More than a quarter of all social media users log onto social media platforms so that they can find products to buy. On top of this, more than half of internet users aged between 16 to 64 buy a product online every week. And this is only increasing.
The takeaway here is that social media and eCommerce are two powerful forces that need to work closely together.
You can’t run an online store without focusing on the right social media marketing strategy. The stronger your social media presence is, the more successful your eCommerce efforts will be.
It’s that simple.
But in a world where social media is always changing, it can be tricky to keep up with social media trends and understand exactly how to market your products through social media.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about social media marketing for eCommerce, including social media strategies you can use to grow your online store.
Using Social Media for eCommerce
Social media eCommerce marketing is all about reaching your customers directly and promoting your products – ideally, using social media to generate direct sales.
Unlike marketing strategies for other types of businesses, customers can discover your brand and complete their purchase online. This means social media is essential for online stores to to acquire new customers.
This includes utilizing social media platforms to:
- Increase the visibility of an eCommerce website
- Sell products directly on social media platforms
- Connect and engage with customers
- Offer customer support
- Gather industry and market insights
- Foster a community around the brand
Understanding Social Commerce
Social commerce, or social selling, refers to the use of social media platforms to facilitate online transactions and commerce. With social selling features, customers can purchase products directly from a social media post or ad.
Social commerce is an emerging trend that is becoming increasingly popular as more people use social media platforms to research and purchase products. It streamlines the buying journey and helps many brands boost impulse sales from their social media accounts.
While it’s important to include both traditional marketing and social commerce in your social media strategy, it’s important to understand the difference between these two terms. While marketing is focused on generating awareness and driving traffic to your store, social commerce is focused on actually selling your products directly through the social media channel.
6 Ways to Use Social Media for eCommerce
There are many ways that you can use your social media platforms to help your eCommerce business generate more sales.
Let’s break down some of the main social media marketing goals and objectives you can achieve for your online store.
1. Generate Brand Awareness
One of the most important reasons to use social media for eCommerce is to generate brand awareness.
Social media platforms have billions of active users, making them powerful tools for reaching a large and diverse audience. By having a strong presence on social media, you can reach potential customers who may not have otherwise found your eCommerce store.
Social media allows you to connect with your target audience, build relationships with them, and showcase your products and services. By actively engaging with your followers and providing value, you can establish your brand as a trusted and credible source.
2. Drive Traffic to Your Online Store
Social media is not just about generating awareness around your brand; you can also use it to send qualified traffic to your store.
Social media can be used to drive traffic to your eCommerce store by sharing links to your products, promotions, and other relevant content. This can help increase sales and drive revenue for your business.
Compared to traditional marketing methods, social media marketing is relatively inexpensive and can reach a large audience for a relatively low cost. In fact, you can gain loads of traffic for free with social media marketing.
3. Sell Directly
Social selling, or social commerce, is big business. This is when your brand sells products directly through social media apps.
There is TokTok shopping, Instagram shopping, shoppable stories, shoppable ads, and more. The main idea is that you integrate your online store with social media and tag products in your posts, ads, and videos.
Users can tap the product tag and get directed straight to a product page on social media. This is a great way to streamline the customer journey and open up some new sales channels for your business.
4. Run Ads
If you want to reach a large number of customers fast, then running product ads on social media is one of the best ways to do this.
As we mentioned above, you can even create shoppable ads on most social media platforms, which allow users to land on a product page without leaving the app. This can be a great way to generate quick, impulse sales.
The great thing about running ads on social media is that you can gain access to loads of data on social media users. This lets you target your ads very specifically so that only the right potential customers see your ads. Doing so will help you achieve a greater ROI.
5. Improve Customer Engagement
Social media allows for two-way communication between brands and customers. This allows you to build relationships with your customers and enhance their engagement with your brand.
Online stores can use social media to answer customers’ questions, engage with their audience, share reviews, and more. It‘s an essential way to connect directly with consumers in a digital business environment.
6. Promote Your Products
Of course, a key feature of using social media for eCommerce marketing is to show off your products. What better way to do this than to utilize highly visual social media platforms?
You can create awesome product images and videos, share your products in action, and even share user reviews and content of your products. You could show exactly how your product functions and what it looks like.
This is important for eCommerce, as your customers will want to get a good feel for your products before they make a purchase. This can be tricky to do if you don’t have an online store.
How to Use Social Media for eCommerce: Proven Strategies
Social media marketing can look slightly different for eCommerce because you want to connect with consumers directly and sell products. You aren’t just using social media to educate and inspire. Instead, your main goal of social media marketing should be to generate sales directly.
To help you achieve this, here are some of the best strategies that eCommerce brands can use on social media.
Short-form video has become a dominant form of content on social media, known for its high engagement levels. With unique algorithms on video-based platforms like Instagram Reels and TikTok, you have the opportunity to increase brand awareness and reach a wider audience.
As an eCommerce store, incorporating video into your social media strategy is crucial. While still images offer limited information about your products, video allows for a more in-depth look. Customers can see the products in action, get a better understanding of how they work, and learn how to use them.
By combining video content with social selling platforms, you can also drive impulsive purchases through social media with ease.
As we’ve already mentioned above, selling products directly on social media is a powerful tactic for eCommerce stores to generate more sales. Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok are the best places to do this.
The easiest way to pull this off is if you use a Shopify store. This way, you can easily integrate your Shopify products directly with Instagram and TikTok and automatically sync your social profiles with your online store. This is effortless.
