8 Actionable Tips to Use Social Media for eCommerce Sales
Social media and eCommerce are now inseparable regardless of your industry, product, or service. If you want to make sales, setting up an online store isn't enough. The “build it and they will fade long ago”. Today you have to go where your customers are active, social media.
With an average of 3 hours are spent per day per person on social networks and messaging, being in the social space can put your eCommerce store at an advance. Social media offers opportunities that allow you to grow your email list, attract and retain new customers, and solidify your brand presence.
There are plenty of tips on how you can use social media to increase sales, but where they fall short is that most of these popular tips apply to companies with massive online budgets and brands that have already acquired a considerable following.
Instead, I'll be sharing eight actionable tips to use social media for eCommerce sales, whether you're just starting or a do-it-yourself marketer looking for helpful tips.
1. Create a Social Media Strategy for Your eCommerce Store
Before suggesting influencer marketing, ads, and ideas for content, let's talk about the most ignored yet crucial part of your eCommerce store's social media success, a social media strategy.
Most brands fail at social media because they have no social media or content strategy. They're mostly playing it by ear, throwing content out, hoping that someone might buy from them or go viral.
Using social media for your eCommerce store without a strategy is like taking a megaphone out into an empty lot and shouting "Sale" hoping that someone might hear you. You may think this is crazy, but many brands (and maybe you) have been guilty of doing this.
Stop, take a step back, and start creating a social media plan. At Wishpond, we've seen first hand the power of a great social media strategy, bringing results and recognition for eCommerce brands looking to connect with customers truly.
If you're not sure where to start, here are some social media strategy resources we know are sure to help and get you on the right track.
- How to Create a Social Media Marketing Plan: An 11-Step Template
- How to Make a Social Media Checklist (Free Template)
- 50 Essential Social Media Tools For the Modern Marketer
2. Update Your Social Media Profiles
Blow off the dust from your outdated social media profiles and keep them up to date. Customers are relying on you to provide them with up to date information so that they can:
- Get in contact with you
- Find out if you're a credible eCommerce brand
- Learn how to shop from you
If you have an old phone number or outdated link in your bio, then it's time to do some spring cleaning on social media profiles. Here's a quick checklist to help you go through what needs to be updated and what needs to be added if it's missing from your profile.
- Update Your Bio Picture: Your eCommerce social media bio is a direct representation of your brand. When searching, followers tend to look at the profile picture before reading the username. We gravitate towards visuals more than words. It's human nature. If you have an old logo or outdated image as your profile bio, then it's time to update it with something new and professional.
- Update Your Social Media Cover Images: Remember that first impressions count, so be sure to have an updated cover image on your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Pinterest page. If followers see that you haven't updated your cover image since 2016, you'll give the impression that you are unprofessional and out of touch.
- Update Old Pinned Posts: Facebook and Twitter allow you to pin a post that will always appear at the top of your profile feed. When was the last time you refreshed that pin? Takedown that event or sale from last year and update it with something fresh to start pushing new sales.
- Update & Track Your URL link: Update any old links and be sure to use UTM or google analytics to track your eCommerce sales and customer activities. If you’re not sure where to start here are 8 Amazing Ways to Use Google Analytics for E-Commerce.
3. Make Use of Your Social Media Real Estate
Let's talk about real estate, social media real estate to be specific. Social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter have limited spaces for you to add information and content about your eCommerce brand.
So you should use every feature to your advantage. This means adding your website to your bio, CTA buttons and [link in bio features] to help push customers to your eCommerce store.
Here are prime social media real estate features you should always take advantage of with Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter:
- Instagram Bio (Always pitch your eCommerce brand)
- Add Links in Stories
- Select CTA and Contact Button on Your Profile
- Use and Encourage Hashtags & Tagging
- Use IGTV for Sell Products
- Use Instagram Live Features to Update Fans
- Use Instagram Close Friends to Share Exclusive Content
- Fill Out Business Contact Information Section
- Organize & Optimize Facebook Tab Options
- Pin Important Facebook Post
- Upload Cover Image/Video
- Set Your Business Category
- Add Your Website/ Store Location
- Add Opening Hours
- Use Automated Replies/Welcome Messages
- Upload Content to Facebook Stories
- Upload Banner Image
- Create Eye-Catching Banner Images
- Add Website & Social Media Links to Profile
- Use YouTube Premiere Feature
- Go Live on YouTube
- Create Stories & Post on YouTube
- Use Keywords in Your YouTube Videos
- Utilize the Sharing Options After Publishing Your Videos
- Upload a Banner Image
- Add Your Website URL
- Use Hashtags in Your Tweets
- Pin Important Tweets
- Use Periscope to Go Live
- Use Tweet Polls & Q&A Features
4. Push Discount Landing Pages for Lead Generation & Email Marketing
Earlier, we spoke about social media real estate, but let's zoom into that little link you place in your bio.
Create a landing page offering your eCommerce followers discounts and deals to capture emails for retargeting and lead generation. Instead of sending them straight to the sit, gate it by providing a free 10-20% discount on their first order. If they browse your website without making a sale, you can use the email to retarget them back to your website.
