Social Media Marketing has always been a hot topic, with a number of raging controversies and rumours surrounding it. While many Ecommerce business owners have green cards flashing in support for this marketing approach, backed up by their established businesses that boast colours of success and triumph, another significant lot of Ecommerce Websites owners also consider Social Media as a ‘good-for-nothing’ strategy. In this state of confusion and discord, it becomes extremely difficult to reach a safe conclusion.
Is Social Media Marketing the right tool for promoting your Ecommerce website? Or will it lead your years of hard-work down the drains? Before pouring in funds and investments in a marketing strategy, it is very important that you are thorough with every possible pros and cons involved. Let us first get a clear image of ‘Social Media Marketing’ from the point of view of your Ecommerce business platform.
Confused? Let us take a pick…
Negating all rumours and negative speculations, it is absolutely safe to conclude that Social Media Marketing is a boon for the Ecommerce community. ‘Moderation’ is the key to successful social media Ecommerce website marketing strategies. The cloud of negativity that covers this marketing approach is a result of incessantly implemented strategies at the wrong place, and at the wrong time. If you are equipped with adequate knowledge, appropriate DOs and DON’Ts and the correct methods to channelize this approach, success is just a step away.
Will Social Media Marketing Boost My Sales?
Another question that hovers over Social Media Ecommerce Website Marketing is that will these strategies directly help in generating sales? Regrettably, the answer is no. A research shows that only 30% of the purchasers opt for social media websites as a viable option to make trades. Social Media Marketing strategies will play a very insignificant role in directly fetching you buyers.
Why Social Media Marketing?
Don’t let the bleak sales figures let down your morale. Low direct sales doesn’t necessarily mean low success rate. Social Media Ecommerce Website Marketing strategies have witnessed sky-rising success rates, even with minimal direct sales. The simple explanation to this being, that Social Media Marketing strategies cover a different realm of purpose. It provides a medium for you to integrate valuable data from potential customers and portray your products in such a way that it fits in your client’s ‘need-list’ perfectly. Social Media is simply a channel for a two-sided information trade between you and your potential audience that helps you understand your client’s needs and as well publicize your products in an appropriate manner. Rather than generating direct sales, Social Media Marketing approach does much more. It brings you into the limelight, helping you create a positive brand name and, thereby, generating volumes of indirect sales.
Social Media-Ecommerce Link
With the advent of technology, computers and internet have now become more of a necessity than a luxury. The world has shrunk to a computer screen where one can search, find and shop for anything from gaming consoles to common salt and can connect to friends and relative across the globe at the click of the mouse. With the invasion of smart phones, tabs, and other portable devices, the whole market place has drawn itself on the users screen. While it has become easy for the consumer to locate over the internet the product/service required, it has also enabled the service providers to connect with their clients and potential customers like never before. Unlike the real-world market/business scenario where the business must wait for the customer to come to the business, virtual world has enabled the business houses with proactive selling through ecommerce websites.
Ecommerce website marketing is the new age selling concept that has carved a niche for itself over the last decades. Coupled with the social-media revolution, e-commerce business houses are now exposed to an audience of unfathomable numbers. These numbers are so colossal in nature that marketing predecessors of yesteryears could never have imagined, even in their wildest dreams, of reaching such a huge audience- an audience comprising of all age groups, religious beliefs, ethnicity and an audience that defies national boundaries. Thus, it is imperative that any e-commerce business tap this potential and make the most of this opportunity.
How to Tap the Social Media Revolution?
Before one starts marketing ecommerce websites through social media it is important that proper data be collated and analysed for a thorough understanding of the product perception. It is one of the foremost and most important steps as it helps provide a great foundation for building e-commerce on social media sites. Once the ecommerce websites have been activated on the social media, keep a regular track of which products sell, which strategies are working and which areas are still grey. Constantly reassess you strategy and build upon it!
Now that you are ready to invade into the world of Social Media, let us explore the various approaches. Following are 5 social media tips to help your ecommerce website marketing make the most of the social media revolution.
#1 Connect with the Audience
- Allow Social Sharing
The biggest advantage of social media is that it forms a nexus of social relationships that has a snowball marketing effect. Social sharing buttons must be placed strategically so as to allow maximum sharing by the viewers. Social sharing buttons will allow the customers to talk about your product or service on their respective social media platform, giving your business publicity. Sharing also allows your business to be more visible as a happy customer can beam about your product and recommend it to his/her friend or followers at large. Place these social sharing buttons on your website, company blogs and on the more non-obvious places like company invoices and thank you mails.
The Ecommerce giant ‘Jabong.com’ also flashes off the sharing tools with each product as a social media marketing strategy.
