Social media platforms have hundreds of millions of users. With such large audiences, these networks are a boon for companies involved in electronic commerce.
Intuit Mint states that 40% of Americans report that they’ve purchased items on the internet because of being influenced by social media. Those aged 35 to 44 made the most purchases at 44%.
For online stores, social media is much more than a place to post fun images. It’s also a powerful way to convert visitors into customers. As a marketer, you should view social media’s role in ecommerce as being an important sales channel because of the large number of consumers who use these platforms every day.
According to the Digital 2022: Global Overview Report by DataReportal, 4.62 billion people are using social media as of January 2022. The total number of people using social media has grown by more than 10% over the past year.
This information demonstrates why stores should engage in smart social media marketing strategies. In this guide, we explain how to use social platforms in electronic commerce to turn a follower into a customer and drive your business’s growth.
Importance of social media in ecommerce
Social media has transformed ecommerce marketing. The immense volume of traffic to social media sites indicates why it is essential that brands include social media as an integral part of their marketing strategy.
With social media platforms’ far-reaching influence, it’s essential that online stores adopt a profitable strategy to harness the power that each of these networks offers.
Top social media platforms for ecommerce
There are various ways to get involved with social media in commerce. However, choosing the right ones for your marketing efforts is important.
Although social commerce differs from ecommerce, establishing a presence on each of the networks described below can be advantageous for your store.
There’s a good reason why most retailers have Facebook pages. Statista reports that Facebook had over 3 billion active users each month, as of Q3 2023.
It’s the largest social media company in the world. The sheer number of people using Facebook means that there’s a strong likelihood that your target audience is on the platform.
Facebook supplies marketers with numerous sales options. For instance, you can create a “shop” tab on your Facebook business page and list a variety of products. This allows customers to buy items directly from you through Facebook.
In addition, Facebook offers brands other ecommerce features, including tracking and advertising. You can also gain insight into the views, purchases, and clicks per item.
Another great opportunity for ecommerce marketers is Instagram. Statista reports that Instagram has around 1 billion users. Out of these users, 30.3% of them are between the ages of 25 and 34, while 30.8% are between the ages of 18 and 24.
When combined, this means that approximately 61% of people using Instagram are either millennials or members of Gen Z, two demographics that drive a significant portion of online sales.
Instagram is image centric, providing substantial sales power. Ecommerce marketers can benefit from shoppable Instagram posts, which allow merchants to tag individual items in a photograph. Merchants can also highlight the name with a price and purchase link.
Shoppable posts assist Instagram sellers in enjoying a smooth purchasing process. There are many other commerce tools offered by Instagram that can benefit a business’s marketing efforts.
Like Instagram, Pinterest is based on images. As of October 2023, around 465 million people were using Pinterest each month. Statista also reports that one out of four U.S. marketers use Pinterest, and another 26% report that they have plans to do so.
In the past few years, Pinterest has added features that make it friendlier for ecommerce marketers. One feature, called “Complete the Look,” recommends other products based on a scene’s context. This can help brands gain increased exposure, as more pins will be viewed by visitors to the site.
If you’re targeting a young audience, you may want to use Snapchat as a part of your marketing strategy. As of Q3 2023, Statista states that Snapchat had 406 million daily active users.
Statista also mentions that as of Q3 2020, 48% of people aged 15 to 25 in the US who use the internet utilize Snapchat.
In 2018, Marketing Land reported that Snapchat released multiple options for ads. These features allow online retailers to highlight their product catalogs, use targeting, and benefit from other commerce elements.
Many people love viewing videos, which helps to explain the popularity of YouTube. According to Global Media Insight, the platform has more than 2.7 billion logged-in visitors every month. More than 5 billion videos are viewed each day on the network.
While YouTube offers ecommerce marketers a global reach, competition for viewers is fierce. This makes it important for brands to engage in savvy strategies to increase the viewership for their videos.
YouTube can be a highly effective marketing tool if you implement the following actions:
- Build brand consistency across channels with compelling stories
- Choose keywords effectively so viewers can find you
- Post content regularly on a schedule
- Understand the target audience to build a following
- Share how-to videos
- Leverage your product reviews
- Provide answers to frequently asked questions about your products
- Use backlinks with other sites to cross-promote your products
- Make sure to give a clear call to action
If you build your presence on YouTube in the right way, it can be an invaluable source of new and loyal customers.
The darling of members of Gen Z, TikTok has taken the social media universe by storm. This platform gives users the ability to create and share short video clips and is perfect for online stores wanting to appeal to younger audiences.
Statista reports that TikTok had 173 million first-time users in Q4 2021 alone.
In the US, TikTok usage grew by more than 29%% in 2021 compared to the previous year. As of October 2023, the market portion of TikTok users between the ages of 18 and 24 was approximately 36%.
TikTok has the potential to be a great social media option for many companies. However, it’s important to note that there have been serious concerns raised about the ethics and data security of the network’s marketing practices.
For this reason, just be sure to determine if the benefits outweigh the risks for your business before you invest time on the platform.
If you do decide to add TikTok to your marketing strategy, you’ll need to learn about the various ways to advertise. These include the following methods:
- Hashtag challenge—encourages users to assign hashtags to products and gives an option to purchase them
- Biddable ads—ads that appear when users scroll
- Brand takeover—allows e-marketers to take over the start page for a day at a price of $20,000 to $200,000
- Branded lenses—face filters and 3D stickers that are used to tell stories
Depending on the future of TikTok, it could be a great way for you to introduce a youthful audience to your brand!
