Several years ago, many eCommerce companies believed social media would help them significantly increase sales and improve their brand exposure. Unfortunately, many brands have struggled to develop an effective social media strategy.
According to a report from Monetate, social media channels only drive 1.55% of all traffic to e-commerce sites. However, some brands thrive on social traffic. Diamond Candles, an e-commerce site that sells rings beneath wax candles, was able to generate 290,000 Facebook fans in a couple of months. Many of them became loyal customers.
Are you trying to craft a more successful social media marketing strategy for your e-commerce site? Here are some tips from leading experts.
1. Take Advantage of Social Proof
Consumers aren’t motivated by advertisements anymore. They are more likely to trust reviews from their peers. Here are several experts citing the importance of social proof.
“By displaying reviews, you will be able to provide some ‘Social Proof,’ in terms of how good the product actually is. In fact, 77% of people consult online reviews, before purchasing something – so it’s worth displaying any if you can.” – Neil Patel
“According to Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising report, 70% of consumers trust the opinion of other consumers when shopping online. You can leverage that social proof to bolster shopper confidence and increase product conversion.” – Sujan Patel
“B2B sales people that used social selling were nearly 80% more likely to reach their quotas. It’s extremely effective if it’s done properly, but most people have no idea how it actually works.” – Ryan Kh of Catalyst for Business
2. Combine Social Media with Other Marketing Channels
Fragmented marketing strategies aren’t very effective. Zac Johnson of Blogging.org says that e-commerce sites should utilize social media with other marketing channels.
“One of the best ways to increase conversions when trying to run a successful eCommerce site is to use social media to facilitate email marketing efforts. Some quick tips for accomplishing this include; offering your audience a coupon code through a popup window right when they visit your site, setting up retargeting campaigns so visitors continue to see advertisements after they leave your site, creating custom coupon codes that can be shared across top online coupon resource sites (like retailmenot.com). By implementing each of these 3 simple, yet effective marketing methods, there is no reason why you shouldn’t see a boost in overall conversions and revenue across the board.”
3. Develop a Conversion Funnel
Have you tried posting links to your e-commerce landing pages on social media? You probably didn’t generate many (or any) sales. Ian Cleary of Razor Social tells e-commerce companies to create a well-optimized sales funnel first.
“You generate sales from social media but not on social media. PRISM is our end-to-end model of how you can start with a social media update and go all the way through to a sale.”
4. Listen and Engage
Too many e-commerce companies use social media as an advertising platform, rather than a tool to nurture relationships and grow their brand. Your social media strategy should revolve around engaging with your followers.
Murray Newlands is a venture advisor, serial entrepreneur and social media maven from San Francisco. Newlands emphasized the importance of having a conversation and pleasing your followers.
“One big trend we have seen is that now everyone is doing social media, so marketing “experts” have to really step up their game. Listening and engaging in conversations were great but with the space becoming more competitive, marketing has to become truly innovative. Companies need to compete by delivering customer delight that they share via social media, not just asking to re-tweet because you said something cool.”
Know Your Audience
Neal Schaffer, the author of Maximize Your Social, states that brands can’t create a successful social media marketing strategy without knowing their customers.
“Whenever you communicate, it is vital to know who the target of the message is and how best to frame the information to achieve your desired result. Since the goal is pushing website traffic via social media, all you need to do is define your target. This is easy when you create personas that best represent the major demographics within your target audience. If you already have target profiles for your media team, adjust them for the typical demographics of each social media service’s user base.”
Balance Promotional and Conversational Content
You can’t be overly promotional on social media. However, you have to promote your content to some degree. Andy Crestodina, the co-founder of Orbit Media, has some great tips to help e-commerce companies find the right balance.
“Create valuable non-promotional evergreen content that is relevant to the products you are selling and share these articles on an ongoing basis to your social following. For example, if you were selling Ladies fashion you could share articles on the top 10 fashion accessories of 2016. This is content you can continuously share. On this article, you can link off to your products and you can also build a retargeted list to follow up these visitors with ads.”
Any other social media for ecommerce advice you would add? Please comment!