Social media platforms have been utilized as marketing channels by many businesses for the past decade. And for a good reason. Recent data from Hootsuite revealed that 76.8% of internet users around the world purchased a product online in 2020. Furthermore, 44.8% of global internet users refer to social media to search for brand-related information, while more than half of internet users between the ages of 16 and 24 use social media to research brands.
Ecommerce businesses are showing no signs of slowing down when it comes to using social media to promote their brand, products, and services. With more businesses shifting online, the e-commerce industry is becoming more crowded and competitive. Thus, boosting your e-commerce business’ social media presence is important now more than ever.
In this article, we’ll be giving tips for an effective social media marketing strategy to help scale your ecommerce business.
But first off…
What is social media marketing?
As the term implies, social media marketing is the use of social media platforms to engage and build connections with target customers through various forms of content, ultimately leading to profitable customer actions (i.e., purchasing and availing your products or services).
How can social media marketing benefit your e-Commerce business?
- Drive sales
According to Campaign Creators, social media is a powerful tool for e-commerce businesses as it can drive referral traffic to your shop. Social commerce had been one of the biggest waves back in 2019. This is due to the fact that social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat started to allow brands to tag products on posts, pages, and stories, helping customers purchase directly through their social media feeds. This new feature makes social sales a whole lot easier for your e-commerce business.
- Expand your audience reach
Social media is a widely-used and accessible platform for millions of people today. In fact, about 3.96 billion people worldwide use social media in their daily lives. Having social media presence allows you to reach a wider scope of your customers and prospects.
Unlike traditional mediums such as TV, print and radio, you don’t have to spend huge amounts of money to promote yourself on social media. Most social media networks currently offer free built-in solutions for advertising, selling and customer service―tools that can help you drive sales.
- Increase brand awareness
With the nature of social media, it’s easy for your e-commerce business to increase brand awareness with people being able to spread and share your posts to their family and friends.
Ultimately, social media marketing can help your e-commerce business build brand awareness, communicate and connect with customers, and increase sales for your online shop. Sounds good? Then let’s take a look at some of the best ways to effectively conduct social media marketing for your e-commerce business.
Effective social media marketing strategies and tips for your e-commerce business
- Define your goals
Neil Patel, co-founder of NP Digital and one of the top 10 marketers listed by Forbes, points out two key goals for social media marketing: to drive traffic to your company website or to drive sales. While both goals are important, you need to decide which of the two do you value the most. Setting goals allows you to see and measure whether or not your strategies and courses of action are a success. Your goals will guide and serve as the basis for your creation and implementation of social media marketing strategies. Examples of quantifiable indicators to measure the success of your social media marketing efforts are follower counts, engagement rates, and conversions.
- Explore social media platforms that would work for your business.
Today, brands use several social platforms―Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, Pinterest, and more―for marketing and engagement purposes. However, what many brands fail to realize is that not all social media platforms can help meet their goals. Deciding what platforms to use for your e-commerce business depends on where your target markets are. Therefore, you can conduct some customer research to get a sense of where your customers are in the social media landscape.
Once you gauge what social media platforms your target market is in, use those platforms and take advantage of their digital marketing tools. By doing so, you can elevate your brand’s online presence, as well as meet your other goals such as build brand awareness, generate sales, and more.
Instagram, for example, allows brands to tag products featured in their photos, adding their name, price, and link. This is helpful for brands that want to streamline the purchasing journey for customers, thus improving the customer experience.
An example from Visiture of tagging a product on Instagram
- Be human
Social media is under the umbrella of content marketing. And content marketing is all about getting to know your customers, building relationships and connections with them. Whenever you’re making content for social media marketing, it’s important to be human. Being human allows you to present your business to target customers and communicate with them in a personal and relatable manner―ultimately leading to profitable customer action. When communicating your brand to your audience on social media, you shouldn’t sound robotic and distant―you can’t just bluntly dictate how they should get your product or service. You have to come from a place of understanding and empathy. Your social media content should meet where your customers are. It should make them feel that your e-commerce business understands what they are going through and that your business is there for them.
- Engage with your followers
Respond to their comments, questions, and messages quickly and professionally. This will help build your reputation and relationship with your customers. Responding timely and professionally will help make them feel comfortable when purchasing from your online shop.
- Engage with and repost user-generated content
For e-commerce businesses, user-generated content are posts that your customers make featuring your products. User-generated content can be thought of as testimonials, which can assure potential customers that you’re a legitimate business that offers legitimate products and services. Liking, commenting, sharing, and reposting user-generated content on your social media accounts will encourage more customers to create posts featuring your products. Additionally, consumers like to look at product and service reviews from their fellow consumers through user-generated posts. In fact, according to Review 42, 90% of consumers refer to other people’s reviews when deciding whether or not to purchase a product.
- Partner with influencers
Influencer marketing is an effective strategy that is increasingly being utilized by more businesses as many people refer to influencers when making product purchases. According to Web MX, influencers can be classified into “three groups: micro-influencers (1000 – 40,000 followers), macro-influencers (40,000 – 1 million followers), and mega-influencers (more than 1 million followers)”. By partnering with an influencer, you’ve tapped into another group of potential customer base with the influencer’s followers. Pick influencers in relation to your industry and professionally reach out to them through email or their social media accounts. Introduce your brand, explain why you chose them, and discuss what you want from your partnership with them.
- Utilize hashtags
Using hashtags in your posts and social media campaigns helps increase organic growth, allowing more people to discover you. Hashtag guidelines are different for each platform so it’s important to get acquainted with each of them to optimize your hashtags for your social media content.
With the e-commerce industry becoming more crowded and competitive, improving your social media presence is an important component for your brand to thrive and stand out from the rest. Social media is an excellent opportunity for you to grow and scale your e-commerce business. With the right strategies, mindset, and approach, social media marketing can help you increase brand awareness, build customer relationships, and further generate revenue for your e-commerce business.
Want more advice for social media marketing? Schedule a FREE 20-min. consultation with Ambidextr today in our Calendly link:
Visual by: Justine Ching