How to Use Social Media to Boost Ecommerce Sales & Best Practices To Use

Alice Tavernese
By Alice Tavernese
By Alice Tavernese,
Feb 8, 2023
Hands holding a cell phone

Social media has become an integral part of our daily lives. It has revolutionized the way we communicate, share information and make informed purchases online. As an ecommerce business, social media can provide a platform to reach out to potential customers, engage with existing ones and drive sales by directly speaking to your everyday customer in a more personable and fun way. There are many ways to implement social media to positively impact your business, and we will take a look in this article at how to maximize your revenue with several social media best practices. 

Why is social media important for ecommerce?

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By using social media, any ecommerce business can reach a far larger audience than solely through word of mouth alone, the entirety of the internet is at your disposal. It also allows your business to interact with customers, promote products or sales, and gather valuable data and insights on those customers to further your advertising strategies. Using any of the popular platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tiktok, Pinterest, etc.) can provide a cost-effective marketing platform, help build brand awareness and loyalty, and provide an opportunity to gather customer feedback. By leveraging social media with an effective strategy, ecommerce businesses can increase their visibility, engage with their customers, and drive sales more effectively. 

If you are still not convinced as to why you need to be using social media in your business, by just being on at least one platform you can have: 

  • Increased Reach & Customer Engagement: Each platform has millions of users, allowing for a larger and diverse audience you can quickly connect with.
  • Competitor Analysis: You aren’t the only business out there and you can easily keep track of what your competitors are doing online to stay ahead of the game. 
  • Cost-effective Marketing: when compared to more traditional marketing methods, such as Print, Billboards, Radio, & TV etc, using social media is significantly more cost effective. *Bonus! You can easily build out UGC (User-Generated Content) with your audience for easy content and in turn, showcase how amazing your customers are!
  • Data and Insights: All social platforms provide valuable analytical data and insights on customer behavior and preferences, which can inform business decisions and marketing strategies.
  • Brand Building & Storytelling: Regular social media activity can increase brand recognition and customer loyalty, but can also humanize your brand to your audience. 
  • Keep up with Industry Trends: Trends come and go very quickly because of social media. By being active on each platform, you can easily keep up with what your audience is interested in and make changes to your strategies accordingly.

Understand your audience

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Image Source: Sprout Social

One of the first steps to using social media effectively is understanding your audience. You want your customers to keep coming back and to continue to have your brand at the top of their minds. Most customers will first go to social media to determine if they want to purchase your products or services and if they like what they find, then the chance of a future purchase is a lot more likely. Customers will want to feel like you know and understand them so communicating effectively with them and understanding their needs should be a priority. 

So first off, define who your target audience is. Start by identifying exactly who your ideal customer would be, their age, location, interests, and pain points etc. This will allow you to gather important customer data to use for analytics. You need to understand not only their behaviors but also any preferences and bias’ they may have.

People looking at their phones

Always monitor social media conversations, and engage with your audience. When you are responding to customers online, treat it as equivalent to being greeted when you enter a store. Make them feel welcome so they want to engage with you online. Respond to their inquiries, and address their concerns. This will give you a better understanding of what they like and dislike about your products and services. And be sure to keep an eye on what people are saying about your brand and products across various social media channels. There are plenty of social media listening tools you can use to track mentions, hashtags, and keywords, such as Brand Mentions, Sprout Social, & Sprinklr

Analyze customer feedback by collecting customer feedback through surveys, reviews, and customer service interactions to understand their needs and expectations. A great way to do this is by offering clients a survey to fill out after an interaction. This could be after a purchase or after they’ve been scrolling through your website for sometime. Tools such as Survey Monkey and Google Forms can easily be implemented and are free to use! 

And finally - test and iterate! Regularly test and make changes to your marketing and product strategies based on the data you gather about your target audience. They may not always stay the same depending on products you release in the future, and that’s okay! Brands that can adapt and grow with their audiences stick around a lot longer than those who remain stuck in the past!

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Use the right tools for each platform

Out of the many tools that are available, here are a list of some we have found our own clients using to better their marketing efforts on social media:

Lists of different social media tools

Social Media Management Tools: Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Later, are some popular tools that allow businesses to manage multiple social media accounts, schedule posts, and track performance.

Social Listening Tools: Brand Mentions, Sprout Social, & Sprinklr are some examples of social listening tools that help businesses track mentions, hashtags, and keywords related to their brand and industry on social media.

