Social media and e-commerce are a match made in heaven.

Marketers have been using social platforms to connect with ecommerce customers for a while. And for good reason: More and more internet users are shopping online and using social media to research brands.

Check out these up-to-date statistics:

  • 76.8% of global internet users bought a product online in 2020.
  • 44.8% of global internet users use social media to search for brand-related information.
  • More than half of the world's internet users between the ages of 16 and 24 use social media to research brands (55.9% female users and 51% male users).

Overview of e-commerce activities

Source: Hootsuite

Most social media networks currently offer free integrated solutions for advertising, sales, and customer service – a.k.a. Tools to help you speed up your sales.

In this article, we're going to go over all of the ways you can Use social media to promote your ecommerce store. So, if you're building a social media presence for your ecommerce from scratch or looking for ways to update your marketing strategy, you've found the right place!

But let's get some definitions out of the way first.

Bonus: Download a free guide Here's how to use Hootsuite to convert Facebook traffic into revenue in four easy steps.

What is Social Media Ecommerce Marketing?

A Social media e-commerce strategy is a set of social media tactics that you can use to market your ecommerce business.

Depending on your business model and goals, your strategy may focus on:

  • Promote an e-commerce goal, d. H. Increase traffic to a website or branded app;
  • Selling products directly on social media,
  • Communication with customers, both before and after the purchase,
  • Gather insights about your industry (your audience, your competitors, benchmarks for success)

… Or combine some (or all!) Of the above.

Is social media e-commerce marketing the same as social selling or social commerce?

Not exactly. Social media e-commerce marketing is the broadest of the three terms and can encompass both elements of social commerce and social selling.

Let's refresh the definitions:

  • Social commerce is the process of selling products or services directly on social media using Facebook stores, Instagram stores, product pins, and other native social media shopping solutions.
  • Social selling is the process of using social media to identify, connect with, and promote sales prospects.
  • Social media e-commerce marketing This can include building brand awareness, advertising, community management, social customer service, social listening, competitive analysis, social trading, and social selling.

How to use social media for e-commerce

Here are several different ways you can use social media marketing to promote your ecommerce business and sell more products.

Build brand awareness

Whenever you are starting a brand new business or product, it is a good idea to start building excitement before you can start selling. The sad truth is, you can't make sales if people don't know what you are selling.

In 2021, social media is busy with brands. But there is still room for newbies. A unique voice and a consistent posting strategy will help you increase brand awareness and reach your target audience. For a head start, follow the tips we listed at the end of this article.

Building brand awareness is a process that takes time. You can speed things up a little if you want – paid social networks can help you with that.

advertising

Current statistics show that:

  • 190 million people can be reached through Facebook advertising,
  • 140 million people can be reached through Instagram advertising.
  • 170 million people can be reached through LinkedIn advertising

in the United States alone. (Source: Digital 2021 report from Hootsuite and We Are Social).

Instagram audience overview

Source: Hootsuite

Of course, not all of them are your target audience, and your budget is likely to be a drag from reaching so many people.

However, most social media platforms offer advanced targeting tools that can help you get your perfect audience out of this crowd and run ads that support your goals.

When talking about goals, make sure you are setting the right goals for your social media ads. As an ecommerce company, you probably want to use social media advertising to do Attract people to your store or to a specific product or collection.

For example, with Facebook and Instagram, brands can choose one of three conversion-oriented goals:

  • Conversions. With this goal in mind, you can encourage your audience to take a specific action on your website, such as: Put the product in the shopping cart.
  • Catalog sales. Use this goal to pull products from your catalog into ads.
  • Save traffic. If you have a brick and mortar location, this ad target is great for promoting your business to potential customers in the neighborhood, depending on your location.

Here is an example of an ecommerce ad with a call to action on Instagram: "Shop Now":

Conversion Ad Instagram - Click and Grow

Source: Click & Grow

If your goal is to raise awareness or reach your target audience, you can choose a goal from the categories Awareness or Consideration.

