When 2018 began, the total number of social media users in the United Kingdom (UK) reached over 39 million users, with estimates going up to 42 million users. Breaking it down by platform, this translates to:
- 76% on Facebook
- 43% on Twitter
- 39% on Instagram
- 24% on LinkedIn
- 27% on Pinterest
That’s a lot when you consider that, at the end of 2016, the population reached a record-high of 65.6 million.
Do you know what else is a lot? The ecommerce turnover rate in the UK, which increased to £13.7 billion (€15.6 billion) last year, a 13.65% increase. And for next year, it’s predicted to grow by 14.3%, which means ecommerce in the UK could be worth a little over £15.6 billion (€17.8 billion).
For you, someone in ecommerce, this presents a wonderful opportunity to increase your sales through the use of social media.
Why Should I Use Social Media To Improve My Ecommerce?
For one, practically your whole audience can be found there and, if you want to connect with them and whet their collective appetite for your products, social media is where it’s at.
Second, when you consider that 84% of online shoppers review at least one social media site before making a purchase, opting out just seems like a mistake. That’s the last thing you want.
Instead, you should use the following 5 tips that’ll help you make the most of social media to increase your ecommerce sales.
Integrate Your Store With Your Social Media Channels
Social media keeps on improving and, with it, the many ecommerce platforms out there that help business owners maintain and promote their online stores. Thankfully, part of these improvements includes the ability to integrate your store and sell directly from social platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
As we’ll soon cover, you need high-quality visuals and imagery in your social channels to show off your products. And by integrating your store, your users will be able to browse and shop at the same time.
That is to say that, instead of seeing something they like on Instagram and then navigating to your site to make the purchase, they can click “Buy” the very second they decide they want that product, eliminating the possibility of them changing their mind as they wait for the browser to load or see something they like more.
Don’t Neglect Your Visuals On Social Media
Today, more than ever, the importance of high-definition images cannot be understated because consumers have come to expect them from all the brands they interact with.
Whereas it used to be the case that a high-quality image required an expensive camera or an equally expensive photographer, things are different today. Now, anyone with a smartphone can take a photo that, with the right light, makes the shabbiest product look good.
The opposite, neglecting your visuals and settling for subpar images, will be the end of your brand because it not only paints you in a bad light but also conveys the idea that you’re not up-to-date with the latest technologies.
In terms of social channels, they (especially Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter) are phenomenal for showcasing your products with images that display them in all their glory.
Additionally, because people regularly visit them to check out what’s new and trending, the last thing you want is to present them with a low-quality image that belongs on Google’s tenth page.
And like we just touched on, if you’ve integrated your store with that particular channel, they can buy whatever they see and like on the spot.
Have a Conversation with Your Customers On Social Media
As we covered in the beginning, social media is the perfect place to connect with your customers.
Unfortunately, many brands make the mistake of treating it simply as a content publishing or audience building tool.
Instead, they should be following this post’s lead and consider social media as a key customer service platform. This rings especially true for social channels like Twitter, which users frequently use to praise or criticise their favourite brands.
In other words, instead of talking to your audience, you should be using social media to talk WITH them.
Whenever they have an issue with you and take the time out of their busy day to complain, the least you can do is listen to them and respond. If it’s something that can be helped, wonderful — you can nip it in the bud right there and there. The best part is that, apart from a happy customer, both your and their followers will see you care about your customers and want their experiences with you to be positive.
This is also true for something that can’t be helped; you tried to turn things around, but for whatever reason it didn’t work out. In the end, the outcome is the same: you took the time out of your day to take care of your customer.
Give Paid Social Media Advertising A Chance
When trying to improve sales, many brands do everything from getting the most expensive ecommerce website design to spending a lot of money on consultants. But many fail to try their hand in paid advertising because they see it as a waste of money that has no guarantee of working; a big mistake on their part!
For starters, you have analytics tools at your disposal to track metrics and make sure everything is going according to plan. With them on your side, you know exactly what’s working and what’s not, and can tailor your ads until everything’s optimised and you’re getting your money’s worth.
Note: NEVER neglect your metrics and hope everything works out by itself. Flying blind will never work!
With that in mind, getting started with paid ads on social media isn’t as hard as you may think. As to the how, start with a set number of campaign objectives and stick to them.
