This is a guest post by Patrick Foster, of EcommerceTips.org. Patrick Foster is a freelance writer and contributor to multiple marketing and e-commerce blogs with a passion for business, start-ups, and all things social.
The jury is in: cultivating a social media following is vital to the success of your ecommerce store. Social media offers businesses a lucrative option for driving leads, traffic, and sales. Once you’re convinced the question must be asked: How do you get people to follow your Twitter, Facebook or Instagram accounts? This article will explore what you can do to ensure that the visitors of your e-commerce brand are engaging with your social media presence.
Tame Your Social Media Channels
The average e-commerce store has many social media channels that it uses to reach out and engage with multiple audiences to get the brand recognized. Fortunately, there are ways in which you can seamlessly manage these feeds, keep them relevant, and schedule posts far in advance to gain a loyal readership.
Limit your keyboard bashing to one day a week, or even once a month, by using a social media management software, such as Hootsuite. This subscription platform allows you to manage multiple social media accounts with ease and efficiency, making the most of your valuable time.
Pro tip: It is paramount to ensure that your social strategy can be applied to every part of the marketing funnel to cultivate a qualified social media following. This means casting your social net over visitors from the ‘awareness’ stage, right up to the ‘retention’ stage. Here’s how:
- Awareness – The goal at this stage is to initiate a relationship with your store’s visitors. You need to educate and be helpful, providing relevant information and solutions to their queries. One great way to do this is with a blog, which can be shared on social media.
- Consideration – Now your visitors are interested in your offering. Introduce them to your brand, products, and services on your shop front and provide them with value-driven content. Case studies, e-books, and email courses are frequently used at this stage and can be promoted and offered on social media.
- Conversion/Purchase – Now you can push to convert these prospects into sales. Personalized promotional emails are a fantastic way to broadcast the specific benefits of what your ecommerce store has to offer to potential customers.
- Retention – You need to maintain the relationship with your customers, even after the sale is made. Keep your customer engaged and interested with newsletter sign-up buttons after their transaction has been completed, or suggested content they might find valuable.
Seamless Integration with Your Ecommerce Platform
Anyone who tells you that looks don’t matter is lying – at least when it comes to an e-commerce store. Here are some tips to ensure that your ecommerce brand develops a social media following:
- A well-designed and easy to use e-commerce page is extremely important. It helps establish a great first impression and encourages customers to follow your business on social media. Consider hiring a web designer who can create a page to your specifications.
- Showcase your products with unique promotional images on social media. Try to avoid using stock images at all costs as they feel more corporate and less personal.
- Make sure your e-commerce page has click-through buttons to social media accounts that are easily accessible. This is a simple process with platforms such as Shopify.
User Generated Content (UGC) is defined as any type of content that has been created and distributed or published by unpaid contributors. These contributors usually consist of visitors, partners, or customers. It can be in the form of pictures, videos, testimonials, tweets, blog posts, and is the act of users promoting a brand, rather than the brand promoting itself. It’s a great way to encourage engagement via social media.
This technique is particularly useful for the awareness and the retention stages of the marketing funnel:
- UGC opens up the conversation to customers who have used your ecommerce store. It enables them to post a photo of themselves wearing a newly purchased coat with a hashtag for example. This promotes the benefits of your store to a wider audience.
- It also encourages customers to maintain a relationship with the brand after making a purchase. This usually means they are far more likely to buy from you again.
One of the best recent examples of UGC is the #AsSeenOnMe hashtag by ASOS. The clothes retailer hosts a page dedicated to submissions via Instagram or manual submission. This technique really works its magic, as the majority of the submissions are by well-styled fashion bloggers. Moreover, the users are showing audiences how great the clothes look on a customer rather than a model.
How Will You Cultivate Your Social Media Following?
It’s clear that engaging the social media audience of your e-commerce brand is a sure-fire way to boost sales with engagement and promotion.
To sum up:
- Look into managing your social media feeds with a social media management platform like Hootsuite. It will save you time and hassle.
- Integrate your shop’s page with social media accounts the use click-through buttons.
- Consider jumping on the UGC bandwagon to gain even more exposure and continue nurturing relationships with your customers.
Was this advice helpful and relevant to your ecommerce store? Let us know in the comments.