Ecommerce Social Media Marketing Strategies For Better Engagement
Posted on 11.02.2022 / a 11 min. read
Table of Contents
Embracing evolving technology and incorporating business needs, almost all the popular social media networks now offer built-in solutions for marketing, advertising, branding, selling, and even customer relationship management. And for good reason – as per a Shopify report, a whopping 86% of Indians turned to online shopping during the pandemic.
Incorporating a smart social media marketing strategy for e-commerce has become the need of the hour. So, if you are planning to build a social media presence for your e-commerce brand, or are searching for new ways to up your marketing strategy, you have come to the right place! Here is a list of some winning social media marketing strategies, which if implemented successfully can do wonders for your business.
14 Social Media Marketing Strategies for eCommerce Businesses:
1. Targeting Engagement, Not Sales
This may seem like counterintuitive advice when we are discussing sales and marketing strategies. However, it is important to remember that the primary intent with which people visit social media is not shopping, even though the initial phases of the purchase journey begin here. Above everything, marketers must use social media to build relationships. Sharing engaging information, building trust and focusing on customer feedback should be given priority over any sales efforts on social media. Sustained interaction with content on social media eventually leads the consumer to a product purchase. To build relationships, brands need to undertake a number of activities, such as:
- Interacting with followers
- Participating in groups
- Hosting live chats, and more
While the increased adoption of e-commerce brings with it a lot of opportunities, what it also brings in its wake is the need for e-commerce players to rethink their eCommerce social media marketing strategy so that they become more “relational” as opposed to having a “transactional” relationship alone, with their customers. In fact, in the post-pandemic era (fingers tightly crossed) there are many valuable lessons to be learnt for all digital marketers including the need to build an emotional connect with audiences. You could read more about the important lessons 2022 has taught us, here.
2. Building relationships with influencers
This is a time-tested social media marketing strategy for eCommerce businesses. Influencers who have a strong following online can go a long way in giving a big boost to the brand. This is true not just in terms of reaching out to a wider audience but also in building trust. Needless to mention, the brand needs to exercise caution in choosing the right influencers whose content aligns with the brand values and whose audience is relevant.
Not just influencers, collaborating with other brands too can be an excellent social media strategy for e-commerce brands. For example, a cosmetics brand can collaborate with a makeup brand. Or, a footwear brand can collaborate with a health and fitness organization. Ultimately, building relations is the key to a successful social media strategy.
3. Social Listening
Simply put, social listening means tracking the online conversations happening around your brand. These conversations can be in the form of tags, mentions, hashtags, and reviews. This eCommerce social media marketing strategy lets you better understand what your customers/ audience want from your products and services. The top reasons why social listening should be a part of your social media strategy for eCommerce are:
- It lets you understand what your customers really like and dislike about your brand.
- You learn what your customers actually need from your business.
- You get to know the concerns of your customers that need to be addressed urgently.
- You can gain insights into your customers’ minds and get an edge over your competitors.
4. Embrace Emerging Platforms For E-commerce Social Media Marketing
There is social media clutter on the internet, due to which conventional social media marketing strategies do not pay off and sometimes they even backfire. This happens as businesses are unable to reach their existing and potential customers at the right time and in the right place. Many companies today employ the latest social media platforms to reach new audiences who are not fond of regular social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. With the introduction of UPI payments and in-app shopping, WhatsApp, for example, is positioning itself as the platform of choice for social commerce. E-commerce players like JioMart have started accepting orders through Whatsapp. Although it is resource-intensive, it sure can increase the sheer reach by getting many new consumers in its fold. Similarly, exploring other options such as shoppable posts offered by Instagram as well as shoppable IGTV videos, can offer e-commerce brands a new way to reach their consumers. It is also worthwhile to consider Pinterest in your plans, especially as data goes on to show that “Pinners” are 39% more likely to be active retail shoppers, as per a study conducted by Oracle Data Cloud and Pinterest. In fact, with its “Shop the Look” Pins, it lends itself to contextual discovery and is worth investing time and effort into building a social commerce strategy for Pinterest.
