How to use the power of social media to better market your online store
Contributor Steve Olenski explains the benefits of employing social media tools and techniques to let potential customers get to know your brand.
When you own, run, or look after the marketing for an online store, there are plenty of strategies you can implement to generate interest, build a brand, increase conversions, boost referrals and encourage repeat business.
In this day and age, though, when billions of people have at least some kind of online social media presence and use networking sites to research products and make buying decisions, it is imperative that your marketing efforts have a significant focus in the social space, too. Read on for some ways you should be using the power of social media to better market your e-commerce store today.
Use social data analytics tools to target your marketing efforts more effectively
When it comes to using social networking tools to build your e-commerce business, your best resources will be social data analytics programs. More sophisticated than ever, these tools will collect and analyze the data from the social media sites you use to help you ensure you’re targeting the right customers, and also to allow you market to them more effectively. This makes it easier to design a marketing strategy that will get the results you want.
In particular, tools such as Buffer, BuzzSumo, Keyhole, Hootsuite, and Klout can look at the engagement you receive on social media posts to determine which types of posts receive the most likes, shares, replies, and comments, and which links are clicked on most often.
Once you have this data at your fingertips, you can work out which content to do more of and which to not bother spending time on. It also helps you to ensure that you’re reaching the target customers you’re after, plus can help you to identify potential new demographics to focus on.
Chat with customers directly in real time
Another top benefit of using social media to market your online store is that platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram provide you with a space to improve your customer service. On social networking sites, you can chat with people directly in real time, and have more meaningful interactions with current and potential clients.
By answering questions as soon as they come in, providing information when it is needed, running live chat sessions, or responding to complaints or problems ASAP, you can make customers happier. They will then, in turn, become more loyal to your store, and will be much more likely to recommend your products or services to their friends, family members, colleagues, and other contacts. This does some handy marketing for you, and at a very low cost.
Keep in mind that people are busy and quite demanding these days, and expect to hear back from businesses straight away, not in hours or days. Social media provides the perfect platform for this type of quick response, and means that people don’t have to waste time on hold on the phone, or worry about checking to see if they have received an email reply. They will be more likely to finalize their transactions as a result, and to come back and buy from you again.
Apart from making people feel more confident to buy online because they have the information they need or have had their concerns allayed via social media, providing customer service on networking sites also helps you to impress a lot of other consumers at the same time. People can see, publicly, that you take customer service seriously, and that you will go the extra mile to help clients and address problems right away. This is the perfect low-cost marketing tool.
Communicate your brand
In addition to overcoming possible objections and demonstrating your commitment to customer service, you can use social media to build your brand by humanizing it. Through posting online, you allow people to get to know the company more intimately, as well as the people behind it.
Via social media channels you can showcase the personality of your brand, and demonstrate the venture’s passions, vision, goals, beliefs, and point of difference. You can give people a taste of what the culture is like within the organization, and who it is that they will speak to or buy from when engaging with the business. You can also introduce them to the people responsible for selecting the products sold or determining the way they’re packaged up and shipped out. This allows you to stand out from the thousands of other e-commerce stores you will likely be competing with.
Brand storytelling is important for all businesses, but online stores, in particular, can benefit from using social networking sites to tell stories about the products sold and about the culture, lifestyle, and/or ethos that defines them and the venture as a whole. Through your posts you can help people to trust in your business and what it is you sell, and inspire them to share the lifestyle and culture you’re defining.