As an eCommerce owner, one of the biggest challenges you’ll face is increasing traffic to your online store. With countless competitors vying for the same traffic, getting a leg up and standing head and shoulders above the rest can be a daunting and tireless challenge. Luckily, the evolution of online shopping has introduced a platform that symbiotically caters to merchants and customers alike – social media.
Social media plays an important role for several reasons – not only is it an effective means to market and promote your business and products, but it’s also an excellent source for customers in search of product recommendations and reviews. Aside from family and friends, customers trust their peers more than any other source, and social media is an easy and convenient avenue for acquiring honest and objective third-party insights that assist in buying decisions.
To achieve sustained success in one of the most competitive markets, implementing a social media marketing strategy is an absolute must. Here are some of the ways you can grow your online communities and attract more traffic to your store:
1. Be consistent and post daily
One of the easiest ways to promote customer engagement and grow your social communities is to post content on a regular basis. Frequent, consistent posts show your audience that you’re active and dedicated to building relationships; a simple but powerful way to help your business stand out from your countless competitors.
You’ll want to post at least once a day on Facebook and 4-5 times per day on Twitter. Optionally look into using automated marketing tools that allow you to schedule posts in advance. Having content prepared in advance is a great way to ensure you don’t lose the attention of your hard-earned social media following.
2. Use keywords in your posts
Using high-conversion keywords in your posts is a great way to increase visibility beyond your limited but growing social media following. Spend some time researching popular keywords related to your industry, business, and/or services, and subtly incorporate them into your posts. Increased visibility in search results is a surefire way for drastically improving traffic to your website.
3. Promote trust with reviews
Using product reviews from satisfied customers is a powerful tool for building trust and providing unbiased insight into your products. According to Nielsen, 70% of consumers trust and rely on product reviews and seek these testimonials as part of their preliminary research before buying.
Show off your reviews with enthusiasm and let the power of your customers’ voices speak for itself.
4. Increase visibility with social sharing buttons
Adding social media sharing buttons to key areas of your site is an excellent way to cater to today’s population’s ingrained dependence on social media. Make it easy for customers to share, like, and pin your products with their own social network. As previously mentioned, customers are more likely to purchase a product on the recommendation of family and friends. The easier you make this task, the easier you make it for customers to promote your brand.
You may want to consider adding sharing buttons to products, order confirmation emails, or even limited time sales. Remember, the more content you have to share, the more traffic you’ll generate back to your website.
5. Attract with visual content
Consumers are by nature visual-oriented, and as such, require more than just text to capture their attention. Ensure your posts are optimally engaging by including a visually appealing image – especially when posting on Facebook. Research has proven that posts with images garner 50% more likes than text-based posts, making it the single most important tactic for optimizing and improving social media posts.
If posting to Pinterest, include a “Pin It” button with every image. Image-driven communities are looking to share their awesome findings; make it easy for customers to share and pin your images with their own network of friends and family.
6. Engage with followers
Social media platforms are the easiest and best avenue for interacting and engaging with customers on a personal level. Actively participate in ongoing discussions, address concerns or questions as they arise, and thank customers for sharing their experiences and opinions. Maintaining an active social presence helps to build prosperous customer relationships, and most importantly, shows customers that you’re invested in their needs and opinions – the first and most critical step in building trust.
To ensure you address all concerns in a timely manner, check your various accounts multiple times a day; letting a negative or scandalous comment fester within a social media community is hazardous to any business’s reputation.
7. Keep it short
Consumers navigating social media websites are browsing in a hurry, and aren’t keen on long, information-rich posts that consume a great deal of their time. By keeping your posts short and sweet, you increase the likelihood that your content will be shared and re-tweeted by readers.
Use engaging, eye-catching images and brief headlines to reel in your customers’ attention – the less time it takes for them to read your posts, the more engaging they’ll find its content.
8. Host live chats or run a Q&A
Customers are interested in more than what a business sells. In today’s competitive market, a customer’s decision to support a company is determined by their ability to actively engage and address any and all customer inquiries on a consistent basis. Hosting weekly live chats or Q&A sessions are excellent ways to encourage community engagement and allow customers to get candid insight into your industry, business and products, and put to bed any issues or concerns that may surround your company.
Remember to answer any questions or concerns that arise. Every customer represents an opportunity to grow your brand and establish your business as an industry leader worthy of recognition and attention.