Anyone who runs an eCommerce business knows how big of a role social media plays in the success of their online store. With roughly 1.96 billion social media users worldwide, eCommerce stores have the ability to reach more consumers than ever before and turn them into loyal customers.
However, this is easier said than done. Getting social media traffic that actually results in higher conversions can be tricky for many online merchants. Some retailers will generate huge amounts of social media traffic with disappointingly low conversion rates. Others can’t seem to generate any social media traffic at all.
It can be frustrating, to say the least. But eCommerce store owners can’t ignore social media if they want to compete in today’s market. Instead of wasting your money on social media campaigns that fail to bring you a decent ROI, it’s time to rethink your social media strategy. To help you harness the power of social media, here are seven effective ways to increase both social media traffic and conversions so that your online store gets the attention it deserves:
1. Start Using More Visuals
In recent years, the importance of visual content has become increasingly apparent to retailers who have performed A/B testing on their content. Research only confirms what many digital marketers already knew: Content containing relevant photos, videos, and infographics get a whopping 94 percent more views compared to content without visuals.
Thus, the key to increasing social traffic is to first capture your target audience’s attention with visuals. Here are a few suggestions for online store owners to use:
Be Active on Visually-Heavy Social Media
Further confirmation that web users crave visual content can be seen in the huge growth of visually-heavy social media sites such as Pinterest and Instagram. If your eCommerce store isn’t using these social media platforms, you are potentially missing the opportunity for additional high-quality leads.
On Pinterest, users who click on a pin often do so because they are ready to purchase that specific product. In fact, research from Millward Brown found that 93 percent of Pinterest users have used Pinterest to plan for or make a purchase.
Likewise, Instagram has the potential to drive massive amounts of traffic to your website if you use smart posting strategies (i.e., using hashtags, having a bio link, using Geotags, making it shoppable). By taking advantage of new technology, you can tap into the social selling power of Instagram and increase your store’s ROI even more.
Become a Master of Visual Content
You now know that visuals can attract more views and get your content noticed. But if you really want to increase your conversions, you’ve got to become smart about the type of visuals you use. This means recognizing when a video tutorial might be more helpful than a written guide or using a clever meme to engage your audience. Additionally, your visuals need to inspire your visitors to take some sort of action.
2. Write Amazing, Share-Worthy Content
It has been pounded into every digital marketer’s head: Content is king. Continuously post high-quality, share-worthy content to your audience, and you will be rewarded with increased traffic, higher conversions, and even a boost in search rankings.
Do Research First
There is an easy way to tell whether or not your content will be popular. Tools such as BuzzSumo and Ahrefs can help give you an idea of what content will perform best on various social media channels. While nothing is guaranteed, these tools can help you reduce the chance of wasting time on content that isn’t going to attract your target audience’s attention.
Know Your Audience
Knowing who you are writing content for is key to getting it shared by the right people and attracting potential buyers to your website. The more you know about your target audience, the easier it will be to write content that will resonate with them. For this reason, many retailers find it beneficial to use eCommerce tools that provide customer insights so they can target their audience more effectively.
Make It Easy to Share
If you want your content to go viral and generate more traffic, you need to make it easy to share. Installing plugins and social sharing buttons makes it much simpler for visitors to share your content and product pages that help drives traffic to your eCommerce store.
3. Use A/B Testing
A/B testing (also known as split testing) is a must for any online retailers. A/B testing allows you to experiment with two different variables to decide which one will generate more traffic and conversions for your online store. From your website design to your content headlines, you can figure out which variables will help you obtain more sales.
Testing Your Website Design
If your conversion rates are low despite a high amount of traffic, the problem could be your website design. Not only does it need to be aesthetically pleasing to visitors, but it also needs to be easy to navigate.
Research from Google revealed that users find websites with low visual complexity and high prototypicality appealing. In other words, users love simple web designs that evoke familiarity.
Along the same lines, your website shouldn’t have any hurdles when it comes to the checkout process. A website that is difficult to navigate will only result in a higher-than-normal rate of abandoned shopping carts.
Don’t Forget Smaller Changes
You may not think that changing a blog post title could have much of an impact, but it can actually mean the difference between a few social media shares and a few thousand. A/B testing is incredibly useful for blog post titles because it can help you discover which titles will generate more clicks and shares, which in turn will generate more social traffic to your online store.
