There are many components to an effective ecommerce marketing strategy with the most often underutilized is social media. I know what you’re thinking…what’s the ROI of social? The truth is, it is difficult to put an ROI on putting resources towards a social media strategy but the overwhelming benefit of having a one-to-one connection with your customers cannot be overlooked. Think of your social media strategy as a way to get to know your customers personally.
I’ll use the barista at my local coffee shop to illustrate my point. I go to the same coffee shop everyday around the same time and order the same thing. Naturally, they know me. They know what drink I order, they know I don’t want my receipt, even if it has a coupon, and they know I’m not going to get a turkey pesto gouda sandwich, so they don’t ask. I appreciate the fact that we say hi to each other, they confirm my order, they make it, end of story. Because of this, they will continue to be a part of my afternoon coffee break. What is the ROI on that relationship? For the amount of coffee I drink, it’s probably huge but not easy to quantify on a spreadsheet. Think of your social channels as a barista and get to know your customers to keep them coming back. Here are 4 ways to use social media as part of your ecommerce marketing strategy.
Shopping is social.
People like to share their shopping experiences positive or negative. Think of the last time you heard someone say, “I just bought X for X% off.” It was probably within the last week or so. When you buy something, it’s only natural to tell someone about it. This is your opportunity as an ecommerce website to make it as easy as possible for them to talk about their purchase. By adding social sharing options to each product and making it easy for the them to share, you invite them to start a conversation. One application that does this well is Curebit. It allows the buyer to share their purchase on Facebook and Twitter with a coupon attached so that their friends can redeem for a coupon. Find someone within your company or an digital marketing agency that can be dedicated to monitoring your channels. When a customer talks, listen and engage.
Push personality not product.
Social media should be social. Use social channels to promote your company’s personality rather than your products. People buy from people they like and in order for them to like you they must give them an opportunity to get to know you. Tell your fans and followers about your favorite happy hour spot, or what football team you’re rooting for. Even if it’s not their team, they’ll still see you have a personality and you’re interested in more than just selling stuff. The most engaging posts I’ve seen have absolutely nothing to do with the product.
Choose the right channel.
If you can try to choose the channel where your customers are spending the most time and skip the rest. Yes, it’s important to create a larger footprint but don’t waste time talking to people that don’t want to engage with you. If you sell hunting products for instance, Pinterest may not be the most effective channel to reach your target demographic. Instead focus your efforts on Facebook or an up-and-coming social site like Gentlemint which is more geared towards men. The more targeted you can get the better.
Your customers like fun. Profound, I know, but my point is don’t take yourself too seriously and don’t think too hard about your posts. Social media should give you an opportunity to have an engaging, fun dialogue with your customers. Like I perviously mentioned, talk about your company culture, other interests, or the music you’re listening to. Chances are, you have a lot in common.