The world of eCommerce, like all other industries, was affected by the current pandemic. There was an initial surge of demand during the early days, but with more businesses turning to the internet to make sales, customer churn has been increasing.
Businesses need to get savvy. With 90% of internet users engaging in social media, it’s only natural to focus on growing on these platforms.
While focusing on social media marketing is a good way to go, it does come with its own challenges. Algorithms and features seem to be changing constantly. Behaviour patterns of buyers have also changed since the pandemic began: from what they purchase to which stores they do business with.
To get ahead of these, you need strategies that address these challenges while also scaling your eCommerce business for growth.
eCommerce Social Media Strategies for 2021
From making sure your buyer’s journey and audience profile are up to date, to the types of content you should focus on, here are 10 actionable strategies you can implement to grow your eCommerce business on social media.
1. Complete your eCommerce business profile.
The way your social media profiles look affects how people perceive your brand. Are your profiles frequently updated? Is there brand consistency between different platforms? Can they readily find contact information, official websites, and even product information on your social media pages?
Making sure that your platforms of choice have complete and consistent profiles can reduce friction from your buyer’s journey. The quicker they’ll be able to see where and how to buy your products, the quicker they’ll turn into buying customers.
Buyers, regardless of market, are now used to finding information on the internet. It’s unlikely that they will take the time to ask customer service or take too long to find the info they need.
The Facebook page of parcel forwarding service, MyUKMailbox.com, for example, prominently features a complete About section where anyone can quickly see the company’s contact information.
Screenshot from MyUKMailbox’s About Page on Facebook
2. Revisit your buyer’s journey.
When was the last time you took a good look at how customers find you and make a purchase?
The pandemic has changed most people’s buying behaviour. Your current market may be prioritizing other purchases, they may be shopping via different platforms to their usual places before the pandemic hit.
Revisiting their journey can also show you how to use social media to connect with them at every stage of their journey whether they’re just becoming aware of your brand or ready to make a repeat purchase.
It’s also possible that today’s buyers are looking for a more seamless journey and may find it necessary to do business with organizations that have reliable customer service. You can expand your social media strategy not just to acquire new customers but to use it for customer service, allowing them to shop and get support in the social media platform of their choice.
3. Take the “Less is More” approach.
It’s tempting to have brand presence on all social media platforms. It makes sense–the more places you are visible, the bigger the audience you can tap.
The truth is, less is more when it comes to social media platforms. When you focus on 2-3 (or even fewer!) platforms, you’ll be able to concentrate on coming up with strategies specific to these platforms. You’ll be able to focus on engagement, building an audience you can then convert to new and repeating customers.
If you revisit your buyer’s journey and reassess your audience demographics, it will be easier for you to see which platform you should be focusing on. Spero Foods, a startup offering plant-based dairy products, focuses on Instagram, where they post photos of meals and showing their young market how to use their products.
4. Customize your target audience profile.
The better you know your audience, the better you’ll be able to leverage social media not just to grow your audience, but to convert them into paying customers.
If you have a rough idea of your target audience (such as demographics), it’s time to go beyond this and learn about their goals or challenges. When you know this about your target market, you’ll be able to position yourself as a solution or option for them to reach their goals or work through their challenges.
When you know your audience, you’ll be able to see which trends they’re responding to, what kind of advertisement or types of content they respond to best. Effective social media strategies start by knowing you you’re targeting and then figuring out how to target them.
5. Match your messaging with the platform.
Users of different social media platforms behave differently. What interests them, how they engage, and how they buy vary depending on the platform.
The biggest mistake you can do on social media is to treat every platform the exact same way.
As competition is fierce for eCommerce businesses on social media, you want to make sure that the strategies you apply are tailor-made for your target market as well as the platform. The types of content that work well on Instagram, might not work as well on Twitter.
Make adjustments to your content depending on the social media platform you’re using, from optimizing image and video sizes to writing copy. While brand consistency and cohesiveness is important, this doesn’t mean the content you put out across different platforms should be identical.
6. Let your personality shine.
Social media allows you to connect with your audience unlike ever before. This also means that businesses are not just encouraged to show personality, the market now expects it. They want to get to know your brand’s personality as much as they want to know your products.
They want to know who they’re doing business with, not just what they’re paying for.
When you let your brand personality shine, you grow your audience’s interest and trust in your brand. They build an emotional connection with your business that ultimately leads to brand loyalty.
You can build a strong brand personality that goes beyond a strong logo and consistent color schemes. You can show it by how you write social media captions and, more importantly, how you engage with your audience through comments and direct message replies.
7. Collaborate with influencers.
To grow your existing audience on social media, you need new followers. One way to get new followers is through promotions, and a good way to promote anything on social media is by working with influencers.
When you collaborate with influencers, you widen your reach to include their audience. You gain a positive reputation to this new audience by association, and you align your brand creatively with other brands that are not your competitors.
For example, workout and nutrition tracker app, Openfit, frequently partners with social media and celebrity influencers to showcase their new workouts.
They also collaborate with nutrition supplement brand, Ladder Sport, to give audiences of both brands compatible nutrition and exercise regimens they can try out for themselves. They’re able to maximize their brand and the content they create for social media.
8. Use videos.
If there’s one strategy on this list that you should already be implementing, it’s putting out video content.
Video is by far the most popular type of content online these days, with 54% of consumers wanting more video content from brands they follow. Your audience is more likely to engage with video content through reactions, comments, or even shares.
The more your content is shared by your followers, the bigger your reach grows. This is how you scale.
Content types for videos are also endless. You can use video to show your business culture, your processes, the people behind your team. You can showcase your new products, publish tutorials, or film short and fun videos that are related to what you’re offering or are relevant to your audience.
With the number of apps and tools readily available to help you create great videos within a short space of time, you’ll be able to make the most out of this content type.
9. Take advantage of shopping features.
When the shopping experience involves too many steps, you run the risk of losing your customers.
You can create a near-frictionless experience by using shopping features now offered by some social media platforms.
Instagram has Shoppable Posts where customers can just tap what they like and they can be sent straight to the product page for a quick checkout. Another option is Facebook’s Marketplace which offers support for eCommerce listing platforms like Shopify, Quipt, and Salsify for quick and seamless product integration.
Since you’re already creating top-notch content that your followers love to engage with, why not give them the option to engage with your brand by means of making a purchase right then and there? This is what these native shopping features make possible.
10. Automate your social media strategy.
Consistency is a crucial strategy to scale your eCommerce businesses on social media. Activity keeps you top of mind not only with existing followers but also respective social media search algorithms.
To keep your efforts consistent while saving you time to work on other parts of your business, you can automate your social media marketing plan.
You can sign up for the CrowdFire App, a robust social media tool that allows you to tailor posts according to the social media platform, and use its analytic tools and eliminate the guesswork when it comes to the best times to post content.
Using a tool also helps you measure only relevant metrics, showing you exactly what’s working and what isn’t, as well as whether or not your strategies are helping you grow or giving you returns.
The ongoing pandemic has brought challenges to different industries and eCommerce is no different. But it has also offered unique opportunities for savvy business people who are ready to leverage digital platforms.
Social media is ubiquitous these days, even more so now when everyone is online 24/7. Focusing on the right strategies for your business will help you grow in 2021.
Address the current global landscape. Strengthen your brand identity online. Get to know your buyers and their journey better. Create content they will want to engage with. And of course, automate all these efforts to keep them consistent across different platforms.
With Crowdfire, you can find curated content, schedule your posts, engage with your audience, deep-dive into analytics and create custom reports. Now introducing Social listening. Try it for free.