It’s Time for E-commerce Retailers to Socialize

Posted by Pralhad Tipnis on Oct 5, 2017 7:26:39 AM

As per the August 2017 edition of the Global Digital Snapshot by We Are Social and Hootsuite, there are around 3.8 billion user accounts on social media. Yes, you read that right. Billion! With a Big B!

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Fig. 1 Internet and Social Media User Stats
Source: https://wearesocial.com/special-reports/digital-in-2017-global-overview

Out of this massive social media user base, 64% of these users visit some social media platform at least once. Moreover, average time spent on social media is around 4 hours and the younger the age-group, the longer they spend time on social media.

What does all this mean for e-commerce retailers?

Social media adoption has increased 21% year-on-year, which amounts to around half a billion new users. Furthermore, here are some interesting stats on how people use social media:

  • 40% follow/like/subscribe their favorite brands on social media
  • 70% have bought something because they saw it while browsing social media
  • 85% of potential consumers refer to social media to aid buying decision

We can see from the above stats that social media is no longer just a way to catch up with old high-school buddies. Today, it is a huge business. In 2016, Facebook alone generated over $7 billion dollars in revenue through advertising.

As more and more people starting coming online, business adopted an online presence and jumped on the e-commerce bandwagon. In the same way, today e-commerce retailers have to adopt social media marketing strategies to capture this huge billion-user market. And now it’s no longer optional.

How to Maximize Your Social Media Presence?

A lot of business get their social media strategies wrong. Most businesses get carried away by the torrent of opinions on establishing a social media presence, but a road-map on how to go about it is never shared.

Just like traditional media like television, radio, and print, your marketing campaigns are going to be duds if the strategy is wrong. For instance, choosing the wrong social media platform to promote your message or broadcasting to a wrong audience.

Below are some tips to help execute a successful social media campaign:

  1. Create Objectives and Goals:

The first step towards creating any campaign is to define goals and objectives. When planning out your strategy, your goals should align with the overarching business goals. Having concrete objectives help you gauge success and prove ROI.

When setting your goals, go beyond vanity metrics such as retweets, likes, etc. Instead, focus on leads generated, referrals, and conversions. The best way to set up your objectives is to use the time-honored SMART goal-setting technique.

image2Here’s how you can use this technique while setting up your social media strategy. Let’s assume you’re a fashion retailer looking to create a social media campaign on Instagram. Your objectives could look something like:

  • Post visually appealing photos of featured products
  • Frequency of sponsored posts will be thrice a week
  • Target for each post is 50 likes and 10 comments
  • 20% conversion rate
  • Gain 500 more followers every two weeks

Above is a simple way you can start creating a marketing plan for social media. Remember to have at least three goals that your campaign wants to achieve.

2. Continuous Social Media Audit:

Before creating a plan, it is advised that you audit all your current social media accounts. You can do it with a simple spreadsheet. It helps you assess how you fare in terms of social media presence with your competitors, who connect with you via social, which platforms are used by your target audience etc.

An audit helps you keep track of the number of accounts for your brand are online, which accounts need to be updated, and which are to be deleted. Tracking your social media inventory helps you understand who runs the numerous profiles, and it keeps the various teams aligned with company goals, especially when it comes to scaling up.

Also, you should regularly Google search your business to see what social media accounts show up. If you come across any fraudulent accounts, it is imperative you report them immediately and ensure customers searching for you interact with only those accounts that you actively manage.

3. Create and Share the Right Content:

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Social media works a little differently than traditional marketing. Here, sales pitches are frowned upon and are a sure-fire way to get unfollowed. Instead, provide useful content that adds value to your customers.

It does not mean you should never promote on social media, but rather promotional posts should be balanced with content that informs, educates, and entertains.

4. User Reviews of Customers:

Create an avenue for satisfied customers and influencers to share their reviews and opinions on social media. Adding widgets for customers to like your products or share their reviews with followers are just some ways to build trust and credibility for your brand.

5. Concentrate on Visual Content:

Social media is primarily a visual medium. And even platforms depending on text such as Twitter are limited in terms of character count. The human mind processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Here are some telling stats on how important visual content is for social media:

  • 63% of social media is made up of images
  • 66% of post on social media is visual content
  • 50% of reports/shares/retweets had a photo or video
  • Visual content gets 94% more views

6.Engage Customers through User-generated Content:

User-generated content is one of the best ways you can generate goodwill at a next-to-nothing cost. You can encourage your followers on Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook to post stories (short videos) related to the products they’ve bought. These could be unboxing videos, product reviews, product usage videos, and much more.

Many retail brands are missing out on these kinds of customer testimonials, which are visually engaging. Also, from the perspective of a customer s, ch testimonials from their social circles are more credible than reviews by strangers on the product page.

What Lies Ahead for Social Media and E-commerce?

With the massive proliferation of social media in recent years, retailers and marketers are finding more ways to engage customers. Moreover, it is imperative to develop online experiences that enable a customer to discover a product and buy it immediately on their social media channel. Marketers are branding it as ‘shopable’ content. And with WhatsApp experimenting with business accounts, there are going to be even more avenues to engage customers through chatbots, real-time customer service, and much more.

Social media marketing is no longer optional and has moved onto being a major weapon in a marketer’s arsenal. Planning, managing, and executing the many social media channels can seem daunting for a business. That’s where Iksula comes in. Whether it is SEO, SMO, SMM, or Omni-channel promotions, Iksula is your one-stop shop for digital marketing.

Get it touch with our sales team at connect@iksula.com and find out how we can help you socialize with your customers and maximize your sales.

Tags: eCommerce, eCommerce Trends & Insights, social media