Once upon a time, businesses communicated with customers when they came into the store. Then it was newspaper ads, direct mailers, and maybe phone calls.
Once selling moved online and ecommerce was born, new avenues for customer interactions popped up. Websites, email, online ads, and now, social media are, by far, the most popular communication channels.
And the king of these new channels is, hands down, social media. Which means your approach to communicating on social media has a major impact on your brand.
Here’s what you need to know about building an effective ecommerce social media strategy.
The Convenience of Social Media
Social media has become one of the simplest—and most pervasive—methods of connecting with your customers in shopping history. Almost everyone has a social media account or two. In fact, the New York Times reports that at the beginning of 2016, internet users spent ~50 minutes of EVERY day on Facebook. That’s a lot of time to get a customer’s attention with targeted ads.
Just think about it. In the span of 30 seconds, you can take a picture of a new product and post it to Instagram. Then, you can share that photo on Twitter and Facebook from within Instagram. In a few clicks, you’re reaching thousands of potential customers. You can have your phone notify you when someone retweets, likes, shares, or interacts with you in any way. Your social media can literally be managed from your pocket.
This sort of customer availability is unparalleled.
The Power of Social Media
In 2015, 20% of online shoppers said Facebook played a role in their shopping decision-making. 10% said Pinterest was a part of their process. That means customers are already checking you out on social media—how are you playing around with that?
If ever there was a time to tinker with your social presence, it’s now. For example:
- Offer flash sales and channel-specific coupons (“Free shipping with code Twitter16!”).
- Solicit product or company reviews
- Ask recent customers to tag you in product pictures.
An important part of a good ecommerce social media strategy is to promote sales/specials/coupons across all of your channels. Then, take a look at the data to find out which of your social media channels generates the most revenue.
Choosing Which Channels to Target
If you feel overwhelmed by all the channels out there, pick one or two that you feel best encapsulate your brand and use those specifically. Build up your presence on these specific channels and respond quickly to all feedback—positive and negative.
From 2014 to 2015, ecommerce orders from social media grew 202%. Social media has become a lot like Amazon—customers will search on there to make sure what they’re buying is legitimate and from a tried and true company.
So what is your company doing on social? And what are doing to promote those channels? Can customers review you, tag you in pictures, expect help? Are you linking to social in your emails and on the branded tracking page? If you’re trying to connect with customers, your ecommerce social media strategy needs to address all of this and more.