14 Proven Social Media Growth Strategies For Online Stores
- Dilawar Hussain
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Do you know how to use social media to your advantage? Do you know how it can actually help your business grow? Occasional Facebook status/Tweeting doesn’t count. Everybody goes on social media platforms and shares their content.
Even 12 year olds do that, but that’s not what you would call social media marketing. Social media marketing requires you to actually come up with a plan on what you want to do, why you want to do it, and how you are going to do it.
Most online businesses ignore the essential elements of social media which ends up costing them further growth opportunities.
Here are a few things you can accomplish with the help of proper social media strategies.
- Creating captivating posts about your products, deals and campaigns.
- You can share content that showcases your products to generate interest and get people to talk about it.
- Actively seek discussions that can lead to community building around your brand and products.
- Higher brand awareness and discovery.
- More natural way to announce your upcoming products to your loyal audience.
- Easy to promote events to increase attendance.
- Increase in site traffic and subscribers.
- Easier to establish expertise in your niche.
People don’t just want to see your promotional material or ad copy, they want to know you and your brand. They want to feel like they’re getting to know you and everything about your business.
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The Best Strategies For Social Media Right Now
The best strategies include capitalizing on the current trends. If a meme is trending or there’s a hot video out there with millions of views then you can come up with some marketing campaign that connects your brand with the current trend.
Hack # 1: Highjack Current Trends
You don’t have to manually go through your social media feed to find the hottest trends. There are a bunch of tools out there that provide you with the latest trends and viral stuff on a daily basis. Check these out below.
Use Forekast to find out what’s happening right now and what popular events are coming up. This gives you an idea to what content you can publish. You can use the upcoming trending events to your advantage and create content according to those events to capture most of the trend.
Another great place to find trending content is Today on the Internet, this platform organizes all the top photos, GIFs, and videos by their popularity. Each day you get a large number of shareable content on this website. You can choose the photos and videos that relate to your niche and post them to get extra attention from your followers.
Hack # 2: DOUBLE Your Social Media Engagement!!!
You spend your precious time creating the most engaging content, but most of the times it’s either a hit or a miss. However, the content that’s hit is still not being utilized to its full potential. What if we tell you that can use your best content to double the engagement rate.
If any of your posts or videos get a lot of attention at a certain time then you’ve got a great opportunity to double the engagement. You can now post the same content at a different time, for example, you can post it after a week in the morning (if the original was posted at night) so this way your content is shown to a lot of newer audience.
Since the post already did well, there’s a high chance it will do well again. So, you have received double the attention on the same content effectively doubling the results.
And the most important thing is to keep an eye out on your pages for more engagement opportunities. Try to imitate your competitors in doing what they are doing to engage their audience.
If you are selling smartphone accessories then you can post an image of a certain product. For example “Beats headphones Vs. Bose headphone” and ask your users to which is the best. This way you get the most engagement from fans of both the brands.
Hack #3: (Growth) HACK Your Instagram Competitors!
For Instagram, type “#shopnow” in the search bar and explore all the results. These are examples of good content for this hashtag.
See what other hashtags these posts are targeting to get an idea of what product category-related hashtags you can target to get an even larger reach. Try to aim for ones that get posted in frequently (You can check the top posts times to see how quickly they went into trending) – You can also use Google custom search to target keywords like these on public Instagram posts.
Get More Social Media Followers For Your E-commerce Store Using These Hacks
You might have questions like how to attract the first followers/fans? How to get started with social media without any following? Well, here’s what you can do.
To get likes, shares, and/or followers you need to increase your visibility. Add links to your social media profiles on your website, engage with people on social media, use hashtags and trends to your advantage, add your social media links in your emails, and more.
Keep in mind, that no amount of effort is going to bring in followers/shares if your content doesn’t provide any value to your audience. So, make sure that you create quality content daily.
