Thursday, 13 September 2012

Beginners guide social media success

When running an ecommerce store, the ability to effectively engage with your community through your social media channels is going to be important in helping bring traffic to your site and encourage them to purchase. However, for those who may not use social media often or may be new to running an online store, where should you create social media accounts and what should you post?

Where to post?

While the two obvious social media sites you definitely need to look at are Facebook and Twitter, these shouldn't be the only two that you focus on. Today, there are a number of different social media sites that are able to get a high number of users interacting with their site each day. These platforms include Pinterest, YouTube, Google+ and also social bookmarking sites such as StumbleUpon, Digg, Delicious and Reddit. Placing your content on each one of these sites is going to allow as many people as possible to become aware of your business name and what it is you offer. This, albeit limited initial engagement, forms the basis for your customer relationships, increasing the chances of you generating traffic and sales. 

What to post?

So now we have decided where we need to place our social media content, the next thing we need to decide is what are we actually going to post? Well what you post depends on what it is your business offers and how much time you have to spend on it.

Blog Posts - This isn't a sales piece, rather an informative piece that is related to your business. So if you run an electronics store, you may write some articles on the latest technology news or how certain electronic products could help make managing your life easier. Your blog posts are a great way to not only improve the ranking of your website through keywords, but to also create a platform to inform and engage with your customers. Within your blog you can also place links letting people know how they can access your online store.

Products - The more places you can show off your wears to people, the more chance you have of turning them into customers. You should be placing images on all of your social media sites on a regular basis, showing off the most popular products you have for sale and also any new products that you add to your store. While the best social media sites for showing off your product images are Facebook and Pinterest, there is nothing wrong with placing them across all of your social platforms. The strength of social media comes in the ability for users to share these images between their contacts, meaning your content can be exposed to a whole new customer base who didn't even know your store existed. 

Sales and Offers - In terms of providing content to make sure you are able create a popular social media platform, this is the most important. As we have mentioned in the past, the majority of people who follow a business on social media sites, do so to find out about the latest sales and offers. For this reason you should make sure that as soon as you decide to launch promotion, you place it on your social media sites for everyone to see. You can also choose to reward your social media followers by creating a promotion specifically for them. This would allow them to enter a specific code you have posted on your social media account, which they can then use to receive a discount on a product. Not only does this make your social media followers feel more valued, it also attracts new customers to join your social media channels just to find out about these offers. 

Also, when running a promotion, you can also look to increase customer engagement by creating a promotion that specifically requires them to give their opinion, possibly through some sort of voting system. For example, you could post four items from your store on a specific social media site, such as Facebook and ask your fans to vote on which item they would like to see a discount on. This way you are placing a promotion on an item that you know will be popular with customers and will also get sales. 

Answering Questions - Sometimes it is the simple things that are going to bring you the greatest success. While posting blog content, images and offers are all very important, sometimes answering a question from a user could be just as effective. Answering any queries users may have not only makes them feel more comfortable about purchasing from your store in the future, it also helps give your business a personality, making it seem much more approachable and trusting in the eyes of potential customers. 

Social Commerce - Within today's world of online selling, social media is not only a place to interact with customers, but is now also a platform where you can sell products directly to the customers. If you have your own Facebook store, you are able to have customers purchase items directly from Facebook. Depending on the items your store sells, this could be a popular platform as they would not have to leave Facebook to visit a third party site and you could also take advantage of a customer's buying impulse by allowing them to purchase a product as quick as possible. 

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