users visit social media sites to socialize but not with the intent of shopping. Thus, as a business owner, you need to first establish rapport by building trust and relationships through sharing of useful information which can build credibility.
This can be even sharing social proof of your eCommerce service or providing free giveaways to your customers, which can build trust among your users before you start selling to them. If all you do is sell, sell, sell, you stand a risk of losing customers.
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As you create your social media strategy, it’s important to define how you will go about tracking and monitoring your progress and change in consumer behavior. Do this by creating reports based on your reach, engagement, and conversion to help you adjust your social media strategy based on trending changes.
Once you’re done with analyzing the basics, use these five social media marketing strategies to help boost traffic, and grow your eCommerce business.
#1. Create, curate, and share awesome content
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Take a moment and think about the content you share for a second. If all you do is to promote your products, there’s a high likelihood that your followers will burn out on your pages pretty fast. And the more your engagement drops, the less often that your new content will be seen by your followers.
Ramp up engagement by sharing interesting repurposed content. This is what we call content curation. When you repurpose similar posts to yours, you keep your readers glued by always providing new information.
Content curation involves:
- Planning interesting topics that your audience will love
- Searching for similar content from others that ties to your target’s interest
- Sharing only the best possible information on social media
While creating awesome content won’t surge new traffic immediately, well-optimized content will continuously generate traffic and increase sales over the long-run.
#2. Optimize social media posts
Using high-conversion keywords to optimize your posts is one of the most effective ways to increase visibility in searches. Optimized social media posts are able to reach an even larger audience other than just your direct followers.
Just like the process of SEO, you want to make sure that you are using keywords to help you increase your reach. You can achieve this by performing keyword research or by just using the content from your website and posting it on your social media accounts to help increase your conversions.
Keyword research involves looking for the terms that your target customers are searching for to find content related to your niche, business, products, or services, and then strategically using them on your posts to reach out to many people.
Also, if possible, incorporate visual elements on your posts as you publish them to quickly grab the eye of your readers even when they are busy scanning through social media.
#3. Interact with followers
A comment on your post on your social media account or on your online store is usually a sign that people like your content. And it’s equally important to reciprocate and provide feedback to these interactions.
Monitor your posts and engage with your followers by asking questions, responding to comments, or even thanking them. This gives your business a personal touch and shows that you truly care about them and serving to their needs other than just selling to them.
Here are a few ways to help you improve your engagement.
- Join groups in your niche – this is a good way to keep tabs with trending hashtags, keywords, and the conversations happening around your industry.
- Cultivate relationships with influencers – influencers play a big role in helping boost your brand’s reach as well as an increased trust factor.
- Host live chats – Live chats are perfect for having real-time conversations where you get to interact one-on-one with your customers as if they are physically there with you.
#4. Blogs are social, too
For some mysterious reason, marketers seem to equate social media with social networking. Blogs are part of social media just as much as social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest. And like social platforms, blogs offer a platform where content is published to receive views, shares, and comments.
When you are marketing your eCommerce business, however, including regular blog outreach as part of your social media marketing strategy is an effective way to help increase traffic and drive sales.
This is the approach that Richard Lazazzera, the founder of A Better Lemonade Stand, took when he was challenging himself to launch a t-shirt business in just 24 hours. After launching his store on Shopify, he reached out to a local blogger in his niche to cover his list of products.
It took him one night to start generating leads from new customers. His post not only helped increase sales, but it attracted investors who were interested in collaborating with Richard to expand his business.
While creating your own content is good for your business, reaching out to bloggers and influencers in your niche and working with them to get your products featured on their sites could mean a huge deal to your eCommerce business.
#5. Use social reviews
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Nothing sells a product or a service better than a happy, satisfied customer. Let your clients do the marketing for you by sharing their product reviews or testimonials on your eCommerce website.
Product reviews are powerful tools because prospects are more open to purchasing something that has social proof. In fact, according to a report by Search Engine Land, 88% of respondents said they trust online product reviews as much as recommendations from people close to them.
If you don’t know where to start, use apps like Yotpo to get more engaging product reviews on your eCommerce website as well as on your social media accounts. To make the best out of reviews, here are 4 ways you can integrate reviews and customer ratings in your social media strategies:
- Stay on top of customer reviews and ratings, wherever they are
- Make sure you quickly respond to negative reviews
- Balance between posting both positive and negative reviews
- Use tracking metrics to monitor the impact of the reviews you post
Also, be sure to encourage your prospects to leave reviews after they make a purchase. Do this by sending them follow-up emails and ask them to visit your website and leave a review of your products or services.
Scaling your business can be a daunting task, especially in the competitive world of eCommerce. But integrating social media marketing could put your business right in front of the eyes of your potential prospects.
Creating awesome content, leveraging your blog, and using social reviews could help improve awareness, increase your website traffic and conversion, and ultimately boost sales.
Guest author: Rithesh Raghavan is the Co-Founder and Director at Acodez. Acodez is an international award-winning IT Company based in India, that offers web design, software development, mobile apps, and SEO services.