Grow eCommerce Sales by Social Media, Paid and Non Paid Campaigning Ideas
August 13, 2014
Business to consumer sales is on an upward spiral. Forecasts suggest that business to consumer (B2C) global e-commerce sales this year will increase 19.3% to a whopping $1.47 trillion. The internet also has another niche that is moving forward like a juggernaut, the social media. Any eCommerce business of course wants a piece of that $1.47 trillion pie, and the social media juggernaut can be a very important vehicle for achieving that end.
Social media is an extremely powerful tool in community building, and it is increasingly important for businesses. Not just consumer interaction, but also the financial power that social media can put forward is pretty impressive. Most modern and smart businesses have a presence on social media websites. Online businesses especially stand to gain a lot if they can manage to convert the exposure and consumer interaction to grow eCommerce sales with social media.
Social media websites and the eCommerce marketplace are both flooded with vendors and sellers vying for attention. Your eCommerce website needs to make room for itself in this crowded arena. Having a clear strategy will be great help in establishing a presence before you get on the path to leverage and use social media marketing for sales.
Host Regularly Updated, Awesome Content
Facebook and Twitter are the staples of social media as the biggest and most influential of the set. Any eCommerce business is extremely likely to be present on these websites. This is the best way to get targeted traffic to your ecommerce website. Remember to keep your fans and followers entertained with regular, daily updates. The updates should follow the content is king philosophy, and be good enough to keep the attention of readers.
Tapped into networks like LinkedIn, Facebook company pages, and Twitter, salespeople can empower themselves with useful information and data that gives them a truly competitive edge.
– Ryan Holmes on HootSuite
Posting good content is great, but there is another factor to it: time. The time of the day when you post updates is important. Posting when the bulk of your readership is asleep will lead to your content getting buried under heaps of updates users get. Post at a time when your target demographic is alert, online, and in a position to take action. Websites like Facebook give excellent analytics of your page that you can breakdown to see the best time for posting.
It is worth noting that though we only mention Facebook and Twitter, other platforms like LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, StumbleUpon, and Reddit are equally important.
Additional Read: How to increase the success rate on Facebook and other social media platform
Engage Business with Your Social Presence
When on social media, think social, not shopping. Social media is the place to build your brand, get greater exposure to your brand, and to improve sales by gaining customer loyalty. Social websites are a very powerful tool for getting your brand and message across to the masses. This will help your brand recognition, and have it gain exposure to potential customers for improving sales performance.
As business is becoming more and more integrated into social media, translating “likes” and “follows” and “pins” into dollar signs becomes a much stronger priority
– Abby Johnson on SugarSpunMarketing
It is brand awareness that will encourage customers to consider your product for shopping, and finally to purchase. Engage the potential and old customers alike, answer their questions, honor their queries, and thank them for their feedback.
Do not, however limit your experience to just your own social network. Visiting other, similar pages will help you gauge the opinion and feedback from the groundswell, and where possible, you can apply the suggestions to your own eCommerce business.
Leverage your own connections to help provide greater exposure to your brand and product. For example, you could find your old colleagues and friends on LinkedIn and ask them about your product. Perhaps you could even encourage them, or their business to try your product. LinkedIn has a more professional setting, so you will be able to reach out to professional contacts easier.
Additional Read: Instagram vs Facebook vs Twitter vs Snapchat
Never limit the social presence of your eCommerce business to words. A picture is worth a thousand words, and a video is presumably worth much more. In the fast moving internet world where the average user has a low attention span, visual content can make you stand out from the rest. It is often observed that image posts on Facebook get more attention than text. Pinterest is entirely centered around images.
The best way to increase engagement on Facebook is by including images within your posts. Photos on Facebook have been shown to generate over 50% more likes than the average post. When you want to post an announcement or to promote a piece of content then include the link to the page within the post (preferably after the content so it stands out) and attach an image to the post.
