According to Pew Research Group, more than 70% of American adults use social media daily. More importantly, an Adweek report found that four out of 10 social media users make purchase decisions based on what they see on social networking sites.
So, whether your goal is customer support, content marketing or making product sales, social media is a low-cost, open-ended marketing tool that businesses can use for brand building, customer engagement and driving traffic to e-commerce websites.
When considering using social media for ecommerce, here are three key areas to focus on:
In the world of ecommerce, as in brick-and-mortar retail, it's all about location, location, location.
Where you establish your ecommerce business on social media directly impacts the type of customers you attract and your brand's reputation, so when considering social media sites, it's important to select platforms best suited for your business type, goals, and customer interests and needs.
However, with so many different social networking sites available and steep competition on all of them, it can be difficult to make your ecommerce brand stand out on each platform. The best approach may be concentrating your efforts on the platforms that give you the best return on investment—even if it's only one or two.
Since knowing where to focus your attention is vital, here are some general guidelines:
Boasting 1.59 billion users worldwide, Facebook is the most popular social media marketing platform. Reaching almost three-quarters of the U.S. adult population, it has the most evenly-distributed demographics of any platform.
Suited for: Videos and curated content
Twitter is the second-most recognized social media platform and ranks fourth in usage, with 230 million active monthly users, though its users tend to follow brands more than on any other platform.
Suited for: News, trending topics, links to articles and blog posts
With a user base now exceeding Twitter (over 400 million active users monthly), Instagram has a user engagement rate of 4.21%, which tops both Facebook and Twitter. Instagram is skewed toward a younger demographic (18-29) and 75% of its user base is located outside the U.S.
Suited for: High-resolution photos, quotes, animated GIFs and Insta Stories
The third most-popular social platform, Pinterest is used by 21% of all American adults, with a user base that is 84% female, making it the ideal place for fashion, home goods, cosmetics, jewelry and photography businesses.
Best suited for: Step-by-step photo guides, infographics and products photos
Boasting more than 2.2 billion profiles (though only about 4 million are active), Google+ users are 67% male with an average age of 28, and the majority are in technical and engineering fields, making it a great platform for sharing tech content.
Best suited for: Blog posts, with the goal of ranking on Google
Known as the ‘professional' social media, LinkedIn has 107 million America users, 38% of whom have an annual income of over $75k, with 79% of its users being 35 or older. The platform is dominated by high technology (14.3%), finance (12.4%) and manufacturing (10.1%).
Best suited for: Professional content, company news and jobs listings
If you think about all the physical businesses you've ever gone into, the ones that stand out in a most positive way had a well-put-together look and feel, with an attractive logo, color scheme, lighting and interior design. In the minds of customers, a well-put-together branding aesthetic shows how seriously companies take their reputation and could even affect customers' spending behavior.
This sentiment also applies to social media properties, since online visuals play an important role in brand perception. All of your social profiles and branding should be consistent across platforms or it could create a disconnect for your customers and users.
Here are things to think about.
Consistency is the key to almost any business, and ecommerce is no exception. Imagine eating at your favorite restaurant and finding the appetizers, entrees and dessert items taste different every time. It probably wouldn’t be your favorite for long.
Posting consistently on social media gives customers and other users a reason to follow you. Without consistency, followers never know if you will have new content or not. So it's crucial to make sure you have a content creation schedule or editorial calendar and stick to it.
A couple of ways to stay consistent are:
Curating content from across the Web
Creating your own unique content can be challenging, so curating content from social media platforms or websites is a great way to provide a steady flow of social media posts, without turning off your audience with self-promotional fluff.
Select topics related to your industry
No matter what type of ecommerce business you run, be sure to select and post on topics that are directly and closely related to your brand. By focusing on your primary area(s) of expertise, you can establish yourself as an authority and go-to expert for people interested in your line of business, no matter what it may be.
By carefully considering the location(s) of your social media presence; focusing on the look, the feel, the memorability of your brand; and being consistent with post scheduling and the type of content that you share, you can help pave the way for long-term ecommerce success.
Do you have an ecommerce store but struggle to leverage social media to boost sales and conversions? Dotlogics can help.