If you’re running an e-commerce business, the odds are high that you already know how to use social media platforms like Facebook, even if only for personal use. Given that, you might be thinking that social media marketing is a piece of cake. The truth is, it takes a lot of time and effort to get a successful social marketing plan up and running so that the conversions start rolling in.
Identify Your Purpose
We all want to bring in revenue, but to make the most of social media marketing, think more deeply about what the purpose is of your social marketing. Defining your purpose will help you to sharpen your approach. Some questions to consider include:
- Which specific products or services do you want to sell?
- Do you want to educate your customers?
- Are you trying to attract new customers or to upsell existing ones?
- Are you looking to establish your brand as a trusted authority in your niche?
- Who is your target demographic?
Determine the Right Platforms
Based on the information above, especially the demographic information, you can choose the best social media platforms on which to focus. Identifying who will be using your product and what their interests are is essential to any marketing plan. Many experts advise starting with only a few social media sites when getting started. You can narrow your choice by determining which platforms are most likely to reach your target audience. As a broad example, research has shown that women are more active overall on social media than men are. However, this is especially apparent on sites like Pinterest where women prevail, and males are more active than females on the professional networking site LinkedIn.
As the adage goes, “That which can’t be measured, can’t be managed.” What are the numbers goals of your social marketing plan? Are you aiming for a set number of new followers per month? A set number of shares or re-tweets? Have you identified what percentage of these should be leading to conversions in your e-commerce store? One way to determine the effectiveness of your social media campaign is to use Google Analytics to track activity on your website. Then use Google Analytics’ campaign-tracking feature with trackable links for all of your social media content updates. Using this free tool can give you a clear idea of the return on investment you’re getting from your social media marketing.
In order to build engagement and brand loyalty, you need to create value for your customers, and consistency on social media is crucial toward that end. Posting new content 2-3 times per week is a general rule of thumb. Keep in mind that you don’t want every post to be a sales pitch. Trying to sell in every post is a sure-fire way to drive customers away from your social media page and your brand.
Are you concerned that you might run out of ideas for fresh content? The latest trend for content format is leaning heavily toward the visual. Consider posting an inspiring quote overlaid on an image. Make sure the quote relates to your brand and that the image features your logo or business name somewhere. Asking an open-ended question, again, in a visual format rather than merely text, is another way to spur engagement and customer interaction.
Manage Your Marketing
Managing a successful social media campaign can become a very time-consuming 24/7 endeavor since the Internet never sleeps. You can outsource this work to a social media management firm, but there is also a bevy of affordable online tools and apps that can help to schedule and manage social media content. Some of these tools target specific platforms while others work across multiple channels. Buffer, SproutSocial, and ScheduGram are examples of tools that can schedule and automate posts to your various social media accounts.
Social media is in a never-ending state of change, and making the most of it can sometimes seem to be more of an art than a science. However, if you can get a handle on these five basic stages, you’ll be on the path to social marketing success for your e-commerce store.