E-commerce has completely changed the face of shopping experiences. Where window shopping has become a forgotten dream, men and women and even children prefer shopping online or at least search the products online.
According to a US-based research study, almost 39% Americans ‘like’ Facebook pages just to research about new products or keep themselves updated about brands. For businesses, this factor can be translated as ‘Brand Awareness’.
According to a research report released by Criteo in August 2015, the mobile market has 33% share in e-commerce in US while this share is 40% in global e-commerce.
EMarketer’s Forecast and Trends report launched by US MCommerce 2015, US MCommerce sales will reach 77 billion by the end of this year and almost its double by the end of 2019.
In China, online shopping is the fastest growing trend, putting China on top of the list of online shoppers.
Social Media and E-commerce
Websites like eBay, Amazon and OLX are the early beginners and trend-setters of e-commerce.
Social media was a toddler when Amazon and eBay started. Amazon and eBay e-commerce didn’t need social media support at that time due to lack of competitors in the market.
OLX e-commerce strategy is different from Amazon and Ebay in terms of advertising and marketing. It has introduced the concept of buying and selling used items while directly communicating the buyers and sellers through website and social media.
Today, the market offers tough competition which can be easily won with the help of social media. Almost every brand has pages on Facebook and accounts on Twitter, but these basic steps are not enough to devise a workable e-commerce social media strategy.
Here are 5 social media strategies that can boost your online sales and improve your Return on Investment while bringing you among top business makers in the market.
1. Choose All but Preferable Social Media Networks
The question of choosing all social media networks or a few always makes it difficult to devise a strategy. A broad-spectrum approach is to choose all social media networks if you can afford to hire social media experts for your online presence management and customer relations management.
In a case of limited amount of time and resources, which is quite common, it is ideal to choose preferable social media networks. Here are some tips to choose preferable social media networks.
- Facebook is a social networking site used by people from the age of 10 to 100, therefore, Facebook cannot be missed while devising your social media strategy.
- Twitter is used for branding and business marketing. If you have an established business, but you keep introducing more products then Facebook alone is a good option. But if you have a new or established business and you want to create brand hype then Twitter along with Facebook are good to choose.
- If you have a female audience in majority with the age range of 20 to 50 then don’t forget to pin Pinterest in your social media strategy.
- For B2B marketing, LinkedIn is a good option.
- If your brand depends more on images and photos then choose Instagram to keep your products and services in touch with the customers.
More than one billion users logged in their Facebook accounts together in August 2015. This is not only a milestone for Facebook but an alarm for those brands as well which ignore Facebook in their marketing strategies for social networks. Facebook also offers ideal business solutions. The latest features include Call-to-Action for shopping and Mobile Product Ad Carousel which allows you to advertise your products as an image gallery.
2. Monetize Social Networks
As stated earlier, almost 39% Americans like Facebook pages to research about products which means that online stores operating in the US already have 39% conversion chances. In the same perspective, globally operating online stores have a higher conversion rate.
Monetizing your social networks requires estimating possible ROI, setting up goals and converting prospects into customers. The true picture of today’s e-commerce is similar to brick-and-mortar commerce. Here are some tips to monetize your social networks.
Replying to the queries of your subscribers and page visitors is as important as replying to a customer standing in your shop.
Responsiveness is the key to build trust. Give response to individuals while maintaining an optimistic and neutral approach even in the case of brand controversy.
Keep feeding the visitors and subscribers with interesting content. Find out hottest social media trends, share content on trends from other pages and ask for customer review while keeping your presence neutral.
Share content which drives traffic from social networking sites to your website.
Share content of other brands to establish on-network links.
According to a report by Marketing Lands, almost 90% of the customers purchase a product or render service after reading positive customer feedback.
Brand neutrality and positive feedback are essential elements for growing your customer base.
3. Use Hashtags
Using tens of hashtags may seem inappropriate for a selfie but for brands, it is an exception to use hashtags. Hashtags are among key marketing, branding and advertising tools that simultaneously perform multiple functions for you including these.
- Content organization
- Adding uniqueness and value
- Increasing social media exposure
- Building on-network links
- Generating user interest
For optimum and ideal use of hashtags, use the keyword strategy. Find out the most used hashtags by not only your customers but the customers of related brands as well.
4. Curate Third-Party Content
There are two purposes of your social media presence. One is to drive traffic to your online store and other is growing your customer base. The first two points discuss about first purpose and third point discusses about second purpose. When you curate content from third parties, you solely fulfill the second purpose, i.e. growing your customer base.
For improving the number of followers, customers and subscribers, it is not essential to generate your own content or restrict the topics to e-commerce only. Produce content on anything viral on the social media to engage people i.e. Social Engagement Optimization. You can also share content produced or shared by third parties, but don’t forget to accredit the producer.
5. Other-Than-Text Media Optimization
There are two reasons to focus more on media other than text.
Firstly, search engine primarily Google trends of page rank optimization have changed. Ideally, text content comprising of 1000 to 3000 words is considered informative and comprehensive for topic coverage. On the other hand, producing 8 second videos and audios and posting photos or graphic images takes lesser production time.
Secondly, people tend to share photos, videos and audio more than text content. This is the reason that text blogs are upgrading their web pages for other types of media and photo specialty forums like Instagram and Pinterest are becoming more popular.
Photos, videos and audios are also ideal media for mobile audiences. If you have developed your online store app then sharing photos, videos and audios with customers would bring more profit.
With these 5 techniques, you can devise an online store social media strategy that successfully helps you win your online business goals. In the near future, social media will be more involved in deciding the success of your business, therefore, adapting to modern trends today will help you save the future.
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