To run a successful eCommerce company, you must know how to exploit the online environment best to promote your business, brand and products. Larger retailers can turn to expensive catalogue distributions, in-store promotions, and traditional advertising. However, a properly implemented digital strategy can still see your products compete at a fraction of the cost.
We’ve recently discussed the importance of SEO, ensuring your products rank well in organic search engine results, and drawing upon User-Generated Content and embracing reviews, to engage with existing and potential customers and to provide “social proof” of your products. Additional strategies are social media marketing, which we shall discuss in this post, and influencer marketing.
As we covered in an August post, and which comes as no surprise to anyone involved in eCommerce, social media use has exploded. Over half of the world are now active social media users. Social media marketing takes advantage of these platforms and their reach to target advertising to niche groups most likely to be interested in your products. The goal is to promote your brand, drive traffic, and increase sales.
There are several ways in which social media marketing occurs:
- Posting to your business’ own channels, including video, images, and/or information about your brand and products, usually linking back to a primary website. These posts will often need to be financially boosted to maximise their reach. The posts should be created in such a way that encourages the user to share the content organically as well.
- Monitoring and responding to social media users’ comments that are relevant to your brand or products, which goes beyond just exchanging with users on your own channels but also exchanging as your brand on other channels.
- Finally, paid advertisements that highly target a specific audience are increasingly necessary, in addition to the post boosting and sharing mentioned above.
Selling products natively within social media channels is also becoming increasingly popular and effective. We wrote previously about this strategy, known a Social Commerce, and its ability to bring the shopping experience to where your potential customers are most often.
Just like with traditional marketing, you should have a social media marketing strategy that defines what your goals are. This will guide you in determining what, when, and where to post.
What to post?
Posts can be anything from images to videos, to links, to paragraphs of text, or user polls. Examining what platform you’re posting to will be the easiest way to see what types of content work best on them. Note, that algorithms on different platforms prioritise different types of content, so research this before deciding what to post. Whichever type of content you chose, its goal is to be engaging with your target audience. Whatever it is you post, make sure it’s high quality and grammatically correct.
When to post?
There are two main mistakes regarding when to post: posting too often and posting at the wrong time of day. It can be tempting to think that by posting more often, you will reach more of your target audience. This is not the case. Platforms such as Facebook will actively suppress posts from pages that post too often. The algorithms that each platform uses are continually evolving and need to be researched to stay on top of the latest trends. Posting more than once or twice a day can harm your overall engagement.
Additionally, the time of day is essential. This will change depending on your target audience, but put simply you want to post when they are more likely to be online. Most platforms have analytics to help inform you of this information. There are also several third-party social media posting applications that The Playhouse Group can discuss with you.
Where to post?
The dominant social media platforms are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and Snapchat, quickly being joined by the emergent TikTok. There are also social messaging platforms, such as Messenger, WhatsApp, and WeChat, that can be utilised. Each will be more or less suited to your brand and products. It would be better to promote office supplies on LinkedIn, and fashion on Instagram, than vice versa. Resist the temptation to post across too many platforms but instead focus on where you think your target audience is more likely to be and then produce content tailored to that platform.
If you would like help with creating and implementing a social media marketing strategy or just need guidance on what’s what when it comes to Social Media for your business, please don’t hesitate to click the button below to set up an obligation-free consultation with an expert from The Playhouse Group. We can also help you enhance your website so that you are making the most of the traffic your marketing efforts drive.
With decades of experience and as a certified Magento partner, The Playhouse Group can help your business maximise its online sales capabilities. Get in touch with our team and we can talk to you about this or any other other eCommerce questions you may have.