eCommerce, retail sales made through websites and the internet, is a multi-billion-dollar industry. Some of you may be relying on your website’s SEO to generate most of your traffic and, if you are, it’s time to find out how social media can help generate eCommerce sales. Here’s what you need to know about the relationship a few of the biggest social media sites have with online sales, and the best way to showcase your products.
Tips on Connecting eCommerce and Social Media
Keep Facebook Social Media Outreach Conversational
If you tried to sell products on Facebook, but failed, that’s most likely because that isn’t what this site is set up for. Over one billion users hop onto the platform each day, but it’s not because they want to shop – they want to communicate. In most cases, it should be reserved for conversations with your buyers. (Unless you’re talking about using Facebook ads, but that’s another conversation.)
Be creative, posting images, videos, and text that people want to interact with. Try telling stories, asking questions, and sharing other posts you’ve seen getting traction from a related or vendor’s page. Don’t expect a lot of people to click through your Facebook posts to order a product – but do expect them to like and share your posts, and click through links to helpful, relevant content. Read Facebook eCommerce success stories to find what’s worked for big retailers.
What Should You Post on Twitter?
Links to blog posts and other lead-generating content make great tweets. Like Facebook, Twitter is also an excellent platform to start discussions or jump into conversations. Questions, conversation starters, promotions, and quotes are often used to generate followers and website traffic.
Hashtags are used on most of the social media sites, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, but they may cause a decline in engagement rates on Twitter, so use them sparingly. Four hashtags seems to be too many, according to AdWeek. Be sure to run A/B testing on your posts to find out whether or not including 1–3 hashtags or none at all seems to make a difference. Remember, each niche and even each company may have different results in what works. Study the rules of engagement for ecommerce brands on Twitter.
This is Why You Should Share Product Images on Pinterest
Pinterest is great for storing DIY craft ideas, sharing how-to’s, and yes, even (you guessed it) product posts. 93% of pinners use the platform to make purchase decisions. So, if you’re sharing your products at the right time, users are more likely to click through and buy there than they are on any other platform.
You’ll want to enable rich pins on your site to make the process run more smoothly. Rich product pins will automatically show pricing and descriptions, helping viewers make a more informed decision on whether or not they are interested before they click through. Anyone clicking
through your product pins is pretty much qualified before you ever even do any nurturing.
Tip: Use vertical product images if Pinterest is on your marketing radar, since they’re more likely to get repinned.
Pay Attention to Your Inboxes and Mentions on Social Media
Automation and scheduling can be great for social media posts, but you can’t just set it and forget it. As a retailer or wholesaler, one of your key business selling points is customer service. This means that you have to pay attention to what people are saying to and about your brand.
78% of customers have bailed on a transaction because of dissatisfaction with customer service. Because much of what is said on social media can become public (and even go viral), it’s critical to respond to every inquiry on every platform. Great service can ultimately lead to higher sales.
Which Web Builder Platform is Best for Product Sales?
The popular opinion is that WordPress is the best website builder platform for SEO, and it’s my favorite platform to use because it’s easy to understand and because of all the plugins you can use with it. But other platforms are gaining popularity, and for good reason. For instance, Shopify has beautiful, social-friendly, responsive themes and BigCommerce is becoming more popular with their wonderful eCommerce analytics. While Weebly has always been easy to set up.
The best way to decide is to make a list of your eCommerce needs, then check out the features of more than one web builder platform.
Questions to Ask
- What is your web design skill level?
- Will you be using affiliate links?
- How important are apps and plugins?
- Do you have any coding experience?
Understanding your needs will help you make the right decision and be sure that you use a site that is optimized for social.
Now that you know how the world of social media ties into your eCommerce strategy …
- Use Facebook and Twitter to generate traffic to your blog posts and landing pages. Reel in ready customers with rich product pins on Pinterest.
- Monitor your social media mentions and inboxes to stay on top of customer service.
- Use an optimized platform to host your online store.
What are your favorite social media tools, and how have they helped generate sales? Join the discussion below.