– Mark Hayes on Shopify
If an eCommerce business relies on visual appeal, highlighting the same with images and videos becomes all the more important. For example, an online fashion store can hardly be of value if potential customers do not get to see products. Visually appealing apparel makes for a great eye grabber. If the eCommerce business does not have an inherent visually appealing appearance, relevant visual content should still be created to enhance its social appearance.
Pinterest can be an extremely powerful tool to drive visual content. Images help in increase website traffic for free and consumers to the eCommerce business. Since the potential customer already has seen, and in a way selected your product, the chances of conversion become much higher. Instagram is another social network centered on visual content. Creative ideas and attractive images can greatly help in creating a buzz around your eCommerce venture and get it the recognition it deserves.
There is more than images to offer in the social media arena. Micro video content, like that on Vine can present a strong visual message from your eCommerce website. It’s a brand new world and businesses need to keep up with whatever is hot at the moment. Vine is emerging as a contender where a business can hold the attention of the viewer.
While we are on the topic of videos, let us not forget that traditional means are not any less important. Full-fledged video content websites like YouTube and Vimeo are still major driving forces, and have their own strong social communities. There are advantages of each approach; a best eCommerce stores should just know how to exploit them right for their benefit.
Word of mouth is the best kind of publicity a business can have. It is way easier these days with the inclination of people to share a lot of information on social media websites. As an eCommerce website, your job should be to make it easier for people to share products from your website. Have an easily accessible and noticeable method for sharing to popular social media websites.
Social buttons can greatly increase the exposure of your business. Allowing people to share content and product information from your website, to their favorite social network, will work well for exposure. Most websites prominently display these buttons for visitors to notice and increase sales conversion.
Similarly, encourage visitors to write reviews about your business, either on your own site, their social media profile pages, or on websites like Yelp.
Loosen those Purse Strings
As an eCommerce business, you already know that money makes the world go round. The same is also true for the social media websites. A tight clutch on your purse will not allow you to maximize gains from your social media campaigns. Social websites recognize their value in business as much as you do, and they are taking steps to ensure they are not left out of the revenue highway.
Most of the social networks offer highly targeted and customizable advertising. Facebook for example, will allow you to choose the region, demography, and gender of the desired viewer. Getting a sponsored spot on Trending topics on Twitter ensures way more visibility on your page than an organic campaign. Similarly, YouTube offers in-video ads and promoted videos to maximize visibility. Social websites Reddit offers campaigns targeted towards a specific interest category.
There is more to it than just advertising though. Only a small percentage of your fans/followers/friends on Facebook get to see your post update. These are people who are actually interested in your product, but don’t often get to see updates. A Facebook advertisement can fix that. Similarly, a campaign on Twitter will ensure your followers (and more people) get to see updates from you.
Sure, you can do a lot of stuff for free on social media. A strong advertising campaign will help you maximize the yields. In effect, unpaid social media efforts from your eCommerce site should go hand in hand with a paid campaign and improve online sales.
Crowdfund your eCommerce Business
Crowdfunding is a comparatively new idea in the social arena, and it is already kicking ass all over the place. Websites like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo are helping entrepreneurs leverage business through social channels, and have finances and customers even before a product goes into production.
To grow your online business, you could run a crowdfunding campaign for upcoming products of a new line, or for that awesome product that the company did not have enough money to put into production. Independent artists to large movie studios are all making use of the crowdfunding to move forward.
A social campaign accompanied by well-placed advertising could help generate enough interest in people to make the crowdfunding campaign a success.
Additional Read: Top SEO Tips for eCommerce Success
Social media is a powerhouse that can have huge effect on business. An eCommerce business can drive effective sales growth through social media channels, by both paid, and unpaid campaigns on these websites. The idea should be to not simply drive sales, but also form solid relationships with consumers to initiate a dialog that keeps the consumers happy, and the business running.
The social media scene is in a constant state of flux, much like the world of technology. It is important to keep an eye out for new trends and gauge public opinion for the best possible results.
Also check out our SEO services for ecommerce website to grow your online business with SEO campaign.