E-commerce businesses today can't afford to sell products on their websites alone. Social media platforms form another essential area where retail businesses need to market their products and even sell them directly.
In fact, there are many brands and individuals that host their online shops on social media only. Or they rely heavily on their stores on Facebook and Instagram and use their websites to support these activities.
Whatever e-commerce business model you work with, it's vital to leverage social media to grow your business. This is especially true if you have a B2C business, since a large percentage of your target market is present and active on social media.
In this article, we'll explore some helpful social media strategies for e-commerce businesses. Using these tips, you can develop a solid social media strategy that creates engagement and sales.
Start with a social media content calendar.
Your social media presence is only as good as the posts you create. Planning and designing text posts, images and videos are difficult tasks that you need to do on an ongoing basis. For the best outcome, you would do well to plan your social media content using a content calendar.
Even a simple content calendar using an Excel sheet is better than no planner at all. In one digital marketing study, it was found that 33% of all marketers have a documented content marketing strategy. The best performing brands were also those that planned and documented their content creation strategy.
How to set up a social media content calendar
One basic way to set up your calendar is to create an Excel sheet with rows and columns for days of the week and different social networks. A setup like this gives you an overview of what your content will look like over time. If you use a cloud-based service like Google Drive, you'll be able to share your documents with other people and edit content in real time.
It's also worth subscribing to project management platforms and social media management tools. You'll be able to give multiple employees access to these platforms. The major benefits of using a social media management tool include post scheduling and brand monitoring. You can use hashtags and brand mentions to create feeds. These feeds will auto populate with tweets, posts, comments and other content whenever they consist of keywords you've picked. Whatever options you choose, planning your content matters.
Another helpful calendar you can set up is a holiday calendar for the year. A holiday calendar displays major events like Valentine's Day, Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday and more. When you use a holiday calendar for reference and build your social media calendar, you won't miss an important event.
Share positive reviews and ratings.
It's well known that getting positive reviews and ratings plays a critical role in driving an e-commerce platform's success. Here are some critical e-commerce marketing statistics you should know:
Seventy percent of consumers check out product reviews before making a purchase
90% of people who recalled reading online reviews state that reviews influence their decision to buy
People trust product reviews 12 times more than they do brand-created descriptions and sales copy
If you want to build trust through your social media profile, it's important to feature your ratings and reviews on social media. You create social proof and convince your audience that your brand can be trusted. Take screenshots of positive feedback from customers and post them to your social media pages.
It's also critical to ask your existing customers to rate your brand on different platforms. Facebook allows people to see the star ratings of your business page. Your Google My Business page also showcases ratings and reviews by people who have visited your business. Encourage your users to leave reviews and ratings by sending an email a few days after the delivery of your product Some businesses also add loyalty points for leaving reviews.
One of the most powerful ways to boost your online reputation is to get video testimonials from clients. Sharing videos on social media is a surefire way to get engagement and build trust. We'll look at this in more detail in the next section.
A final tip for creating social proof on social media: Look for brand mentions and relevant hashtags related to your products or business. You'll find content that's made by your customers. Share their posts on your own page, and you’ll reduce the need to create content from scratch and help people trust your e-commerce brand.
It's not possible to overstate the importance of videos in your social media marketing. Two of the most significant shifts in technology today are the availability of mobile internet around the world and the affordability of smartphone devices.
People all over the globe are able to access information through their phones and rely on them more than they do desktop computers. Mobile devices are used to carry out searches, buy products and even do banking activities.
With this shift towards higher mobile usage, videos have emerged as the reigning content format due to how easy it is to consume on small mobile screens. Your best bet to winning social media marketing is to create videos. Here are some ideas that you can use:
Create short videos in the manner of popular Tik Tok and Snapchat content. This works well when you're targeting a young audience and can adopt a playful tone to sell your products.
Use social media storytelling tools that are specially developed to create social media posts and videos that are highly engaging.
Embrace the use of emojis, gigs, colorful text and other interactive elements that social media allows you to add to your posts.
Create live videos as a way to engage your audience in real time. People respond very well to live content. They'll interact with you personally and associate a face to the brand, helping to build trust.
Making video content will create variety in your content calendar. You also have a lot of flexibility to make different kinds of videos. With some experimentation and data tracking, you'll soon figure out what your audience responds to best.
Add social media feeds to your e-commerce site.
This strategy focuses on bringing social media content to your website. Why would an e-commerce site choose to add social feeds to their site? Let's look at a few reasons why:
You have more control over how you brand your website.
On platforms like YouTube, you risk losing your viewers to competing content. By featuring YouTube feeds on your site, you keep your audience at your page for longer times.
It's a way to add social proof. Look at examples of makeup brands. You'll find Instagram posts by their product users appearing on product pages. These feeds serve as social proof and also highlight how real people work with your product.
You can manually code your website to display social media posts. Another option is to work with social feed plugins. Adding social feeds to your site brings together visual content, interactivity and reinforces your brand's trustworthiness. You'll creatively leverage social media to support your e-commerce activities.
Social media is a must-use platform for retail businesses. E-commerce businesses rely heavily on images to showcase their products and convince their potential customers to buy them. And because social networks are primarily visual platforms, they are important places to engage your audience.
We've covered some powerful tips to boost an e-commerce business's growth through social media. Work with the tips given here, and you're sure to win customers and drive long-term customer relationships.