#4. Facebook Strategies In 2018:
- Videos have the best reach on Facebook right now. Check this video that showcases the usage of a product for promotion. (AgoraPulse)
- Avoid using engagement bait: It’s quite tempting to try and trick the new algorithm to prioritize your content by specifically asking your audience to engage with it like saying “Comment if you like pizza” or something similar. If you be that brand, users will definitely dislike you and think of you as spammy. Facebook states that using “Engagement-bait” to get people to comment on your content is not an authentic interaction and such content will be demoted in the News Feed.
- Text and link-based posts have reduced reach so videos are a much better alternative. Here’s an example of an excellent product video that generated a lot of engagement for this store:
- The new Facebook algorithm still favors videos. So, videos are essential, but live videos are much more important. Mark Zuckerberg stated that live videos often lead to a good discussion among viewers which is true. Live videos do bring in at least six times more interactions than regular videos.
#5. Facebook Messenger Automation Is Still Cool
Messenger is hot right now, and most of the digital marketers out there believe that it will overshadow email marketing soon. With Messenger, you can use chatbots to your advantage and also to further expand your reach by using Facebook Messenger ads.
It’s still a growing area of social media marketing, but it’s something you should keep an eye out for.
eBay uses a dedicated shopbot that helps users find the perfect deals according to their preferences via Facebook messenger.
RetailMeNot uses a chatbot on Facebook messenger to help users submit an offer or find the perfect offer automatically.
Popular clothing store H&M uses a chatbot for Kik messenger to provide users with recommendations based on their preferences.
Using tools such as Manychat, you can easily set up a chat bot that can provide value to your Facebook audience with really simple flows that are easy to create without any coding requirements. Anyone that benefits from your Messenger-created value will automatically be added as a Messenger subscriber to your Facebook page, like a mailing list.
#6. Facebook Groups: Infinitely Larger Reach Than Pages
Both Facebook Groups and Facebook Pages have their pros an cons. However, you need to understand that people on your Facebook page might just be there for the discounts, coupons, etc., while on the other hand, people in Facebook Group will be most interested in your brand and engaged in discussions.
Facebook Groups also get better reach organically, because all of the content is pretty much user-generated… So you should combine both of these in your social media strategy. You can make a group about your brand’s message and cause, if it has one. If it doesn’t, now’s a great time to start.
Pinterest is all about collaboration. So, if you want success then invite other bloggers/influencers related to your niche to contribute to our Pinterest boards, This is how you increase your network and exposure.
You can’t sort the Pinterest content by the number of repins. So, you can’t find trending/popular content that easily anymore. However, tools like Sorting Social can help you sort the most popular content by repins to find trending content you can use.
Instagram is definitely an important social media platform for all ecommerce stores out there. Since, it’s focused mainly on visual content, it’s the best place for ecommerce stores to showcase their products via product photos, usage videos, video reviews, customer photos, etc.
- Grow your Instagram account by engaging with followers of other brands in your niche. This way you will target your relevant audience and increase your following. Check out our guide on how you can go from 0 to 10K Instagram Followers.
- Instagram automation is necessary to grow your account. It’s quite easy to automate your Instagram account, so it brings in followers while you focus on something else. Here’s how you can automate your Instagram account.
- Find influencers in your niche and send them a message to promote your products. They can do it for free or charge you based on their engagement rate. Here’s how to find reliable Instagram influencers.
Social Media Strategies That DONT Work Anymore
Now that you know which social media platforms to post on, what kind of content to post, and how to provide value. There are also things that you should avoid. Consider these the deadliest sins of social media.
- Link posts. If you keep posting links to your products everyday then it’s considered as Spam. So, don’t spam your posts or product links on social media without actually providing value.
- NEVER lie about product descriptions. Keep products descriptions as accurate as possible. Offering free products with hiked up shipping prices doesn’t fool anyone anymore
- Don’t use fake or generic images for products. Try to use high-quality product images, take them yourself (Images from AliExpress count as generic).
