Starting your own online business can be an exciting time. You have a great idea, lots of energy, and maybe a strong local interest in your product. You have a functional website set up with a shopping cart, and a merchant services provider to accept payments. Now, you just have to wait for the orders to start coming in, right?
It is practical for any merchant, regardless of what they’re selling, to have some sort of marketing plan. With information spreading at such a rapid rate, social media has become a prime feeding ground for marketing minds across the globe to expand their reach and draw in more customers. For e-commerce start-ups, getting started with social media marketing may prove to be difficult, and you may not see the results you expect. However, there are a few easy things you can do to improve your social media marketing campaigns and sell more products.
1). Get a Foot in Every Door
Don’t stop at just Twitter and Facebook—expand your social media marketing efforts to other sites that gain a lot of attention, such as Google+ and LinkedIn. It is vital for new e-commerce businesses to get important information—their name, their image, and their product—out on the web in as many ways as possible. Work some time into your monthly schedule to research new social media sites that you can create accounts on and start posting immediately.
Discover your potential. Look at social media sites you may not normally use and create business accounts. Ride the Pinterest wave and join the fastest growing social network on the web. Share images of your product on Instagram, tap into the blogging crowd on Tumblr, and let users see your product and its price on social commerce sites like Fancy and Wanelo.
2). Be Creative with Your Posts
Increasing the visibility of your posts requires you to be creative when writing them. Explore trending topics and hash tags, and find ways to connect them to your business or product. Find a group that has a theme relevant to your business and promote your product on a regular basis (just not too much, because the admins may boot you out). This will allow you to target a specific group of people who you already know will be interested in your products.
3). Be Aggressive
Find a related business or service with more followers and target them in your posts. This is a good way to get retweeted on Twitter and mentioned on other sites. Send special offers to potential customers in the form of a direct message. Post frequently throughout the day, but not too often–preferably eight to ten times. Take a social media break every hour—this is a good way to insure that your product is always being seen without driving your followers crazy. Over-posting can cause them to stop following or blocking you.
4). Advertise if Possible
If it is in the budget, you should always advertise with a social media site. Facebook offers an effective advertising service that allows users to see your business’s page without searching for it. Twitter also offers an advertising service which can be easily used and maintained. Although you have to pay for it, advertising can generate more interest in your product, which will do wonders for your website’s conversion rate and increase sales as a result.
5). Use Social Media Management Tools
It is possible for e-commerce start-ups to have anywhere from 10-12 social media accounts at a time, which can make marketing quite a project. However, there are resources on the web to help you manage your social media marketing efforts. I personally recommend checking out Hootsuite and Buffer. With a Hootsuite account, you can connect multiple social media accounts and view them through the Hootsuite website. This allows you to change from Facebook to Twitter to LinkedIn in a few clicks, so you can have everything in front of you at one time. These management sites also allow you to schedule posts for a specific date and time, create recurring posts, and view statistics that show how effective your posts are and how many people are seeing them.
6). Create a Blog
A blog is a must-have for any e-commerce start-up. You can create blogs for free on Tumblr and WordPress, and blogging is the perfect way to provide detailed information on your products. Link the blog to all your social media accounts, and users can easily read the latest news about your product or business. Additionally, this will provide more fodder when you publish social media posts. Check out the Instabill Blog to see a good example.
7). Link like Crazy
With every single post you publish, you should be including at least one link to your website or blog. External backlinks are extremely important to increasing conversions—the more people follow the links to your website, the more likely they are to make a purchase. Linking within posts is an efficient way to make sure people are visiting your site and seeing your products.
8). Don’t Give Up!
Good results from your social media marketing campaigns won’t come instantly. It takes a lot of work and resources to gain attention and get followers, but keep posting regularly. The social media universe is expanding every day, and people are bound to see your products and purchase them. If you’re just starting your e-commerce business, follow the steps above to create a strong, foolproof social media marketing strategy.