Simply being on social media and earning lots of followers isn’t enough to drive people to your eCommerce business.
According to research conducted by Compass, the average conversion rates from social media to purchases are quite meager - to be precise, stores that have a presence with 5,000 or more followers have, on average, the following conversion rates per platform:
- Facebook - 9.23%
- Twitter - 9.27%
- Instagram - 9.32%.
But what if you could push those numbers higher? Here are four social media growth strategies to help you do just that.
1. Select social media outlets where you can shine
BeardBrand is an internet based company that markets products to men who have adopted the trend of donning, thick, full beards.
BeardBrand have carefully crafted a powerful social media presence - and as a result more than half of their sales are due to social. This is largely due to picking social media outlets where their brand could shine.
There are a few sizes and fragrances still in stock, so if you've been eyeing one then go snag it before it's gone. More are coming soon though, don't worry! : @cydneycosette #beardbrand #utilitybalm #beardcare #haircare #skincare #beards #beard #mensgrooming #beardgoals #beardlife #beardstyle #moisturize #photography #product #portrait #silverline #teatree #treeranger #spicedcitrus #goldine #oldmoney #templesmoke #fourvices #whiteline #lumberyard #blankslate #urbangarden
Part of this decision was driven by necessity - it simply isn’t possible for a brand to make a meaningful impact on social media if its efforts are spread thin. In BeardBrand’s case, they focused on Tumblr and YouTube, and also some niche social media platforms where it’s easier to stand out and reach a very specific audience. One example of this is Reddit where you can find communities built around very specific interests, or create a relevant subreddit of your own.
2. Use social listening to find conversations about your brand
Social listening is simply monitoring the internet - especially social media - for conversations about your brand.
There are tools you can purchase specifically for social listening, or you can implement your own social listening strategy. Many brands simply use Google alerts to stay on top of things.
In addition to focusing on whatever's trending about your company, you can also expand your social listening strategy. For example, you can pay attention to your competitors, or set your sights on things that are getting significant attention in your niche.
Once you start listening, here are some things you can do:
- Interact sincerely with potential customers by identifying and searching for relevant keywords
- Find happy and unhappy customers to reach out to on social media
- Provide advice and useful information without promoting your brand
- Simply get an idea of where your audience is online
- Identify influencers and brand ambassadors
Perhaps even more importantly, social listening gives you the opportunity to truly understand how your brand is viewed.That’s an extremely important - albeit potentially painful - thing to know.
3. Take advantage of your customers’ enthusiasm
Look at the example of Diamond Candles, an online business that sells candles. Their spin is that embedded within each candle is a ring worth ten dollars. In addition to that customers also receive a slip of paper telling them if they’ve won another ring worth between 100 and 5000 dollars.
This has generated enthusiasm that likely saved the company - as a Diamond Candles case study showed, the company simply didn’t have the money for advertising.
Instead of focusing on paid advertising, the company went for user-generated content - more specifically, photos that customers took when their rings were revealed to them. This remains a flagship element of their social media strategy.
4. Produce content for the season
As good as retailers are at scheduling sales events and promotional content to coincide with seasons, holidays, and important events, they regularly fail to harness the potential to create and share non-promotional social media content related to these events.
“Holiday and special event related posts are social media gold mines for two reasons,” said Nathan Yeung, CEO of Find Your Audience Online. “First, these posts are almost always highly visual. For example, you could include pictures of your company’s holiday events, or photos from local events. Considering that 87% of Facebook engagement happens with posts that inclide a picture, that’s pretty significant. Then there’s the emotional factor - holiday and event posts trigger a range of positive emotions ranging from happiness to excitement to sentimentality. Posts that evoke emotions are great for creating engagement and conversions.”
Seasonal events are a great time to promote sales and other special events. They're also a great time to share relevant content and build relationships with your customers. Focus on creating, and curating, relevant content more than promotional content. Track local events, holidays, seasonal changes, major sports events, etc. Then target your content efforts organically rather than promotionally.
The importance of social media to eCommerce is nothing new, but what is new are the opportunities to use social media to boost your eCommerce business. Taking advantage of these opportunities are key to your continued growth.