- Don’t promise free returns/refunds if you can’t keep your promise.
#9. The Best Timings To Post On Social Networks
CoSchedule found out the ideal time to post on social media for each network. These are the times when you can make the most out of your posts, engage with your audience, drive traffic, and overall generate sales, without coming off as annoying to your followers.
Here’s what they found:
Facebook: Post just once or at the most twice daily to Facebook. Anything higher than that can be considered spammy.
Twitter: 15 Tweets per day is what you want. That’s the sweet spot that will get you all the benefits of Twitter marketing.
Pinterest: Aim somewhere between 15 to 30 posts daily to get the best results on this social network.
Instagram: Posting 1-2 relevant images daily should do the trick on Instagram. If you have more content to share then try out the Instagram stories feature. The types of content you can use: live videos, stories, images, videos, multi-image posts, boomerangs, etc.
#10. eCommerce Facebook Page Essentials
Now, that you are ready to market your ecommerce business on Facebook, it’s time to learn the ropes on basic essentials that are required for a successful Facebook Page.
Here are the essential elements that an ecommerce Facebook page should always do first after making the page.
Complete your details: Fill out your profile information. Don’t add your personal details, but that of your business. Add About us information to your Page Info section.
Choose the “Add A button” option to create your CTA for “Call Now”. This lets you provide your customers with a simple way to contact you whenever they want.
Having all the information provided on your Facebook business page provides your brand with authority. If you have a Contact us CTA or a support phone number on the page then people are more likely to trust you as a brand.
Go to your Page settings and click Edit info. Now, edit all the provided fields and add your business information.
Your brand’s name and business category will be filled in already because you select it when creating a Facebook Page. Here are some of the most important details that you should add to your Facebook Page info section:
Start Information – This is where you choose to show your founding dates, company starting/creation date, and or launch date. This information will also show up on your Page’s history timeline and also as an update at the start of the feed.
Address – You can add this so people can check-in to your business whenever they are in or near your business location. Works excellent for physical businesses like restaurants, etc.
Long description and Mission – Add extra details about your business. The description should explain what your business wants to do and how it can help people. The mission is all about your aims and objectives of the business. This is great for going way beyond the limited 155 character description on the main page.
Phone number/Email address – Add all the contact information of your business so people can easily approach you. Also, don’t forget to reply to all the Facebook messages you get so you receive the responsive tag.
All the above details will show up in the About section of your Facebook page.
Link your account to other social platforms: Make sure that you link your Facebook page to Instagram, etc to easily post the content from one platform to another for extra promotion. This way you can share your posts from one platform to another with just a single click.
Go to your Page’s settings and click Instagram on the left tab. From here, you can log into your Instagram account and connect your Instagram profile to your Facebook business page for easier content sharing.
Use Groups to your advantage: Facebook groups are where people who are passionate about your brand/business/niche come to discuss their passion.
You can participate in meaningful discussions in these groups and show your expertise in your key area. This way you build trust and authority that comes in handy when promoting your business.
Create a group for your business and join it with your Facebook page. Join other groups in your niche and provide value to people by helping them out.
#11. Paid Reach
With hundreds of thousands of posts being created on Facebook daily, organic reach is declining. This is why you should definitely look into Facebook’s advertising options to increase your content’s reach.
- While organic content only shows up in your followers’ news feed, paid ads allow you to reach people who have not yet liked your page, but share similar interests.
- You can simply Boost a post by clicking the “Boost” button at the bottom of a post that has been published. Select your audience type, set a budget, and select the timeframe for which you want the post to be boosted.
- When you want to run Facebook ads, you need to have a Facebook ads account. This lets you run ads on the social media platform and bring in audience that’s passionate about your products.
- You can find passionate buyers on Facebook by doing a bit of research on related pages and their audience. This way you will find the audience that’s actually passionate about your niche and target them through your ad campaigns.
- Use Facebook Insights to your advantage. Use these 9 Facebook Audience Insights hacks for a better understanding of your audience. It lets you laser target your passionate audience and convert them into actual sales.
