There are more than 2.3 billion active social media users in the world. The richness of audience in social media has propelled its status as a primary driver of eCommerce traffic. In fact, a recent study confirmed that social media ranks as the number one driver to overall site traffic compared to other various traditional media. And so, social media houses an immense amount of traffic opportunity just waiting for you to convert.

But social media is also a vastly challenging place where anyone can easily skip and ignore you. So, in an environment controlled by shoppers’ preferences to see what they want to see, how do you start a dialogue? How can you increase your visibility when your audience is at their peak? How can you get your audience’s attention and lead them right in front of your online doorstep?

For your social media marketing strategy to be relevant and persuasive, we have gathered these social selling must-haves that your online store needs to steal right away to successfully leverage that overflowing traffic.

1 – The Power of “Peer-suasion”: User-Generated Contents

Consumers want authenticity in reviews to be convinced to head to your site. User-generated contents (UGCs) can help you build that trust as 56% of consumers say they believe UGCs more than traditional media. UGCs happen when consumers post videos, pictures, testimonials, reviews or blogs regarding a product or a store and then upload them online.

UGCs play a crucial role in breaking the barrier of consumers’ distrust of your store or product before beginning to visit your site. Because UGCs are built by their peers whom they trust, this translates to the authenticity and validation of their sentiments. So, for example, if they see your product being praised by their friends, they are more likely to be assured that their praises are genuine. So they head to your store to check out the buzz.

user-generated content example on Facebook.

This Facebook post is a sample UGC showcasing a local online retailer. The UGC captured the attention of the user’s peers generating comments from local followers about the details of the product and how to purchase it.

Ways to Start Peer-suading:

  • Personally send a thank you note to your buyers with a little encouragement of sharing their reviews. Here’s how KawayanPH engaged with a local buyer through Facebook Messenger which triggered the above UGC:

social review asking

  • Encourage social sharing at checkout by giving away gifts/coupons: make it easy and rewarding for your customers to share their carts to their social media, which will drive their friends and followers to your shop.

Checkout Boost popup

Promise your customers a special gift / coupon code on their order if they share their cart on Facebook or Twitter, so they can apply right at checkout. Tool: Checkout Boost app

2 – The Power of Inspiration: Influencers

Identify your influencers and get reviews to promote your products. Influencers are tagged as “online celebrities” that have immense popularity and followings in social media. They influence the way their followers think and consume. By building a large interested network of followers in their branding channels (Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, blogs…), they work as paid advertisers for brands.

The key to getting this strategy succeed is that you need to find the right influencers in your nique, establish relationship with them and have them endorse your products.

Powerful Tips to Start Influencing:

  • Send free product samples to your influencers. Approach influencers who have at least 20,000 followers and send them free sample of your products that they can feature on their social media accounts.
  • Let your influencers host your social media account for a certain period. It’s like the concept of “Instagram Takeover”. It happens when you invite a special guest to mandatorily manage your Instagram account, often providing day-to-day or behind-the-scene activities.

influencers in eCommerce

Gigi New York, handbags and accessories retailer, hosted several Instagram Takeovers to promote their fashion week

3 – The Power of Targeting: Paid Social Media Ads

Paid social media ads to strategically place you in front of your target market. To put it simply, social media ads are paid content on social media sites that allow you the option to run your promotional campaigns in front of your selected audience. As long as your ads are well targeted, you can immensely drive your traffic to the roof.

Powerful Tips to Strategic Targeting:

Choosing the right platform to put your paid social media ads can be a challenge. So, here’s the best place to start with each of the popular social media sites:

  • Facebook: There is variety of Facebook ad formats that you can use, ranging from photos, videos, carousel, slideshow, and canvas. Begin your segmentation based on age, gender, location or language. Then, dig even deeper with their demographics, interests , and behaviors.
  • Twitter: Twitter Ads categorizes its paid content in three kinds: Promoted Accounts, Promoted Trends, and Promoted Tweets. The same theory applies to the categories: your content will appear on your targeted audience. It only varies on what you want to promote. Below is an illustrative example of Twitter Ads:

increase twitter followers for online stores

  • Instagram: Facebook owns Instagram, so the ad formats echo the Facebook ad types such as photo, video and carousel. Instagram ads can support variety of business objectives. Plus, it offers the same segmentation and targeting solutions as Facebook ads.

4 – The Power of Excitement: Social Media Contests

Create a fun way of engaging with your audience by starting a social media contest. It’s maybe the fastest and easiest way to get your audience talking, sharing, commenting, liking and following. You want to get people get excited about your products and your store.

Powerful Tip to Host Social Media Contests:

  • Don’t just ask them to tag, follow or use hashtags, link them to your site. Take for example how WishQue asked its audience to visit their website for double the chances of winning in their Facebook contest:

giveaway on social media

5 – The Power of Display: Social Videos

The dominance of social videos will continue to skyrocket by 2020 with 79% of traffic coming from videos. The widespread of social videos to online consumers have been proven effective to retailers in driving more traffic to their sites and 72% of business saying they have seen an  increase in their conversion rates.

