Last year, ecommerce sales topped $3.45 billion on a global level. That represents a 21% increase from 2018. With many people having to stay inside due to the outbreak, we can expect ecommerce sales to continue to grow in 2020.
Most of these sales decisions are affected by social media, in one way or another. Many consumers now turn to social media for shopping help.
Some 75% of shoppers have bought an item because they saw someone recommending it on social media. If you’re not using it, then you may not be doing your job correctly.
Concerning social media, we’re now going to discuss:
- Why your ecommerce store could benefit from
- How to track your KPIs and measure results correctly
- What you need to do to come up with a winning strategy
Let’s start from the beginning, shall we…?
Impact of Social Media on ecommerce
How do you get people to your store? Paid ads? Search Engine Optimization? While these two tactics are crucial to your success, the people that come from social to your store can’t be ignored.
The average store gets 20% of its traffic from social media. But that’s not the whole story, of course.
Here are a few more things you’ll see improved when you start using social media for marketing...
1. Two-Way Communication
Advertising on radio, TV, and even Google doesn’t allow merchants to see results from their marketing efforts for months at a time. You can use social media to communicate with shoppers every day to offer support, get their input on matters, and improve your services.
Actively communicating will increase customer satisfaction levels significantly. And if you succeed in wowing the customers enough, you can see a 30% to 50% improvement in such important metrics as upselling, repeated purchases, and product recommendations.
2. Highly Personalized Advertisements
Every traditional paid ad has to be as generic as possible. That’s simply their nature. They’re supposed to appeal to a wide variety of users, so you can’t afford to drive away anyone.
Social platforms let you get more personal with your customers and cater to them. Personalized advertisements can help you increase your sales by as much as 20%.
3. Potential Word-of-Mouth Marketing
With just a couple of words and clicks, satisfied shoppers can talk about their experience with your brand and give your reputation a good boost. This is what is known as “Word-of-Mouth” marketing.
It falls into two categories: you have organic and amplified WOM.
Organic happens spontaneously and amplified occurs when merchants encourage their customers to talk about them, give good reviews, and so on. Although amplified WOM is proven to work, only a third of stores are actively using it.
Why You Need to Track and Analyze Your Results
What’s the biggest obstacle that prevents people from optimizing their strategy? In many cases, it’s because they don’t take the entire process seriously enough.
Social media is a viable tool. If you want to get serious results, you have to take it seriously. You need to track your efforts, evaluate, and make changes to them along the way.
Be prepared to fill in a lot of Excel sheets during the first few months of your social media campaign. What are some of the metrics you should track?
Here are the most important ones to look out for:
- Engagement: The number one area you should be concerned with. This is the amount likes, shares, and clicks your posts get. It’s the catalyst for improving all other KPIs.
- Reach: This is an older marketing metric that’s still relevant to this day. It will show you how far your brand message is really traveling.
- Conversions: Having people interacting with your content is good for your brand. But you need to know how many of them end up purchasing something from your store.
Develop an ecommerce Social Media Strategy in 10 Steps
Now that you’re aware of all of that, let’s move on to the planning process. The more detailed your plan is, the more effective it will be.
Here are a few steps you need to follow...
1. Set Your Goals
Most inexperienced users start investing in social media marketing with dreams of going viral. We hate to break it to you, but your chances of going viral are practically nonexistent.
That’s why, before you even make the first move, the goals you want to accomplish need to be set in stone.
To plan everything out, you need to answer these questions:
- How does my target audience spend their free time?
- Can they be reached through social platforms?
- What actual platforms do they even use?
- How many referrals do I get from social media?
- Do your competitors find customers this way?
2. Identify Your Target Demographic
Although social media will undoubtedly get more eyes on your business, keep in mind that it’s also there to get your current customers involved.
This is what your plan should look like:
- Analyze your current website visitors
- Find out what their age, gender, etc. are
- Learn about your shoppers’ buying habits
- Create your “ideal customer” profile
- Cater to them and attract similar people
Want to access data to discover the demographics of your followers? Then you should give Sprout Social a try. It gives you insight into your customers’ age, location, and more. The social tool comes with a free trial period, so if you want to test it out before purchasing it, you can do it.
3. Pick Your Preferred Platforms
The key to a successful strategy is picking the right platform. After all, this will guide your entire strategy. It lets you know how much content you need to create, what type, and how to optimize it.
