Over the past decade, social media platforms have experienced tremendous growth in ways that not many people could have predicted. Today, these platforms have become avenues for marketers and business owners around the world to foster relationships with their audience and boost their brand exposure.
In addition to growing brand image and building relationships with customers, you can also leverage the power of social media and ecommerce to increase your online sales. So what are the best social media and ecommerce tactics that can be used to increase sales?
Why advertise on social media?
Advertising has been around for a much longer period of time than social media. It has been reaching consumers via TV, radio, even billboards for decades now. So why is advertising on social media so integral to a business’ success now?
The main factor behind the sudden growth in social media advertising is quite an obvious one. The vast growth of the platform means that more and more of a brand’s target audience are available in one place. However, this isn’t the only element pushing brand’s towards an online advertising campaign.
Another decisive factor is the specificness of social media advertising. People willingly give social media large quantities of information on their background and daily lives. This means it is easier for a business to target the exact type of person they want to reach with an advert, and tends to lead to increased success at the same time. This is especially true when you leverage social proof marketing.
In fact, social media ads are possibly some of the most refined there has ever been, reaching customers in niches never previously thought of. And with each platform offering different ways to connect with consumers, social media advertising is well worth taking advantage of.
Know the right networks to target
When social media is mentioned, most people think of Facebook. However, Facebook is not the only platform you can promote your online business on; there are other networks with high volumes of users you should consider too.
Knowing the platform where your audience spends most of their time will help you come up with a marketing strategy that suits the network. It will also help you to directly engage with your main social media audience, and improve the relationship between your brand and your customers.
Here are the main networks and their suitable audience:
As one of the largest platforms in terms of customer base, Facebook is great for brand recognition, especially with younger generations. It is a platform that allows your ads to be seen by the most substantial numbers, whilst it also allows you to interact with customers with ease through messenger and your page.
Online businesses can benefit from Facebook by focusing on strategies that help them improve their brand exposure. In addition, you can also boost sales by using retargeting ads and advertise to those who have previously shown interest in your brand or your products.
Instagram is ideal for brands who priotorize visual advertising, due to its focus on images, videos and other visual content. It is also the perfect platform for bridging the gap between consumer and brand, due to the interactivity of the site. You can communicate with customers through various mediums on Instagram, including stories, your page, and influencers.
Through influencers, Instagram allows you to make extensive use of celebrity endorsement. Influencers can give your products the extra boost they need during an ad campaign, to really push sales through the roof. You just have to make sure you choose an influencer that is truly representative of your brand and product, otherwise their use could end up having a detrimental effect on your brand, and campaign.
Twitter is great for growing your brand name thanks to the popularity of hashtag usage. You can use it to run competitions such as giveaways, or simply to draw attention to your campaigns.
In addition to hashtag campaigns, you can also run standard feed advertising campaigns. These campaigns can be used alongside the hashtag campaigns to maximise their effectiveness.
This is a great platform for brands that sell beauty products. This is because research has shown the majority of Pinterest’s frequent users are women. Similar to Instagram, Pinterest allows brands to focus on the visual side of advertising so a detailed use of images is vital for success.
As you can see, different platforms attract a type of audience, thus requiring a different approach with your marketing strategy. Prior to deciding where to market your products, it is important that you learn where your audience is most active when online. Once you have this information, you can come up with a marketing strategy that will boost your online presence, sales, and brand recognition.
Use the right ads
There are a wide range of advertisement possibilities when it comes to social media marketing. And with each platform offering different capabilities, it is important to find the right way to reach your audience.
A good example of the variety of options on offer, is Facebook. Facebook offers extensive detail in their targeted ads, which is for finding new prospects who fit your demographics.
However, Facebook doesn’t offer this in one form. You can choose to use an ad in a video, within the users feed, or even use sponsored posts.
Instagram, which is now run by Facebook, also offers a wide range of options. Stories are a fantastic way to draw your audience closer to your brand, and allow you to use engagement techniques through video, polls, and more. If you want to show your audience what goes on behind the scenes, and the products you offer, stories are ideal.
On the other hand, Instagram also offers standard feed posts similar to that of Facebook, or sponsored content within posts, such as an influencer wearing a jacket from a brand that is then tagged.
One of the most effective advertising tactics to use across platforms is retargeting advertising.
