The year 2020 has been full of challenges and uncertainties with the pandemic in force. The effect of the trending Coronavirus has been tremendous across all industries. With lockdown, travel restrictions, many stores being partially closed, and other hurdles, businesses have had to change their pattern of working. And this is where social media has gained much importance.
According to research, more than 4.5 billion people are using the internet, that’s around 59% of the world population. And social media users who are active have crossed the 3.8 billion mark, over a 9 percent increase since last year. In 2021, more than 2.14 billion people globally are expected to buy goods and services online.
Social media gives people an apt platform to connect with each other, to interact, to share their views and opinions, shop online, and a lot of other things. This feels more essential especially when all of us have been confined to stay home more and venture out less. It has also helped businesses establish a substantial web presence, generate more leads, and increase web traffic.
Benefits of using social media
- Your online reach increases and helps create better brand awareness.
- You can drive more traffic to your page with attractive and creative visual content.
- There is the ease of interacting with customers that can help in serving them better and build loyal customers.
- With an option to choose from a variety of content, you can increase customer engagement.
- There is a good chance of gaining more focus here with the scope of hosting several activities on different platforms that can help grow your store’s business.
The importance of social media can be strongly seen in its focus areas. Yes, it is all about connections, relationships, and engagements. Social media is a significant driver of traffic for websites. It can certainly get you more leads and can play a vital role in increasing the sales of your e-commerce store.
But with a wide range of social media platforms, how can an e-commerce store pick the ones that will serve its brand right? By focusing on a few social media channels, you can design a campaign that yields a high return on investment. According to data, we see Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest top the charts, followed by Twitter, Youtube, Snapchat, and so on. Let’s have a look at some of these platforms that have been gaining more traction and attracting marketers.
With over 2.6 billion monthly active users, Facebook is the biggest social network worldwide. Its huge audience makes focusing on this platform the key to driving potential customers to your e-commerce site.
Facebook is incredibly powerful for advertising. It’s a complete database of information that any business can use to deliver targeted ads to its ideal customers.
Facebook excels in targeted advertising, which has become an essential part of e-commerce customer acquisition strategies. With data of people of different ages, gender, interest, and location available here, any business online can find a set of new potential customers.
With a pay-to-promote feature and a Facebook business page, an e-commerce store can use these in its favor.
Instagram is more of a visual platform that has over a billion users worldwide. According to statistics, 56.3% of Instagram users are females, and 43.7% are males. Over 70% of shopping enthusiasts turn to Instagram for any product discovery.
Users can freely interact with the creators here. Moreover, this platform has influencers whose word of mouth makes a lot of difference, and people prefer to follow them.
Shopping on Instagram gives e-commerce brands the ability to create a storefront to help Instagram users explore products with a single tap. They can share products through their posts and stories. They can create a clickable tag that will take the curious visitors to a product description page featuring more valuable information.
With Instagram, you can engage better with your followers. And with influencers on board, you can attract more audience and have them stick around for a long time.
Beginning in 2020, Pinterest had 367 million monthly active users worldwide.
Pinterest is one of the best platforms if you want to promote your e-commerce store. It is the place where 90% of the decisions happen. Known for its wide range of creative, aspirational, and product-based posts, people use this platform to decide on their purchases.
The Pinterest rich pin is an offering by Pinterest that provides users with links, references, and product recommendations for achieving particular looks, décor objectives, recipes, and project designs. It inevitably influences the audience and is worth to be a strategic part of an e-commerce store.
Your e-commerce business can grow exponentially by investing in some marketing efforts on the right social media channels. It can encourage users to connect with you in a better way.
So, as an e-commerce store, when you plan to reach out to your audience through these social media platforms, you will also have to consider doing a few things,
- Set your goals right, the no. of followers you are looking at, the number and type of posts, visitors and conversions, audience growth and engagement, and the sales you are looking at.
- Understand the content needs of your customers. Follow their conversations on sites and build your content accordingly.
- Share information. It is all about creating a good experience for your audience. Share valuable information and build a level of trust with your audience and sales will follow in the process.
- Leverage on the data. Use the analytics to understand your customers’ behavior, which content gets the best views, the time when people engage with the content, where the traffic is coming from, etc. You can use this data to post appropriate content at times that receive the most engagement on each respective platform.
When your strategy is in place, use some of these social media marketing tactics to boost traffic and grow your e-commerce business,
- Share the right content that is valuable, entertaining, and balanced.
- Be consistent with your content. Post regularly to drive traffic to your website.
- Optimize your posts with high conversion keywords and some visual elements.
- Use the reviews, product reviews by your customers can help influence the buying decisions of other visitors.
- Make use of visual content, image-driven marketing as images are more attractive and can pull more traffic.
- Interact with your followers, hold live chats, and have discussions.
- Maintain an active blog with useful information to create smaller posts for social media and keep the interaction ongoing.
- Run some promotional campaigns from time-to-time.
With the right strategy and social media marketing tactics in place, your store can reap excellent results.
The importance of social media for e-commerce can be seen in these examples, showcasing social media done right by them,
Nike is very active on Pinterest. It uses a lot of motivational images with motivational quotes. It even has different accounts for different customer segments.
Pinterest is where people curate content, but Nike creates original content for this channel. Nike uses its branding and products in its motivational quote images. So, its content serves as its ad, builds brand awareness, and attracts more visitors.
So, you can include motivational quotes for your product images, if it works for you, or you can find a humorous way of doing so. Also, create content that is appealing to your segment of customers.
Another example would be this home improvement store Lowes, which uses valuable video content on Facebook.
For example, a video post says “Backyard becomes kids playroom” where Lowes shares ideas to transform an outdoor space into a beautiful and creative space for kids to play, to have some fun outside.
Videos not only will get more organic reach but also have a better engagement. Videos provide valuable and compelling content for the audience, grabs more attention, and keeps them engaged. It also makes them share your content with others, driving more traffic to their Facebook page.
Create content that is useful and interesting at the same time. You can create and upload videos, have a helpful promotional post, drive traffic to your e-commerce website, and further promote your Facebook page.
Amazon makes use of Instagram and Snapchat to reach out to its audience. Right from social engagement to purchases, Amazon uses social media channels to promote its products, reach out to a broader audience, and link them back to Amazon’s product pages for the final sale.
Like, here came a message for Amazon’s Alexa, to hear a few of her tricks and treats. Similarly, Amazon’s cup of cheer speaks of shopping for the upcoming festive season, saying it’s never too early to shop for a gift.
Build a social media strategy that will drive traffic to your website, keep people engaged, and generate more referrals and sales. Be authentic in your approach. Aim at creating a moment of delight for your audience.
And always measure your performance to make your strategy better.
Last but not the least, the pandemic is the right time for e-commerce brands to use social media to the best of their capacity. The importance of social media for any e-commerce store can only be experienced by using the available channels today. Social media plays a vital role in our everyday lives, now more than ever before. It serves as a great platform for every e-commerce store to reach out to its audience, build brand awareness, make sales, and create loyal customers.
With the right social media strategies, marketing plan, and with various examples to learn from, you can easily start with social media platforms where your customer is more likely to hang out. The future of e-commerce is contained in social media.