Beginners Guide to Social Media for eCommerce Sellers
If it isn’t already, social media should be an integral part of eCommerce business’s marketing strategy. As a way to connect with current and prospective customers, social media provides valuable insight. There is no “one size fits all” social media strategy. It takes time and practice to find a successful marketing strategy on social media. One of the best parts of social media is that a majority of it is free! Through engaging posts, website integration and tracking your results, your business will be a social media pro in no time!
Content Ideas for Engagement
Keep it short and simple when thinking of what to post on social media. When promoting your business, try to do so in a more personal way. Rather than throwing a picture of your product with a “BUY NOW” link together, use a more subtle approach. Use social media as an opportunity to tell your business’s story. Describe why your product would benefit your customer and include a picture to display the added value. Rather than spending time on crafting the perfect 140 character pitch, work on developing your businesses story. A business’s social media presence directly reflects the values and message to the world.
Here are some post ideas that encourage engagement:
- Questions: Get your followers thinking by asking a thought provoking question. Engage them in conversation. For example, if your business sells home improvement parts, ask something like “What’s your next project?”. Ask your customers’ for opinions and thoughts to engage them.
- Photos: Tweets that include photos are the most likely to be retweeted. At an average increase of 35% retweets, photos are sure to engage your audience. Use photos to illustrate your business’s story. Incorporate your products into a picture that displays it being used in everyday life.
- Quotes: Share an interesting or inspiring quote with your audience. According to Buffer, tweets that include quotes have a 19% increase in retweets.
- Tips: Share industry related advice that your customers could benefit from.
Use social media to develop trust and community with your customers. Focus on engaging the audience before trying to sell to them. An easy rule of thumb to follow is the recommended 80/20 ratio. Twenty percent of your content should be promotional while the remaining 80 percent of content should interest your audience by engaging them in conversation. Ask questions, share tips, comment on posts and think about how your business creates value for the customer. Social media was meant to connect people, so use it as an opportunity to connect with customers on a more personal level.
Consistency for the Best Results
Try your best to post purposefully and consistently. The more you post, the more chances you have to engage with your audience. You don’t have to post hourly, but once or twice a day will keep you in your followers’ newsfeed. We all know posting on Facebook and Twitter can get time consuming. However, there are a handful of tools meant to streamline the social media posting process. Websites like Hootsuite and Buffer are tailored to increase efficiency and ease the process of posting. You post to multiple sites at once, schedule posts ahead of time and monitor all of your timelines all in one place.
Integrate with Social Media
Integrate social media into every aspect of your business. Place social media buttons that lead to your accounts on headers and footers. Utilize social media sharing buttons on product pages so that customers can easily share your products to their own accounts. Optimizing your website for social media makes it more convenient for customers to connect with and share your business.
Social media sites are finding new ways to encourage user responses to social media content. In addition to site social media integration, there is Pinterest’s new “Buyable Pins” that further integrates your eCommerce business with social media. Customers will soon be able to purchase your item right off of their Pinterest feed. Instagram is testing similar direct response features that will enable followers to “learn about a product or service and then take action directly from an ad to sign up on a website, buy a product or download an app.” Once these features are available, use them to your business’s advantage.
Last but not least, don’t forget to measure your results
A lot of social media sites keep track of basic analytics for you. Take advantage of the insightful data automatically provided to you. Find out which posts attract the most engagement and use them as a guide for future content. You can experiment with different types of content to see what works best for your business. Facebook has an “Insights” tab that provides data on Page Likes, Post Reach and Engagement. Twitter’s Analytics page summarizes the number of profile visits, tweet impressions and mentions. On Pinterest, you can find an “Analytics” page that includes information on your Pinterest profile viewers, your Pinterest audience and your top Pin impressions. Use what your analytics results tell your to better refine your social media strategy and build a loyal audience.
Social media is also a great place to find honest customer feedback. People often share their thoughts and feelings on various topics on social media. Do a quick social media search on your business to see what people are saying about it.
Social media’s growing presence will only work in favor of your business if you are able to capitalize on the opportunities it presents. A consistent and engaging social media presence will turn any social media account into a powerful marketing tool.