However, just picking the right goal doesn't prepare you for success. You also need to choose the right ad format for your campaign. On Facebook and Instagram, the main format categories are:

  • Image ads
  • Video ads
  • Carousel ads
  • Collection displays

Collection displays are specially designed for e-commerce. They use a mix of creative copies and items from your product catalog to grab your audience's attention and get them to checkout seamlessly.

While Facebook's advertising toolkit is perhaps the most robust, other social media platforms offer similar solutions. So if you are using Twitter or LinkedIn to reach your customers on social media, fear not. For more information on ad goals and formats across platforms, please see our guide to advertising on social media.

Sell ​​products directly on social media

This is where social media e-commerce marketing overlaps with social commerce and sells your products directly via your social media accounts or "shops".

Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest offer native shopping solutions for business accounts. Snapchat has partnered with Shopify to develop its own social commerce tool. However, the feature is currently only available to a few hand-picked accounts. Keep an eye out for updates when Snaps is your social media format of choice.

There are many advantages to using social commerce solutions:

  • It is completely free set up.
  • It creates an unforgettable, interactive and social shopping experience for customers.
  • It streamlines the sales process. Users can shop directly from their feeds without clicking on an external website. Shortening the time between discovery and checkout can improve your conversion rates.
  • This is what social media users want! 70% of shopping enthusiasts use Instagram to discover brands and products. Why don't you help them discover your products?

This is what a product page looks like in a Facebook shop.

Facebook Shop - Lisa Says Gah

Source: LISA SAGT GAH

Note that in this example, you need to click on the brand's website to complete the purchase. The check out feature on the platform is currently only available in the US.

If you want to try out social commerce, see the following to set it up:

Customer service

Your main goal on social media might be to reach new customers – and that is reasonable. Don't forget your existing customers, however.

Even if you have a dedicated support team that communicates with customers by phone or email, occasionally your social media becomes an ad hoc customer service channel. Your customers can come to your profiles to find information, ask questions or give you feedback. And when it does, you should be prepared to process the incoming comments and DMs.

The way you respond to inquiries on social media is as representative of your brand as the content you post. Opinions from satisfied customers serve as social proof for customers who are still in the consideration phase of their customer journey. By engaging with comments, you can show your audience that you value your customers and value their feedback.

What if the feedback you get is negative? See negative comments as an opportunity to offer solutions and demonstrate again how seriously you take your customers' opinions.

In the example below, Bailey Nelson did just that – they apologized for the problem raised by the customer and gave them the opportunity to contact customer service to resolve the issue.

Social Customer Service - Bailey Nelson

Source: Bailey Nelson Australia

The bottom line is: Don't neglect social media as a customer service channel and give social media requests any TLCs they deserve (which is the same as any other customer service interactions).

Social listening

Social listening is the process of Scanning social media for mentions of your brand or products and conversations related to your brand.

Why should it be part of your social media ecommerce strategy? Knowing what people are saying about your products online is an invaluable source of insight. It can help you understand:

  • Which of your products do people love the most?
  • Recurring problems or issues with some of your products
  • The general sentiment of the public towards your brand

Keeping up to date with what your audience is saying about your brand is also a safeguard. If you ever mix up orders or accidentally release a bunch of faulty products, chances are the affected customers are posting their complaints online. Awareness of the problem will help you react quickly and possibly avert a full blown social media crisis.

6 Essential Social Media Ecommerce Tips

At this point, you should have a good idea of ​​how you can use social media to promote your ecommerce store and reach new audiences. Here are 6 bonus tips to add a little zest to your social media ecommerce strategy.

1. Present your personality

Or, as the youngsters say, add a little spice.

Brand awareness is about someone seeing your product (or your Instagram ad or Facebook post) and saying, "Oh, it's that brand!" They are the ones who do The Thing! "

You make it infinitely easier for potential customers remember and know yourself when your brand has a certain personality. It can be humor. It can be a commitment to a social cause. It can be anything that represents you and your values.

In the example below, bidet maker Tushy, known for its quirky and lighthearted approach to marketing, combined a cute image with an ironic copy to promote its toilet stool (or, as they call it, your bum's best friend).

