Social media marketing can be a confusing world for business-minded entrepreneurs who are better at real-world conversations. However, social can really help your merchant ecommerce business thrive. It drives website traffic, increases brand awareness and gives you a means of shaping an identity.
It also opens up communication and interaction with your customers and potential customers. However, without proper strategy it can end up as failure.
So here are a few points you need to take into consideration for your social media campaigns to be successful and increase revenue.
To achieve growth you need to plan! Consider your ecommerce goals and how you’re going to measure them. This will help you plan and help to assess your progress.
For example, your objective might be to generate 5000 new visits to your ecommerce site per month from social media.
Goals need to be realistic, both in terms of desired outcome and the resources you have available.
2. Know Where Your Customers Are
As with any marketing campaign, you need to understand where to find your customer. Which channels do your customers prefer and how much time they are spending on them?
The key to successful social media marketing for ecommerce is choosing the right channels that work for your business, addressing key demographics for your business.
Here are some tips to help you find this information out:
· Ask them!
As simple as it sounds, go ahead and ask your customers for information. Create a survey or poll your customers on your website to receive their beneficial feedback.
· Use monitoring tools
Tools like Social Mention or Trackur are available for free and enable you to discover how and where customers are talking about your business and your competitors.
3. Be Aware of What Your Competitors Are Doing
Keep an eye on your competitors’ social media presence. This will give you ideas and information beneficial to your ecommerce marketing campaigns.
Identify your competitors and note:
· The site they are using
· Content they are publishing
· Number of likes / followers / views / fans they have
· How they promote using specific social media channels
4. Gain Customers by Promoting Offers
Promoting exclusive and seasonal offers on social media will gain you web traffic for your ecommerce.
Most importantly it encourages customers to follow you. Additional followers usually generates additional engagement, which means more awareness and traffic long-term.
To gain a following on social media you need to entice customers with something they can’t get from your competitors.
You could try:
· Promoting competitions via social media
· Offer exclusive free shipping or discount to social media followers
· Offer your latest releases, updates and announcements on social media first
5. Update and Post Content Frequently
For your social media campaign to really work and help your ecommerce business, you need to ensure you regularly update.
Different channels have different frequencies. A couple of posts on Facebook a day is fine, but on Twitter you’ll need to be posting much more frequently.
You also need to consider the time you post. You need exposure, therefore you need to know what times your customers are more likely to use social media.
6. An Image Speaks a Thousand Words
Photos catch the eye and attention far more effectively than text alone. Facebook is a fantastic social network to post photos to and it has been shown that photos generate over 50% more likes than text alone. 65%-85% of people would describe themselves as visual learners: it makes sense to use image-centric marketing!
Top tips when using imagery:
· Lines and lines of text can be boring - vibrant, colourful images stimulate the mind and demand attention
· Be sure to use the right image that says what you need it to say
· Add your main content to your image, something that will draw the potential customer in
7. Offer Value
Engagement is vital – you can’t simply publish offers and advertise products.
As a business, you can advertise yourself indirectly by leveraging your knowledge and experience. Social-smart fashion retailers post guides on what to wear with x product or style, for example.
The key is that the customer finds value in what you post and doesn’t simply dismiss it as attempting to sell something.
How to engage your social media following:
· Post relevant news from external sources
· Use your social media networks to participate in discussions
· Ask your audience questions
· Use blog content
With these tips in mind, you'll see that investment made in social can offer significant returns for your business. If you're interested in learning more about how to market your ecommerce business, check out our free presentation on Web Marketing.
By Mark Withers