Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Nancy Grace who is a social media expert and writer
One of the toughest challenges online store owners come across is increasing the traffic of their e-commerce store. Also, knowing where to begin and how to stand out from the thousands of online shops who are competing for the same traffic are other daunting challenges they go through.
The huge growth in the e-commerce world has made it tougher for e-commerce websites to gain the attention of critical number of visitors. These critical visitors later on become potential customers.
What Role Social Media Plays?
If you are an e-commerce store owner, you are aware of the huge impact effective social media marketing strategies have on your business. It is not surprising to know that social media plays a great role in how consumers become aware of the products and make the purchases. There are more than 523,000,000 global users on social media and each of the social media tools provide various means of brand engagement, increase in followers as well as likes. And this results in bringing new customers as well as business to online stores.
Now this means there is a huge amount of opportunities for online stores to use the social media in order to create engagement, spread brand awareness, and bring in traffic to the website. Sadly, various e-commerce businesses are not doing it well or under-represented on the key social media channels.
Various ecommerce businesses will be thinking of how they can utilize the functionalities of social media marketing. So, let’s check them out!
1. Posting Daily Content
The best method to grow and develop your social communities is simple. All you have to do is post interesting and meaningful content consistently. Various studies show that different audiences react in dissimilar manner to various posts. So, you have to test the optimal frequency with the audience or check out the engagement levels in terms of the posts of your competitors at frequent intervals.
Follow a guideline like posting a single content on Facebook and 3-4 on Twitter each day. Also make sure to pay a great amount of attention to what time of the day you are posting. The time when you post on social media is quite significant.
2. Have Goals
A good plan always starts with setting goals. You have to think about what you want to achieve from social media. Most of the time, it will be a mixture of driving traffic to the website, brand recognition and increasing the overall sales.
Try to make sure your goals are measurable and specific. This is because, you can get an accurate picture of how effective and good your social media efforts are. Now the measureable goals can include your social media’s traffic number to your website, various engagement like number of shares and comments your post gets to the entire number of followers gained.
3. Use Images
Do you know the best way to increase engagement on social media is through adding images to your posts? Posting pictures on your social media account or wall generates 50% more likes compared to the average post.
If you want to promote a piece of content or post an announcement, then try to add a link to the page present within the post and then add the image to the post. It is far more compelling to add an image to a text-based announcement and can increase the number of clicks significantly.
4. Lead Generation
It is great to be on social media, right? However, there are various small businesses that are not having any result-oriented and lead generation tactics. You won’t like to be overbearingly ‘salesy’ but still you need to have some kind of basic lead generation steps in place.
You could do the following:
- Add links leading to your landing page in your updates
- Take advantage of the feature of the ‘Sign Up’ button option given in the Facebook page
- Use proper keywords and hashtags
- Add buyable Pinterest pins
- Utilize the lead generation cards of Twitter
- Make use of the Facebook contests and cards
5. Automate Word Of Mouth Marketing
You can use product reviews to give insights and develop trust for your products. This is a great way to increasing sales.
Yotpo is a famous and free social review app present in the Shopify’s app store. This app helps to convert about 8% of the customers to reviewers. This is done through the mail after purchase technique which leads to creating a huge amount of reviews. Now the best part is that these processes are automated so you don’t need to spend time reaching out to customers for getting new product reviews.
How this tool works is quite simple. The social features of the Yotpo allow you to connect with your Facebook and Twitter accounts. It posts the user-generated products reviews directly to your Twitter account or the Facebook business page. Now these reviews will create social traffic for your product page and thereby increase sales.
6. Design Micro Content
It is true that we suffer from information overload. It simply means people have less time and patience to consume content. One of the growing trends among marketers that can be seriously considered by e-commerce business owners is creating bite sized chunks of content, which is made for fast and easy consumption.
7. Knowing Your Customers
This is something that you need to consider crucial. If you are implementing an effective strategy, it must be engaging. You cannot create the levels of engagement that you want if you are not posting content which are based on the requirement of your customers.
So, how can you know or tackle their needs. You can make a guess based on the profile of the customer and the current buying stage they are in (here it means whether they are a returning customer or a prospect who is assessing their options). Or you can ask questions through email or via social media. Either way, this requires you to do some testing in order to find out which post gives more engagement and other variables like total number of shares, timing, and total number of comments.
8. Have A Twitter Q&A
To keep any online community well and alive, engagement is critical. One of the best strategies to grow your Twitter community and simply increase the engagement is by hosting a Twitter Q&A session each week. Here, the idea is to select a day of the week and encourage people in your community to post questions related to your business, product, industry or anything. You can give replies to these questions and select the best one and post it in your blog post.
9. Keeping It ‘Social’
Another major point which can be considered universal around business niches and social media channels is customers often use social media for curiosity and social aspect. Many people don’t surf social media with the intention of buying.
The key aspect of social media success is relationship creation and building. Your entire focus needs to be on creating trust with your customers and sharing useful information than being quite overly promotional. Now businesses that are not getting the hang of this trend might fizzle out quickly on social media. Sometimes customers will get turned off and unfollow you if they only hear from you when you are trying to sell something to them.
10. User-Generated Content
User-generated content can be powerful as it gives other potential customers the social proof they want. Plus, it is quite engaging as the content designed by target audiences might be the ones that others want to view.
The content can be in many forms like photos submitted using common hashtags, customer reviews, customer questions which are used to start a discussion, and more. Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram are quite popular for showing videos and photos that are provided by customers.
11. Sharing And Pinning Your Products
Adding social sharing buttons is necessary for online stores which want to take the advantage of innate social behavior. You need to add buttons to famous social networks like Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. Plus they must not be hidden away in the store’s theme.
Many online stores go for selecting buttons that matches the theme of their store, but this reduces the percentage of shares. Selecting colorful buttons that stand out and are unique can make a great difference to the amount of share and to drive traffic to the website.
Social media can be a great game-changer for small and emerging e-commerce businesses. So, this means you have to do your homework (research) first, analyze data, and create a thoughtful social media strategy.
Make sure that your strategy always starts with the customers. Find out who they are and what they want to view. Try to aim to create relationships and engage rather than posting a continuous stream of promotional content.
Author bio: Nancy Grace is a social media expert and writes for hundreds of other blogs. Her articles predominantly focus on social media marketing and are followed by readers from all over the world.