Social media has become a significant traffic source for eCommerce stores worldwide because of its large number of users.
With roughly 4.65 billion users on social media platforms representing a wide range of cultures and needs, it’s safe to assume that a significant portion of this number is your target demographic.
It gets even better because a vast percentage of these users (about 78%) base their purchasing decisions on what they see on social media.
With social media, you gain access to a pool of prospective customers that get to see your products and services.
However, despite its obvious advantages, you need an effective strategy to get the best results for your eCommerce business, which is where social media marketing comes in.
In this piece, you’ll find several ways to use social media to grow your eCommerce business and tips to assist you in putting each strategy into action.
Let’s get started.
What is Social Media Ecommerce Marketing & Why Use It?
Social media eCommerce marketing or SMM is simply the use of social media to promote products and services.
It provides the avenue to engage current and potential customers while promoting the company’s culture, mission, and brand tone.
With social media making purchases easier, eCommerce grows in leaps and bounds. For instance, consumers worldwide are starting to utilize social media to locate products. At least 85% of Gen Z acknowledged using social media to discover new products.
In addition, Instagram helps 80% of potential shoppers to decide whether to purchase a product or service.
Generally, data suggests that many businesses now rely on social media to promote their brands and communicate with customers, and it is a trend you should do well to follow.
Here are some particular advantages of social media marketing:
Humanize your company
Social media allows you to create a unique brand personality that your customers can relate to. Your profile, posts, and user interactions create a brand persona that your audience can freely interact with and trust.
When setting up your brand, make sure to use an online photo editor to create a professional feel and consistent style throughout all of your content.
Proper social media marketing will enable you to drive traffic to your eCommerce store. The links in your profile, for example, allow you to connect more people to your website and convert visitors into buyers with a single click.
With features like Instagram/Facebook stories and direct chats, you can draw attention to your eCommerce shop.
Basically, social media marketing drives traffic to your store, which helps you increase eCommerce sales.
Effective social media marketing is possible by networking, receiving comments, conducting debates, and directly communicating with your customers. And by building solid relationships with your customers, you convert them into loyal supporters.
This is particularly important because such supporters tend to become flag bearers and free marketers of your brand.
Different Ways to Leverage Social Media For eCommerce
There are several ways to leverage social media for your eCommerce business. Let’s get into four essential use-cases for social media.
Build Brand Awareness
If you are launching a new brand, the chances of your success rest on the number of customers you can pull.
And truth be told, people will only buy from you if they understand what you are selling and how effective your products are, which can only be achieved through brand awareness.
So, how can you increase brand awareness? The answer is simple: Social media.
With a distinct voice and a dedicated content approach, your brand can become visible to a large group of people.
Selling Products Directly on Social Media
Another way to leverage social media is to sell your products or services directly from your social media profiles or “shops,” a strategy known as social commerce.
Thanks to innovative UI and UX, most social media platforms have evolved from simple hangout zones to places where people can actively do business.
For example, you may now sell your items and services online using Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest’s shop features.
Take this shoppable post on Instagram as an example. Customers who tap the item’s tag are immediately sent to a catalog where they can see the pricing, other related product information, and a purchase option.
The primary benefit of social commerce is that it is free to use. It also makes it easier for people to purchase your products because they don’t have to stop what they’re doing. So basically, they make your sales cycle shorter.
Keeping your customers happy with your service is one way to leverage social media for your eCommerce business.
Even if you have a specialized customer support team that connects with consumers via phone or email, you will still need to use social media as a customer service channel.
Customers may visit your profiles to learn more, ask questions, or provide comments. And when they do, you must be ready to respond to their comments and DMs quickly. Again, this shows your audience that you respect their input by responding to comments.
See an example of how Lenovo replies to a customer complaint below.
Social listening is monitoring social media for mentions of your company or products. This approach is essential as it provides information about your brand and products. It can help you see things like:
- Your customers’ favorite products or services
- Problems or faults with your products or services
- Public opinion of your brand
Keeping tabs on what your target market says about your brand can also help you salvage difficult situations.
For instance, if you mix up orders or deliver a batch of wrong items, chances are the affected consumers will vent online. Finding out such issues early with social listening will help you respond swiftly and avoid a social media catastrophe.
The following image is what social listening looks like at the primary level. You will see that the user did not mention Amazon’s official handle. However, they spotted the post and gave a relevant response.
Amazon could do the brand one better by tracking all Twitter mentions that day to know what most people are saying about buying from them. This approach will alert them of any possible issues with their delivery system or products.
