It won’t have escaped your attention that social media is massive with consumers today. Facebook alone reported 1.45 billion daily active users in March of this year, influencing 52% of consumers’ purchases. It’s evident then that it’s hugely important for businesses to create and maintain a significant online presence across a range of social channels. It’s also vital that you get it right. Many ecommerce hustlers jump into it without doing the necessary planning and research. To help you nail your social media presence, here are some of the most common things that people get wrong — and how to avoid them too.
No customer engagement
Your social media marketing strategy isn’t a one-way street. While it’s a channel that lets you market to your customers, it’s also one in which your customers use to connect with you. More and more, customers use social media as a means to reach out to brands, expecting and demanding a personal response.
And the benefits are there to see: 71% of consumers who have a positive experience with a brand via social media would recommend it to friends and family. It’s therefore crucial that you regularly respond to and engage with your consumers online.
How to do it right!
Naturally, it can be difficult for a small ecommerce hustle to have the time to respond to each and every customer, but it’s not impossible. When you can, openly reply to as many complaints of queries as you can. For more general queries, it’s well worth investing in a chatbot for your business. These come with sophisticated AI technology that can help guide customers through their online journey with your brand, saving you time and lost customers.
No coherent brand voice
This is an easy one to overlook when you’re building your ecommerce brand’s online presence. To ensure your business stands out against your competition and attracts the right kind of customers, it’s vital that you develop a clear and coherent brand voice for your social media presence.
A great example of a brand that has nailed is fast food chain Wendy’s. Their Twitter account is famous for its witty responses, jabs at rival chains, and pop culture references. They also regularly engage with their customers online, strengthening their relationship with their audience further.
Ok, we goofed. We meant to tell everyone we had Chicken Tenders, we just weren’t loud enough. So WE HAVE CHICKEN TENDERS. CHICKEN. TENDERS. WE HAVE THEM. THEY ARE VERY GOOD. https://t.co/hcQpic90lu
— Wendy’s (@Wendys) 28 July 2018
Everything Wendy’s does is delivered in a unique and recognizable voice which resonates with their audience, working wonders for their brand image.
How to get it right
Your brand voice should reflect who your customers are. Write in a way that shares their language and cultural references, but remember you are still a business. Don’t stray into overly informal territory, but don’t be dry or stuffy. Develop clear guidelines that your social media team can follow to ensure every post is delivered in the same brand style.
Posting at the wrong time of day
The time you post on social media is absolutely crucial for businesses, and is a common mistake made by brands. Your customers are active online at different times of the day on different days of the week, which will naturally affect when you post. Other variables include your individual customer segments, the social platform you use, and even the industry your business occupies.
At the same time, you should also consider where the bulk of your target audience is based. Midday for your US customers won’t be midday for your UK customers, so you’ll need to take that into account when you create your social media editorial calendar.
How to get it right
When you’re planning your social media strategy, do some research into your audience and find out when they are most active on social media. Create your editorial calendar around them to ensure your posts receive maximum visibility online.
A single-channel rather than omnichannel experience
Finally, it’s important that you don’t isolate your presence across social media. Consumers today demand a seamless online experience, moving easily from your ecommerce store to Twitter to Facebook to Instagram. They also expect to be able to make purchases from your social media channels as well. With Shoppable Posts available on Instagram and Buyable Pins being rolled out across Pinterest, customers have a plethora of ways to purchase on social media without ever leaving the app.
And this is imperative to a brand’s success: simply adding a link to your online store in your bio isn’t enough. If your customers have to leave social media to make a purchase, that creates an opportunity for them to drop out of your sales funnel, meaning a lost sale for your brand.
How to get it right
More and more social platforms are implementing in-app purchase options for businesses. As well as Instagram and Pinterest’s updates, Facebook too now lets brands open shops to sell products. If you already have an existing retail webstore built with a third party developer such as Shopify, it can be easily integrated with your Facebook page to display your products on social media too. Make sure you take advantage of every retail option that social media has to offer to create a true omnichannel experience.
While it’s important that your ecommerce hustle has a social media presence, it’s equally important that you get it right. Don’t make the same mistakes as others and develop a clear brand voice for a social media strategy that spans a range of channels. Create a seamless social shopping experience for your customers and turn your ecommerce hustle into a successful online business.
Patrick Foster is an ecommerce guru with years of experience in online retail and marketing. He shares his knowledge on Ecommerce Tips, a blog where readers can find advice on everything ecommerce, from marketing to sales. To catch up on the latest, find him on Twitter @myecommercetips.