21 January 2020
By Drew Smith
Drew is the Director of Product Strategy at Upp and focuses on how technology can help brands and retailers deliver what their customers want.
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There is no denying the fact that social media is booming. According to Emarsys, there are 3.2 billion social media users, which equates to approximately 42 per cent of the population.
However, the way in which we are using social media is constantly changing. It is playing an increasingly important role in ecommerce today. This does not only relate to brand and product marketing but also direct shopping via the likes of Facebook and Instagram.
The stats speak for themselves. In the past 12 months, social media shopping engagement is up by 38%. According to a survey by Bazaarvoice which interviewed 500 retailers and brands, as well as 2,000 consumers across the UK, Germany, France, and the US, one-third of consumers stated that the ability to find and purchase products is of huge importance when it comes to their social networking experience.
With that in mind, it is important to integrate social media effectively into your multi-channel ecommerce strategy. Read on to discover some key pieces of advice when it comes to social media ecommerce.
Before you can begin thinking about incorporating direct shopping into your social media platforms, you need to focus on creating a brand image. If your brand is confused or non-existent, how do you expect people to want to purchase from your social media sites?
There are a number of important pieces of advice to follow when it comes to building a strong brand via social media. This includes the following:
Building a social audience gives you advertising you don’t have to pay for. However, you are only going to achieve this if you post in the correct manner: in a way that engages with people and is authentic. You can’t fake it to the top by purchasing social media followers or automating 100 per cent of your posts. You must add a personal touch.
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when it comes to using social media for their ecommerce brand is simply posting an endless stream of promotional products. You’re simply going to come across as a spam account. Instead, you need to engage with people and post about topics relating to your brand. This will help you to build a loyal following.
If you receive negative feedback, you can also use this as an opportunity. Engage with this person and figure out how you can do better. Make an effort to show your brand as one that always strives to achieve more and deliver to its customers. Not only can this grow your organic audience, but it can create some loyal followers too.
Another way to boost your brand with a clever yet organic post is to run a competition. These sorts of posts are effective across all platforms. It will generally involve people re-posting, re-tweeting, or sharing your original post in order to enter the competition. You can ask them to comment on the post and use a particular hashtag too. The winner will then get a prize of your choosing, for example, it could be one of your products or a voucher for your online store. This is a great way to generate free advertising because anyone who enters is going to be showing off your brand to all of their followers too. It will give your search engine ranking a good boost as well.
As mentioned in the introduction, you now have the option of selling products directly via social media too. In-app purchasing via Facebook store and Instagram shopping are prime examples of this. They work well because they are likely to result in impulse purchases. Plus, you’re likely to have more authentic engagement and traffic via social media, and so this means your conversion rates will be higher.
You may have noticed the ‘Product Tag’ feature on Instagram. This is something that clothing brands, especially, are making the most of. When a celebrity wears an outfit that they are endorsing for a brand, they will tag the clothing so that people can go directly to the site and purchase these items. Of course, you can do this for any sort of product, not just clothing. To do this, you’ll need to have been approved for Shopping, which you can do via Instagram settings. Once you’ve done this, you can add product tags by doing the following…
You can preview these posts before sending too. This is just one of the many innovative features out there today that shows just how useful social media can be in terms of your multi-channel ecommerce strategy.
Your social media strategy, if carried out effectively, can boost your overall ecommerce strategy. Ecommerce platforms can help ensure your overarching strategy is optimised by automating technical aspects of the product listing creation process. This will free up time for your ecommerce team to focus on other aspects of the campaign, such as investing time in building up a social media presence.
The only way you are going to be able to master the art of using social media to boost your ecommerce efforts is if you have an efficient method for measuring your current performance. You need to make the most of valuable insights so you can determine what parts of your social marketing efforts are working and where improvements can be made. Ecommerce platforms such as Upp can help you pull this data from multiple channels, allowing you to more easily find actionable takeaways to improve your strategy.
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding regarding just how important social media is to your multi-channel ecommerce strategy. If you follow the steps that have been presented above, you can make sure you incorporate social media effectively into your plans.
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