For example, are you trying to increase sales directly through your social page, or are you trying to increase engagement with your brand so they land on your website and see everything you have to offer? Or maybe you’re new to the game and want to create awareness around your brand before you place more resources on increasing sales. Whatever your objectives, clearly define them then stick to them.
Oh, and one more thing; don’t use a cookie-cutter approach with your social media ads. Instead, treat each channel as a separate entity and use what makes them different from the rest to your advantage. For example;
- Facebook is the ‘king’ of social media; it works best for lead generation and driving conversions.
- Twitter is good for organic engagement and having a direct discussion with your audience.
- Instagram is excellent for showing visual content and improving your brand awareness.
- LinkedIn is primarily B2B, but is also good for social selling and P2P influence.
- Pinterest, like Instagram, is very visual and good for showcasing your products, plus it’s the fastest growing networking amongst the over 55s!
Attach a Social Media Influencer to Your Brand
Finally, one of the very best ways social media can increase your sales is through the use of influencers. If you’ve ever wondered about growth hacking or how to increase your audience fast whilst simultaneously improving your bottom line, then influencers are your answer.
Let’s start with what an influencer is. Influencers are industry leaders, experts in their particular field and, like popular cliques in school, are people others look up to and want to emulate. Whatever they wear, others want to wear; whatever they use, others want to use; and whatever they eat, others want to eat.
As such, influencers have large social followings of users who like, share and comment on their content. For you, this presents a novel opportunity to attach one to your brand and grow your audience, thereby increasing brand awareness and your status within your industry, which works to drive sales.
To get started, look at your audience and find people in your industry they follow and admire. This is extremely important, as the point of influencer marketing is to find people who can influence your audience. Choosing someone with a large following in a different sector or industry won’t work because their audience has no interest in you or what you offer.
For example, imagine you’re in fashion and hire a tech influencer. Why would their audience, whose main interests are emerging technologies, be interested in the latest summer trends? Sure, statistically speaking some will be interested, but the vast majority will not. In other words, it would be a bad investment.
Note: Nearly 25% of influencers believe Instagram is the best platform for social influencing!
Let’s Recap Why Social Media Is Good For Ecommerce
Social media’s popularity is increasing every day of every month of every year. As the population increases, so does the number of social media users and the opportunities to connect with them. It’s up to you to make the most of that situation and use it to improve your sales.
And if you follow the tips we covered today, that task becomes much easier. Let’s take a second look:
Integrate Your Store in Your Social Channels
- Social media is constantly improving and, as part of these improvements, you can now sell directly from your social channels.
- As your users browse and fall in love with your products, they can make the purchase that very second.
Don’t Neglect Your Visuals
- Consumers have come to expect high-quality imagery from the brands they interact with.
- These images paint your products in a good light and show them off.
- Neglecting your visuals, on the other hand, makes your products look low-quality and your brand behind the times.
Have a Conversation with Your Customers
- When you talk with your customers – as opposed to at them – you can use social as a customer service platform.
- If there’s a problem, you can diffuse it on the spot and ensure your audience knows you care about them.
Give Paid Advertising a Chance
- Start with clearly defined campaign objectives and stick to them.
- Treat each channel as its own entity and avoid one-size-fits-all approaches.
- Use analytics to ensure everything is going according to plan.
Attach an Influencer to Your Brand
- Influencers are industry leaders with large social followings, all of whom want to be like them.
- Attaching one to your brand can grow your audience, improve brand awareness and drive sales.
- Make sure to find one who shares your audience and is part of your industry.
Best of luck!
Get In Touch
If you’d like to find out more about how to use social media to increase your ecommerce sales, or would just like a bit of advice on how to improve your social media marketing generally, then you can get in touch with GrowTraffic or contact Sabrina and ask either of us anything.
Why not check out our blog section for some practical advice, such as in our handy infographic packed with tips on how to get your business noticed on social media, or our blog post about how social media can help you grow your business profile online?
Alternatively, you can phone us on 0161 706 0012 or email [email protected].
About The Author
Sabrina is a content writer for Appnova, a creative digital agency in London that specialises in luxury brands and eCommerce website design. She writes on a variety of subjects that range from eCommerce growth tactics to SEO and PPC advertising.