Most online retailers already know that the Internet is key to growing their business online. But where does social media fit in? Small businesses can use social media channels to connect with customers and generate more online sales. Below, we’ll talk more about why social media marketing is vital for online retailers and how you can use each social media channel to grow your business online.
Why social media marketing is important for online retailers
While social media may only account for a small share of your total retail sales, it can have quite an impact on consumer buying behavior. In the digital age, social media has become the new word of mouth. When people need product recommendations, many will turn to social media to see what others are saying about your brand. In fact, a recent survey from PricewaterhouseCoopers showed that 45 percent of digital buyers said that reviews, comments and feedback about brands on social media influenced their digital shopping behavior.
Furthermore, the same study showed that other social media activities like viewing ads and purchasing products directly through a social media channel also impacted behavior. Not to mention, some consumers use social media as a search engine to find local and national retailers. By being visible and active on social media, your small business can work to expand your reach and gain exposure within new markets.
How to use each social media channel to grow your brand online
Now that you know why it’s important for your small business to stay active on social media, let’s talk about how you can use each of the different channels to promote your online store.
Facebook makes it easy for consumers to shop directly on the platform. Online retailers can use the “Shopping” tab on their Facebook profile page to feature different products. Consumers can then click the “Buy” button to make a purchase. After clicking the button, customers will then be prompted to enter their contact, shipping, and payment information in a form directly in the Facebook platform. You can even send shipping updates through Facebook messenger.
Another way that you can use Facebook to promote your online store is through Facebook ads. The social media platform has sophisticated targeting features that allow you to deliver your ad content to those who are most likely to respond. You can target people based on age, gender, occupation, location, interests, and behaviors. Be sure to use engaging visuals and targeted copy in your ad to catch the user’s attention and entice them to click.
For online retailers, visuals are vital to selling more products. That’s why Instagram is an effective social media platform for small businesses who want to grow their brand online. In addition to posting branding images and videos, you can also lead users back to your website to make a purchase. Instagram allows you to include a call-to-action button that encourages users to shop or learn more about your products. Like Facebook, Instagram also offers ad opportunities through sponsored posts that appear in users’ feeds.
A unique feature that Instagram offers that online retailers can use to their advantage is Instagram stories. These short videos appear at the top of the user’s feed and allow companies to engage with their customers and prospects in a way that feels more interactive. You can use Instagram stories to deliver social media exclusive offers like special promotions or discounts for your followers. Your business can also showcase your new products through these stories. Some companies may even use this platform to show their followers a more informal view of their business by giving a behind-the-scenes look into daily operations.
Twitter is another great social media platform for growing your online retail store. One way that you can use the channel to your advantage is by posting regular content and starting a conversation with your followers and industry influencers. By being active on Twitter, you can work to extend your reach and bring more users directly to your website through your tweets.
As with other social media platforms, Twitter also offers advertising on its platform. With Twitter ads, you can create marketing campaigns based on your objective, whether that is to drive sales or increase brand awareness. Like Facebook, Twitter offers targeting that helps you better reach those who would most likely to be interested in your products. The platform also has an analytics dashboard that allow you to track campaign success and make adjustments to improve your reach.
With 1.5 billion active monthly users logging in to watch mobile video, YouTube is another great social media platform for online retailers that want to grow their brand. The key to being successful on YouTube is posting high quality video content that ads value for viewers. This means going beyond sales videos that just recite each product’s features. Online retailers should get creative and find ways to show their products in a new light.
YouTube also offers shopping ad formats for any retailer who wants to advertise on the platform. This helps small businesses reach a greater audience who may be interested in their products. The shopping ads can conveniently be set up and tracked right from Google AdWords.
By using the tips above, you can work to create a social media strategy to connect with your customers. Social media can help improve your reach online and support your sales goals, making it vital for any small business owner.