How to choose the right social media for your ecommerce business

Author

Dan Steiner

October 21, 2016

Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are the most popular social networks, and each has a unique audience. It’s important to first get to know these differences so that you can take a specific approach with each one. Here are a few things to know as you plan your marketing efforts.

Facebook

Facebook is less open than other social media platforms, but its continuing popularity makes it impossible to ignore. The platform is very community based, making it ideal for local B2C businesses. However, when used correctly, it can also be a valuable resource for online retailers that operate without regional restrictions. Shares are crucial to success on Facebook, since they’re the only organic way to reach people who haven’t liked your page. Include photographs with every post and overlay them with text describing your current special. Make sure each post includes a link that will take customers directly to the featured item in your photo, especially if you’ve chosen to feature a particularly unique or visually-appealing item.

If you choose to go the paid route, you have a wide variety of options, including dynamic ads, which promote items that are relevant to a particular member. You can also use the site’s Custom Audiences feature to follow those who have visited your site and re-target them with ads for products they’ve shown an interest in.

Instagram

As popular as Facebook has become, its demographic skews slightly older, making it less-than-ideal for businesses interested in reaching those in their teens and 20s. Instagram’s demographics falls squarely into that age bracket, with 55 percent of all 18- to 29-year-old Americans who are online using the site. Instagram engagement rates are also notable, since one study found that a customer’s engagement with a site is higher when being directed from Instagram than when entering the URL directly.

Since Instagram is entirely image- and video-based, it’s important to use eye-grabbing visuals to compel customers to buy. Unlike other social media sites, you’re limited by not being able to insert clickable links into your photo captions, so make sure you have your site hyperlinked in your page bio and include links in captions that customers can copy and paste. Overlay the simple version of your store (YourStoreName.com) with each photo you post to make it easy for customers to simply enter the site name to check out your store. Host a contest that rewards customers who share photos of themselves using your products to extend your reach on the platform.

Twitter

Twitter’s 140-character limit makes it a challenge for marketers, but when used correctly, it can be a powerful tool. Through the use of hashtags, you can reach customers who might be looking for items like yours. However, images that encourage re-tweets can be even more effective in reaching potential customers. Twitter has also become a venue for customer service requests, so it’s important to maintain an active presence and set up notifications to ensure you know as soon as your brand is mentioned, if you don’t have time to maintain presence you can always automate your posts and use smart tools for publishing handcrafted and human approved social media posts.

Twitter now allows GIFs to auto-play on a user’s feed, making it a great option for ecommerce brands. Animated photos will make your content stand out to Twitter users, especially if they showcase your products in a fun way. You can also add text to your GIFs to say more than the 140 characters allows, calling attention to a sale you’re having or telling a story about your business. If you find creative ways to have fun using this feature, you’ll increase the odds that your tweet will be shared with others.

Social media marketing can call attention to the products in your ecommerce store. When you familiarize yourself with the unique demographics of each site, you’ll be able to get the most out of each post.

 

This article was written by Dan Steiner from CIO and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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