With more customers shopping online than ever before, and ever-increasing competition for attention, online businesses will only be able to maximize their success if they learn how to build on organic engagement in social media. Don’t get any wrong idea, gaining organic traffic through search, and even conversions from paid ads, are still great ways to build business. However, leveraging a community to build sales from organic engagement costs nothing more than your time. And besides that, there are plenty of tools available to help you along the way. If you run an eCommerce business, you’re probably well aware of the increasingly important role social media plays in the evolution of online shopping.
With 93 percent of consumers turning to social media to help make buying decisions—and 90 percent of them saying they trust product recommendations from their peers—avoiding social media simply isn’t an option if you want to compete online. The biggest challenge that online store owners face is increasing traffic to their ecommerce store. Knowing where to start and how to stand out from the thousands of other shops that are competing for the same traffic is a daunting challenge. The explosion of growth in the ecommerce world has only made it tougher for ecommerce sites to attract the critical mass of visitors needed to stay in business.
Here are 5 social media marketing strategies every ecommerce marketer must know:
The eCommerce universe is driven by website traffic, but attracting consumers to your site through social media is easier said than done. Achieving sustained success requires more than just tactics; it takes a social media marketing strategy that takes into account the following. You need to set benchmarks for what success will look like before you even think about tackling tactics. Be as specific as possible by setting measurable objectives that include the – amount of traffic you want to receive from social media, number of fans and followers. Ratio of visitors to conversions, Number and type of posts compared to the amount of engagement, Ratio of audience growth and engagement to sales.
Your website’s analytics provide a wealth of information on customer behavior, including where your social media traffic is coming from, which types of content receive the most views, and when visitors engage with the content. You can use this data to post particular content at times that receive the most engagement on each respective platform. Before you create your social media strategy, remember to go back and review historic performance to see what was most effective and combine that behavior with new initiatives moving forward. This is how you discover best practices.
Share, Not Sell
If all you do through your social channels is promote your own products, your audience is going to burn out on your pages and posts pretty fast. The more the engagement drops on your posts, the less often your new posts will be seen by your followers – after all, channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest want to display only the most interesting content to keep users engaged. Ramp up engagement by finding really awesome repurposed content. Find an interesting topic and mold it into something much better than the original. While this surge of new traffic usually won’t result in immediate sales, well-optimized content like this will continuously send traffic and generate sales over the long-run.
Adding sharing widgets like Facebook’s “Like” button to all of your product pages can be very useful for attracting customers who are further along in the buying cycle. In addition, consider placing sharing buttons in prominent areas in your site’s design. Including social sharing buttons is a must for any online store that wants to take advantage of our innate social behavior online. Make sure you include buttons to the popular social networks (Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest) and that they are not hidden away in your store’s theme. Many choose to go in the direction of choosing buttons that match their store’s theme but this may limit the percentage of shares. Choosing colorful buttons which stand out can help improve the amount of shares which will help drive new traffic to your site.
With limited time and shrinking patience, consumers just aren’t willing to spend a lot of time digesting content anymore. This is why micro-content comes in handy. Short, 10-second Snapchats or brief videos posted to Instagram and Facebook – or even a video converted to GIF format for Twitter – can bump up your engagement. We are all suffering from information overload, which means that people have less patience and less time to consume content. A growing trend among marketers which should be seriously considered by online store owners is the creation of bite sized chunks of content for quick and easy consumption. Whenever you post content on your social channels, it should have a purpose, whether that’s to generate comments, shares, drive traffic to your store, etc.
Image-based content is naturally more engaging than text-based posts, making it perfect for marketing your business on social media. Make your product images shareable on sites that favor image-driven marketing, such as Instagram and Pinterest. You can also get creative and feature customer selfies with products on your product pages.Instead, provide useful, share-worthy content that adds value to your prospects and customers. Keep the experience social, interactive, and contextual, using your posts to tell customer stories, share news, and provide helpful tips. Balance promotional posts with ones that educate, inform, entertain, and put customer needs above your own.
Interact And Review
Customer product reviews are a great ways to build social proof on your product pages and let new customers know what they can expect when making a purchase from you. This way, when prospective customers discover you in social media they can see right from the channel, without ever going to your site, that people are raving about your products and service. Let your satisfied customers do your social media marketing for you by sharing their reviews of your products. Reviews are powerful tools because prospects are more likely to be open to a product assessment when it comes from an objective third-party—such as a loyal customer.
Social media is the perfect platform for interacting directly with prospects and customers. Monitor posts and engage with them on a daily basis to ask questions, respond to their comments, thank them for sharing your content, and participate in discussions. It’s a great way to show you truly care about them and are interested in serving their needs, which can go a long way towards building trust and shortening the sales cycle. One of the best ways to remedy this is to maintain an active blog with educational and inspirational content so you always have something to talk about. In addition to showcasing your company’s unique perspective or expertise, a single blog post can produce dozens of social media posts that engage followers and compel them to click-through to your website.
Posting content on a regular basis is critical to improve customer engagement and drive more traffic to your eCommerce website. Frequency can vary based on your market, but consistency is key to show your audience that you’re interested in constantly sharing valuable content. To make this process easier and save time, use a marketing automation tool such as Around.io so you can schedule posts in advance. Concise and compelling updates attract more engagement on social media than longer posts. Your followers are much more likely to share your short, visual posts since they can quickly be digested and passed along. For example, tease a blog post with an engaging image and an intriguing headline.
If you have the budget, take your social media marketing to the next level with Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads, or Promoted Tweets that you link back to a product page for conversion. As long as they’re highly targeted, these paid options can help you dramatically boost website traffic. The more impressions you have on your social networks the more likely it is that you will gain more likes. The best way to dramatically increase the number of impressions on your social networks is by embedding social buttons within your site and within your marketing communications. Most blogs have social sharing buttons displayed prominently to encourage readers to share the article.