The COVID19 pandemic has proven recently just how important e-commerce platforms are and how widely they are used all over the world. With shops being closed and nowhere to get your shopping fix, you realise you have all of the shops with all of the products you could ever need just sitting in your pocket.
From a business owner’s point of view, with all of those online stores out there how do you point users to yours? This is where social media is key, social media connects millions of people all over the world so essentially if your online store is on social media, you have the power to reach every single one of those users. (with the right targeting).
How do we use social media for e-commerce effectively? The first thing you need to do is correctly set up your pages on each platform you choose. Some platforms will work better than others, for example if your store sells jewelry you are best off looking at Instagram and Facebook. If you’re a news outlet Twitter would be for you. So you need to get a clear picture of who and what your store is. Set yourself goals, e.g. a certain number of site visits, number of sales in a month etc.
Next up is fill in all of your information correctly. There’s nothing worse than a storefront on Facebook with missing contact info or business information.
Once you have your pages set up, go ahead and invite your friend list or anyone you think is relevant. The more likes and followers you have to start, the better. It could also cause a sequence of events of your friend liking the page, then their friend and so on.
The main thing to remember about having a social media store is to stay active! Posting regularly is key to getting engagement. The more you engage, the more chance you have of people reacting and engaging. Also Facebook favours more active pages in it’s search results pages. More can be found on that here. In posts, make sure you include a call to action either in a link to your website or “contact us here”.
Now, as much as we would like to sit here and say “if you follow these steps you won’t have to spend a cent” we can’t. Ad spend is a natural part of e-commerce and should be embraced. Your ad costs are all dependent on you. You spend as much as you want, for as long as you want and target who you want. Even Coca-Cola, Sony and Xbox use Facebook ads and they’re brands everyone already knows, so don’t be afraid to spend money to make money. Getting the hang of the ads could take you a few tries, but all of the way through there are guides and helpful tips to help you along the way.
Once you have your ads up and running, (be careful of Facebook’s ad review bots) then you should be well on your way to seeing leads come through and hopefully conversions too! It doesn’t end there though, the channels will require constant and consistent maintenance and updates to keep seeing those leads.
The best way to think of social media for you online store is, imagine that your social channels are store employees. These employees have the potential to bring thousands of people to your store each week while you do other work and are happy to work mostly for free. If your channels aren’t being used, then these employees are just sitting around wasting time. You would be mad not to put them to good use!