Social media has quickly become a primary marketing channel for e-commerce stores looking to engage consumers.
Social sites like Facebook and Instagram were commonly used to generate brand interest, with SEO and paid ads being the primary channels for driving sales.
Social media, though, now leads to many sales for businesses, potentially on the social platform itself.
Even if you have neglected the leading social platforms, it is not too late to start building an audience.
Using the following methods, you can increase engagement, build trust, and make sales.
1. Engage Followers
Your social media shouldn't appear to be a promotional avenue that doesn't engage with followers.
Consumers typically want to know that the brand is listening to their followers and values their opinions.
A simple strategy is to ask questions, liking their messages, or responding to feedback.
You can also use the responses to create new content, posting the funniest or smartest ideas.
When followers feel there is a relationship between themselves and your brand, they feel more invested in the interactions.
2. Provide Value
Followers expect to gain something of value from following you.
If they only experience promotional posts, engagement levels will quickly go down.
Value can come in many different ways, though, so you aren't restricted by one type of post.
Instagram users might respond to images that are more eye-catching and inventive than the average content on a feed.
You could create a tutorial that offers something useful to individuals in your niche.
Alternatively, you may choose to highlight an exciting aspect of your business, like using sustainable materials in your products.
3. Encourage User-Generated Content
User-generated content can successfully promote a store, helping to avoid a common issue within e-commerce.
Frequently, stores are limited to posting pictures of their items and listing some of the product features.
User-generated content, though, offers an alternative approach, helping to showcase your products in a different context.
A user might create an Instagram image or YouTube video of your product that wouldn't be something a brand would create themselves. Popular e-commerce focused videos created by users are unboxing videos--any way you can incentivize your customers to create unboxing videos can your brand connect with potential customers in a genuine way.
This type of engagement can then lead to other users developing innovative content of their own.
4. Respond to Followers
Responding to followers shows you are focused on your social platforms.
Many people use Twitter, for example, to ask customer service questions.
If you ignore these questions, your brand reputation can suffer.
A large business may struggle to answer every follower consistently, so you also need to develop a process that gets followed.
You could provide a reference number and link for customer support queries, while feedback can get delivered via a separate form.
5. Highlight Feedback
Most e-commerce stores have a review section for each product, allowing customers to rate the product.
Some customers may go straight to social media, though, offering their review on your page.
Collating feedback from your website and social platforms gives you free content that can be used to promote yourself.
You could post a positive review on an Instagram Story, for example, encouraging other followers to investigate the product directly.
6. Build a Community
Building a community is the next stage after engaging with followers.
The process will be similar, but you develop more of a structure within your social platforms. You could create a Facebook group, allowing your most dedicated customers to discuss the brand.
These pages can be used to gain direct feedback and offer coupon codes or contests to increase engagement.
Fans who feel they have a close relationship with a brand will often become an ambassador who promotes you without any prompting.
Social media has become such a popular channel for e-commerce stores that consumers expect to find you on various platforms.
Many products are not easy to promote in the traditional formats, but social media lets you experiment with different styles of branding.
You could be funny, playful, artistic, or use any other approach that will engage audiences.
It can be hard to stand out on social media, but any e-commerce store that can manage to get positive attention will reap the rewards with sales.
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