Retargeted advertising is essential reaching back out to customers who come to your website but do not finish performing an action. For instance, a customer might have added a product to their cart, but failed to finalise that purchase.
Retargeted ads encourage your prospect to get return to a store, or website and complete their purchases. Big draws for customers tend to be limited promotional offers, or discounts.
Remember to check out how your retargeted ads are performing on each platform and make adjustments appropriately.
To create a successful social media campaign, you need to think carefully about the ads that are more likely to appeal to your prospects. Each brand will have a different audience, therefore there is no perfect strategy that covers every brand.
Use relevant hashtags
It’s with the help of hashtags that most platforms classify a wide range of posts into different sections. Using relevant hashtags will improve your website’s organic traffic as more of your target audience will come into contact with your posts.
With hashtags, the important thing to do is to spot what’s trending in your niche, and integrate those hashtags into your posts.
While this is a great way of expanding your brands reach, do not overdo it. You may incorporate a few hashtags in your posts, and they will have a largely positive effect. However, if you overdo it, you risk being labelled as spam. This will have a detrimental effect in both long term and short term.
Hashtags can also be implemented within your advertising campaigns. They can help to give your posts a clear narrative for your customers to follow. In addition, they can also draw one person into the entire campaign, even if they only come across one hashtag, and choose to click it.
All in all, hashtags can be a great way to depict your brand through social media. They can help to highlight your brand values, whilst taking up very little budget. They can also help your campaigns to increase in longevity and impact.
Who doesn’t like free things? Giveaways and competitions are a fantastic way to draw in the crowds to your website. Contests can get people interested in your brand with just one short campaign, and also give you an opportunity to get people signed on to your newsletter.
By encouraging people to sign on to a newsletter, or to enter their details when joining a campaign, you can collect all important customer information. This could allow you to retarget them with offers in the future, or simply to remind them to join further initiatives that could create further interest.
Pro tip: Remember to make sure that any individual who stands to win must like or follow your page. This will expose them to the brands posts in the future.
Work with influencers
In most cases, influencers are people who have a sizable following on social media. You can use these influential people to promote your product to their audience online.
When deciding on which influencers to reach out to, it is important that you consider whether or not their following fit your target audience demographics.
For instance, if you are in the men’s clothing brand, ideally you will want to look for male influencers who discuss fashion, or similar products. Whilst you wouldn’t want to target a female gaming influencer, as her following would likely be the opposite of what you need.
It is also worth considering whether you want to work with micro-influencers, who generally do not have a mass following, or someone with a much larger group of followers.
It is worth noting that influencers with larger followings tend to have less specific demographics. You may be exposed to more engagements and clicks, but it is less likely that they will be relevant. Conversely, micro-influencers tend to have a more specific audience who share similar interests, which means they may have a better ROI.
Encourage your customers to leave reviews on social media
Social media is rapidly turning into a platform where people go to search for reviews of products and brands, prior to making a decision on a purchase.
A recent study showed that 91% of respondents were influenced to buy something by positive online reviews. This shows the importance of encouraging happy customers to post their reviews regarding your store on your social media profiles. It also highlights how a positive review could be the difference between someone buying, and someone not buying a product from you.
However, this is not an overnight task. You have to actively encourage customers to share their experience after buying from you.
Many customers will choose not to leave reviews, even with your encouragement. Therefore, it could also be worthwhile to offer something in return for a review, such as a discount on a future purchase, or early access to new products. Incentives can not only get you the review you were seeking out, they may also encourage a customer to use your brand again, especially if their review is actually positive.
You can also make reviewing easier for customers by embedding a share button on your thank you page or even a note with the delivery of their purchase. By making it easier to review the product, customer reviews will become more frequent, and brand engagement may even increase.
If you are looking to improve your social media advertising, following these six tactics will help you on your way to success. By building brand recognition, trust and general awareness you will be able to bridge the gap between your brand and the customer. This will encourage purchases in both the short term, and the long term, whilst also helping you to better understand those who show interest in your brand.
Once your social media efforts are paying off, it’s time to measure your results and see how you can improve your online presence and sales even more. Jamie’s article does a great job in explaining how you can get started with tracking and measuring your social media ROI. Check it out!
Jacques van der Wilt is the founder and CEO of DataFeedWatch, a leading global feed management and optimization solution that helps online merchants optimize their product listings for 1,000+ ecommerce channels in more than 50 countries.