Actionable Social Media Tips for Growing eCommerce Sales
Now, let’s get into some actionable social media tips you can start implementing right away for your business.
1. Create and Optimize Your Social Accounts For eCommerce
The first and obvious course of action is to create social media accounts. However, you must follow a tactical approach to creating and optimizing these accounts to avoid resource wastage.
First, you must understand that your customers are not present on every social media platform. Therefore, choose social media platforms where you have the maximum reach when creating your accounts.
For best results, try not to open too many accounts at the get-go. Instead, direct your efforts towards platforms where industry rivals have the most success.
Facebook is a beautiful place to start because it is the platform with the most users. With Facebook, you can connect with most of your customers and analyze what your competitors do.
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The next step is to drive traffic to your social media pages and eCommerce websites. To achieve this, you must optimize your social media presence in the same way you would optimize your website for search engines.
Social media optimization is essential in brand promotion and awareness. It can also help your eCommerce shop rank better on search engines.
Your profile images are the best spot to begin your optimization strategy. These photos are the first thing potential consumers will notice on your profile, so they must be perfect for making a great first impression.
Understand that each social media platform has its photo sizing requirement, so adjust your photos for each one to get optimal social media exposure.
Adding links to your social media pages is another approach to optimizing your overall social media profile. This strategy makes it easier for people to reach you from all of your pages.
Your social media bio is also quite substantial and the requirements differ from platform to platform.
On Twitter, for example, the ideal features on your bio should be location, website, and what you do. For Instagram, you may want to consider adding CTAs, quotes, and brand promises.
2. Stay Up-To-Date with Algorithm Updates
Social media platforms are built and regulated by algorithms or codes that determine how they work.
Every social media site modifies its algorithm from time to time. These modifications are frequently announced as part of updates or revisions to terms and conditions, making it simple to keep track of them.
Understanding these algorithms and anticipated modifications will allow you to alter your strategy and ensure that they complement or capitalize on algorithm updates.
An example is the Communities update on Twitter released in September 2021.
This new feature allows you to join a group of like-minded people and share your thoughts about specific topics.
3. Leverage Organic and Paid Strategies
Organic social media strategies are unpaid marketing efforts on social media, while paid ones are marketing efforts influenced by payment or incentive.
Both strategies involve using many social networking techniques to grow your online audience.
Organic posts are your best bet if you aim to build a strong relationship with your consumers at scale. It helps you develop your brand’s voice and connect with them using engaging content.
It could also be a way to engage your buyers at any point in time and a proper means for customer service.
However, your organic postings can only reach a tiny fraction of your people per time due to the algorithm of social media platforms.
For example, a typical organic Facebook post will reach less than 6% percent of your followers. It’s typically even less for popular companies with more followers. This is where paid posts come in.
Paid social media marketing is a form of advertising. It is any form of marketing impacted by advertising expenditures on social media.
Basically, companies pay to “boost” their organic content or place targeted ads on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media platforms to reach new audiences who are likely to be interested.
A significant benefit of sponsored social media marketing is that it allows you to reach a larger audience. However, you can only continue to use them if you have a huge marketing budget.
But even if you do, it’s still not a brilliant idea because paid marketing efforts don’t allow you to create a healthy and organic relationship with your customers.
So how do you balance things?
Create a hybrid strategy by combining both organic and paid marketing.
The goal of your organic posts should be to establish communities across platforms, whereas your paid ads focus on generating new leads.
Remember that you’re sending your paid posts to new prospects, so they should have a meaningful call to action that tells potential customers exactly what to do.
If you want to gain more followers, your call to action could be “follow to learn more.” Alternatively, it could be “click here to buy” if you need to boost sales in your eCommerce shop.
Consider the following sponsored ad from Entry Level Programs on Instagram. Notice how the content passes a strong message that tries to help people understand what they do in a way that looks almost natural.
In the following image, you will see how the brand uses organic content to educate its followers and keep them engaged.
4. Don’t Neglect the Mobile Experience
Over 5 billion people use the internet as of April 2022, and interestingly, 92.4% of these people use their phones.
And when you check the number of social media users that use their phones, it’s almost 99%. This is why most social platforms today are better optimized for mobile users because that is where the traffic is.
What do these statistics mean for you?
To improve sales, a top-notch mobile experience for your users must be a priority to improve sales. That means you must set up your website to give the best experience to mobile users.
