Social media platforms have become integral to everyday life, with billions of monthly active users worldwide. Facebook leads with over 2.9 billion active monthly users, followed closely by YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram, and other popular networks. This user base has forced the typical eCommerce brand to run ad campaigns to acquire new customers or expand their target market.
Ad campaigns with a target audience form part of an effective social media strategy. You must balance posts and paid advertising to fully establish your eCommerce social media presence. Otherwise, you’ll miss out on generating the needed website traffic from one end while focusing on the other.
We’ll walk you through how to set up a presence on social media platforms as an eCommerce business owner. Not only that, but you’ll also learn the best practices to maximize your reach among potential customers. Visibility and social proof are essential to winning social commerce, and we will show you how it’s done.
The Business Potential of Social Media Platforms
Facebook generated over $100 billion in ad revenue in 2022, highlighting the immense business potential of social media platforms. One of the key reasons social media platforms have such significant business potential is their massive user base.
Social media platforms present a cost-effective win-win situation for both businesses and users. From a business perspective, social media platforms offer targeted advertising options that allow companies to reach specific demographics, interests, and behaviors. This level of precision targeting ensures that businesses can maximize their return on investment by reaching the right audience.
The opportunity is massive, with 50.8% of web traffic from mobile devices and social platforms optimizing their smartphone experience. However, most eCommerce businesses dive in without a clear social media strategy. Paid ads are not enough, especially in a socially driven setting.
Facebook Marketplace is now a popular feature on the social media platform. Any user can run a simple online store with it, although there aren’t many integrations.
The following are the business potentials of social media platforms for eCommerce businesses:
- Drive brand awareness
- Increase website traffic
- Boost engagement and customer loyalty
- Bolster customer service
- Provide valuable insights through social media analytics
These platforms continually expand on these opportunities, offering content beyond your target audience’s feeds. Today, we have Facebook Stories, Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, TikTok, etc. These are more ways to run creative social media ads and bolster your eCommerce sales strategy.
Social media channels often lead back to your website, except if you want to carry out sales directly on them. The supporting roles are flexible enough for a custom website or an online store on eCommerce platforms like Amazon, eBay, etc. Nevertheless, success begins with defining your goals.
What you want to achieve primarily defines your social media strategy. It’ll influence your use of features like Instagram Stories, YouTube Shorts, reels, etc. In addition, it’ll determine your social marketing strategy and efforts on audience building.
Typical goals for eCommerce businesses on social media channels include the following:
- Increase customer service and satisfaction
- Create a community
- Drive traffic to the website for increased sales
- Customer acquisition
Most social media platforms provide paid advertising and organic posts (stories, videos, and pictures). Hence, you must decide how to use them to achieve your goals.
For example, you may only need a few social media ads if your primary aim is customer service. Replying to your customers’ direct messages is paramount in this case.
Advertising and target demographics come into play when acquiring new customers. That is when you map out your social media marketing objectives.
Social media channels will connect you to your target audience, but winning them over falls on you.
Set Up a Social Media Team
Once your goals are outlined, the next step is finding a team for your eCommerce business. You might start independently, but we recommend getting a few expert hands if you have the resources.
In the digital economy that we are in, hiring is easier. You don’t need an office to get a team up and running. Instead, you can hire remote freelancers to execute the actions we’ll outline shortly.
Having a team is necessary. Sometimes, you may be so busy fulfilling orders that you lose track of your social media content calendar. Engagement and visibility will suffer when your target audience doesn’t see much activity from you.
The team will keep up with the postings and social media campaigns while you focus on customer fulfillment and service.
Choose Social Media Networks that Host Your Target Market
You don’t need to market on every social platform. Instead, research the ones most likely to have your target market. That involves preparing your ideal customer persona.
Here are some tips on mapping your target market:
- Define the traits of your customers. That includes age, demographic, location, profession, gender, etc.
- Compare that with your current customers. You are on the right track if there is a correlation.
- Build and segment your customer personas.
Once you define your target market, choosing a social media channel will be easier. For example, 71% of 18- to 29-year-olds use Instagram. If that is the age bracket for your products, you now know where to look.
Pinterest users will interest you if your eCommerce business concerns graphic designing, photography, etc. Identifying which platform is best for you will shape your marketing objectives. It is a non-negotiable process that facilitates achieving social media marketing goals.
Setting Up for Success
We’ve discussed the basics before you even create your first post. Now, you’ll learn how to correctly set up your eCommerce business on social media networks. You must position yourself to reach your target market cost-effectively and strategically.
Here is our guide to setting up for success:
1. Establish a Presence
It is time to create an account on social media networks that aligns with your business objectives. That might include a Facebook page, Instagram profile, YouTube channel, etc.
Creating social media accounts on different platforms follows different processes. However, the fundamental steps are as follows:
- Register on the social media site with your business name and details.
- Add your website URL, email, telephone line, working hours, etc.
- Set up buttons on your “Bio.” That includes “message,” “visit website,” “contact now,” etc.
- Place a display or profile picture. That could be your business logo or anything that portrays your business.
- Add a cover photo or banner image. Again, this picture should represent your business.
- Provide a description of your eCommerce business.
Setting up these social media accounts places you on the platform. However, users must like, follow, or subscribe to your page, profile, or channel to see your posts. That is different for ads that don’t require people to do these things.
We recommend making an effort to make your social media page, channel, or profile look as appealing as possible. Hire a graphics designer or a manager if need be.
2. Build Visibility
Building visibility among your target audience must be strategic. You can do that in two ways, as follows:
- Organic posts on your channel, timeline, page, etc.
- Paid advertising
We recommend having a social media strategy that includes both. That way, you’ll have balanced outreach.
Making Your Posts Count
Your posts can help drive more engagement. Although you can use ads to create awareness, we recommend using them to boost sales.
Develop a content calendar to ensure you post regularly on your channel or page. Find topics that your target audience relates to the most. Then, create content around them to provoke engagement.
You can use video content, pictures, animations, or plain text. In addition, use extra channels like reels, stories, shorts, etc., to establish your presence.
Hashtags and including relevant keywords make your posts visible in organic searches. Hence, we recommend having them.
Be ready to invest more in social advertising during the early days of establishing your presence. The types of ads you can run include the following:
- Video ads
- Carousel ads
Video ads and carousels are often the most effective. However, incorporate a good amount of image advertising into your campaigns.
Test multiple copies to see which one performs best. Then, reinforce that one for greater outreach.
As discussed earlier, ensure you run ads based on the customer persona you created. That ensures your business only appears to those most likely to patronize it.
You can also incorporate influencer marketing besides video or carousel ads. Social proof is often enough to convince people to patronize your product.
Your campaigns can be part of an omnichannel marketing strategy. That solidifies your position and boosts customer acquisition.
You can use these platforms to increase traffic to your website. Social commerce can also be an advantage for you. It involves moving the sales process from your website to your social channels.
This approach might appeal to many people as it allows quick transactions. A customer never has to leave a platform to your website to purchase a product. Instead, all transactions occur on the platform.
Social proof should be integral to your eCommerce social media strategy. That could be getting and displaying endorsements from authority or famous figures, posting customer reviews, etc.
Video content and ads are the most effective. Ensure you have clear calls to action on your ads and posts. Use analytics to see what performs better and double down on it.