If you want to capture prospective customers’ attention, there’s no doubt that using social media for eCommerce is the way to do it. The average adult spends nearly two-and-a-half hours on social media every day.
The usage breakdown for the top platforms is an average of about one hour on Facebook, 40 minutes on YouTube and 53 minutes on Instagram. And that’s just the average–that means many users are logged on for much longer!
This high level of attention presents ample opportunity to showcase your products in front of a highly-engaged, primed-to-buy audience. Whether you’re just getting started or need to step up your existing social media game, here are four social media marketing strategies for brands that sell products online.
1. Know Thy Platform
No two social media platforms are alike, and the content that performs well on one might be a complete flop on another. That’s why the first rule of social media for eCommerce is to know your platform.
YouTube is the most popular platform in terms of sheer numbers, used by 73% of all U.S. adults. It’s used widely by almost every age group, except those 65 and older where the use numbers drop off significantly. YouTube seems to be the best platform for long-form video content, though videos under two minutes receive the most engagement.
Directly behind YouTube in popularity is Facebook. It’s also widely used across all demographics, but most pervasively among those aged 18 to 49. Though status updates and photos tend to fill the news feed, posts with video consistently outperform all other types of content on Facebook in terms of engagement.
Instagram skews younger than both Facebook and YouTube, most popular among the under-30 crowd. High-quality visuals are a must on the image-centric platform. If you’re looking to reach younger shoppers, like teens and 20-somethings, a presence on Snapchat is a good idea, while Pinterest is a go-to platform for female consumers.
Why are we spouting off all this demographic data? Because when planning your social media marketing strategies, you need to decide where to allocate resources. For most brands, it’s neither feasible or strategic to try and dominate on all social media platforms. Instead, it’s more effective to narrow your efforts to win attention on the one to two platforms where your target audience is most likely to spend time.
Even major brands take this approach. Fast-food giant Wendy’s is famous for its spicy Twitter feed, while online homeware retailer Wayfair excels at winning shoppers on Instagram. Use the data to pick the top platforms that make the most sense for your brand and zero in on creating excellent content for them.
2. Know Thy Audience
Now that you’ve narrowed down where your target audience spends time on social media, you need to analyze what kind of content they’re most likely to enjoy, respond to and engage with.
A 24-year-old single man living in Manhattan isn’t going to like the same type of Facebook posts as a 45-year-old mom of two living in the Midwest. That’s an extreme example, of course, but it illustrates how the differences in audience characteristics should inform the content you create.
Before you even begin writing post copy or taking pictures for social media campaigns, create a buyer persona, sometimes called a customer avatar. A buyer persona is a fictional identity comprised of the main characteristics that define your ideal buyer.
It should include basic demographic information like age, gender, income level, education, and location, as well as buying insights like their major pain points and barriers to buying. It should also get specific about the type of content they like. Do they prefer a lighthearted or serious tone? Are they likely to engage with interactive social media campaigns like contests, or do they prefer informational content that can be consumed without taking action?
Finally, consider the days and times when your buyer persona is most likely to see and engage with your posts. This will vary based on your audience and the platform itself. Check out our detailed guide to the best days and time to post on social media for eCommerce here.
Creating a buyer persona will help you see your target customer–and in turn, your intended social media audience–clearly in your mind’s eye. Use this insight to guide every piece of content you create.
3. Make It Easy To Buy
We often advise clients to approach social media not as a primary sales channel, but as a useful stepping stone in the buyer’s journey. In other words, it’s not the place for aggressive sales language or overly self-promotional content. That will quickly turn followers off. Rather, it’s a place to provide useful information and brand-building content that will help guide the buyer further down the sales funnel.
Still, you need to make it as easy and frictionless as possible to complete the sale from social media in the event that your follower decides they’re ready to buy. There are several platform-specific features you can use to enable easy social media shopping, including:
- Product tagging on Facebook
- Shoppable posts on Instagram
- Product rich pins on Pinterest
- Cards and end screens on YouTube
Don’t make the follower track down your website and spend time searching for the product they liked. They won’t do it. Instead, use these features to enable seamless click-through from your social media posts to checkout to drive sales with your social media campaigns.
4. Allocate a Budget
The social media space has gotten a lot more crowded among brands vying for customers’ attention, especially on Facebook, so organic reach has fallen year after year. While it’s not a necessity, allocating a budget to boost the reach of your social media campaigns will help them go a lot further.
If your budget is limited, start small by allocating funds to posts that are already performing well organically; these are likely to do even better with a budget behind them. Be sure to keep an eye on your campaign performance and the resulting actions users take on your website, which will help you determine where your money is best spent on social media.
Simplify Social Media for eCommerce with Springbot
It’s easy to put the social media marketing strategies above into action with Springbot. Springbot simplifies social media management with a suite of convenient tools like a social calendar for scheduling posts, an interactive Instagram shop, and trackable links to help you analyze the effectiveness of each platform. All of it is easy to access through a convenient and mobile-friendly social hub.
See how using social media for eCommerce can help you grow your brand, build a connection with likely customers and even drive more sales. Get started now by scheduling your free Springbot demo.