Even if you’re just starting out with your ecommerce business, you want a big pool of potential customers. Leveraging the social media platforms your target audience favors most is the best way to spread the word of your business far and wide.
More than simply marketing your products, though, social media can be used to build your brand – and therefore brand loyalty – and even sell your products. This guide will give you all the inside info you need to create ecommerce success using social media.
What Is Social Media Ecommerce Marketing?
It’s all in the name with this one. Social media ecommerce marketing is just that – marketing for ecommerce brands that’s done via social media.
Social media ecommerce marketing is a subset of digital mrketing, which uses the internet, digital technologies, digital media, and other platforms to promote products and services. Social media marketing specifically uses social media platforms – like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and even LinkedIn – to this end.
Besides simply selling goods and services, this type of marketing is especially useful for building an audience, creating brand awareness, and driving website traffic. What’s more, social media ecommerce marketing platforms have powerful data analytics.
What Is Social Commerce and How Does It Work?
Although they may sound similar, there is a distinct difference between social media ecommerce marketing and social commerce.
Social media ecommerce marketing uses social media to promote an ecommerce store, but with social commerce the entire shopping experience – from product discovery to checkout – happens on social media. Let’s use a fictional example to make these differences easy to understand.
There are two clothing companies whose ads you regularly see when you’re scrolling on social media: Fabulous Feet and Terrific Toes. Both are small businesses that manufacture socks with bright, bold patterns.
When you click on Fabulous Feet’s ad, you go to the company’s website or landing page. Then, you can browse the products and make a purchase.
The experience with Terrific Toes is quite different. Its ad includes a banner prompting you to view the product. Clicking on that call to action, you’re routed to a storefront within the social media app you’re currently using. You’re able to select and purchase the items you want, all without having to leave the social media platform.
In this example, Fabulous Feet is using social media ecommerce marketing and Terrific Toes is using social commerce.
The big benefit of social commerce is that it removes friction in the purchasing cycle (especially if your customers have autofill enabled for their credit card information). Fewer moments where the customer needs to make a choice mean fewer chances that they’ll abandon their cart, and greater likelihood that you’ll make a sale.
Social commerce is available on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter, and TikTok. It works differently on each platform, but you’ll need a business or brand account as well as images of the products you want to sell to get started.
5 Ways to Use Social Media for Ecommerce
There are a few key ways that you can increase sales for your ecommerce business. Let’s explore five social media marketing practices that will help you to attract customers, sell products, and build a loyal following.
1. Promoting Brand Awareness
A great way to build a loyal customer base is to have a brand that’s recognized and trusted by your target audience. How do you do that? By developing brand awareness.
Creating a buzz around your products will ensure that your products fly off of the digital shelves as soon as you go live with sales. This is easy to do with social media, although it will take some time.
Here are three tried-and-true ways to ensure that you create a strong, recognizable brand that your followers will be eager to buy from:
- Know your audience: Understanding who you’d like to sell your products to will help you target your social media marketing strategy more effectively – for example, the platforms you use and the style of your campaigns. (More on this later!)
- Create a distinct personality: Find a look and voice that work for your brand and stick with them. Perhaps bright, bold colors and a cheeky tone suit your style. Or maybe something a little more serious is good for business.
- Make a point of posting: As with most other things in life, consistency is key when it comes to social media. If you want your brand to be seen by the most users possible, it’s essential that you post regularly.
- Be engaging: Regular posting is one half of the recipe for social media success. Engaging content is the other. Create posts that your audience wants to interact with (you’re aiming for likes, comments and shares) – think sharing useful information in a visual way or asking them to react to your post using an emoji in the comment section.
Social media advertising can help to create awareness for your brand and products. Plus, having a well-timed ad appear on a user’s feed can also move them to consider your product as a solution for a want or need they might have.
There are a variety of options for social media ads. The types available will depend on the platform you’re advertising on, but you’ll generally have a choice of a single static image, a carousel of static images, or video.
The advanced targeting tools on each social media platform will help you to carve out specific audiences and target them with products as well as ad types that are most likely to catch their eye.
3. Selling Products
Although we’ve already explained it in detail, social commerce is worth another mention.
These native ecommerce solutions are free to set up and create a seamless experience for consumers in the places where they want to shop. According to insights from Instagram, 70% of shoppers on the platform use it to discover brands and products – so making goods easy to purchase is a no-brainer.
4. Social Listening
Scanning social media for mentions of your brand (e.g. where it’s tagged by a user or your brand name is used as a hashtag) will give you insight into what your target audience likes or doesn’t like about your products. Plus, you can see the overall feelings people have about your brand.
This can help you to improve your ecommerce offering, respond to any issues quickly and efficiently, and create a stronger brand.
5. Customer Service
Be sure to monitor your social media channels – like your Instagram or Facebook business page – for questions your customers may be asking about your products – or any complaints they may have with their purchases.
Use these moments as an opportunity to engage with your audience and show other potential buyers that you put your customers first. Something that could set you apart from other brands when a potential customer is still in the consideration stage of their buyer journey.
How Can an Ecommerce Business Accept Payments?
Whether you’re just starting or you’re looking to expand your enterprise into the ecommerce space, you’ll need some tools to accept and process electronic payments from your customers.
Online Payment Options
Selling your products online is the best way to increase your business’s reach. Providing that you’re able to ship your goods or offer your services digitally, you can acquire customers almost anywhere in the world.
As an internet-based outlet, you’ll need a few tools to ensure that your customers have a seamless experience while making secure payments.
Pay.com allows you to easily choose the payment methods you’d like to accept. Whether that’s credit cards, mobile payment options, PayPal, or ACH transfers, you can add these methods to your checkout page in just a few clicks.
What’s more, you can add your brand colors and logo to customize your checkout page so that your buyers feel confident that their details will remain safe when they’re making a purchase. Better still, you can display the PCI DSS – that’s Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard – logo to show that the security used to process your transactions is world class.
Perhaps you don’t have a website just yet. That doesn’t mean you can’t sell goods online. You can use your social media channels along with payment links and virtual invoices to get paid.
With Pay Links, Pay.com allows you to generate a link and send it directly to your customers via email or SMS. When the buyer clicks the link, they’re directed to a personalized checkout page where they can enter their payment details.
The Bottom Line: How Can Your Ecommerce Business Take Advantage of Social Media?
The opportunities are virtually endless when it comes to using social media to enhance your ecommerce business.
As a marketing tool, building and engaging your audience will ensure that word spreads about your brand and products. You can also find new clients and improve your offerings through using tactics like social listening. What’s more, you can even use social media as a supplementary channel for selling your goods.
However you choose to use social media for your ecommerce business, be sure that you’re ready to offer your customers plenty of options to pay when it comes time to purchase. Pay.com offers easy-to-use solutions to ensure that shoppers’ checkout experiences are frictionless.