Quora is another platform where you can create a social presence in order to influence consumers’ decisions. Though the question-answer format of Quora may look simple, it packs a punch and is as effective as a Facebook, Twitter or Instagram post, if not more! Other up-and-coming social media platforms that you could consider for your e-commerce business are Discord, Twitch, Twitter Spaces, and Clubhouse. Although in their nascent stage, these emerging social media platforms might revolutionize the e-commerce industry in the coming future.
5. Creative Communication Design
In designing social media posts, make sure the entire aesthetics and color scheme of the post reflects the core values of the brand. Identifying brand values and targeting your content accordingly can go a long way in staying true to your brand’s personality. Using high conversion keywords in your social media posts can also drastically increase your product’s visibility and reach. It is already proven that well-researched keywords have the potential to reach beyond your immediate followers. Similarly, making use of hashtags makes your content more discoverable on social media platforms. A/B Testing of post creative or content is another effective way of conversion optimization.
6. Promotional Offers – A Popular Social Media Marketing Strategy For E-commerce
Discount & giveaway campaigns can be a very effective e-commerce social media marketing strategy. A perfect example of this is Lenskart which is an e-commerce company for eye care and spectacles. They have gained a lot of success in their promotional social media campaigns where they provide a free coupon of Rs. 150 on any new registration. One of their campaigns had garnered as many as 1.6 million hits on Facebook and 6000 plus tweets on Twitter, which is no small feat to achieve. Similarly, incorporating polls in your posts will not only magnify engagement but also provide you with deep insight into your audience’s thought processes and behavior.
7. Invest in Social Media Paid Advertising
As per Sprout Social, a leading social media management consulting company, ‘89% of marketers use Facebook in their brand marketing efforts. Such massive use of Facebook ads by marketers confirms that social media ads are extremely helpful in elevating engagement and reach. Before investing in any social media ads, however, make sure the audience of that platform resonates with your ideal customer base. The platform should be able to elevate your brand image and level of communication with your target audience. Today, almost every social media platform offers an assortment of advertisement options. Facebook and Instagram recently added dynamic product ads to their ad formats portfolio. Dynamic product ads automatically start promoting your products to those who have expressed their interest in products on your website, app or anywhere on the internet. With such ads, Airbnb, which is a popular travel site, has been able to reduce its acquisition cost by 47% and reach 238 million people worldwide. You could also benefit from Pinterest’s promoted carousel ads.
8. Create a Video Strategy for YouTube
With YouTube being the third most visited website in the world, it is a great addition to social media marketing for e-commerce social media marketing platforms. In fact, there are many different ways in which you could use YouTube effectively for your e-commerce business. Primary among them being:
- Take a content marketing approach to generate brand awareness. With YouTube visitors watching as many as 5 billion videos every day, it is the perfect platform to show your brand to a large audience so they remember you when it’s time to buy.
- Use YouTube ads to reach out to a large audience base
- Partner with other YouTube Channels, especially those run by influencers to inspire connection and trust.
- Take advantage of YouTube Shorts and portray your brand in the best light possible through product demos or influencer marketing.
Not just YouTube, you can also implement video social media strategies on several emerging platforms such as Instagram Reels and Facebook Stories. Remember, however, to stay true to your brand voice and to be consistent as it takes 5-7 brand impressions on an average for recall.
9. Implement User-Generated Marketing Tactics
Customer reviews are a great way to build social proof that in turn helps convert new consumers. In fact, 84% of consumers are known to trust product reviews as much as they would trust a recommendation from a valued friend or a trusted family member. A lot of these reviews could be leveraged through social media. You could even invite experts to go live through your social media accounts to help you tap into their influence and positive association.
Another way to tap into the power of user-generated content is to reshare and repost it on your verified social media channels. Creating a brand hashtag works best in these scenarios; tracking brand mentions gets easier.
