Is social media worth the investment for eCommerce?
Depending on your age, you may or may not remember a time before social media. For many people, their first taste of social media (if you don’t count AOL’s Messenger, AIM) was via good old MySpace. Remember painstakingly choosing your “Top 8”, agonizing over your profile song, and feeling like a genius hacker every time you customized your profile with some (very basic) HTML? Those were the days.
MySpace reached a million monthly active users way back in 2004. Facebook launched that same year, and it was game on. Fast forward to 2023 – a whole two decades since those early MySpace days. There are now hundreds of social media platforms and almost 5 billion global users. While Facebook (and a number of other social platforms) ultimately ate MySpace’s lunch, the basic concept at the heart of social media hasn’t changed – it remains a platform where everybody and anybody can express themselves, for better or worse.
While the core concept behind social media may not have changed, a lot certainly has. Social platforms have rapidly evolved from glorified chat rooms into huge communities that have essentially replaced newspapers, town-hall meetings, community bulletin boards, and postcards, among other things. For businesses, and especially eCommerce businesses, social media represents a huge opportunity to connect with your target audience, drive sales, and expand your customer base in ways we are only just beginning to understand the potential of.
What can social media do for eCommerce merchants?
When you look at the stats surrounding social media use, it’s quite astonishing that society is still as functional as it is. Today, more than 59% of the world uses social media and the average time spent on social platforms per day is almost 2.5 hours! Clearly, there’s a big opportunity here to get in front of your customers, both potential and existing. Regardless of what stage your business is at, you can leverage social media to maximize your growth potential.
Social media to increase brand recognition
Spurred on by the global Covid-19 pandemic and never looking back, eCommerce is one of the fastest-growing industries today. While that might seem like good news for your business, it also means that you have more competitors than ever, and have to work harder to stand out from the crowd. Developing a social presence is a great place to start. Establishing expertise and authority in your industry can be a key success factor for eCommerce companies. Consistently sharing content that reflects your brand’s values helps your audience to associate your brand with these values, and goes a long way towards building up a strong reputation with a potential customer before they even visit your site.
Given that 55% of people learn about brands from social media, your brand is hurting if you don’t develop a social presence. A big key to this is identifying the right platform(s) to connect with your audience. Whether it’s TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, or anywhere else, make sure you’re investing in the right places to drive your ROI from social channels.
Social media to increase sales
As well as building a brand, social platforms can be used for increasing sales directly. You can promote specific products, share product info, offer helpful tutorials, or showcase exciting demos, all of which point your audience to your products. Getting creative on social platforms is an excellent way to demonstrate the value of your products and bring them to life. It also provides followers with easy access to buy through links directly from the post to your product pages.
A great example of selling on social media comes from Oreo. Upon the launch of their Red Velvet flavor, Oreo posted a recipe for red velvet triffle on their Facebook page. The key ingredient was (you guessed it) Oreo cookies, and they included a convenient link that their followers could use to make a purchase. The post received over 10,000 reactions, hundreds of comments, and no doubt countless clicks and sales.
Social media to build a community of loyal customers
Creating and posting compelling content will help you find new followers and build relationships with existing ones. Plus, thanks to algorithms that favor quality posts over low-effort filler material, you can rest assured knowing you willl reach more customers when creating unique captivating pieces of content – helping you stand out from the crowd!
eCommerce businesses shouldn’t underestimate the power of community! Social media provides a platform to build relationships with customers and get them talking. From engaging with followers through Q&A stories on Instagram to responding to comments with videos on TikTok, there’s plenty of ways for companies to use these platforms as an effective marketing tool that can bring in new and future repeat business…not to mention powerful word-of-mouth recommendations too.
A great example of a brand that leveraged social media to build a community is Spotify, specifically with its #yearwrapped campaign. Spotify Wrapped is made available for every Spotify user at the end of the year, and provides listeners with a snapshot of their favorite and most-listened songs, albums, and genres for the year. At the end of the Wrapped video, Spotify encourages users to share their results on their social channels, which they did in great numbers. Over 120 million users engaged with Wrapped in 2021, which goes a long way toward building an online community and engaged user base.
Leverage the power of social media for your eCommerce business
With the right social media strategy, eCommerce companies can skyrocket their online presence and reach. Not only does regular content creation capture search engine attention (resulting in improved visibility), but with paid advertising options on platforms like Facebook, Instagram & TikTok, you can instantly expand your audience – unlocking greater potential for success.
Social media also offers an unparalleled opportunity to gain insight into any eCommerce company’s customer base. Through powerful analytics and tracking features available on various platforms, companies can monitor how well they’re engaging with customers – ultimately leading them to refine product offerings and marketing strategies that drive sales success.
If you’re part of an eCommerce company and you want to maximize reach and sales, investing in a robust social media strategy is essential! It can drastically amplify any brand’s visibility while improving customer loyalty by creating an engaged community around your product or service. Consistency with posting – combined with regular optimization based on performance analytics – will make sure that time spent connecting directly pays off for businesses large and small!