How to Use Social Media for eCommerce

woman texting holding coffee

If you’re selling products online, you need to be on social media — period. Any old strategy won’t suffice, though. You need an approach that focuses on using social media for eCommerce specifically — and this will require a relatively unique game plan.

Getting people to pay attention to your brand online is one thing. Getting them to spend money on it is another. You’re not just asking them to stop and look. You’re asking them to open their hearts and their wallets and take a chance on you. It’s not the easiest task.

It’s fairly straightforward to create an online store. Most people could do it in a matter of hours with a very low upfront cost. Seeing an actual ROI on it, though? We need to talk about this.

In this blog, we’re going to go over some of the basics of using social media for eCommerce – the do’s and don’ts, the good, bad, and ugly.

how to use social media for commerce infographic

Social Media for eCommerce: 7 Tips to See an ROI

1. Focus on the Platforms Where You Have the Best Results

Brands understandably think that the more platforms you’re on, the more you stand to sell.

This just isn’t so.

If you’re putting time, money, and resources into platforms A, B, C, D, and E, but you’re only seeing a return on platforms D and E, you’re essentially wasting valuable effort on the other three platforms.

Brands are hesitant to shelve a platform if they’re making even a little money on it. After all, why walk away from a sale?

The thing is that you could put that time toward the platforms that actually work and likely make significantly more money. Spreading yourself too thin across too many platforms is neither efficient nor productive.

More platforms do not equal more money. Focus on what works, and put the rest on the back burner. You need to prioritize your tasks and goals based on what’s going to offer the best return. The rest can probably wait.

2. Make the Shopping Experience Mobile-Friendly

People are doing *serious* shopping from their phones. According to OuterBox, during the 2018 holiday season, roughly one-third of all online purchases came from people on their smartphones.

If you want to use social media for eCommerce the right way, you better make sure the entire shopping process, from start to finish, works flawlessly on mobile.

Your social media is sending people back to your website. How does it look on mobile? Do the pages load quickly? Are the images pixel perfect? Is there too much information or text overload?

What about the steps people need to take to purchase? Are they required to fill out a ton of information? Do you take them from one screen to the next to the next? Is it secure, reliable, and trustworthy?

Shoppers should be able to complete a transaction as quickly and easily as possible, all from the convenience of their phones.

woman shopping on smartphone

3. Avoid Hard-Selling

Write this down: People don’t enjoy being sold to, and they’re going to know if that’s all you care about. It’s very obvious.

Using social media for eCommerce isn’t just about making a quick buck. If you want to be successful, you need to constantly nurture these relationships. Focus on building trust and authority. This is how you start to build a loyal following.

When people trust your brand, they feel more comfortable spending money on your brand.

So, when it comes time to post about your own products, keep this in mind: What do they get out of it? How will your product help people? What problem is it going to solve? How will it make their lives easier?

This is why people spend money on things!

Here’s an example. Let’s say that you’re promoting your brand’s slow cooker on Facebook. Why should people spend money on this? What are the benefits? Here are just a few:

  • Your food can cook when you’re at work and will be ready when you get home.
  • Clean-up is a breeze.
  • You can put just about anything in a slow cooker — breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even dessert. It’s one gadget with infinite uses.

These are things that people will pay money for. We pay for ease, speed, convenience. Convey how you’re going to make someone’s life better, and they’ll be more open to the idea of spending money on your brand.

4. Mix Up Your Posts So That You’re Not Always Promoting Product

It’s called “social media” for a reason. You need to be social. This means you can’t constantly be posting about your products.

Think of other types of content that educate or entertain — or both. This means you need to know a lot about your audience. What are their likes and dislikes? Do they have questions or pain points? What do they want to learn about?

You should be posting content along these lines, with your products sprinkled in.

And on a similar note, don’t limit yourself to only posting content from your own website. Ever heard of brand fatigue? It’s exactly what it sounds like. People get tired of hearing only about your business.

