As per a Shopify report, a whopping 86% of Indians adopted online shopping during the pandemic, indicating accelerated acceptance of e- commerce across age groups. Titled Future of Commerce 2021, the Shopify report marries global merchant data coupled with several consumer surveys to forecast some radical changes in consumer buying patterns.
One of the aspects that have played a strong role in changing buying behavior is, social media. The report points out that 55% of younger consumers who purchase from independent retailers discover brands through social media. Amongst middle-aged consumers, 45% use social media to know and discover brands.
Incorporating a smart eCommerce social media strategy, therefore, should be at the core of any eCommerce organization today. Such an ecommerce media strategy in the long term can become the strongest catalyst for the success of your eCommerce business. In fact, as per a new Bain & Company report, social commerce alone is forecasted to be a $70 billion market in India by 2030.
Here is a list of some winning social media marketing strategies, which if implemented successfully can do wonders for your business.
12 Ecommerce Social Media Marketing Strategies for E-commerce Businesses:
1. Sharing, not selling
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, therefore, must use social media to build relationships. Sharing helpful information and building trust therefore pip any sales efforts on social media. Sustained interaction with content on social media, however, eventually leads the consumer to 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 eCommerce brings with it a lot of opportunities, what it also brings in its wake is the need for eCommerce players to rethink their strategies 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 2020 has taught us, here.
2. Building relationships with influencers
Sample these statistics:
- 74% of people turn to social networks for guidance on purchase decisions. (Ogilvy Cannes, 2014)
- Influencer marketing content delivers 11X higher ROI than traditional forms of digital marketing. (TapInfluence study with Nielsen Catalina
- Influencers who have a strong following online, therefore, 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 building trust. Needless to mention that the brand needs to exercise caution in choosing the right
influencers whose content aligns with the brand values and whose audience is relevant.
3. Build Trust & Authority Through Your Blog
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 of your customers.
Here are a few inspiring examples of eCommerce companies that made
the best use of their blogs:
• Myntra, India’s major eCommerce portal for fashion and lifestyle, with their thought-provoking articles, has become an opinion leader in
their industry. By placing product links strategically within their blog has led to a better conversion rate.
• Similarly, an emerging eCommerce fintech company Grow has built their blog around the most common investment-related doubts
and conversations, which has greatly amplified its reach.
4. 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 along 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.
5. Promotional Offers
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 process and behavior.
6. Invest in Social Media Marketing
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 in its 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.
7. 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 eCommerce platforms. In fact there are many different ways in which you could use YouTube effectively for your eCommerce business. Primary among them being:
- Take a content marketing approach to generate brand awareness. With YouTube visitors watching as many as 5 billion videos
everyday, 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.
Remember however to stay true to your brand voice as also to be consistent as it takes 5-7 brand impressions on an average for recall.
8. Showcase Social Proof
Customer reviews are a great way to build social proof that in turn help 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 be able to tap into their influence and positive association. Curating user-generated content is another great strategy for generating user social proof.
9. Tap into the power of instant messaging
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
10. 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 identify the sources which contribute the most in 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.
11. Embrace Emerging Platforms
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. ECommerce 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 eCommerce brands a new way to reach their consumers. It 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.
12. Be Consistent
The answer to a successful social media strategy for eCommerce business is being consistent. Not only does it increase your reach but also helps in audience engagement. Having a posting schedule can go along way in ensuring consistency. Pro-tip- In posting on social media,abide by the rule of thirds- 1/3 promoting your product or services, 1/3 interacting with others, and 1/3 sharing industry news and tips that your followers could benefit from. Consistency in terms of social media posting also means staying consistent to your brand persona while resonating with the needs of your target audience.
These are some social media marketing strategies for eCommerce websites, which can certainly make your customer’s process of product discovery much smoother and can in turn, boost your conversion rate.