Different brands of all scales today use social media as their effective promotional strategy. Ecommerce marketers have also recognized the power of social media in driving customer engagement, and most eCommerce companies are active on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram to interact with their target audience.
A social media eCommerce marketer promotes an eCommerce website or a branded app, sells products directly on social channels, and communicates with customers. It is also about collecting data and insight into the niche industry to closely understand the audience, competitors, and benchmarks.
Social media eCommerce marketing is about building brand awareness, community management, advertisement, competitive analysis of social data, and social selling. It is also about the process of selling products or services on Facebook Shops, Product Pins, Instagram Shops, connecting with sales prospects, and nurturing them.
Why does social media matter to eCommerce brands?
Once eCommerce brands thought that social media was of no use to them since they did not see this medium as beneficial for getting the returns. But today, like all businesses, eCommerce brands also are exploring social channels and getting the rewards. Here are some crucial reasons:
Customers are on social media
The first and foremost reason eCommerce brands should promote social media is that customers are in millions. Studies have shown that an overwhelming number of shoppers first use social media to get the correct information about products or services before making a purchasing decision. With a massive number of potential customers present on social channels, you can drive their attention to your brand.
Cost-effective promotional strategy
Small businesses can use social media to promote their products or services without spending much money. All you need to do is start your brand’s pages on different social channels. With smaller investments, you can grow your list of followers. Even paid social ads are well within the budgetary limits of small businesses.
You can promote your brand by distributing your content across the web using different social media. It is also an excellent way to distribute your content. Your eCommerce brand can encourage people to share your content from your social channels.
People can send your helpful content to others across different platforms using the social share buttons. These buttons subtly encourage viewers to share more content, allowing automatic distribution of your eCommerce content.
It helps build your brand image
Today, social media is widely recognized as an effective strategy to make the desired impression about brands. In this way, your brand stands out from your competitors. Ecommerce companies can promote their brands actively using their logos and cover photos. In addition, audiences can recognize your eCommerce brand when its brand elements, including your logo design, frequently appear on different social channels.
While the significance of social media is now well established for eCommerce companies, your company should find ways to utilize these platforms best. They can then focus their time and money on those specific promotional strategies for business growth.
Here are three crucial things eCommerce companies should focus on while exploring social media:
1. Better customer engagement
Customer engagement is undoubtedly the most critical strategy in today’s world when people's attention span decreases fast. There are so many online and offline distractions today than ever before, making customer engagement difficult for brands.
But fortunately for brands, especially eCommerce companies, most people are on different social channels such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. So, if they are there, a good strategy would be that your eCommerce brand also is on the social pages to become one amongst them.
Social media has facilitated brand promotion and made it much easier since brands can operate from one place to engage customers across the globe. You should avoid treating social media as a way to generate sales. That should not be the way to proceed into ensuring customer engagement.
Instead, use the social platform to educate people about your brand’s value. You should talk less about your products directly and tell more about how they will change customers’ lives.
However, before you post content that engages your customers, do some research to gain insight into them. Find out what they care about and provide them information accordingly. You can even use social networks to segment your audience to target the right set of people who are likely to buy from your eCommerce company.
Customers also are increasingly using social networks to find out companies and products. So, they come across your eCommerce company’s optimized profile and get information about who you are and what you sell.
Another way to engage customers is to respond to the issues that customers issue with your eCommerce company. You can use social media to encourage customers to come up with their queries and then respond immediately.
2. Explore paid advertising
Once social media was just a place for interaction and keeping in touch. But now, you can post advertisements on different social media platforms to drive people to brands and eCommerce companies. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other channels now allow paid advertising. This enables brands to grow their customer base.
When talking about paid advertising, PPC [ Pay Per Click ] advertising is the most sought-after version as it is cost-effective. You pay only for those ads people click on to visit your eCommerce website. Virtually every social platform has its own PPC advertising ways. When organic reach is decreasing, this type of advertising is a boon for businesses.
Here are some advantages of paid advertising on social media:
Target specific set of customers
Marketers can target customer segments using paid advertising. Your eCommerce brand need not drive everyone’s attention as you will target your advertisements toward only those who matter. So, only those customers coming from a particular location, interests, job title, age, and much more will be the subject of your advertisements on social media. It is, therefore, a way to segment your customers.
Get more engagement through video advertising
Video advertising has become the norm today, with more and more brands resorting to this effective way to target customers. Almost all brands, including eCommerce companies, reach out to their audience by putting advertisements on YouTube. You can showcase your products or services without stressing viewers interactively and engagingly with videos.
Access social data
Another advantage of paid advertising on social media is that you get hold of valuable social data for analytics. Many tech companies let eCommerce brands know how their social campaigns are fairing on different channels. So, you come to know which content of your company is performing well and understand which type of content drives customers and what action to take based on the social data.
3. Use social media to sell directly
Social media has evolved a lot, and today it is not merely a place to interact and build a long list of followers. It is now a shopping site as well. Many social media sites have integrated shops so that visitors can buy products directly and have a great shopping experience.
Social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest provide business solutions as you subscribe to their business accounts. Twitter and YouTube are also finding new ways to facilitate eCommerce.
For instance, Facebook has come up with Facebook Shops that allows companies to sell their products using their Facebook account directly. They can also display their collection of products and personalize it in their way. This implies that their Facebook account is the place to build their brand image with colors, fonts, and other brand elements. You can even do a live event for shopping on the Facebook page.
Instagram also has started its Instagram Shops that features an Instagram Business Page. Using the page, you can make your entire range of products for your target audience. Also, you get product recommendations and videos to help you make purchasing decisions. You have the experience of visiting an online store and even have a Live Shopping feature to see what is going on right now in the shopping section of social media.
Similarly, Pinterest has incorporated shopping features such as Product Pins, Shop Tab, Catalogs, and Pinterest Tag. Product Pins lets users go to the checkout page of products, and it is already getting more clicks than its previous shopping button, Buyable Pins. People can directly buy products from your profile using the Shop Tab, and Catalogs lets you browse Pins.
So, these are the three key ways you can explore social media for the steady growth of your eCommerce brand. While social channels are today’s happening places, do not expect overnight growth in your brand. You should be consistent in posting your content and building your eCommerce company’s products and customer base, and the results will take time to realize.
Social media is a cost-effective strategy for eCommerce brands. They can ensure better customer engagement by consistently posting shareable content on social channels. The brands can also target customers on social media by displaying paid advertisements for a particular customer segment. Also, many social channels are now the places that allow eCommerce companies to open shops and directly sell products from their social accounts.
Alice Jackson is a blogger and Digital Marketing Consultant at Designhill. She is a social media enthusiast, online market analyst, amateur designer and an avid author. She has written on several topics including social media marketing, content marketing, designing trends, startup strategies, and e-commerce. When not writing, she loves spending her time reading romantic novels.