10. Instant messaging – An Emerging E-commerce Social Media Strategy
While these may not sound like sales channels, the fact is that their popularity is exploding. Facebook Messenger alone has more than 1.3 Billion monthly active users. Once you link it to your website, it can show product updates, changes in prices and more. In addition, it can boost your conversion rates on account of the following:
- It allows customers to interact with the brand with speed and
- Since it lends itself to personalization, it is a huge driver for
- It acts as an effective lead generation tool
11. Leverage the Power of Data
Social media platforms have inherent analytics tools like Facebook Insights, YouTube Analytics, etc. where you are able to track your audience’s thought process, buying behavior, attribution and a lot of other aspects which lets you monitor your paid advertising campaigns. Today is an era of performance-based communication where before posting anything or launching any new ad campaign you can make use of your historic data like what type of post received the most engagement or what time of day most buyers were online. Today, marketers strive to connect all the dots and try to weave a streamlined path for the customer buying journey. Reports on attribution, be it based on sessions or conversions, are indispensable to identifying the sources which contribute the most to conversions. Similarly, social media dashboards play a pivotal role in strategic decision-making. It collates all social media metrics and facilitates you to make strategic decisions based on real-time data and eliminate any guesswork.
12. Blog – Lesser Explored Social Media Strategy For Ecommerce Website
A blog is a digital asset that not only helps in SEO but also facilitates sharing thought leadership and engaging content on social media channels. It also serves as a pitch to launch new products and services and can redirect a lot of traffic to your website. Tying your blog with engaging social media posts can string together a path for a smoother buying journey for your customers.
Here are a few inspiring examples of e-commerce companies that made the best use of their blogs:
- Myntra, India’s major e-commerce portal for fashion and lifestyle, with its thought-provoking articles, has become an opinion leader in its industry. Placing product links strategically within their blog has led to a better conversion rate.
- Similarly, an emerging e-commerce fintech company Grow has built its blog around the most common investment-related doubts and conversations, which has greatly amplified its reach.
13. Following A Social Media Calendar
The answer to what is a successful e-commerce social media strategy is consistency. Not only does it increase your reach but also helps in audience engagement. Having a posting schedule can go a long way in ensuring consistency.
Pro-tip: In posting on social media, abide by the rule of thirds- 1/3rd promoting your product or services, 1/3rd interacting with others, and 1/3rd sharing industry news and tips that your followers could benefit from. Following a social media calendar also means staying consistent with your brand persona while resonating with the needs of your target audience.
14. Online Reputation Management – An Important Social Media Strategy For Ecommerce
Social media brings with it several opportunities to tap into new customer demographics. However, you can also use it to handle existing customers. One way to do so is by having a dedicated person/team in place who will handle all the online reputation management. From query DMs to complaint mentions, from appreciation posts to feedback messages, your existing customers may reach out to you in various forms. When they do, being ready to handle them is the best way forward.
These are some social media marketing strategies for e-commerce websites, which can certainly make your customer’s process of product discovery much smoother and can, in turn, boost your conversion rate.
Frequently Asked Questions
By leveraging the power of social media marketing, e-commerce businesses get to understand their customers better, interact with them directly and also have a more personal yet wider reach. The end results are – more brand recall, more sales, and streamlined reputation management.
Here are a few tips that’ll help you exploit social media to your advantage-
- Showcase your brand’s personality clearly, be it quirky, dark, formal, zingy, etc.
- Not all your content needs to be related to sales
- Collaborating with influencers is a great way to get noticed
- Re-sharing or re-posting user-generated content can take you places!
Finally, shortlist a social media marketing strategy for e-commerce according to your goals
There’s no fixed answer to this. For e-commerce social media marketing, you can explore several platforms. You just need to focus on the platforms that your audience uses the most as opposed to focusing on the most popular ones.
Creates brand awareness, provides a platform for targeted advertising, boosts conversions, drives traffic to the website, builds customer loyalty, and impacts buying decisions – the benefits of using social media for e-commerce are aplenty.
Social media helps immensely with online marketing by giving companies a platform to generate leads, establish a stronger web presence, and better their brand perception. There has also been a steep rise in the phenomenon of ‘Social Commerce’ where customers can now directly buy and checkout products from social media platforms themselves.