The face of social media is changing. When social media was first introduced, marketer were keen on knowing the ways to use it for customer acquisition, lead generation and brand promotion. Gradually, we saw a broader application by eCommerce brands where they utilized the same for customer support and grievance handling. Today, when it is almost 2019, we cannot just witness an application but a complete evolution of social media platforms into Social Media eCommerce.
- Facebook is allowing on-site transactions through its Messenger Payment.
- Twitter is allowing “Buy Now” buttons in tweets to purchase a product without leaving the app.
- Instagram has stated supporting Shopify stores directly.
- You can find purchasable Pins on Pinterest.
- You can even find a “Buy” button on a Tumblr post.
With such a mammoth evolution, if your online business is still untouched by a strong social media strategy, it is missing out some boundless prospects to build a brand, acquire new customers, retain old customers, and make some good sales. With the best eCommerce marketing ideas and competent eCommerce SEO checklist, social media strategy is equally crucial in today’s scenario. In fact, many entrepreneurs prepare a plan beforehand when they initialize their project to create online store.
For what it is worth, you are not too late to own a great social media strategy for your eCommerce business. This article will give you a comprehension of how social media is a boon for eCommerce business with each platform’s unique features and prospects for the eCommerce businesses.
What does social media mean to eCommerce?
SEO is still kicking, and it is one of the major determiner of website traffic for an eCommerce site. However, the role of social media in fetching traffic to an eCommerce site is exceedingly substantial these days. People are spending more time on their social media handles. Jumping from one app to another, utilizing unique features and different content formats, an average internet user is active on at least 6-7 social media accounts at a time. To add up, 98% percent people are active on at least one social media network. (Statista)
In all this, if anyone who is evolving with this colossal consumption of social media is eCommerce. Be it a meme, an interesting image, a funny video, a shocking truth, or a Newsflash (Not Fake-News of course), social media has all the ways to bind an eCommerce audience to it. If nothing, then users browse the WhatsApp app every now and then to check out their messages.
Projections reveal that 90% of businesses around the globe will start using social media for customer support and service by 2020. It is just a glimpse of what social media, as an accessible channel of mass communication, can do for the businesses. Last year, in 2017, there were 2.46 billion social media users, which will reach to 2.77 billion by the year of 2019.
On an average, consumers spend at least 2 hours on different social media platforms.
With a market so mammoth and engaging, it is safe to say that eCommerce can exploit these platforms for more than just brand promotion and customer support.
What is your social media strategy? Here’s mine:
With different social media platforms offering different modes of interaction, diverse content to distinctive audience mentality, you can pick out a bunch of ecommerce marketing ideas for your own online business. You can utilize each of the platforms to accomplish the five major stages of an eCommerce sales-generation and customer acquisition process-
- Build Connections
- Build Engagements
- Generate unique sale
- Build Relationships
- Generate Repeat Sales
Social media have been an obvious channel for website traffic generation for a long time now. If users experience some positive interactions with your brand on social media, they are three-times more likely to recommend your brand in their circle. Please note that the term “circle” is defining both the offline acquaintances and social media connections of the users.
What are ways to make positive interactions?
You can start by ensuring that content you post on your social media handles are resonating with the needs and requirements of your target audience. Next step could be addressing the grievance posted on different social media channels. The grievances may not be posted on your official channels, they can be anywhere. People might just post something on their personal Facebook wall, mentioning you with a Hashtag. Track these mentions, and address if there is a query or compliant. Who know, with just a smart addressing, you might convert a complaint into a lead or success.
77% customers agree to experience a positive influence about brand after chatting with them on the social media. Considering the other 33%, if they see a positive communication between the brands and the consumers on social media, they too would be encouraged to develop a positive perception.
What type of content should you post on social media?
If it was a few years back, the major type of content that were suitable for posting on social media were Images, Links, Written, Gifs, and Videos in the respective order. However, the scenario in 2019 would be a little different. Video is becoming extremely popular among the brands as well as the social media audience. If you intent to gain some good traffic for your eCommerce business then start investing in social media video marketing. Below are a few stats that will change your perception-
- 82% of users on Twitter mainly watch video content.
- YouTube, a social media platform for videos, consists of one-third of total internet traffic.
- Platform like YouTube and Facebook consist of 45% of people watching at least an hour of video in a week.
- Globally, people watch more than 500 million hours of videos on YouTube each day.
- 87% of online marketers have started using videos for brand promotion and other marketing stuff.
Do you invest in social media Paid Ads?
At this very moment, you must be having an active paid Ad campaign running on Google AdWords for sure. Search engine traffic is crucial and is important for survival in a long race. However, you cannot ignore the importance of social media traffic, if you intent to gain some quick results. To compete and generate repeat sales, you need to build a strong social media connection with your target audience.
The search engines Ad will stop fetching the traffic once discontinued, but social media Ads will not. Users connecting with your brand through Paid Facebook Ads or Instagram Ads can be converted into followers and would remain the same even after the Ads are not running any more. That is why, 94% of the brands rely on Facebook paid Ads, followed by Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.
Live streaming puts the power in your hands
Social media live streaming is an asset for the brands. If you have nothing, then just take out your mobile phone, open the Facebook app, and live stream some behind the scene stuff. Live video is still an under-utilized alternative by a majority of the brands and business. In the state of social report 2018, only 31% of businesses have utilized live videos in one or the other form. Rests 61% have never gone live with their target audience or social media followers.
It is clear that a majority of your eCommerce competitors are not leveraging this ultimate tool for marketing. The ability to stream live videos is indeed a way to move a step ahead of your rivals. For starters, just know that Facebook is one of the most popular and accessible medium to stream live videos, followed by Instagram, Periscope, and YouTube.
- 80% of internet users prefer live videos instead of reading a content post.
- 82% of content consumers choose live videos over Images, Gifs, VOD, or any other content on social media.
- Live videos on Facebook receive three times longer engagement than recorded videos.
- Live videos get ten times more comments than posted videos.
Social media and its prospects are way too big to explain in single article. However, I have tried my best to explain all the prominent aspects that surely result into rewards for the businesses. I can mention few of the other aspects as well, which you can Google and read about for better comprehension:
- Facebook Chat bots, and its utility as a customer support plus conversion optimization tool.
- Pinterest Buyable pins as an emerging trend to conduct direct selling from social media.
- Social media in-app purchase (social selling) for direct selling on platforms like Facebook.
- Social media Re-marketing for comprehending your audiences’ preferences and addressing the pain points in a micro-personalized manner.
- Influencer marketing through collaboration with social media influencers.
Each social media platform has its unique way of interaction and networking. The exclusiveness of the features for each platform may range from image sharing (Instagram and Snapchat), micro-blogging (Twitter, Facebook), video sharing (YouTube), to b2B marketing (LinkedIn) and many more. Bottom line is, one need having a separate strategy for each of these platforms. One-approach fits all is not applicable if you wish to have an efficient social media strategy. Hence, it is better to create online store backed by the possibilities to implement all these trending social media strategies.