Use social to boost your e-commerce sales

20 March 2017

Use social to boost your e-commerce sales

Many companies have some understanding of the importance of social media when it comes to building a brand, but bear in mind that the whole point of building a brand is to increase your ability to make sales and therefore improve your profitability. Selling on social media is a delicate topic, however it can be done. The trick is to do it well. Here are three tips to help.

1. Retarget your existing customer base

If there is one way social media can provide a major boost to your sales with (relatively) little effort, it’s by retargeting. There are basically two ways to use this strategy. If a customer has visited your site recently and left without purchasing, tempt them back with a time-limited offer. Discount codes are an obvious option here, but you can get creative, for example, by giving them one or more entries into a competition depending on the value of their purchase. If a customer has recently made a purchase, then see if you can pique their interest in related products and, again, show how you value repeat custom with some sort of special offer, perhaps discounted or free postage.

2. Set a decent budget for your social activity

Creating anything good takes time and effort, which ultimately translates into money. That means that you need to set a feasible budget for your social media activity and use it effectively.

Generally speaking, it is best to concentrate on one or two platforms and use them really well, than to try to spread yourself across all the main sites. The advice often given here is to go where your customers are and if you have a very clear indication that there is a high percentage of (prospective) customers on one site, then you should probably look to target it.

If you love encouraging engagement with content supported with decent photos, head to Facebook. If you prefer to concentrate on the photographs, Instagram is the obvious place. If you have a talent for writing succinct comments and finding useful (or fun) links, then Twitter is a perfect fit.

Wherever you go, however, give it your best and be prepared to dedicate the funds to making it happen.

3. Be yourself

If you want your customers to trust you, then you have to be prepared to show that you trust them by sharing a bit of yourself online and being prepared to engage with your social media followers. It’s fine to cultivate a “brand voice” just as long as it’s an accurate representation of who you really are.

As well as being authentic and sincere, you also need to be responsive and engaging. When people leave comments for you, they are giving you the benefit of one of their most valuable resources – time. Appreciate this and be ready and willing to respond, politely. Even if you feel like a put-down is appropriate (and some company put-downs have become internet classics), make it respectful because it can, and probably will, be seen by a lot more people than you think.