Types of Social Videos that Work:

  • Unboxing Videos: Unboxing videos are literally showing products getting unwrapped from their packages to an online audience. You can marry this strategy with Influencers who can record an unboxing video of your product.
  • How-to Videos: Instructional or how-to videos have huge following across social media, especially in Instagram. It’s one of the best ways to be genuinely helping your shoppers with their day-to-day dilemma and at the same time showcasing your products and your brand.

how-to videos

This is a sneak peek how-to video from MAKE, an online make up retailer, that redirects interested audiences to the website to watch the full instructional video.

6 – The Power of Now: Live Streaming

If social videos have proven their dominance overtime, expect the prevalence of live video streaming as Facebook, Periscope, Youtube, Instagram and Snapchat’s integrated their live video capabilities. We want to put an emphasis on live videos because of its real-time engagement. Plus, recent research also revealed that people are spending 3x more time in live videos than those which are not broadcasted live.

Types of Live Videos that Works:

    • Broadcast a live competition: You can maximize social media contests by broadcasting it live.
    • Launch a new product or brand: Don’t just create a promotional flyer or printed ad for your new product, an exciting way to spice up your launch is to broadcast it live.

7 – The Power of Speed: Viral Contents

The term viral itself is pretty much enticing if you want to drive more traffic to your online store. But viral contents have two components: people spreading your message and people willingly wanting to share them. Viral contents are always a hit if you want to increase site traffic but it’s not easy getting your posts successfully go viral, specially that there should be willingness from your audience.

Powerful Tips to be Viral:

  • Memes: All of us have seen hilarious memes. They are witty and clever images or videos with funny captions. They can be easily incorporated to your products and brands but don’t forget to stay clear from sensitive issues that could be damaging to your brand. Just stay light and fun.   
  • Appeal to human senses: Tasty has one mission: to make us drool and want more. The recipe videos have gone viral and taken your Facebook and Instagram timeline. And what are their secret ingredients? They appeal to our five senses: aesthetically crafted video (sight), mouthwatering recipe (taste), upbeat music (hearing), imagining the aroma (smell), and how the food touches your mouth (touch).

8 – The Power of Optimizing: Social Search Engine Optimization

Social media sites are search engines too. Nowadays, online consumers don’t just use Google or Bing to look for products or check out online stores; social media is now a prevalent channel to find what they are searching for. Facebook, for example, gets 1 billion search queries per day! With that overwhelming search queries, how could you stay on top of the results page?

We are all familiar with how SEO and ASO help in affecting your results page ranking. Now, online retailers need to give attention that optimization should also be emphasized on social media search engines. Try for example searching for the type of product that you’re selling on Facebook and see how easily you could find your store. You see, if less people are seeing you on social media by search results alone, how more traffic could you expect flowing to your site? Make it easy for people to find you on social media because the more visible you are, the more it could affect your web visits.

Powerful Tips to Optimize and Stay on Top:

  • Use commonly used words to describe your social media profile. If you are an online flower shop, don’t forget to add your best-selling flower names to your profile.
  • Research on the most popular terms that could be associated with your store or product and incorporate them on your posts.
  • Use relevant hashtags. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all use the capabilities of hashtags to improve the visibility of certain posts. So, use appropriate hashtags on your posts to increase visibility among your target audience.

9 – The Power of Association: Social Groups

Join community groups where your target audience are mostly hanging out. People who have the same interests can be found in certain niches like Facebook groups and even LinkedIn, Youtube and Pinterest have their own groups that could potentially be helpful in driving traffic to your site as you can easily identify which certain groups have inclination to your products.

Powerful Tip to Join a Group:

  • List down what characteristics, personalities and interests comprise your target market: If for example you’re a baby apparel retailer, your target market is mostly mothers. So, find in an online group of mothers with rich membership in your area. To penetrate the group, join as an individual and position yourself as an influencer to the group so you can subtly promote your products and drive them to your store without them noticing as selling.

10 – The Power of Identity: Social Media Bio

It is who you are and what your brand represents that attract people. This should be the most common tactic to direct your followers to your website, yet we’ve seen a lot of social media accounts without the website link in their bios. Although googling is easy, sometimes your competitors will show up in the results page or your name isn’t unique enough that your audience might have the difficulty of finding your site. Whichever the case, you don’t want to miss the chance.

Powerful Tip to Describe Who You Are:

  • Directly include your website link under your profile bio like how Dotty Dandellion made on their Instagram account.

social media bio

  • Put up your current promotions on your bio so that your audience can directly see your enticing deals, discounts or freebies. Don’t expect your audience to scroll down to all of your posts just to check your current promotions.

The power is in your hands

Social media has been part of everyone’s daily routine. May it be news, trends or a simple conversation with friends and family, social media has become a hub of communication that continuously evolve and grow virtually.

And this poses a key challenge to online retailers and marketers to keep up with the advancement of social media platforms as well as capture the interests of the ever-changing social media users. But a cohesive strategy that penetrates deep down to the core of your target audience such as the powerful tips that engage, influence, excite and connect could exponentially drive traffic to your online store. Use these powers wisely.

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