Share things from other social media pages and websites, and be sure to tag those people. It’s excellent for networking, reaching new audiences, and providing new and enticing value to your followers. They’ll appreciate that you’re a resource of such helpful information.

accessing facebook on smartphone

5. Utilize User-Generated Content — It’s a Game-Changer

Man, we love user-generated content. Is there anything better? (No.)

When we’re talking about social media for eCommerce, UGC includes posts that other people create which include your brand. For instance, imagine someone posts a picture of their delicious meal fresh from your slow cooker. That’s UGC.

UGC is the best because it’s basically advertising that you didn’t have to pay for. Without your having lifted a finger, someone took the time to promote your brand for you.

Plus, you probably already know how powerful online reviews and testimonials are. UGC isn’t that far off. It’s someone who is so happy with your product that they had to post about it — all without your asking for it. Customers and potential customers will take their word more seriously than anything else. UGC is basically like a recommendation from a friend.

What should you do with user-generated content? You should share it! To be extra cautious, reach out to the person who originally posted it and get their permission to share it on your own page. When you do, give them a shout-out and tag them, thanking them for the kind words.

6. Go Live on Social Media for a More Authentic Representation of Your Brand

A lot of people are scared to go live on social media because they’re worried about “messing up.” In actuality, this is likely going to work in your favor.

So much of what we post on social media for eCommerce is staged and edited. It’s very intentional and premeditated. This isn’t a bad thing, but it does mean that when people see something more authentic, they stop to look.

Live videos give your brand a face and make you more genuine and real. It humanizes your business and helps you connect with your audience.

Don’t worry about looking perfect or saying all the right things. Just be real. Your followers are going to appreciate this. They don’t care if you sound or look perfect. They care about the message and the value that you have to deliver.

Many topics can be turned into live videos, including demos, reviews, and Q&As.

man and woman taking selfie

7. Monitor Your Analytics to Determine if Your Strategy Works

And we do mean monitor them — like, really monitor them. Very closely. Knowing and understanding these numbers forward and back is crucial to the success of your digital marketing strategy.

You’re going to need to put a lot of money and time (and time is money) into your social media for eCommerce. You need to be sure that it’s an investment, not an expense. In other words, there needs to be a return.

Now, to be clear, don’t expect the sales to start rolling in overnight. Rome wasn’t built in a day. But ultimately, if you’re spending $2,000 a month running social for eCommerce, you should be getting money back on your investment.

This is why it’s so important not to get hung up on likes and followers. Likes don’t sell product. And you could have 10,000 Facebook fans and not see a single sale.

You don’t make money until you make money. You feel us? Measure the conversions.

Important Questions to Consider

So, as you’re working on your social media for eCommerce, you need to consider things like:

  • How much money are you spending on your staff to run your social media, per month?
  • How much money are you making overall on your social media, per month?
  • Roughly how much traffic is social media sending back to your website?
  • What’s one customer that you acquire through social media worth?
  • How much does it cost to get one sale?
  • What’s the average lifetime of a customer that you acquire through social media?

Traffic is good. Engagement is great. Sure, likes are nice. But at the end of the day, this is about finding success on your eCommerce site, which means you have to be selling product. If you’re not selling, something isn’t right. (As a  friendly reminder, part of this is about social media. Another part is about your website itself. Make sure you’re partnering with the top eCommerce design companies to build a website that converts.)

Brands sometimes think social media serves to make you look good and nothing else. Truthfully, this simply isn’t the case. Social media for eCommerce is a powerful tool that can help you increase your revenue. It does take some trial and error, and you should always make room for split testing various factors of your marketing and advertising efforts. You won’t often hit a home run on the first try, and this is very normal.

With the right strategy, your eCommerce brand can find success on social media.

How eClincher Can Help You Be Successful

eClincher can help. We’re a one-stop shop for everything and anything social media. From our queuing system to our unified inbox to our Canva integration and beyond, we’ll save you valuable time and energy when it comes to your digital marketing strategy.

Plus, we take analytics seriously. Use eClincher not just to schedule your posts out, but also to determine where you’re excelling and what could use a little work.

Spend less time doing the grunt work and more time refining your approach. We can help. Sign up for a free trial today and see what all the buzz is about.