With Wishpond's latest landing page builder Canvas, you can create landing pages in minutes (15-minutes to be exact). Unlike traditional landing page builders that force you to create landing pages in fixed grids, templates, and boxes. With Canvas, you're no longer boxed in!
Canvas allows you to move objects and text where you want on a page! Simply select an element and drag it wherever you'd like. Plus added features and tools you won't find anywhere else:
5. Improve Your Social Media Customer Service
About 86% of people will hesitate to purchase from a business that has negative online reviews. Negative reviews come from customers who either don't like your products or customer service.
Customer service on social media is now expected. Your online customers decide when to shop, so why is your customer service team offline?
Not answering a complaint decreases customer advocacy by as much as 50%.When it comes to social media, people check followers' unanswered comments on your post and how fast a brand responds to direct messages. This will influence them to either think you're unreliable or safely make a purchase knowing that your team is there to help.
Take time to answer direct messages, tweets, inboxes, comment, and actively listen. Take up social listening, and this is taking inventory of what's being said about your brand by followers, customers, and brands.
For more help on how customer service and negative reviews can affect your business, check out the 4 Best Ways Brands Can Respond to Haters on Instagram.
6. Host a Giveaway or Content Online
Hosting a giveaway or contest on your eCommerce social media platform is much more than just giving away free things. It's the ability to gain brand awareness, increase sales, and allow your brand to fast track into your niche community.
For instance, did you know that hashtag contests have higher conversion rates when compared to 25 other contest methods?
Not to mention, we found that approximately 89% of industries are using video contests to promote their products and services. Contests and giveaway have proven to be an essential part of any social media strategy.
Here's an overview of your contest and giveaway rules to help you map out your first social media contest:
- Use the Correct Terms
- Choose a Goal for Your Instagram Giveaway
- Write Clear Guidelines on How to Enter
- Include the Start and End Date of the Giveaway
- Follow Instagram & Facebook Contest Guidelines
- Include participation restrictions
- Decide How to Announce the Winner
- State How the Prize Will Be Delivered
Need a step by step guide to help you host your contest and giveaway? Here are some helpful guides:
- 20 Clever Social Media Giveaway Ideas You Can Use Today
- 24 Amazing, Real-World Facebook Giveaway Examples
- How to Run An Instagram Giveaway: 5-Step Guide
Need help with your next contest ?
Book a free call to learn how our team of contest experts can help you create high converting social media contests today.
7. Post Content People Want to See (Consistently)
Most people will tell you to share content that your followers will love, which is right, but first, you have to make sure you share content you love first.
Create content that speaks to your brand's lifestyle, products, and services, mission, or long term goals.
Never limit yourself to only a few content types. Here are a couple of different categories of content you can share on your social media account:
- Behind the scenes images
- Product images
- Customer reviews
- Social Contests or Giveaway
- Sale or Promotion
- UGC (User Generated Content)
If you're not sure what type of content to post, look for other brand’s social media accounts like Instagram similar to yours to see what kinds of content they're posting for inspiration. You can look at these 10 Amazing eCommerce Instagram Accounts and Examples We Learned From
and see which works best for you.
If you're using photos for your content, take a look at how Etsy shares product images with their seller. They have a community of creative crafters, ensuring that the content they produce highlights or connects with them.
8. Invest in Social Media Ads to Boost Sales
As great as organic traffic and growth are, we can't deny the fact that they’re slow, and when you're trying to make x amount of purchases per month slow just doesn't seem to work.
On the other hand, leaning heavily on paid growth can lead to a high follower count, but low engagement and periodic sales. Experienced social media managers suggest that you keep a healthy balance of paid and organic growth for your social media strategy.
Before creating an ad or boosting a boost, establish your ad budget to measure your social media ROI. Each social media platform has its own tips and tricks to get the best results for your Money. Take the time to learn the social media ad landscape, especially for platforms like Facebook, which ranks as one of the highest pay to play social media platforms.
Here are some popular ad guides we know that can help you get the most ROI for your social media ad spend:
- 13 Facebook Ads We Got That Were Right on the Money (and Why)
- For the Gram: The Anatomy of a Perfect Instagram Ad
- Top 9 Most Common Pinterest Marketing Mistakes
- How to Setup a YouTube Ads Campaign in 10 Easy Steps
Maintaining your eCommerce social media pays off in the long run. With proper planning and consistency, you can increase sales, connect to customers, and solidify your brand presence on social media.
Here's a quick recap of the eight actionable tips to use social media for eCommerce sales:
- Create a Social Media Strategy for Your eCommerce Store
- Update Your Social Media Profiles
- Make Use of Your Social Media Real Estate
- Push Discount Landing Pages for Lead Generation & Email Marketing
- Improve Your Social Media Customer Service
- Host a Giveaway or Content Online
- Post Content People Want to See (Consistently)
- Invest in Social Media Ads to Boost Sales