In fact, with Shopify, you can also integrate your store with external marketplaces – like Etsy and eBay. This can be a great way to generate sales through different channels and audiences. This is one of the best Shopify marketing tactics.
Now you create shoppable posts, or shoppable ads, to try to gain more sales directly from your social media platform. Check out our complete guide to social commerce for more tactics on how to pull this off.
Partnering with social media influencers in your niche can help you reach a wider and more engaged audience. Influencers can promote your products on their channels and provide valuable product insights and recommendations to their followers.
The best tactic is to work with micro-influencers. Sure, they have a smaller following, but they also tend to have a more engaged audience. Not only this, but micro influencers’ audiences generally trust the influencer more, as their promotions seem more authentic.
Just make sure to work with influencers who match your niche and target audience. This is one of the most important eCommerce marketing tactics for any kind of online retailer to tap into.
Beyond all of the interesting and unique strategies, social media is all about sharing great content. Get this right, and you’ll be able to build a large and engaged audience.
Share engaging and informative content, such as product demos, tutorials, and behind-the-scenes looks at your business, to educate and entertain your target audience.
Think about what your audience is interested in or what questions they have, and try to create content around this. Don’t worry; all kinds of brands can do this. Just understand your target audience’s desires and pain points, and create content that addresses this.
Use visually appealing images and videos to showcase your products and highlight their unique features and benefits.
Remember, people can’t look, feel, and interact with your products the same way they would if they were shopping in-store. This means you should go all-in on making sure you showcase your products as much as possible on social media.
Create realistic videos of your products in action, share images of your products in use, and get your audience to really understand how your products look and perform. This is a great way to establish trust around your products and inspire your audience to make a purchase.
User-generated content (UGC) is some of the most valuable content your brand can use on social media. Unlike content you create and share, sharing content made by other social media users helps to establish more trust. This is an important element of social proof, and it’s essential for building a large, engaged audience who sees value in your products.
Encourage customers to share photos and reviews of your products on social media and showcase user-generated content on your own channels to build trust and credibility with potential customers.
These days, you can even pay UGC creators (similar to influencers) to create “UGC” for you, which you can share on your profile. This is more authentic than sharing messages from your brand, and it’s the kind of UGC that Gen Z prefers.
Run Social Media Ads
Run targeted social media ads to reach a wider audience and drive traffic to your eCommerce store. You can use targeting options like interests, demographics, and behaviors to reach your desired audience.
Depending on your social media channel, you can choose between a wide range of different ad formats and targeting options. These ads generally offer a great ROI and are one of the best ways to help you reach more customers and generate more sales.
If you only rely on organic social media growth, you’ll be unlikely to end up generating the kind of sales your brand is after.
Run Contests and Giveaways
Run contests and giveaways on social media to increase engagement and reach. Offer attractive prizes, such as your products, to incentivize participation.
If you’ve seen eCommerce brands on social media, chances are you’ve come across a giveaway. This is a popular marketing tactic for e-commerce on social media because it works!
While not a new idea, there are numerous ways to run a social media giveaway for your business. Done correctly, it can help you create more interest and engagement on social media, as well as direct drive sales.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Choose the right prize – the best prizes are your products, as they will attract people who are interested in what your business has to offer, i.e., potential customers. You could also offer a store voucher or something related to what you sell.
- Determine the giveaway rules – establish what people need to do to enter and how the winner will be chosen. Ideally, this should include a way to generate user-generated content (UGC) around your online store, such as sharing the giveaway or creating a video using a branded hashtag. The easier the entry requirements, the more entries you’ll receive. However, by adding a few extra requirements (like tagging a friend), you can generate even more buzz around your giveaway.
- Create a landing page – setting up a landing page for your giveaway is crucial as it allows you to embed an entry form where you can capture participant details, which you can then add to your customer relationship management (CRM) system.
- Promote on the right social media channel – make sure the giveaway is a good fit for the type of content on the social media network you’re using.
- Select the winner and notify the audience – announce the winner via a social media post and send them an email.
- Send a follow-up email to all participants – you’ve just generated an email list based on all giveaway participants, so be sure to use it to your advantage. A good strategy is to send an email with a small discount coupon as a consolation prize. These people have already shown interest in your products and have them top-of-mind, so a discount could be a great way to directly boost your sales.
Live videos are a fun and under-utilized form of social media content. These videos can be a great way to establish a more authentic connection with your audience, share more unique and “exclusive” content with your users, and provide more insights into your products.
Use live video to give customers a behind-the-scenes look at your business and provide real-time product demonstrations. This can help build trust and increase customer engagement. You could even combine a live stream on social media with a giveaway for something really special.
Check out our complete guide on how to go live on TikTok for more tactics.
Offer Customer Service
Use social media as a platform for customer service by responding to customer inquiries and resolving issues in a timely and professional manner.
80% of consumers these days expect brands to interact with them on social media. This is why it’s so important that you use your social media channels to respond to your customers and create a community.
Make sure you respond to comments, ask questions, and make it easy for people to get in touch with you via social media. The more open your brand is, the more positive a customer experience your social media channels can help you create.
As you can see, social media offers loads of opportunities for eCommerce stores. You don’t only have to post regular old feed posts that display your products. This is boring and won’t get you much reach or engagement.
Instead, you can use social media in many different ways to promote and sell products, engage your audience, and build brand awareness. By setting the right social media marketing goals and using the right tactics, social media can be a powerful tool for growing your online store.
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