- Enable Social Logins
The primary motive of Social Media Marketing strategies is to get acquainted to your audience, their needs and their choices. Apart from sharing tools, social logins also prove highly resourceful in contributing to this purpose. It helps you track the activity on your website.
A major problem faced by compulsory-login websites is that around 80-85% of the individuals drop the idea of purchase once the registration form shows up. This can be attributed to the endless forms requiring a too much personal details and info, or the difficulty faced in filling up the forms when accessing website from mobile, tablets, etc. Integrating logins to famous social networking sites like facebook, twitter, etc. make it convenient for the customer to explore and shop.
A good example of this technique can be the ecommerce website 20dresses.com. The website works on a compulsory login system that can be easily integrated with facebook in just one simple click.
- Introduce Check-Ins
Of late check-Ins have been gaining tremendous popularity in the social media world. Check-ins are a great way to highlight your business and spread a positive brand impression by the means of word of mouth and reference. Websites like Foursquares and Walgreens have successfully been using this technique, by offering various incentives and discounts per check-in, to build a strong customer base and enhance their ecommerce ROI.
#2 Set up shop without actually selling
Once the ecommerce websites are up, the next obvious step to ecommerce website marketing is to set up accounts on the two social media giants – Facebook and Twitter. Setting up accounts does not mean just running promotional campaigns for your product or service and enabling share/like. The customers are looking for more than that! Constantly update your page/feed with articles, current-users feedback, customer stories, informative and helpful write-ups, etc. Content marketing of this sort helps engage the customers and helps build trust.
India’s current leading Ecommerce website Flipkart uses both Facebook and Twitter as effective social media tools for enhanced profit graphs.
One of the biggest advantages of social media platforms for ecommerce websites marketing is that it enables customer engagement like never before. Ecommerce websites that aim to be successful must make the most of this open dialogue feature of Facebook and Twitter. Creating compelling content via videos, games, apps etc helps engage the customers. It creates an impact on the customers as it involves the customers in action, and games and apps are the most accessed components on portable devices. Also, video content is the most engaging and the most shared content on any platform, thus embedding videos on the ecommerce websites and social media platforms helps create awareness about the product. Another way of looking customer engagement is by addressing complaints and problems over the social media channels. This will help create trust amongst the customers and will promote customer delight.
#3 Get active on Instagram/Pinterest
Ecommerce websites with visually appealing products must make the most of these next social media tips. If your ecommerce website has particularly appealing and photogenic products then Instagram and Pinterest are just the thing for you. These social media platforms are image-driven, thus can help you promote and market the products more effectively. These social media accounts can help promote growth by giving the users sneak-peek of what the product is about. If used judiciously, these image-driven services can help boost business by either previewing an upcoming product or by creating visually attractive user-manuals for the products.
Websites like Pinterest allow the users to pin and separate out products they like for later review or purchase. Pinning products or maintaining a ‘Wishlist’ folder directly from the website with a convenient ‘Pin It’ button adds convenience in access. A secondary benefit of Pinned items in a customer’s folder is ‘Second-hand marketing’. The pinned products also become visible to your customer’s friends and followers, thereby, helping you advertise your products with not even a single penny spent.
#4 Collaborate Data
With your sharing tools, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram profiles all set and working, it’s time for you to collaborate and integrate data and stats on customer behaviour. Carefully analyse the sharing trends and behaviour by keeping a sound track of the products with maximum shares and the websites where they go. Once you know which service or product fetches the maximum customer attention, you can renovate your web portal to highlight those particular services more than the ones with minimal popularity. Also, once you are aware which websites are used by your customers and from where you receive a good response, you can market your products and services on those particular pages with a renewed and a stronger strategy.
Other tools like Google Analytics also prove to be of great help for click tracking and obtaining other related graphs and statistics.
#5 Be Generous to your Followers
Creating loyalty among the fans is a great asset for any ecommerce website. Be generous to your followers and gain loyalty and trust for a larger and a steadier fan following. Offer discounts and other incentives to dedicated fans, take suggestions and feedbacks on your products from time to time, keep posting helpful tips and advices related to your sector, etc. All in all, make it a point to show your followers that you acknowledge their support and are willing to give back as generously as them.
Social Media Ecommerce Website Marketing strategies can do wonders to your ecommerce business, as long as you practice them judiciously. With simple methods and right techniques, you can easily reach out to your target customers and convince them to use your services by creating a good brand name that stays. Social Media provides a vast platform to engage local as well as audience from overseas with the resources of just one computer and a creative mind. As long as you let your creativity flow and entertain your audience with innovative ideas, social media holds ceaseless opportunities for you to make the most of. So quit pondering and start implementing now!