Social media is not just a place where people interact with their friends. It has outgrown the purpose for what it was meant to be at the first place. Now, it has moved way ahead of its fundamental purpose and entered into the realm of e-commerce, making ecommerce social media marketing the buzz word in marketing.
As the popularity of social media soars, so has the competition among business to draw the attention of customers, which demands quality customer engagement from businesses by devising the right strategies, techniques and tools for effective ecommerce social media marketing. However, despite the proven performance and surging popularity of social media websites, some businesses have failed to harness the power of ecommerce social media marketing. Social media continues to offer ever-more opportunities and those already into ecommerce social media marketing in a big way, need to discover unique ways to update their ecommerce marketing strategies to keep up with market demands and ward off competition in an ever-changing marketing landscape.
Therefore, with a highly competitive and ever-growing ecommerce space, positioning your brand among your target audience is no more just an option, but a necessity. There is an undeniable link between high social media and high website traffic.
For example, as of August 2019, 30% of US internet users aged 18-34 said they have bought something through social media. This is crucial for businesses as millennials are a massive e-commerce group that make 60% of their purchases online.
Another survey into the social media usage of U.S. adults shows that 68% use Facebook, 35% use Instagram, 29% use Pinterest, and 27% use Snapchat.
Here are some strategies you can use to cut through the noise and make every pound work for your ecommerce social media marketing initiative and increase the value of your investments as just a present on social media in itself is not enough. You have to tune in to the channel customers are listening to in order to get optimum outcome out of your ecommerce social media marketing campaign.
The first step towards running your ecommerce social media marketing campaign is to know your goal and set the benchmarks. Once you know your goals, the rest follows. But, the goal should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. After setting the goal, it’s vital to state the metrics to be used to measure the progress of the goal. Generally, the common goals include, increasing brand awareness, acquire leads, increasing sales, acquiring customers and increasing engagement. Everything you post or do toward your ecommerce social media marketing should be tied back to one of your goals as a business owner. So, goal-setting should not be underestimated and it is a precondition to success of your ecommerce social media marketing campaign as a CoSchedule survey showed that marketers who set goals were 376% more likely to report success.
It’s about sharing, not selling:
As the name ecommerce social media marketing itself suggests, it is about selling through social sites – those websites that include social interaction as their primary objective. You should realise that people are on social media to stay in touch with their friends, and not for buying. This means, selling on the social media is about building relationships first, which then develops into selling over time. It is not about selling through the conventional channels, which are developed exclusively for selling and appeal directly to customers to buy. In social media, you have to build trust with the customers through varied efforts and engage them into a natural relationship. You need to focus on sharing helpful information and establish trust before trying to make a sale.
Short and compelling:
Short is beautiful in social media. Less words hold the key to more as social media users prefer short and effective posts over long posts since they are not only easy to go through, they are easy to share, as well. Do not expect long-spans of attention from social media users as they look for maximum details in the shortest form. They will not spend time on a long post as they want to learn quickly and will move to another brand soon if they do not find any relevant information. So, it is important to pack your message with as much information as possible, and, that too, in an attractive manner. Only by doing this, you can expect rewards on your ecommerce social media marketing. You should expect high user engagement level if you use effective images together with a catchy headline.
Choosing the right social media channel:
For a successful ecommerce social media marketing, you should choose social media channels used by your target audience as what works on one social site may not work on another. Each social site has its own niche audience according to the services it offers. For example, Instagram is more focussed on images and videos, while Twitter is used more for short text messages. It is not about just randomly conducting the campaign on social media, but choosing the right social media channel. You can get an idea about your ideal audiences’ favourite social media channels to come up with the right social channel for your ecommerce social media marketing campaign. This buyer persona, to a large extent, depends on the type of product you are selling. Website analytics is another way to select social media channels for your ecommerce social media marketing campaign. It shows the trend followed by your customers and shows channels which have been used the most by your users for accessing products offered by you. Analytics will show up the websites that have referred more visitors to your website or those that have brought more leads for your business.
You have to know what your audience wants before you start posting content that meets those needs. Unlike traditional marketing channels, where businesses simply tell people to buy their products, social media is a two-way conversation. You should know what your target audience needs to know and engage in quality interactions with them to clarify their queries, monitor their responses and educate them about your products on the social media. It is not a one-step journey but you need to talk to your audience at every stage of the sales funnel and guide them toward purchase. By knowing their specific needs and interests, you will avoid wasting money on generic campaigns. You should focus on conversations with the customers as a better understanding of their interests will mean more specific ads and subsequent sales which will encourage more conversations and repeat the cycle. This will lead to happy customers, long-term relationships, a strong referral network, brand loyalty, and a community or a sense of belonging. Therefore, it is not only about selling products once or twice but establishing a long-term relationship which will help you compete with other business and sustain growth even when the market becomes saturated.
Consistency is another vital part of ecommerce social media marketing. You should post regularly on social media channels which builds trust and confidence among your target audience. A sustained approach to posting content on social channels enhances customer engagement, builds customer loyalty and drives more traffic to your website. The more website traffic is, more is the probability of completed sales. After all, it is the niche customer base on the social media which you are targeting as the purpose of your ecommerce social media marketing, and a consistent approach toward that will only help you. Although, the frequency of your posts may vary based on your market and the type of audience you are looking at, it is necessary to post regularly to stay in touch with the audiences and provide a more immersive and consistent brand experience to shoppers. It shows them that you care for them and interested in constantly sharing valuable content with them. You can also use marketing automation tools to schedule posts in advance to make the task easier. You can also incentivise customers to visit your website frequently for the latest products, which drives growth and builds the brand over time.
Engaging and reengaging:
The use of social media for ecommerce is not simply about pushing across your products and promotions. Ecommerce social media marketing engagement is done through high value text and visual content. Whatever you do on social media should have a purpose which may be to generate comments, shares, or drive traffic to your store. You can do this by asking questions, call-to-actions, live polls, live videos, user generated content, contests etc. Therefore, it is important to take social media beyond the immediate marketing requirements and focus on long-term goals. Once you start engaging customers, it is important to measure the results using the right tools. From monitoring your key mentions in your campaigns to being able to analyse your engagement metrics, you can use many tools to explore the rising focus on social interactions. So, there is a three-way connection between social media engagement, increased website traffic, and higher sales that cannot be ignored.
Engaging with the customers repeatedly is important as almost all customer – 98% – visit a website at least twice for making a purchase. You cannot count on customers visiting your website for the first time and need to follow up with them through retargeted ads and email campaigns to enable them toward a purchase. If a customer visits your website and leaves without buying, it is time to implement your retargeting ecommerce social media marketing strategy. You need to recapture the audiences that have visited your website once through efficient and effective ecommerce social media marketing strategies wherein you reengage with them based on their buyer persona. You know the kind of buyers you expect based on the kind of your own products and services. Using other websites to retarget potential customers by running retargeting ads on those websites is a popular way used by businesses for engaging with customers.
Implementing the right tools holds the key to a successful ecommerce social media marketing. It begins with identifying your social commerce expectations and devising the strategies accordingly.