Social media and ecommerce go hand-in-hand. They both thrive in a connected age: a 24/7 world in which anyone and everyone can connect and consume with just a few clicks.

You likely already use social media as part of your ecommerce marketing strategy. But to really get the most out of it in 2019, you need to take it that step further. Here’s how you can combine social media and ecommerce to get better results today.

You can’t take your social strategy further if it’s not well managed. Check out these best social media management tools to get yours on-point.

If you want to reach potential customers, build brand loyalty, drive traffic you must build sales funnels, share content on social media, then get your customer to share on the social media networks and social media platforms.

Social media ecommerce

Give your followers a reason to click with your social media and ecommerce

If you’re after more traffic and leads, SEO will always beat social — fact. But if your SEO is stalling and you want to outpace your competition, social media and a social media strategies are a savvy strategy that serves you well.

  • Your social content doesn’t exist in a bubble. To really get the most out of a social ecommerce strategy, you should create content that compels your followers to click through to your online store.
  • A concerted social strategy boosts site traffic. Create and share useful or informative content on social that compels your followers to click. How-to guides, product walkthroughs, explainer videos, and so on — all these encourage your followers to visit your store by providing value.
  • And remember, don’t go in blind with your social content. A data-backed strategy will reap you the biggest rewards in the long run. Use a social optimization tool, that help such as SocialOomph to identify what types of content return the highest click-throughs and engagement. Armed with this data, you can then fine-tune your strategy and allocate resources to the type of content that works best for your brand.

Takeaway tip: if you want to ramp up clicks from your social platforms to your online store (and boost sales as a result), you need to give your audience a tangible reason to click. Research your customers and find their pain points and queries to create a comprehensive but digestible content that directly addresses these issues.

Downloadable content is a great carrot that entices clicks and provides customers with real, actionable value. Ebooks, essential guides, and product analysis are all great lead magnets that will give you better results. (Here’s how to create an ebook in mere moments using Canva).

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Get savvy with your paid social ads with your social media and ecommerce

As a growth and sales channel, social is easily the most affordable. It’s virtually free to use, from setting up a business page to sharing content.

The only real cost of social media for ecommerce is your paid ad strategy. While this will probably the most expensive aspect of your strategy, it’s still relatively cheap. It’s also a worthwhile use of your budget, as they are highly effective in driving sales.

Paid social ads are great for growing your online store. They nestle alongside content and updates from your customers’ friends and family, so paid ads get noticed when customers are already receptive.

Take advantage of the in-built targeting function offered by most social platforms. These let you target your ads at those customers who are most likely to respond to them, increasing conversions as a result.

Takeaway tip: while paid social ads are inexpensive, you can still keep costs down by being savvy with your budget. Don’t splurge your ad spend straight away — increase it in increments as your conversion rate grows.

It’s also worth A/B-testing your ads to find the format that gets you the highest gains. Facebook’s built-in split-testing tool is useful, but there are plenty of other apps that you can use to help you find the format that works for you.

Embrace built-in social selling for multichannel e-commerce

For an out-of-the-box solution to getting better results with social media and e-commerce, look no further than social selling.

As the name suggests, this refers to the marketing and selling of products on social networks. This is an easy but effective way of driving sales on a platform where your customers are regularly active, and an avenue every ecommerce business should explore.

Virtually every social platform offers some form of social selling: Facebook has its Shop, Instagram has its Shoppable posts, and even Pinterest has Product Pins.

These easily integrate with most ecommerce platforms to let you sell products alongside your existing online store — notably, Shopify’s store service has pioneered social sales for small-scale entrepreneurs on Instagram and Pinterest for years, even integrating social sales with Amazon and POS for truly multichannel ecommerce.

Thanks to social platforms like Instagram, social sales have now become possible in mere seconds. Instagram’s recent rollout of its Checkout feature lets customers make purchases within the app, without the need to visit an external website.

And the e-commerce relationship goes both ways: the data gleaned from your social selling is fed back into your ecommerce dashboard, so you can use it to fine-tune your online store strategy as well.

Takeaway tip: the trick to successful social selling lies in picking your best products and pushing them to the fore. These are your ‘gateway’ products, the ones that will pique customer attention and get your brand noticed.

Once you’ve hooked prospective customers with your bestsellers, use your online store to upsell other products. For example, if your best-selling organic tea is enough to pull a customer to your store, promote an accompanying tea strainer or a complimentary tea in a side-panel on your product page.

Sell where your customers are always active

Part of the allure of social media for ecommerce success is its capitalization of platforms that customers are regularly active on. Social media is a busy place, ripe with engaged customers who are receptive and eager to spend their money.

Look at any online business, and you’ll find that they have a social strategy that spans more than one social platform. Such a strategy extends your reach and casts your net wide, giving you the opportunity to get a bigger slice of the e-commerce pie.

But it’s not enough to simply maintain a presence on these channels. A coherent social strategy that delivers value to your followers and creates genuine customer connections takes advantage of this populous arena.

Takeaway tip: when it comes to choosing a social platform for your e-commerce strategy, don’t spread yourself too thin. Sticking to the most popular platforms is a good rule of thumb, but it pays to do your research and find the social networks that your customers are most active on.

Build a customer community to make sales for days

In e-commerce, a loyal customer is a repeat customer. They will return to your online store time and again to make a purchase. And there are lots of things you can do to create these customers: discount codes, freebies, great customer service — the list is endless.

But your social strategy plays a vital role in generating loyal customers by creating a community. Because it doesn’t matter if you’ve got the best product on the market — if you haven’t built up a solid community of engaged customers, you’ll struggle to keep driving repeat sales.

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Your social media presence is the heart of your customer community. Connecting your followers on a genuine level, speaking to them in a personable brand voice, and sharing interesting or useful high quality content — this all fosters an engaged customer community.

As a consequence, these customers will shop with you again and again, not (just) because they love your product, but because they love your brand too. A tool like SocialReferral can help you supercharge customer referrals from social.

Takeaway tip: a customer community is just that — a community. As such, the relationship between yourself and your customers should go both ways. When your customers engage with you on social, so too should you engage with them.

Invite interaction on your social content with blog posts, quizzes, polls, questions, and competitions to strengthen your customer rapport. But you should also respond to your customers’ input — take the time to reply in a genuine way to your followers, beyond a simple like and a “thanks!” This takes time, but it’s an investment with big returns for your ecommerce strategy.

Ecommerce and social are a match made in heaven. And while you’ve probably already embraced the benefits of social media for your ecommerce website and ecommerce growth, you shouldn’t rest on your laurels. Follow the tips above and combine your social and ecommerce strategies to enjoy more sales, higher engagement, and better growth well into 2019.

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Wrap Up

Your customers are on social media site,  but as a social media marketer that is also involved in e-commerce it’s important the develop an integrated digital marketing plan.

Do your marketing research and find out where your audience is on social platforms and listen. You will learn a lot and will help you develop stuff that your audience will want to read, love, consume, and share.

We’re listening.

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Kayleigh Alexandra is a content writer for Micro Startups — a site dedicated to spreading the word about startups and small businesses of all shapes and sizes. Visit the blog to find insights from top experts and inspiring entrepreneurial stories that will help you to develop and improve your marketing strategies. Follow us on Twitter @getmicrostarted.

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