4. Keep Updates Short and Sweet
Thanks to the widespread use of smartphones, people have been reported to lose concentration after eight seconds. This means that your followers are likely to pass over your social media updates that are super long and detailed. By keeping your updates short and to the point, you will increase your chances of grabbing the attention of your followers and increasing your shares.
Say More with Visuals
As mentioned earlier, visuals have proven to be far more effective at generating shares and traffic to your website. If you can convey a message with a picture alone, you should absolutely use it in your updates.
Go Shorter Than Necessary
It’s tempting to try to cram as much information into an update when using platforms such as Twitter, because you are only allowed a maximum of 140 characters. However, using fewer characters may attract followers more effectively. For example, Buffer reports that the ideal length of a Twitter update is only “71-100” characters (without a link), while the ideal length for Facebook is a mere 40 characters. You can check out the imported document for more details.
5. Engage with Your Audience
Another effective way of driving sales is by engaging with your audience via social media. Whether this involves a bit of damage control or having fun with your followers, showing them you are listening is a great way to get them to trust your online business.
Follow Up on Negative Reviews
Negative reviews aren’t the end of the world. In fact, you can gain some loyal customers by publicly responding to negative reviews in the right manner. If a customer leaves an angry review on your Facebook page, learn how to sympathize with the customer and make things right. Not only can you potentially change the mind of the person who left the review, but you could also raise your image in the eyes of others who stumble across this review.
Hold Contests over Social Media
Social media contests can be an effective way to not only bring traffic to your online store, but have a big payoff later in the form of conversions. Contests held over social media can give your business greater visibility when you require contestants to use a specific hashtag in their entry or require them to share a post to their followers.
Another way that social media contests can increase conversions is by giving contestants the ability to opt into your list that gives you permission to email them. If you go this route, make sure that your email marketing strategy is strong and helps you build relationships with your target audience. Sending out personalized emails can significantly boost traffic to your online store, and having an easy way to track purchases from these emails can help you understand your customers better for future sales.
4. Pay Attention to Keywords That Convert
Most eCommerce business owners have conducted keyword research for organic search and for their paid search advertising, but it is also important to think about keywords for your social media marketing.
Hashtags play a critical role in your content’s visibility. Using the right hashtags can get your content more likes, attract additional followers, and bring in a greater number of customers to your online store. You can make the most of hashtags by using ones that are popular and making them relevant to your specific niche.
Track Trending Keywords and Topics
You can use social media platforms such as Twitter to discover which topics and keywords are currently trending, and write content that is centered around them. By doing so, you can produce relevant content that drives traffic to your eCommerce store.
7. Take Tips from Your Competitors
There is a lot that you can learn from your competitors. By using spying tools or simply making a mental note of clever (and disastrous) social media strategies, you can skip the hard work of figuring out the best strategies, and use the ones that are proven to work.
Learn the Difference Between Fame and Notoriety
There are some social media pros out there that we can all learn from. For example, Jen from Skyscanner no doubt gave her company an enormous boost in web traffic when a customer posted on Skyscanner’s Facebook page asking what he should do during a 47-year layover (obviously, an error on Skyscanner’s part). Jen’s witty responses to both the customer and some other commenters went viral, and gained her and her company internet fame.
On the other hand, this can backfire if you aren’t careful. There have been many cases in which jokes have not been well received and can hurt your bottom line. Learn from the successes and mistakes of your competitors to come out on top.
Use Competitor Spy Tools
There are plenty of social listening tools for you to choose from, that allow you to spy on your competitors and find out what they are doing well so that you can boost your own social media engagement. Here are just a few suggestions:
SpyFu: A tool that lets you know what keywords your competitors are targeting in AdWords and organic search.
Ahrefs: A useful tool for finding out who is linking to your competitors, what content is getting the most shares, which keywords they’re using/not using, etc.
SEMRush: SEMRush has a social media tool that allows you to track your competitor’s social media profiles.
Look carefully at the social media strategies that your competitors use. If they are using a particular strategy over a measured amount of time, chances are good that the strategy is effective. Use the competitor landscape for inspiration and monitor your ROI to see if your social media efforts are working for you.
There are many different strategies you can use to obtain greater amounts of social traffic and subsequent conversions. While the ideas listed above are worth exploring, every eCommerce site has different goals, and some methods may work better than others.
To find out which strategies are working best for your online store, it’s important to have a way to collect and analyze customer data. By doing so, you will know which methods to hold onto and which methods to scrap in order to grow your store. If you have questions or need advice, seek the advice of an eCommerce marketing platform like Springbot to discover effective ways to increase your social media traffic.