Social Media

The Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media For Ecommerce

Leilani Bruce
Published on May 16, 2019

The Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media For Ecommerce

Social media can be a huge source of customers for ecommerce businesses when done right. With over 2.75 billion users across all the social media platforms, it’s safe to say that your customers are using social media. And they’re using it a lot, spending as much as 2 hours and 15 minutes per day on social media.

But how do you translate all those users into ecommerce sales? How do you get people to go from browsing memes to purchasing from your website?

Hint: it’s all about developing relationships.

Here are 8 social media for ecommerce do’s and don’ts. By avoiding the don’ts and implementing the do’s, you can get serious traction from social media.

Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin

It can be easy to assume that you need to be using all social media platforms all the time. However, what usually happens if you try to do this is that it spreads your efforts too thin.

Rather, you should be focused on using the platform your audience uses the most. If your audience is Millennials, you’ll want to focus heavily on Instagram and YouTube. If your audience is primarily made up of Baby Boomer’s, you’ll want to focus more on Facebook. You get the point.

Do some research to find out what platform your audience uses the most, then focus your efforts primarily on using that platform. If you spread yourself too thin, you’ll find yourself posting inconsistently across a variety of platforms instead of developing a consistent presence on a single platform.

Do Tap Into User Generated Content

User-generated content is content that has, to state the semi-obvious, been created by your customers and not by you. It often takes the form of a photo or video of one of your customers using one of your products. User-generated content is a fantastic way of showing off your products in an authentic way that doesn’t seem salesy.

One simple way to get more user-generated content is to create a hashtag around your brand that your customers can use on their photos and videos. For example, Lululemon created the hashtag “#thesweatlife” and encouraged their customers to use the hashtag when they posted photos of themselves wearing Lululemon clothing. The company then showed off the photos on their website.

This allowed them to simultaneously promote their products while also showing off their customers.

User generated conteent example

Don’t Always Be Selling

The simple truth is that people on social media don’t just want to see links to your product pages. Yes, there is a place for that. But for most people, social media is about building valuable connections with people and companies.

If you’re always in sell-mode, you’ll turn people off to your brand. Nobody likes to be sold to all the time.

Do Develop Rapport With Customers

A better alternative to always selling is to strategically develop relationships with customers online. How do you do this? First and foremost, you should always be seeking to add value to your audience. By regularly posting valuable information to your social media profiles, you can lead your audience to trust you, which inevitably leads to more sales.

Additionally, you should interact with as many customers as possible through your social media profiles. Respond to comments, address reviews, solve problems, etc. The more you can interact with your customers online, the more you’ll develop relationships with them, which will then translate to more sales in the long run.

Don’t Post Without A Strategy

The simple truth is that Facebook (and most other platforms) doesn’t value all social media posts equally. Rather, they prioritize the posts that keep people on Facebook for the longest. They prioritize posts that get engagement (reactions, comments, shares, watches, etc.). The more engagement a post gets, the more Facebook will show it in the newsfeed.

The implication? If you’re randomly posting different links and products on social media without much thought behind them, you probably won’t get much engagement, which in turn means that very few people will see your posts. If you post on social media without a social media strategy, your efforts will produce mediocre results. You need a governing strategy for all your social media posts.

Do Strategically Post Content That Generates Engagement

Instead of randomly posting content without any strategy behind your efforts, think strategically about how you can create posts that will generate engagement. In other words, don’t simply promote yourself and your business with your posts. Rather, think about how you can create content that your customers will actually react to. That they’ll share, watch, comment on, etc.

The more engagement your content gets, the more it will show up in the newsfeed, which will generate even more engagement. It’s a virtuous cycle.

Budweiser does this very effectively. Yes, they talk about the beer they sell, but they also create a lot of other brand-related content that isn’t specifically about their products. This content is designed specifically to get people clicking, sharing, and reacting.

Do's and Don'ts of Social Media For Ecommerce

Don’t Limit Yourself To One Medium

When posting on social media, it’s easy to limit yourself to one type of post, such as text or pictures. But the reality is that different types of posts generate different types of engagement. Text posts are a great way to pose questions to your audience, which can generate meaningful discussion with customers.

Pictures are an outstanding way to inspire your customers or to highlight a particular product. Video is perfect for product demos or behind the scenes tours.

If you limit yourself to one type of post, you’re limiting the amount of engagement you’ll get on your page, which will then limit the number of people who see your page. In turn, limiting your sales.

Do Especially Focus On Live Video

Live video is incredibly hot right now. Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, in particular, are showing particular favoritism toward live video. Again, it’s all about engagement. Mark Zuckerberg wrote that Facebook live videos tend to get about six times as much engagement as regular videos.

If your ecommerce brand isn’t using live video yet, you should be. It’s a fantastic way to interact with customers, answer questions, show off new products, go behind the scenes, and build rapport with customers.

Sephora does an excellent job of this, often live-streaming experts answering questions, giving tutorials, showing off products, etc.

Do's and Don'ts of Social Media For Ecommerce

It’s All About Relationships

Ultimately, social media for ecommerce is about building relationships. It’s about creating meaningful, trustworthy, authentic relationships between you and your customers. Yes, there will be a time to sell, but that shouldn’t be the main focus of your activities online.

Your main focus should be on consistently delivering value to your customers. On developing a rapport with them. The more you do this, the more you’ll ultimately sell.

Ready to bring your ecommerce social media marketing strategy to the next level? Contact Pacific54 today for a consultation.

8 Responses to “The Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media For Ecommerce”

  • Amanda Robinson says:

    I really forgot to not always be selling! It is hard to do but makes sense.

  • John Robinson says:

    Okay I was making it way too hard. These tips helped a lot.

  • Mike Rickard says:

    Hey Leilani. I’m working on releasing a new book and I’ve decided to go with a social media campaign. Thanks so much for this article. It’s already helped me avoid some mistakes I would have made without reading the article (such as overextending myself and targeting my audience on the wrong platforms). Can’t wait to implement some of your guideline.

  • David W says:

    When I first started my social media campaigns I really didn’t have any strategy. I was just hoping to sell a lot more! Wow, it did not work. You really need to educate yourself on what is popular and how to use these platforms effectively in order to not waste your time.

    • Leilani Bruce says:

      So true, it can be easy to waste a lot of time and money on social media if you don’t know what your goals are or how you plan to accomplish them.

  • Tristen says:

    I have pretty much only been trying to sell my product on my social media accounts. I didn’t realize this was a turn off for most people. How do I go about not constantly “selling?” I really don’t know what else to post about. Should I hire someone?

    • Leilani Bruce says:

      It’s never a bad idea to have an expert agency audit your social media accounts and help you come up with a winning strategy, but if you want to make improvements yourself, it really depends on your product and market. Including lifestyle photos, and things that make people laugh are some ideas to break up posts that are strictly promotional for your product or business.

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