Welcome to social media: the world where your customers spend the majority of their time. Most ecommerce brands already utilize social media accounts on channels like Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. But are you offering the best social media experience to meet and connect with your potential customers? Have you considered untapped channels that could bring you a lot more potential for growth? That’s why we’re here today!
We’re sharing our complete guide to social media best practices for ecommerce brands for 2020. We’ll help you identify your business goals, plan your social media strategy, and share a few ways you can grow your business with the best ecommerce social media marketing plan.
Before you jump into trying a bunch of new social ecommerce tactics, you should identify your purpose, goals, budget, and understand who you’re targeting online. Simply understanding these concepts will help you narrow your focus and come up with strategies that actually work.
Understand your ideal buyer personas
One of the biggest mistakes people make on social media is sharing content without really knowing who they’re sharing it with. You can’t assume your ecommerce business is for anyone and everyone—who exactly are you trying to engage with? Do you sell skincare products for teenagers suffering from oily skin and breakouts? Are you craft supplier offering stickers, paper, and scissors for people who enjoy scrapbooking?
Every brand has specific products they sell, which means you’ll have a niche group of customers you should target with your social channels. Understand the age group, geographic location, gender, personality traits, hobbies, and more about your ideal customers. Knowing this will help you come up with really targeted messaging that will convert them.
Build a social media marketing budget
Understand your marketing budget for ads. What budget do you have to use Facebook or Instagram ads, to hire influencers to recommend your products, and to use your marketing team’s time towards your social media channels? Answering these questions will guide your future decisions about the scope of your brand’s ability to support your initiatives.
Identify your purpose of using social media
Did you know that customers spend 20-40% more with companies that they have social media engagement with? Businesses use social media to increase engagement, build relationships with potential buyers and customers, and foster connections that will last a lifetime. Aside from engagement, relationships, and connections, there are two main goals for using social media marketing: to drive traffic to your website or to increase sales.
We know, you’re probably thinking, “I want both!” But focusing on one goal at a time will have a better impact on your business. Start with increasing engagement to drive traffic. Once you have a ton of followers and good traffic flow to your website, then you can start thinking about increasing sales on these channels.
Essentially, build brand awareness first so you have more people to sell to.
Consider the tools you’ll need
Finally, consider what tools you need to accomplish your goal with social media ecommerce marketing. A few tools you may want to consider are:
- A social media management and scheduling app (think about Buffer or Hootsuite).
- A chat or conversational Messenger app (we can help you with that!).
- A design app (Canva and Figma have free versions, or look into Sketch or Adobe Photoshop).
Using tools will make your life easier. From scheduling your social media posts, having automated messages that instantly engage with customers, to a simple way to design campaigns that are engaging and beautiful, tools like these can help you achieve your goal.
Ready to get started with a conversational Messenger tool? Chat with us today and see how Octane AI and help you scale!
The next step is to think about the exact social media tactics you’ll try to increase engagement. These tips can grow your followers, increase your opt-ins for marketing automation, drive traffic to your website, and eventually, boost your sales. Here are some of our favorite social media marketing ideas.
Engage through chatbots and Messenger marketing
Chatbots create human-like conversations with users through messaging applications like Facebook Messenger and SMS. They provide a minimal-maintenance solution for businesses that want to be available to answer customer questions immediately and in a personal way. That’s why 57% of businesses have found that chatbots deliver large ROI with minimal maintenance. Using platforms like Octane AI, ecommerce businesses can build conversations over Facebook Messenger to engage their customer base.
Messages that engage and convert customers include browse abandonment, cart abandonment, Sponsored Messages, product finder conversations, product launch announcements, order confirmation and shipping notifications, and more. These are all positive ways to engage with your customers through Facebook Messenger conversations.
Get creative with videos
Videos are one of the best ways to be seen by your ideal customer base. In fact, 80% of people prefer watching a live video over reading a blog post, and 82% of people would choose live video over any other type of social media post. Videos are a great opportunity to be prioritized on social media algorithms, and customers are more likely to watch your videos too. Here are a few types of videos you could be creating and sharing on your social media platforms:
- Livestream product announcements
- Showcase behind-the-scenes footage of your warehouse or office
- Share real customer testimonials to build credibility
- Create educational videos about how your products are made
- Show the best way to use your products
Create a secret community
Have you ever been a part of a private community of like-minded people? It can be fun to engage with people who share similar interests, humor, or desired entertainment as you. This is why over 1.4 billion people use Facebook Groups every month. About 15% of people that use Facebook Groups consider the groups an important part of their everyday life.
Creating a group on Facebook, a private Twitter conversation, or other secret online club is a fun way to make your ideal customers feel like they’re a part of something bigger than just your store—they become a part of a brand community. For example, there’s a private group dedicated to Skinny Mixes, a popular DTC beverage brand that sells calorie-free and sugar-free syrups for coffee and cocktails.
This group was made by Skinny Mixes customers, and it’s a space where people can share their favorite recipes and creations with other like-minded fans of the brand. With over 9,000 group members, this is a great opportunity for Skinny Mixes to have customers share their favorite products with others who are likely to purchase them.
Share content consistently
It’s important to ensure you have a doable content schedule that you live by. Posting once a month won’t be helpful for increasing engagement. Try to ensure you’re always posting a couple of times per week, and switch your content between blog posts, images, videos, testimonials, and other types of content you know your customers will enjoying seeing from you. Some studies have found that if you post at least 1-5 times a month, your clicks per post will start to increase. This is known as one of the fastest ways to get more traffic to your site. So make a working social media content schedule, and stick by it for several months to see results!
Offer Instagram and Facebook contests giveaways
The main purpose of a giveaway is to grow your follower base. That’s why you see so many Instagram and Facebook giveaways that make you tag a friend, follow the brand, retweet the message, or share the post in order to enter the giveaway. It’s truly a brilliant tactic to suddenly find thousands of new followers engaging with your content, checking out your website, and considering your products.
Contests have a conversion rate of almost 34%, which is higher than other content types. People who enter your giveaway immediately become new marketing opportunities. Doing a quarterly contest or giveaway will help you reach new customers and engage current ones.
Utilize your user-generated content
You may not even realize it, but if you have a large follower base your customers are likely posting about you. It can be hard to notice with all the other social media noise, but customers regularly tag brands in photos of them wearing or using their products on Instagram. Ecommerce businesses should be leveraging their user-generated content, like user photos, to promote their brand.
In a recent guide, Octane AI and Shoelace found that UGC actually outperforms ads because it’s more aligned with the type of content audiences enjoy consuming while on their social media channels. In fact, in the guide, we tested a UGC ad and a traditional ad. The ROAS on the UGC ad was 6.30, whereas the traditional ad only had 3.14. This is one way to leverage the content your customers are already creating for you.
Want to learn more about how you can scale your ecommerce brand? Get the free Shoelace and Octane AI guide here.
Social media opens up a world of opportunities for ecommerce growth. As long as you have the right plan, know your audience, and use the right strategies, you’ll start seeing positive results. There are a ton of tools available to help you with social media best practices, and Octane AI is one of them. As the Facebook Messenger marketing pros, we’re happy to work with you on a conversational automation strategy that best fits your business.
Feel free to chat (wink, wink) with us anytime!
This article originally appeared in the OctaneAI blog and has been published here with permission.