X (formerly Twitter)
X (formerly Twitter) allows you to post short messages for your followers to read, re-tweet, and comment on. According to Statista, X had more than 368 million monthly active users globally as of December 2022.
A major advantage for brands on this platform is that clicks can be generated at a very low cost. It also has less competition for advertising so that the ads are less expensive.
LinkedIn is geared to professionals and had more than 745 million individuals using the platform around the world as of August 2023 (Statista). This makes it a great place to target audiences if you have a B2B model for your business operations.
Because of the professionally minded audience on LinkedIn, it’s generally better to start a group on LinkedIn instead of running ads. In your group, you should focus on providing relevant information about your services or products. You can give advice, provide free samples, or promote webinars on LinkedIn.
For your social media marketing efforts on LinkedIn to be more effective, ensure that you only invite relevant users to your group. Make sure to use an appropriate name for the group that communicates its topic.
Tips for how to use social media effectively for ecommerce
Once you’ve identified the platforms that you want to use, you should determine how to make the most of your presence on each platform. Here are some tips to assist you in making your social media marketing efforts a success!
1. Determine your goals
Before you start your social media outreach project, you must identify the goals that you want to accomplish. If you don’t track and monitor your progress, you’re not as likely to be successful in your efforts to engage with potential customers.
It is essential that you identify the metrics of success to understand whether your endeavors are prosperous or simply a waste of money, time, and energy. To build the groundwork for success, set benchmarks for the following:
- Traffic to be generated
- Number of followers
- Rates of engagement
- Rates of conversion
Setting initial targets for these things can also aid you in establishing other goals that you want to accomplish.
2. Provide value
When social media users visit your page, they don’t want to see just a bunch of product links. They want to receive value from your page. This makes it important for you to supply images, videos, and information that benefit visitors.
Think about what the market that you’re targeting cares about and ensure that your content addresses those issues. While promotion is important, you should temper it with other content that doesn’t feature sales pitches.
3. Begin blogging
Starting a blog is a good way to educate, inform, inspire, and convert a visitor into a customer. High-quality blog articles can help to turn your brand into a recognized leader in your niche and propel your company’s growth.
4. Improve the SEO of your posts
Search engine optimization assists your content in gaining increased exposure. You should choose your keywords carefully and use them in the content that you post and hashtags. This allows you to connect with new audiences as people search for information about the topics your blog mentions.
Take time to research relevant keywords. To add more value to your content, include videos and images.
5. Employ user-generated content
On social media, you don’t want to appear as if you’re simply trying to please others by saying what you think they want to hear. Instead of posting screenshots of your product reviews, you can share user-generated content. This includes photos and videos created by a customer instead of the business.
User-generated content can help boost the credibility of your brand and your products. Most shoppers want to see what others think about a product before they buy it themselves.
6. Include videos in your posts
Outbrain reports that 87% of marketers use videos as a part of their marketing strategies. They do this because many shoppers will purchase products after they watch videos highlighting their benefits.
Video marketing can be used across social channels to drive sales. However, you still need to utilize blogs and photos to complement your video content. Craft engaging and inspirational videos that encourage website visitors to make purchases.
7. Connect with your audience
Since the point of social media is for people to interact with each other, you’ll need to engage with those who follow you. Website visitors who have positive interactions with companies are more likely to recommend them to others.
Making connections can’t only be focused on sales. Instead, you should post several types of content that discuss general topics that relate to your niche. If you post helpful content, your followers are more likely to engage with your sales copy.
When visitors comment on a post of yours, respond to their comments. This makes them feel like they are valued and shows others that you are interested in what they have to say.
8. Post consistently
When it comes to social media, consistent posting is key for online stores. You’re trying to gain the attention of possible customers.
If you post infrequently, the audience that you’re trying to reach may forget about you. Generating enough traffic from social media requires you to post content regularly.
The easiest way to make sure that you post consistently is to use a social media content calendar. Mix up what you post and include short commentary, videos, and pictures to keep followers interested.
9. Don’t be afraid to use hashtags
Hashtags are everywhere you turn on social media. Instead of being afraid to use hashtags, why not embrace them? These allow you to reach people who search for the specific terms that you use in your hashtags.
Make sure that you understand the hashtag etiquette for the social media site that you use, as the expectations may differ across platforms.
10. Utilize paid advertising
Most social media networks offer paid ways to advertise. While these cost money, they’re a critical tool for ecommerce businesses.
There are many different types of ads that you can implement to try to engage your potential customers. Review the options on each platform and choose the ones that fit your brand the best.
You’ll find many targeting choices that can aid your brand in reaching a specific group that has a higher likelihood of conversion.
Social media sites allow you to avail paid ads to target consumers by gender, age, income level, interests, and other categories. This helps to improve your reach and get your brand out in front of a larger audience on the chosen platform.
With so many different targeting choices and types of paid advertising available, it’s worth taking the time to learn about these techniques. Choosing the right ad and targeting options can aid in increasing your business’s growth and profitability.
Since most shoppers are actively involved with social media, it makes sense for you to go where a potential customer may be. Understanding how to leverage the power offered by social media sites may assist in driving sales and boosting your customer base.
Use the strategies that we’ve listed to implement a strong social media marketing campaign for your ecommerce business. When you do, you should soon start to see the results of your efforts as your visitor numbers and conversion rates increase.
If you’re already using social media for your own online store, we’d love to hear which platforms have been the most successful for you in the comments below!