- Facebook Pixel is the best thing to ever happen for digital marketers. It’s a small snippet of code that you add to your site to track your visitors’ behavior on your store. However, it goes beyond all that and does so much more. Create a Facebook Pixel and add it to your Shopify store.
- Paid reach is not just about pixels and running ads, it’s also about great ad design. You need to create killer Facebook ad design to attract people and convert them into buyers.
More than 70% of online shoppers abandon their carts without buying. Without retargeting, around 7%-8% come back to complete the purchase.
However, with retargeting the average online store can get 25% of abandoners to come back and finish the buying process.
- Visitors who are actively retargeted with ads are more likely to complete a purchase on your store.
- The average click-through-rate (CTR) of retargeting ad campaigns is on average ten times higher than standard ads.
- Use the Facebook Pixel data to retarget your visitors and turn them into actual buyers.
Learn Abandoned Cart Recovery with Recart’s Janos Vrancsik. Also check out the ReCart review.
Facebook helps you find new customers by creating lookalike audiences from your past customer characteristics.
Lookalike audiences can be defined as those audiences that share the same characteristics as your past customers that share similar interests, likes, etc.
Lookalike audiences help you show your advertisements to people who share the same interests as your buyers but don’t actually like your page. These audiences are mostly the highest performing target group for the ad campaigns.
The Essential Social Media Management Tools For Ecommerce
Social media by itself can get quite overwhelming if you are manually doing all the work.
There’s just so much to do like creating content, scheduling it, engaging with your audience, promoting your content, sharing others’ content, managing the community, etc. All of it combined can exhaust anyone out there.
If you don’t have a dedicated social media management team then I suggest you use some of the automation software out there.
There’s an abundance of tools available that take the burden off of your shoulders. Some of the best social media management out there right now are listed below.
#13. Social Media Scheduling Tools
- Buffer: Buffer makes it easier for you to to schedule your social media posts posts, analyze performance, and manage all your social media accounts in a single spot.
- HootSuite: Hootsuite makes it easier for you to find engaging content for social media. It also lets you schedule, manage, and analyze reports on your social media content.
- AgoraPulse: AgoraPulse lets you utilize your social media content for engagement. It’s the perfect tool for teams and agencies.
- Social Oomph: Social Oomph lets you easily schedule updates, and monitor social media activity from a single place.
These tools not only help you manage all your social media platforms at a single spot, but also provide you with the opportunity to easily cross-post and promote content from one platform to another, with just a single-click.
#14. Social Media Automation Tools
Manage your time efficiently. If you don’t have a designated team for social media marketing, then you need to manage your time on social media. You should aim to post at least once daily on each network you’ve chosen. You don’t have to just manually do all the things for your ecommerce social media strategy instead you can utilize automation to your advantage.
There are several tools out there that will automate your social media marketing platforms. Here are few of the tools you can use right now.
- Social Steeze
These tools help you schedule your social media content and post it on different timings. It takes all the manual effort out of social media marketing so you can focus on other important tasks while your social media publishing is taken care of.
When you are just starting out, focus your full efforts on the social media channels that are the most relevant to your audience. I suggest, you pick your customers’ top 2 most visited social networks and sticking to them.
Developing a whole new social media marketing plan from scratch can be both fun and daunting at the same time.
Deep down, you know it’s going to help your business grow, but there are so many different factors that are involved which makes it almost impossible for you to get started with it.
Hopefully, our complete Social Media guide will make that process a bit easier for you and get you started quickly.
I mean, you don’t really have a choice, do you? It’s either you get into social media or just shut your business down.
Your customers are all on social media engaging with brands and each other, and they expect you to be online too. You either get with them or get out of the business. Choose wisely!
If you still have any questions on your mind then feel free to leave a comment below.
Also, let us know what are your favorite social media platforms for marketing and the type of business you have.
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