Show off your personality - Tushy

Source: Tushy

2. Collaborate with others

Pairing with a social media influencer Your audience love or another brand from your industry (not a competitor, of course) can make you and your products accessible to a new audience.

But don't just do it for range. Think about how a collaboration can benefit your potential customers – and how it fits with the values ​​of your brand.

Here are some ideas you can use to promote your ecommerce store through targeted collaboration:

  • Get an influencer to test your product and ask them to share their honesty review with their audience.
  • Work with some other brands that appeal to a similar audience and put together a high quality value give away for your combined audience. Promote the giveaway on the accounts of all participating brands.
  • Host a Q&A session on Instagram Live with influencers connected to your brand.

Check out how Fig., A Vancouver-based skin care studio, announced a giveaway they organized with another local business:

Collaborate Giveaway - Fig

Source: Fig.

3. Use short-form video content

We talked about how your content should be representative of your personality. However, not all content types and placements were created equal. Experiment with popular interactive content formats like:

  • Instagram stories
  • Instagram roles
  • Instagram Live
  • TikToks

Over 500 million people use Instagram Stories every day. The platform is continuously expanding Stories and Instagram Live with new sales functions. Brand stories have a completion rate of 86%.

Other social media platforms took notes. Facebook implemented Stories in 2020, Twitter now has fleets. Even LinkedIn jumped on the bandwagon and presented their version of stories. Add TikTok's aggressive growth to the mix and it becomes clear: Demographically, people love short-form video content.

How can you use this knowledge to engage your audience? Anyway you please! The only limit is your creativity.

Remember: not all of your content has to be directly related to the sale. You can use Instagram Stories, Live Broadcasts, or TikTok to keep your audience entertained and develop a closer relationship with them.

Here is an example from clothing brand Lazy Oaf. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, they've been sharing fun, heart-wrenching TikToks with their stories every day. The curated series is called “Live, Laugh, Lie Down. Our Social Distancing Care Package, ”and it's a sweet and thoughtful daily dose of fun.

TikTok Instagram Stories - Lazy Oaf

Source: Lazy Oaf

4. Publish user-generated content

This is a big one. We mentioned earlier that positive reviews and comments from happy customers are a form of social proof. But do you know which is even better? User generated content.

Encourage your customers to do so Share pictures and videos with your products to their social media, tagging your brand. Then share them again with your own profiles (you will of course credit the author). This is what the Vancouver-based delivery service Legend & # 39; s Haul does on its Instagram Stories:

UGC - Legends Haul

Source: Legends Haul Grocery Delivery

Making your customers feel like they are being seen will build a closer relationship between them and your brand. When customers take pride in showing off your products on their social media, you are more credible to new visitors (aka prospects).

But wait, that's not all. Every time a customer shares a picture or video with your product, their followers can see it and interact with it. What better way to meet a new audience than through such real, organic referrals?

5. Post often

Once your social media presence is gaining traction and you're building a following, you'll want your audience to keep you posted.

A regular booking schedule helps you stay visible and relevant. How would you expect potential customers to interact with your brand without any content to interact with?

6. Work smart

All of this may seem a bit overwhelming, especially when you're a marketing team of one. The good news is that you don't have to manually publish everything and have to keep a constant eye on all of the individual networks and accounts you manage.

The Hootsuite social media management platform can help Manage your entire social media strategy from one place. This contains:

  • Write, schedule, and publish posts for all of your social media accounts
  • Find the best time to get your posts published to best suit your goals
  • Boost organic posts and promote them as ads right from your dashboard
  • Manage incoming messages from all your social channels and deliver timely responses
  • Monitor social media for mentions of your brand and have relevant conversations
  • Analyze your performance across networks with easy-to-read, customizable reports

Hootsuite Best Times to Post

Source: Hootsuite

Manage your entire social media ecommerce strategy from one place and save time with Hootsuite. Schedule and publish posts, engage audiences, and measure performance from a single dashboard. Try it for free today.

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