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6 Ways Social Media Can Help Ecommerce Businesses Grow

If you’ve been reading about ecommerce strategies on the web, you might have stumbled upon a number of articles discussing […]

If you’ve been reading about ecommerce strategies on the web, you might have stumbled upon a number of articles discussing the trends and the forecasts for the future of ecommerce.

If you did face articles like that, you might have felt somewhat overwhelmed by the speed that these changes and forecasts become not only a reality but a mandatory positioning for your ecommerce business to remain existing. And social media marketing is one of them.

Not too long ago, social media used to be seen as a simply tool to connect people. Today it is (one of) the most important tools for businesses to connect and interact with their audience.

If your store is a bricks-and-mortar than social media can play an important role to re-engage your customers and grow your existing audience. If your store is online, than an ecommerce social media strategy is mandatory for your business to grow – and survive!

Social media for business makes it possible for your brand to enter your consumer’s path rather than waiting for them to find you. Let’s think about it: apart from online advertisement – google ad words and affiliate marketing, for example – what other ways you get people to discover your brand?

And when they do, how can they interact with your brand if not by customer service tools such as live chat and e-mail? And how do you make sure that your brand is relevant to them?

The main role of social media in ecommerce is to widen your audience by reaching them in their own territory; communicating your brand while creating awareness, relevance and brand trust; and interacting with them and discovering threats and opportunities on your niche market while opening a new customer service channel.

Put all these together in a well thought strategy that makes sense to your business and you expand your reach, increase sales and retain more customers.

Now if you’re thinking about how much it will cost you, let me break to you the good news: social media strategy for ecommerce business can be as cheap or as expensive as your business demands.

Now that you’re well aware of the needs of an ecommerce social media strategy, let’s talk about 6 ways social media can help ecommerce business grow.

A few aspects of using social media on your ecommerce marketing to create brand awareness and widen your audience that you need to take into consideration are:

6 ways social media can help ecommerce business grow

A few aspects of using social media on your ecommerce marketing to create brand awareness and widen your audience that you need to take into consideration are:

1. Produce quality, relevant content and search for consistency

As we said on the article How Online Marketing Can Help your Ecommerce, “Offering relevant content for your customers through blogs and media (videos, guides, tutorials) is a way to attract and bond with customers.”

But being relevant in social media also means being original and producing your own quality content. Once you know your business, your brand identity and the image you want your audience to capture, you will be able to understand what kind of content you should be producing and with what intent.

You can produce content focused on the products you’re selling and the sale you’re having with the intention of increasing conversion, and at the same time you can work on posts and videos focused on brand building.

If your business is a marketplace and don’t talk directly to the purchasing customer, you may follow the example from Etsy and use your social media accounts to educate your vendor instead, and create relevant content on selling on your website.

Your posts also need to have consistency, as this is what keep your posts appearing on your audience’s feed, and also keep your audience interested and engaged.

You also need to remember that you will have new audience landing on your profile all the time and they need to be able to understand your brand and business with just a glance or a click. So at the same time you need to keep the conversation going with your previous audience, your posts also need to engage the audience that is looking at you for the first time.

2. Create engagement and interact with your audience

Creating engagement is not an overnight work, but rather an ongoing effort you need to put on your social media strategy. To every post you need to ask yourself how is it going to engage your audience and what is the purpose of that particular post.

But the more you engage your audience, the more likely you are to have them promoting you and your brand, and to establish a new communication tool with them.

This will allow you not only to help them with regular customer service subjects, but also to start an interaction with them and understand who they are, what they look for, and why are they following you.

Dylan Kim, co-founder of Brevite (a camera backpack company) told Bill Su at Medium that Live Videos is one great social media tool that are being increasingly used by brands to create engagement.

Take Instagram, for example: at the exact same time you start a live video, every single person who follows your brand’s profile will be notified of that, and they may or may not enter it to interact with you.

Another way you can create interaction with your followers is by using Pools, another tool that was recently added by Instagram and has been going on Twitter for a while. Pools allow you to ask whatever you want to your followers.

Airbnb makes great use of pools on Twitter to engage their customers on travel-related questions, and it works very well as they are talking about a subject of interest, and not necessary advertising the brand.

3. Leverage from other social media accounts

One great thing about social media is that everybody is trying to increase their audience. Therefore finding a partner – business or person – that is brand aligned with yours and willing to join you on a social media venture shouldn’t be your biggest obstacle. You can leverage from other social media accounts by recruiting social influencers to be your brand’s ambassador, or join other business to offer followers giveaways, for example.

Now that you have more followers and while you acquire more to never stop growing the number of people that interact with your brand, you need to start making use of tools and concepts to convert your audience into customers.

4. Create Brand Trust

Brand trust is important to any brand, but if you’re bricks-and-mortar and your customer leaves with a product on their hands, the chances that they will question your intentions are low. For an online business, however, where your customer isn’t able to touch, see and smell your product or have the guarantee that their data is safe with you once they place an order, creating brand trust is mandatory if you wish to succeed in the business. Brand trust, like brand awareness, isn’t built overnight, but with a lot of hard work put on your website looks, product delivery, customer service and other areas of your business, you are able to build that trust. The great news is that a well-planned social media strategy can help you achieving that.

Great customer service equals to elevated brand trust, so remember that social media is more than a tool to entertain an audience and sell products, it will also become a strong customer service tool as your social media connections or followers are allowed – and you would want that to happen – to comment on your photos and posts, reply publicly to your messages and inquire about your products and services on private messaging.

And if you wish to expand your businesses to other countries, it is also a great idea to interact with local consumers on their own way. So make sure to adjust your language to communicate properly with them – instead of assuming that most people speak English, as in South America, for example, they don’t – and that’s a slice of the market you wouldn’t want to miss.

5. Advertise on social media

social media advertising is another tool you can use, and invest your money on. Just like Google Ad, you can decide how much money you want to invest, for how long, and what audience you would like to reach. And just like you would do with the launch of your new ecommerce interface or an ad words campaign, you would want to A/B test your social media advertising as much as money allows. This means that you will need to try different types of photos, captions, demographics and time of posting and to each of them, check your website’s bouncing rate, as suggested by Dylan Kim. Discard the ones that brings your bounce rate up to the sky, and rethink the ones that don’t, and test again. Testing campaigns is a never ending road to social media advertising success.

6. Social Commerce

Social Commerce means selling your products straight from your social media account, instead of using social media to take your audience to your ecommerce website. It is an interesting tool that has been used by Starbucks, Old Navy, Urban Outfitters and even luxury fashion brand Burberry and might help you converting customers that would wouldn’t buy from you otherwise.

In the article Social Commerce: How It Works And Why Your Should Invest On It we explain in detail how to set up your social commerce in the three most used social apps – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Conclusion

While everyone is on social media, including your closest competitors and your niche market, you need to use it to your advantage by having a brand aligned and active profile that engages customers and hear them out, while making a brand statement and selling products. But social media is much more than a tool, it is for a fact a whole new thing in digital marketing that requires its own strategy and has to take into consideration your brand profile and the audience you want to reach. As said, it will also take a lot of testing – from images, to captions, target and time of publishing – and it will take personalization to each social media channel you wish to explore in order to grow your audience and keep the interaction happening. But be mindful that in spite – and not despite – the hard work it will be worth once you get it right – and it will translate into sales numbers.

 

 

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