Analytics Tools: Whatagraph, Varos, & Brandwatch are some of the most widely used analytics tools that provide detailed insights into website traffic, engagement, and conversion rates.

Content Creation Tools: Canva, Adobe, & Photopea are some popular tools for creating visually appealing graphics, images, and videos for social media.

Influencer Marketing Tools: AspireIQ, Upfluence, and Julius are some tools that help businesses find, manage, and track influencer partnerships on social media.

Organic Vs Paid 

Finally, the big question. Should you be focusing your efforts on Organic Social Media or Paid Social Ads?  And the very simple answer is both. In order for your brand to be successful online, it’s important to understand that you cannot have one without the other. Organic social media campaigns refer to promoting content without any financial investment. This is done by optimizing the content for various platforms and using tactics like hashtags, UGC, and engagement with followers to increase visibility and reach.

Organic strategies should include (but are not limited to) showcasing customer reviews about your business and products, utilizing appropriate brand-related hashtags wherever possible, interacting/engaging with customers on a regular basis, and reposting UGC to showcase products and customer appreciation.

Examples of UGC ads

Paid social media campaigns, on the other hand, involve paying to promote your content. This can include boosted posts, display ads, and promoted tweets. Paid campaigns typically reach a larger audience, as they allow advertisers to target specific demographics and reach users who are not already following their accounts.

Some paid social media strategies are paid ads and boosted posts, creating lookalike audiences to find people who might be similar to the customers who have purchased from you before, running influencer marketing campaigns and brand partnerships, and creating a loyalty program to reward your best customers and keep them coming back to you.

Organic and paid social media strategies work best when you incorporate a mix of both into your marketing plan. If you only use organic, you may not get the results you want as quickly as you need them. If you only use paid, the customer experience may be severely lacking.

6 Easily Actionable Best Practices To Use On Social Media

Social media has significantly impacted our daily routines and transformed the method by which we interact and receive information. It provides a platform for individuals and organizations to connect with their audience, share content, and promote their brand. However, with so many people using social media, it's essential to follow best practices to maximize its potential while avoiding common pitfalls. From creating engaging content to managing online reputation, there are several factors to consider when using social media. By implementing these best practices, you can effectively leverage the power of social media to reach your goals and engage with your audience.

  1. Define your target audience: As we previously mentioned, understanding your target audience is key to creating an effective social media strategy. Identifying their preferences, pain points, and interests will help you create content that resonates with them and drives engagement. 
  2. Choose the right platforms: There are many social media platforms to choose from, but not all of them may be relevant to your business. Choose the platforms that your target audience is most active on and focus the bulk of your efforts there.
  3. Create engaging content: The content you share on social media should be informative, entertaining, and relevant to your target audience. Showcase your personality and use video as much as possible! UGC video content performs well across channels like Instagram and Tiktok, and can show your products in action in a more personable way. 
  4. Use influencer marketing: Partnering with influencers in your niche can help you reach a wider audience and boost your credibility. Choose influencers with a decent following who align with your brand values and who your target audience trusts. You don’t need to find an Influencer who has over 100,000 followers; micro-influencers (accounts with 5,000 followers or less), are sometimes even more effective at successfully and authentically promoting your brand. 
  5. Run social media promotions: Social media promotions such as contests, giveaways and discounts are a great way to drive engagement and sales. Offer exclusive discounts or freebies to your followers, and always promote your sales across your social media channels. Another way to promote your products, offer your social media followers exclusive early access to your sales, i.e before the general public!
  6. Sell products directly from social channels: Platforms like Facebook and Instagram provide options to sell your products directly from their apps, instead of having a user directed to your website. This makes your products much more easily accessible and you should take advantage of the easy sell!
Do something great

In conclusion, social media provides a powerful tool for ecommerce businesses to reach out to potential customers and drive sales. By following our best practices and investing time into your social media endeavors, you can create an effective well-rounded strategy that will help you grow not only your business, but also the loyalty & appreciation customers have to your brand. Remember, adaptability is key! It’s okay to get off-track or to change your strategy to favor something more trendy. Being flexible is an important part of the chaotic world of social media marketing.

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For more great tips, follow us on social media where we discuss new ways to help small businesses owners with their marketing efforts and showcase the amazing results our team has provided our current clients. We’d love to hear from you and join in on the conversation! Find us on your favourite channel over here: Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook

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