If you’re running an online store, social media is a valuable tool to help expand your business. If you’re not yet selling online, but are planning to, check out our guides to omnichannel retail and starting your first online store.
According to Oberlo, 54% of users conduct product research on social media. Potential customers are probably checking out your social media profiles before deciding to purchase from you, so it’s important not only to market yourself on social media, but also to make it that much easier for them to purchase while browsing your social channels.
Find the right social channel
Before starting your social media efforts, the first step is to figure out where your target demographics are. It’s more effective to choose one or two social platforms to focus your efforts on, than to spread yourself thin and waste your energy on every platform.
According to Sprout Social, in 2021 Facebook is still the most popular social media channel. It’s user base expands across all generations, and although the younger generations tend to prefer Instagram and TikTok, they’re still using Facebook.
Do some research into which platform will serve you the best. Think about who your customers are, and where they are going to spend their time browsing online. Think about their age range, gender, education, and interested. If your target demographic is young or teenage women, you might want to focus on visual-focused channels popular with that age range, such as Intagram or Tik Tok, or Pinterest, which is significantly dominated by women. Likewise, if you’re targeting older, educated professionals you may want to consider LinkedIn or Twitter.
Engage with your followers
Social media is an excellent and free way to broadcast your business and get some word-of-mouth marketing going.
An effective way to engage your followers and gain some new ones is to host a giveaway on social media. If social media users have to follow you, share your post, and tag a friend to enter, you’ll be introduced to so many new potential customers. On top of that, giveaways are generally fun and rewarding for your followers, who get the chance to win some of your awesome products. It’s a great way to introduce your business to individuals you may otherwise not have reached, and a great way to let potential customers try out your products to see how great they are without the risk of purchase. Once they get to enjoy whatever your product is, they’ll be back for more. And so will all of your new followers!
Share, and get shared
Another great way to engage your shoppers on social media is to encourage them to share their purchases on their own profiles. Encourage them to tag your business page in their post, you could even offer them a discount the next time they’re shopping with you for further incentive. With their permission, share their content to your page. This Nielsen study found that social proof on social media had a significant impact on purchasing decisions.
Make your profile shoppable
This one is a no brainer, especially if you’re selling something that photographs well, like clothing or homeware. If your followers or page visitors are scrolling and something catches their eye, they’re much more likely to purchase if they can conveniently checkout in a single tap or click.
There are a ton of WooCommerce plugins available that help you connect your store to your Facebook and Instagram pages, such as Facebook for WooCommerce. The official plugin by Facebook is completely free, however it does require a few extra steps, such as setting up your Facebook Pixel in your WooCommerce. However, it does offer a more in-depth analysis of your customers behaviors so you can better track where you’re going wrong.
Another example is StoreYa’s Shop for WooCommerce. This one is a little easier to manage, because you don’t need any coding or tech skills to pull this off. It also comes with a few more features, such as customization of your Facebook shop, easy bulk import, and more.
Use paid ads
Sometimes, reaching new customers organically isn’t enough. If you plan an effective social media campaign, the budget you spend may well be worth it. Some platforms, such as Facebook, offer advanced targeting options that help you really narrow down your demographic.
All you have to do is decide on the message you want to promote, come up with some visuals, and set a budget for your campaign. Then you can select your target audience. Just keep in mind that different social platforms will have different rules and limitations for their ad campaigns.