How to Use Social Media Channels to Boost Your E-Commerce Brand
Whether you’re selling sneakers or scented candles, the marketing you do will be vital to your e-commerce business's success. The good news is that using social media channels is an easy and very cost-effective way to reach customers and spread the word.
This short guide will give you a few tips on how to go about it.
Why social media?
It’s not too bold a statement to say that social media is something that, in a very short space of time, has completely transformed the way that we communicate with each other.
What started out as a simple way to share information has become a powerful business tool that’s as useful to the smallest businesses as it is to the largest.
It’s powerful because around 75% of people admit that it can influence their buying decisions in some way – and it’s great for the small e-commerce business because, if you do it right, it needn’t cost you a cent.
Tactics to Sort Out Before You Start
Social media is powerful, but only if you have a clear plan. That means being aware of what will allow your activity to reach the right people and how you can achieve successful business results.
So here are eight crucial considerations.
Set some goals
One of the great things about social media is that it’s quantifiable, and that means you can set goals. These should include things like how many followers you want to attract, the level of engagement you’re aiming for and also how often you want to post on each platform.
By monitoring how you’re doing, measured against these criteria, you can constantly refine your activity.
Make it interesting
A key element of social media is that people tend to engage with it most when it’s interesting and relevant to them.
Simply sending out promotional sales messages won’t be enough. So use stories, news, tips, and helpful articles you’ve found – generally information that adds some kind of value to following your brand.
The great thing about social media is that you can ensure that your content’s always topical and that means it’s even more likely to be noticed.
Optimize, optimize, optimize
You might think that SEO optimization only works for websites but it can be equally important in social media posts. So, if you’ve not done it already, work out what the principal keywords are for your business and sector by doing a comprehensive search and sprinkle them liberally throughout your posts. It’s going to mean more of your potential customers find you.
Get reviews, and use them
In a recent survey, almost 90% of the people questioned said that they relied on online reviews when making a purchasing choice, so getting five stars next to your name will certainly generate extra business for you.
It also means that using social media to encourage customers to rate you is a real no-brainer – as long as you’re confident that they will be largely positive, that is.
If you’ve also got an email address for them, then contacting a customer post-purchase and including a link to your chosen review site is a great way to get recommendations.
Use images and videos
It’s a fact of life that people are more drawn to posts that also have images on them rather than just text. They grab attention and, even more importantly, they can allow you to actually show people what you are selling.
Even if you’re offering a service rather than specific products you can be creative with the images that you use. Used sparingly, videos can be a great way to both get people’s attention and share information in a fun and engaging way.
As any branding expert will tell you, consistency is key. By using the same tone of voice and style of communication consumers gain a clear understanding of what you offer and what you stand for.
But it’s not just a question of being consistent in your content, it’s also vital to send out regular communications – on average five or six per week for channels like Twitter with half as many on Facebook are probably what you should be aiming for.
Hashtags might have started to get a bit of a bad rap in recent times with some people adding an impossibly large number of them to their posts. But, used judiciously, they’re going to help people find you in the overcrowded world of social media.
Just make sure you check out the appropriate number for each channel and your particular niche. Because a little time doing research could well end up paying real dividends in gaining new followers.
Don’t forget to blog
By its very nature, social media means short, sharp communications. But you can give yourself more space to describe what you offer and even become a thought leader.
How? With a blog. It’s also great to link to via your social media channels.
There’s far more to using social media for e-commerce than we’ve had space to go into here.
But follow these tips and it will be a good start.
And remember, start slow and gradually build up your following, learning, and refining as you go.