But you can’t just jump on the most popular platform without research.
Just look at TikTok, the current “trendy” platform. While it may be the fastest-growing network today, it’s mostly occupied by teens. If you’re not selling your products to teens, then what’s the point?
Pick platforms wisely, based on audience research. If you have a largely female demographic, maybe you can have some use from Pinterest. 42% of women use the platform and their pins that include prices have 36% more likes.
4. Create a Social Media Content Plan
When you know what your goals are, what’s your ideal audience, and which platforms you want to attack, now’s the time to come up with a concrete content plan.
First, answer these questions:
- How many times a day do you want to post?
- Do you want to post the same material on multiple platforms?
- Should you create different content for each account?
Keep in mind that most researchers recommend you post a minimum of 3 times and a maximum of 14 times every week. Your choice should fall somewhere in between those two numbers.
5. Collect Different Content Ideas
Next, you need fresh ideas for your content. Start by creating a list of possible topics that would interest your target audience. Look at the customers, what they talk about on social media, what posts they comment on, and so on.
When coming up with different content ideas, it’s always good to know what your competitors are doing. Since you have similar target audiences, you can see what content their shoppers like.
Need a tool? Use Mention to analyze the competition and share insights with your team members.
6. Plan Out Your Content Ahead
Managing a social media campaign requires you to be well organized and prepared for any situation. If you’re spending a couple of hours every week, brainstorming your posts, you’ll end up wasting too much time.
That’s why you need to plan your content way ahead of time.
Enter Agorapulse. The tool for planning your content ahead, posting it, and assessing the effectiveness of your campaign. Agorapulse gives users unlimited access to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter stats, which gives a complete overview of the content strategy.
The content calendar comes with 20 post ideas for all of the most popular social media channels, as well as holiday tips and hashtag help.
7. Create Engaging Content
Sticking to one type of content won’t do you any good in today’s landscape. To get the attention of your audience, you need to diversify your offering.
Here are a few content ideas to get you started:
- Make your written content top-notch
- Include images and videos in your posts
- Create graphics and infographics
- Make short animated videos
Knowing how many visitors you get from social media, how many of them convert, and what revenue you get from will allow you to know the true value of social media content.
8. Select the Right Posting Time
At what time of day should you post? That is a tricky question, but we’ll give you some pointers to help you answer it.
It depends on multiple factors, some of which include:
- The time zone you’re in
- Your customers’ time zones
- The age of your preferred customers
- Their choice of social platforms
- The number of platforms they use
So let’s say that you’re targeting American shoppers. Then you should know that 80% of them live in Central and Eastern time zones. Typically, when you’re running a B2C operation, it’s best to post on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, when most people have some free time.
9. Schedule Social Posting
Automation is the way of the future. Having one of your employees post every single piece of content you create will only lead to dissatisfaction. Your workers want to work on something more challenging. Leave this stuff to AI-enabled tools.
With dlvr.it, you can generate a schedule for several platforms and post at the same time. In addition to social networks, it can also post on Google My Business and Slack. The tool scans your RSS feed, finds high-quality articles, and shares them with your followers.
10. Interact With Your Customer Actively
What some people fail to get is that social profiles need to be managed actively. Having engaging content can only do so much. Your success heavily depends on your ability to meet your users’ demands.
Gorgias can help you do just that.
For example, you can actually connect your Facebook page and Instagram account and manage all your interactions from the help desk.
Worried about missing a crucial comment? Don’t worry, Gorgias can help you with that as well.
Let’s take Facebook for example. You can set your dashboard, every time someone posts a comment, the system will automatically create a ticket.
Boost Your Ecommerce Sales With Social Media
That’s what an average ecommerce merchant should know to sell with social media. It’s important to make a note of these steps for when you launch your first social campaign.
Here’s a quick recap:
- The right social platform will help your store reach full potential
- Failure to calculate success will only lead to failure
- Plan every step of the way carefully and take things one at a time
Take some time to see the list of the most popular ecommerce social media tools available today. These are tools gathered from 10,000 top Ecommerce stores online.
Lastly, if you really want to centralize all social media messages in one place, learn about Gorgias' social media features and take a minute and sign up for Gorgias for free.