Start with the time it takes to load your eCommerce website on a smartphone. A good website should pop up within 5 seconds that your prospects click your link on social media. Anything longer than that is dissatisfactory.
Your website responsiveness is critical. How easy is it for users to find things on your website? How long does it take to load pictures and icons? These things add to the mobile experience and determine sales.
5. Understand That Consistency Matters
Once your social media presence gains momentum and you start getting followers, you need to remain consistent in the frequency of your posts and brand tone. 90% of customers expect consistent brand interactions across multiple social media networks.
Consistency will help your audience remember you and keep up with you, and there’s a simple way to achieve this: Posting schedules. This means curating a posting timetable and sticking to it strictly.
You can make use of social media management tools like Eclincher to keep yourself accountable and stick to schedules. These tools will also help you automate any repetitive tasks so that you can focus on other more impactful work.
Your customers and prospects will realize how reliable you are by remaining consistent. Additionally, consistent posting allows you to gain insights that will help you in the future.
6. Leverage the Power of Micro-Influencers in Your Niche
Influencer marketing is a popular social marketing strategy simply because it works. For example, over 40% of Twitter users felt driven to buy products after seeing an influencer post about the product in research conducted last year.
The survey also indicated that respondents trust influencers as much as friends. This proves that marketing your business and goods via social media influencers will increase sales.
So, to increase your social media sales, you need to use the power of social media influencers. The best way to use influencers is to have them create custom content for your product that corresponds with what they usually do.
For instance, you can collaborate with influencers who produce honest product reviews and have them do a review of your product. You could also have an influencer do tutorial content for your products – if that’s what they are known for.
However, you need to be careful when using social media influencers. Just because someone has many followers on a platform does not mean they are suitable for your brand.
For instance, Marques Brownlee is one of the top influencers on YouTube. But even with so many subscribers, he is not the right person to help you market cosmetic products because he is mainly into tech-related content.
In other words, leverage influencers in your niche for better results. And when you do, make sure you provide them with exclusive discount coupons.
This has two effects: first, you will draw people to the bargain. Second, you can assess the influencer’s reach to see if they are genuinely helping you make more sales.
The following is an excellent example of influencer marketing. Notice how the influencer includes his discount code in the post. You will also see that the influencer is in the lifestyle niche, so he has the audience that needs this product.
7. Determine Important Metrics and KPIs
It’s never enough to achieve success; you must also measure it. That way, you’ll see what works and what methods need improvement.
However, you should be aware that evaluating success can be complex and deceptive. You may obtain a false sense of your performance if you do not monitor the correct indicators.
Every objective or milestone for your eCommerce site should be measured using a metric.
For example, suppose your goal is to raise the conversion rate from your social media accounts by 10% in one month. In that case, you must analyze your conversion rate and social traffic metrics on your eCommerce website at the end of the month to determine your success rate.
When it comes to metrics, no two businesses are the same because every company has different aims and objectives. But generally, the following are some metrics to measure:
- Volume: Volume is the simplest metric to measure. It monitors the number of people talking about your brand per time. Different platforms have made it easy to measure volume.
For example, Facebook Insights counts how many unique people have mentioned your company on their walls.
- Reach: This metric describes the potential audience size. It shows you how far your content and brand have gone – especially demographically.
- Engagement: This measures your audience’s actions as they interact and share your material. It includes likes, comments, retweets, shares, and responses from people exposed to your content.
- Influence: Can your social media content motivate your followers to act? Do your CTAs work? This metric monitors that. Making an influence on social media requires more than millions of followers.
- Share of voice: How much of the general industry discourse is about your company? Of all the people talking about your industry, how many people talk about your products? Share of voice is another essential indicator of social media marketing success.
Bonus: Always Use Analytics to Make Your Next Move
Finally, your metrics are only helpful if they give you direction. Therefore, after measuring your essential metrics, make changes in your strategy according to your findings.
For instance, you can use analytics to determine when your posts get the most engagements and use that data to set the best time to post content every day.
Social media marketing is an essential strategy for any company that wants to make great sales in today’s world. The vast number of users on this platform makes it an ideal place to build brand awareness, sell products, listen to complaints, and provide customer service.
Your brand must create accounts on the right platforms and optimize its performance to make good use of these platforms. You must also learn how the algorithm of your platform works.
Your strategy should also include influencers, animated commercials, paid ads, and consistent posting. Finally, as you continue, measure the success of your strategy and make adjustments when and where necessary.