At present, there are roughly 2.82 billion social media users worldwide and the number is expected to cross the 3 billion mark by 2021, says Statista.
With such a vast majority of netizens being connected to social media, it comes as no surprise that brands consider social media sites like Facebook and Instagram among the best marketing platforms.
Until a few years ago, social media was primarily restricted to interacting with people; things have changed quite a lot since then. Though it is still a source of entertainment for most users, brands leverage the power of social media to give a boost to their business. Without social media, marketing doesn’t seem to have any major impact.
Let’s discuss the benefits that social media can bring to your online business along with how you can utilize different social media platforms for your eCommerce success.
1. Build Brand Awareness
With more than 1/3rd of the world’s population using social media networks, it provides you with an excellent opportunity to reach out to a huge number of social media users and make them aware of your brand, in turn increasing your brand visibility.
Today, there is no better way to get your brand noticed than social media platforms. If you don’t have a presence on social media, you’re missing out on a golden opportunity to scale-up your business – and I mean it.
Brands that got popular without the help of social media don’t need it to create awareness; but, for new businesses, social media is the king if they want to be in the limelight.
Take out time from your busy schedule and create your business profiles or pages. Ask your people to like and follow you on various social media platforms. When everything looks set, start posting – but, do not rush. Plan your marketing strategy; if you are finding it difficult to manage multiple platforms, focus on any one that you find to be the most useful for your business.
2. Encourage Website Traffic
People would not visit your website on their own unless they have a requirement or a reason behind it. And why would they? It’s not Facebook or Instagram, which they visit countless times every day. So, how do you get more and more people to your website?
Email marketing may work, but you need to have the email address of the users. Push notifications are effective, but it requires having a mobile app for your business. Only social media stands out in this case.
You can bring a significant amount of traffic to your website by just uploading posts on your social media channels. It can be about a campaign that you are running, a limited-time offer, a blog post, etc.
But it doesn’t come as easy as it seems; there needs to be a good enough follower base. To achieve that, you need to post and interact actively.
3. Capture New Leads
Customer acquisition is an important aspect of eCommerce. Brands utilize various marketing strategies to acquire new customers, and social media is considered to be the most effective of all. It helps you capture a huge number of leads for your business.
Let me help you with an example. Say that you’re running a campaign on Facebook where you wish to acquire more leads, so Facebook lead ads can prove to be beneficial for you. It displays a “Sign Up” button on the bottom right of the post that takes users to a sign-up form when clicked.
The interesting part is that the user’s name and email address are auto-filled using their Facebook data, making it a time-saving technique. All a user needs to do is hit the submit button.
Remember, sign-ups do not take place automatically. For a successful lead generation campaign, you need to arouse curiosity in the users and persuade them to take the next step. Your post and your caption should give a clear idea upfront.
4. Scale-Up Your Sales
The ultimate goal of any business is to sell, and social media helps you do that efficiently.
Today, people are getting informed about offers or sales mainly through social media, as they visit their news feeds often. If you have newly arrived in the eCommerce sector, social media holds the potential to bring you huge sales within a very little amount of time.
When you eventually grow as a brand, people start remembering you. And, if they like your products or services, they will share the news via word of mouth with their friends, family or colleagues. Word of mouth marketing beats any other kind of marketing.
Make the best use of social media platforms and turn up your sales volume.
5. Targeted Marketing
Every age group is present on social media, whether it be teens, adults or the elderly. So, if you have a product that is specifically meant for a certain age group and you want to promote it and target that particular audience, social media lets you do so easily.
While running an ad, select the target audience where you will be asked to specify age range. If you want to display it in a specific city, state or country then specify the location. Similarly, you can choose the interest, gender, etc. and customize it accordingly.
The more you customize the more relevant results it will deliver, and your CPC will also be at a lower level.
6. Improve Customer Relationships
One of the best things that social media offers is that it allows you to have a friendly interaction with your audience (fans and followers). People do not need to drop an email or make a call for a query. They can drop their query in the comments section and get it resolved right there.
Not only does this create engagement, but it also makes your followers feel that you value them. Though it can be difficult to reply to each and every comment, make sure to cover as much as you can.
Why is this important? Because you need to sound more like a human and less like a robot. If you do not interact with your audience, they will feel less connected to your brand might stop engaging.
7. Customer Support
I recently faced an issue with my bank. I couldn’t reach out to their customer support via call and avoided raising the issue on email.
I simply opened my Twitter account, made a tweet tagging the Twitter handle of that bank and explained my concern. To my surprise, they replied to my tweet within a few minutes. See how it made things easy for me? This would not have been possible if they didn’t have their presence on Twitter!
This is why having a social media account is crucial for your online business. People nowadays either leave a DM in the brand’s inbox or make a tweet, which they find to be much more convenient than any other process. Moreover, it adds a personal touch to communication.
8. One Post Can Go Viral Overnight
Do you know what brands do nowadays? They pick up a social media trend and try to relate it to their brand. Then they make a post (image or video) and publish it. But you never know when it’s a hit.
People engage with creative posts, and more engagement gives you more comments, shares and a wider reach. Your post spreads all over social media and your brand becomes the centre of attention.
And, believe me – your follower count will touch the sky if any of your posts gets viral. The power of social media can make your brand popular overnight. Just be active on social media, follow the trends and think about how you can use it for your brand.
9. Track Your Competitors
Do you play any sports? Like football or cricket? When the opponent outperforms you, then instead of feeling bad about losing the match, you realize that the opponent played much better and that there’s a lot you can learn from them.
Same is the case with brands on social media. You track your competitors and your competitors track you. You analyze what they are doing, how you can be better than them or if there’s something that they are doing that you’re missing out on.
Brands always try to outdo each other, and people love to see this fun banter.
So, track your competitors, analyze their marketing tactics and try to be ahead of them.
10. User-Generated Content Campaigns
Coca-Cola launched “Share a Coke” campaign in 2014 where they printed over 200 common popular American names on their bottles and asked users to share a coke with their close ones. It encouraged people to purchase personalized Coca-Cola bottles and people started posting about it on the social media using the hashtag “#ShareaCoke” while sharing their pictures and the experience.
The campaign was a huge hit. Seeing the popularity of the campaign among consumers, Coca-Cola increased the names count and went from country to country.
Similarly, you can think of starting a user-generated content campaign for your business. Ask users to show maximum participation and offers giveaways to people with the most interesting post or story.
You need not spend long hours on your social media pages. Initially, you can invest a few hours to foster exposure for your brand. One or two hours daily will work well in the start until you develop a dedicated team towards your profiles.
Do not expect things to turn around quickly; it will take time. Set your plans and start implementing them. Your competitors are already on social media capturing your potential customers. It’s time to turn the tables.