Social media marketing is crucial to the success of any e-commerce venture. If you have the right strategy, you will drive more traffic to your website, create more brand awareness, enhance customer loyalty, increase conversions and subsequently grow your business. However, just having a presence on social networks such as Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook or Google+ does not mean that you will attract customers.
Here are some of the ways you can make the most of the social media for your e-commerce business:
1. Choose the right platforms
With the numerous social media networks out there, many marketers are tempted to run campaigns on as many networks as possible. However, you should not just choose a platform because it is trending or looks cool. You might just end up wasting a lot of time and money in the process. Instead, you need to invest in a few networks which will give you the best chance of interacting with your target audience. This way, you will maximize your efforts and get a good return on investment. Therefore, before choosing any network, you should first find out if most of your customers and prospects use it. In addition, take a time to consider your needs. For instance, if you want to run targeted ads, Facebook would be ideal. For fashion, beauty and food brands, Pinterest and Instagram would be the best option.
2. Place share buttons strategically
One of the best ways of optimizing your e-commerce pages for social media is by placing share buttons prominently on your product pages. This will encourage your visitors to share products they like or have bought with their friends. Such social sharing will drive more traffic to your e-commerce site and could lead to more sales. Besides your product pages, you could also place share buttons on the sales confirmation email or the thank you page after placing an order.
3. Offer incentives
There are thousands of other brands competing for the attention of your customers and prospects. Therefore, to attract more followers on social media, you could consider offering an incentive. This could be exclusive access to information, coupons or special offers. For instance, offering a 50% discount on the first purchase could increase the number of your followers significantly.
4. Focus on visual content
Studies have shown that social media posts containing images get up to 94% more views than those with text only. Therefore, it is very important to optimize your posts with relevant visuals. Be sure to add Pinterest and Instagram share buttons on your product images. You could even ask your customers to submit photos of themselves using your product. This can go a long way towards enhancing the credibility of your brand. Product videos can also be very effective for promoting engagement. People don’t just want to see what your product looks like, but would also like to see how it works.
5. Incorporate other marketing strategies
Many marketers have a tendency to run their social media campaigns independently from other marketing activities. However, to make the most of your marketing efforts, it would be advisable to combine social media with other types of marketing. For example, as you get more followers on Twitter, you could also encourage them to sign up for your mailing list. This will allow you to promote your goods and services to them via email marketing.
6. Engage your followers
Social media offers you a great opportunity for engaging directly with your customers and prospects. One of the best ways of promoting engagement is by joining groups that are relevant to your industry. Read through the posts and share any interesting content you come across. Take time to answer questions that people are asking about your industry or brand. When people see you as an expert in your field, they are more likely to be interested in what you are selling. Another great way of interacting with your followers and fans is by hosting live chats. Through social media networks such as Facebook and Google, you can have real-time discussions about the latest industry news.
7. Insert tweetable quotes in blog posts
If you have a blog, you need to add social media share buttons to your posts which will allow your readers to share the content with others. In addition, you can make some phrases and quotes within your posts tweetable by adding a ‘tweet this’ feature. This can be done easily using tools such as ClicktoTweet.
8. Use Paid Advertising
To boost your social media marketing efforts even further, you should consider investing in paid social media promotion. Make sure these ads are targeted at the right audience and have a link back to your product pages. Such paid options will help you reach a large audience in a shorter time, thus driving more traffic to your e-commerce site.
9. Be consistent
To keep your followers engaged and drive more traffic to your site, you need to post content as often as possible. When you are consistent, customers and prospects will always have your products in mind when making a buying decision. To make things easier, you could consider using marketing automation tools such as HootSuite, Buffer, SocialOomph, Social Flow and Sproutsocial. Such tools allow you to schedule posts in advance, thus saving you time.
10. Track your progress
The primary purpose of social media marketing is establishing relationships, not selling. Therefore, your main aim should be to share useful information with your audience. Once trust is established, it will then be easier to make a sale. While pursuing your social media strategy, you need to have a way of tracking your progress. This will give you an idea of what is working and what strategies need to be revised. Tools such as Buzzsumo, HowSociable, Topsy, Pluggio and NutshellMail can come in very handy for monitoring your campaigns.