How To Use Social Media for Your Online Store in 10 Efficient Ways
Social media networks are playing a huge role in helping shoppers make the right buying decisions. The need of the hour, for eCommerce stores, is to smartly embrace different social channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc. to gain attention of the ever-growing social media audience.
Let’s take a look at 10 ways to use social media for eCommerce business:
1. Offering Social Sign-In
One of the biggest turnoffs in checkout processes is being forced to register on the website in order to complete the purchase. According to a Webcredible study, 29% of online customers dislike being presented with a registration form during the checkout process and 92% of shoppers abandon a website rather than go through the process of recovering account information if they’ve forgotten their password. Online Stores can avoid these problems by offering social login on websites.
Social login makes it easy for users to login to a website using their preferred social network account without registering a new login account; this means they do not have to remember login credentials especially created for your website. This will help you significantly lower shopping cart abandonment. However, one of the biggest benefits of social login is it delivers customer insights by accessing the data sitting on their social profiles. By using this information, you can provide personalized shopping experiences to your customers that will improve chances of them buying the product.
2. Adding Social Plugins on Product Pages
Another great way to use social media for your eCommerce store is to add social plugins on each of your product pages. By placing ‘like’, ‘tweet’, ‘+1’ and ‘pin’ buttons on product pages, eCommerce retailers can gain exposure to a wider audience through word-of-mouth referral by their customers.
Social opinion plays an important role in purchasing decisions. When one sees a recommendation from a trusted source they are more likely to purchase the product. Adding social plugins to your product pages will build trust in your brand and product, thereby, increasing referral traffic, expanding your customer base and building brand loyalty.
Eventbrite, an online ticketing service, is making excellent use of this feature. When visitors book tickets to upcoming concerts or conferences using Eventbrite, the website prompts them to share their purchase via Twitter, LinkedIn, or email.
3. Use Social Media to Obtain Customer Generated Reviews
Consumers today check online reviews about a product before they go ahead and buy it. According to a study, 79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. All reviews, whether positive or negative are valuable for an eCommerce store. According to a study by review company Reevoo, presence of bad reviews actually improves conversions for an eCommerce store by 67%.
Add reviews by customers on individual product pages. You can even share these reviews across your social channels. Showing reviews on your site is not just a matter of convincing your potential customers, a lot of people actually expect to see ratings and reviews from other customers on eCommerce sites.
4. Offering Customer Service on Social Channels
There are many other ways of providing customer service such as call centers or through personalized emails. But since social channels are transparent, providing customer service with these outlets will help you build a strong online reputation.
When you engage in conversation with your customers on Facebook or Twitter to resolve their issues, people who follow your business pages on different social networks will see how you deal with consumer complaints. When they realize you offer great customer service, your business has a greater chance of success. Also, satisfied customers will become strong brand advocates and spread the word about their positive experience with your brand among their friends and family members.
5. Incentivize Social Customers
Why do people follow a brand on social networks? If you think they do so simply because they like the brand, you are wrong. People follow brands on social networks for a particular reason; so, give your target audience a reason to follow your brand on social media.
For example, entice customers into buying your products with coupon codes only available to those who are following you on social channels. This will increase your follower base and draw in more customers, thereby improving your store’s conversion rates. Alternatively, you can even provide free shipping options for your followers.
6. Displaying Instagram Galleries on Your Site
E-commerce stores should communicate visually with their visitors, as visuals are reported to impact the behavior of shoppers. The most common way of doing this is by adding high quality product images to your site. Another unique way is encouraging customers to post and share their pictures using your products on your Facebook or Instagram pages and using these images to create an image gallery on your business website.
This creates awesome social proof, not only increasing conversion rates but also increasing product exposure on social networks. When consumers see photos of others using the product, they are most likely to buy that product.
For example, clothing company Madewell has a ‘Totewell’ section on its website, which has a gallery of user-submitted photos of how consumers are using their Madewell tote bags; each of these images links to a shopping page from where visitors can buy that particular bag. Users who submit an Instagram photo can have their photo credited on the site.
7. Leveraging YouTube to Showcase Your Product
One of the better ways that can help eCommerce sites increase sales is video marketing. YouTube has over 1 billion unique visitors each month and over 6 billion hours of ‘watch time’ per month. Videos help persuade nearly 73% of consumers to purchase a product or service; you are missing out on a huge opportunity to convert potential shoppers into paying customers if you are not using videos on your site.
Videos are a powerful way of showcasing your product to your target audience. Apple, for instance, is effectively making use of YouTube to show ‘product use’ videos to target customers and thus generate sales. Make sure you enable the YouTube playlist feature to keep visitors on your own YouTube channel longer. Share these videos on your other social channels to get more views and generate traffic to your eCommerce site.
8. Leveraging Facebook Ads
Advertising on Facebook is yet another way of gaining brand exposure and attracting traffic to your site. With Facebook ads, it has now become possible for eCommerce stores to get powerful leads from the most popular social network on the planet. General social media posts do not have much impact as they are not targeted. Facebook ads can be targeted for users based on their gender, age, location, specific interest, relationship status and several other factors! This means whether you opt for CPC (Cost per Click) or CPM (Cost per Impression); you are bound to get qualified leads on your website.
9. Running Contests and Promotions
Everyone likes getting something for free or winning a contest among a group of participants. So, contests and promotions are a great way to gain exposure and drive traffic to your eCommerce site. Prizes can range from a t-shirt to a free coupon of your brand. A contest with an amazing prize is much more likely to entice people to participate, and it will also be shared more.
Dove, for instance, hosted a contest called ‘Real Beauty Should Be Shared’. The contest asked fans to describe how a friend represents “real beauty”, and celebrated the natural beauty of real people. Winners were chosen to be the faces of Dove in a new campaign.
10. Using Twitter Cards
E-commerce stores can make use of a free and effective tool called Twitter cards. Twitter cards allow you to add rich media to your tweets and make them more appealing and engaging. With Twitter card, you can describe a product in 200 words, which is a 43% increase in the amount of characters you can use in a regular tweet. E-commerce brands can get a big benefit from Twitter product cards, as they offer followers an easy way of sharing products with their own network, and allow them to view and share deals and latest promotions without visiting a website.
Bonus Point: Offering Different Social Features
Some online stores are using various innovative ideas for integrating social media to generate more sales for their business.
- E-commerce giant Amazon recently introduced a new feature that lets Twitter users add items to their Amazon carts by including a hashtag within a tweet.
- Flash sale site turned eCommerce giant Fab offers a social live feed feature that shows all the activities taking place on the site by shoppers. It’s a unique way for visitors to see what others are doing and buying on the site.
- Macy’s offers a feature ‘Shop with your friends’ which allows shoppers to conduct a poll on social media for products they are interested in. It also allows shoppers to share these polls with their social networks.
Social media plays a vital role in building a brand’s online presence, getting traffic and generating leads, all of which collectively drives revenue for your business. Ignoring its use to drive profitability of your online store will be a huge mistake.