Guest post by Manish from E2M Solutions
Social media has taken over our daily lives in countless ways. From the way we interact with our friends, family, and strangers on the internet, to the way that customers and brands connect, it is nearly impossible to imagine our lives without social networking. When it comes to consumerism, social media is quickly growing in its influence over customers’ behaviour and purchasing decisions.
According to Statista, 58% of consumers agreed that they have been influenced to buy something because of social media. 48% of customers have bought something that they discovered via social and 18% have bought an item directly through it.
Clearly, social media is more than just a marketing tool. It can easily be a major sales channel for online stores, and since it is accessible to nearly everyone, it is one of the best ways that smaller ecommerce businesses can compete against Amazon.
So, how can your ecommerce business take advantage of this to increase conversions?
1. Be Sure Your Platform Integrates Easily
Social media is all about impulse – most people spend mere seconds looking at a post, and attention spans on these sites are incredibly short. Therefore, you want to make sure that your social media posts make it incredibly simple to make a purchase.
First of all, you will need to use an online store builder that can easily integrate with social media. For example, some ecommerce platforms allow you to create Facebook stores so that customers can buy directly through your brand’s page rather than your website.
Your inventory and pricing will stay automatically synced on both channels and the payments will be processed in the same way. Sites like Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest also allow business accounts to create posts with embedded links that lead to a checkout page. Be sure that your ecommerce platform is compatible with these networks so that customers can check out with just a few clicks from the post itself.
2. Focus More on User-Generated Content
Since social media is primarily full of content that is shared from individual accounts, try to make your content fit in by encouraging user-generated content (UGC) whenever possible. UGC is extremely influential because it is relatable and genuine. Furthermore, customers trust the opinion of other consumers more than they trust what a brand claims to be true. Therefore, if people see lots of content from satisfied customers, they will be more willing to give your brand a try.
UGC can be a mix of several types of content. Pictures and videos that come directly from customers are extremely powerful and useful, but reviews and testimonials can be just as influential.
71% of customers actively seek out UGC when they are considering buying a product so you can make it much easier for customers to find by including this type of content directly on your social pages.
3. Don’t Get Too Caught Up in Promotions
It is important for brands to remember that social media is ultimately about connection and engagement – not just sales. Customers do not typically go on social media with the intent to buy. Therefore, your social media strategy needs to be focused on building brand awareness and connecting with your target customers. In fact, according to Sprout Social’s report, the majority of consumers will unfollow a brand if their social pages are overly salesy and promotional.
While you certainly want to highlight your products on social media, it is vital to balance your content out with the kind of information that your followers want to see. The same report from Sprout Social also found that customers preferred entertaining, inspiring, and informational posts even more than content regarding sales and discounts.
Make sure that the majority of your social content is focused on providing your target customers with content that they want, rather than blatantly pushing sales. This approach can actually do more harm than good to your conversion rates.
4. Experiment with Different Media Types
Social media is a perfect avenue for establishing a memorable brand aesthetic, particularly through visual elements. But it is important to remember that your audience and their preferences will vary from platform-to-platform. For instance, videos and live streams are extremely popular on Facebook, while Instagram focuses more on picture/visual content. Twitter is more commonly used for individual interactions, YouTube for informational video content, while sites like LinkedIn focus on the professional side of things.
Although it is important to have a certain cohesive aesthetic setting for your social media pages, branch out and try new media from time-to-time to connect with various audiences. Remember that what may perform well on one site might not resonate on another, so be sure to track engagement rates to find the marketing mix that works best.
Social media is only continuing to become a more influential part of our daily lives, particularly in regards to the way we shop and interact with brands. Ecommerce businesses of all shapes and sizes need to make the most of social media and use it to connect with more customers, and ultimately, boost sales. This will be one of the best ways for smaller online companies to stay competitive while creating meaningful relationships through both informational and transactional content.