Have you resolved to strengthen your e-commerce business’ social presence in 2018? Follow these tips to find new ways to engage shoppers, raise your store’s visibility and build your brand on social media.
1. Start your strategy in small steps
With social media usage burgeoning – 76% of adults online use Facebook, for example, and LinkedIn lists more than 450 million profiles – it can be tempting to dive right into every platform, but doing so may not resonate with the audiences you really want. Consider your main focus: is it heightening awareness of your brand, or driving traffic to your site, or is it as straightforward as upping your sales? Then start with one or two social media outlets as you get up to speed.
2. Know your outlets
Facebook and Twitter are ubiquitous at this point, but is your desired customer base using these or other social media sites most? Younger shoppers are increasingly tapped into Instagram and Snapchat, while Pinterest appeals more to female users. You’ll want to make sure you create and maintain the right “voice” for different social media platforms – professional on LinkedIn, but short and savvy on Snapchat.
3. Craft your social story
What draws you into following other businesses’ social media accounts? Consider your content – will it be purely about what you sell, or will you make observations about your industry as well? What can you share about your way of doing business that might strike a chord with shoppers and help forge an emotional bond? Perhaps you’re conscious about environmental impact, or committed to giving exposure to the crafting community. Share more about what you do, why you do it, and how you feel about trends and issues that may affect your customers.
4. Do keyword research
A simple search on Twitter, Facebook and your other social media outlets of choice can be your first step, but if you’re looking to really hone your content, check out more specified methods of research, such as via Hootsuite. It’s a tool that tells you when your competitors are updating and engaging, and what’s working for them that may also work for you.
5. Tap into analytics
Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all offer analytics data for accounts with Advertiser status. Get a snapshot of how your tweets and posts perform, whether timing or content plays a role, and where there’s room for improvement. Google’s new standalone analytics reports, Data Hub Activity and Trackbacks, provide in-depth insight into your social networks. Third-party tools like BirdSong Analytics, BuzzSumo and Fanpage Karma can give you a look into your competitors’ social media success.
6. Create a calendar
Effective social media isn’t done haphazardly or randomly. Keeping to a schedule for posting and providing a good mix of content – for example, one week a discount code, the next week a video – keeps your audience interested. Be sure to plan ahead for special occasions such as major shopping holidays, your shop’s anniversary, and even anticipated releases of books, movies and TV shows that potentially tie into what you sell.
There’s no easier method of tracking activity across multiple social media accounts than hashtagging. It’s a fun and effective way to connect with other users and beginning conversations, and leaving a positive impression of your brand.
Auto-posting keeps you on your social media schedule, but it’s no substitute for the personal touch of back-and-forth conversation with your followers. Ask questions. Post polls. Be sure to reply, re-Tweet, tag your followers, and be prompt in responding to online questions. Use your unique voice to strengthen your relationship with followers, shoppers, potential customers and e-commerce colleagues.
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