Although your website is probably where the sales magic happens, showcasing your products and services on social media, and actively engaging with your customers on key platforms, needs to form an integral part of your e-commerce strategy. It is simply no longer an option to opt out.
According to statista.com, Facebook alone had over two billion active users in the last quarter of 2018. And runner-up Instagram had one billion. To put that into perspective, the current population of the WORLD is 7.7 billion…
Here are five reasons why social media should play a major role in any successful e-commerce marketing strategy:
1. Your shoppers and potential shoppers are already there…
A recent infographic by Smart Insights demonstrated what happens online in just 60 seconds. Every single minute, there are 3.3 million Facebook posts, almost 66,000 pictures uploaded on Instagram, and 29 million WhatsApp messages exchanged. That’s pretty incredible!
Additionally, recent research by the Global Web Index found that, on average, people spend an incredible two hours and 22 minutes per day on social media platforms.
That may seem pretty jaw dropping to the non-millennial generation. However what it means is that your customers are not only active on social media, they are choosing to spend time there every day.
So brands and businesses need to be present, too. The sheer size of the social audience is just too big an opportunity to miss out on.
2. It provides you with an outlet to engage and interact
Historically, some brands and businesses have shied away from social media. This is because they are worried about negative comments and poor feedback from customers.
As we have already highlighted, it is no longer OK to simply ignore social media platforms. The shop window they provide to your customers and future customers is far too important.
Rather than see social media platforms as a potential for negative feedback, costly ad campaigns and time-consuming for the marketing team, embrace the opportunity to actually engage and interact with your customers.
There are plenty of examples of how brands have used social media to interact with consumers, and even turn potential customer service challenges into positive interactions and sales. KFC recently ran a campaign in which they promoted genuine customer complaints about their fries, before announcing that they would be replacing the side. It proved to customers that their social media feedback is taken seriously, making them feel valued. It also converted into sales as people wanted to try the new fries.
Engaging with your customers can help to bring your brand to life and inject some personality and even humour into business transactions. Greggs’ social media storm with its viral vegan sausage roll saw sales rise 7.2%. For the first time in the company’s history, sales surpassed $1 billion.
3. You can target your audience
A well thought-out social media strategy will, of course, identify your brand’s target customer. You can then select the best platforms and content to optimise sales and awareness. With each social platform attracting its own specific demographic, it’s easier for brands to identify the optimal channels for success.
Paid-for social media content is a crucial part of any strategy to ensure visibility. Both Facebook and Instagram allow you to drill down with the targeting to really hone in on your target customer base.
Got a new make-up product set to disrupt the industry? You can exclusively target young women who follow other similar brands or engage with posts about beauty or skincare. By showcasing a mix of content including features, video, tutorials, promotions, lives and photography, you can ensure that you’re getting the right messages to the right people. This will help to drive traffic and ultimately product sales.
4. It will drive traffic and e-commerce sales
Creating a strong social media presence across your key platforms will drive awareness of your brand. It will also showcase your products in a visible “shop window”. If you implement a strategy that adds value and directs people to your products, it will eventually drive traffic and sales.
Sounds easy? Not always – and it can take time to build an engaged audience. However, done well with a great mixture of engaging and relevant content, you’ll soon start to see results and deliver true return on investment.
Informative content that adds value for readers can also help to boost your SEO, which – again – forms a big part of any successful digital sales strategy.
5. It’s the future of customer service
Any brand or business worth their salt will know that excellent customer service can be an important differentiator. More consumers demand real-time responses to their queries due to the rise of mobile use. Using social media to deal with these issues is paramount to success.
Luckily, technology can help out. Social listening tools and bots help to identify customer comments, queries and feedback. Brands can swiftly respond personally, proactively and quickly to situations that could otherwise be out of their control.
Social media and digital communications have conditioned customers to expect super fast response times from brands and services. As a result, businesses are required to take a bold approach to customer service to ensure positive brand sentiment and brand loyalty. So take advantage of this powerful tool, and let it form an integral part of your e-commerce strategy.
At Jam, we offer every aspect of social media management, from building profiles to posting content, community engagement, managing campaigns and implementing paid social strategies that deliver true ROI. Want to have a chat about implementing a winning strategy that will form part of your e-commerce communications outreach? Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.