— December 15, 2017
What once was considered a fleeting trend for youngsters has become a new way of life for people of all ages: social media. It has changed the way we share our day to day moments, shop, and communicate with businesses.
It is this same worldwide acceptance of social media that has brought an ever-increasing amount of daily users, who become more social media savvy as time goes by. They are quick to detect when a brand is being inauthentic or overly salesy. Also, these same users have high brand expectations and want to engage with the eCommerce stores they follow.
It is that high expectation level that has made it more difficult for brands to drive traffic from social media. The competition is tough, and the users are more savvy than ever before, but don’t worry! Using these tactics, you’ll be on your way to improving results in no time!
1. Leverage the Power of Influencers
There are two main reasons why social media influencers are able to drive traffic for eCommerce: They already have a big following and they have gained their followers’ trust. Thus, any brands influencers promote to their following have a higher chance of being accepted than a brand found any other way.
Part of this influencing power comes from social proof. This is a phenomenon where people assume the actions of others to reflect correct behavior. Users will try to emulate their favorite influencers in an attempt to become more like them.
When choosing your ideal influencer to promote your store, it’s important to keep your brand’s look and feel in mind. You should select an influencer that fits that look and feel and which embodies the kind of customers you are targeting. For instance, see below how Jimmy Choo uses Cara Delevinge to appeal to a young, hip audience.
On the other hand, a brand like Mont Blanc chooses Hugh Jackman to promote its new watch collection because he embodies its older and sophisticated clientele.
Now that you have an idea of what type of influencers you are looking for, it’s time to find them! Trying to find an influencer manually would be very time-consuming. So, I’d recommend using an app to help get the job done.
One of my favorite apps is BrandSnob. The platform allows you to find influencers in different categories and post a job. Then, influencers associated with the platform can apply for the job, which will allow you to tap into their pool of hundreds of influencers, instead of wasting time contacting influencers one by one.
2. Posting Schedule
What you post, how, where, and when are the pillars of having a successful social media account to drive traffic to your store. Let’s start by discussing the ideal post schedule for different platforms.
The first thing to keep in mind when crafting your posting schedule is the social media platform you’ll be using for the post. Every social media platform has distinct rules of engagement, which call for different posting practices.
For instance, Instagram and Twitter are more fast-paced than Facebook. Therefore, you would be able to post 10+ tweets a day on Twitter, whereas, on Facebook, the same amount of posts would be considered borderline spammy. Actually, QuickSprout suggests posting about 15 times a day on Twitter, and Revive suggests posting only about 5 times a day on the same platform. For Instagram, I would suggest posting about 2 to 3 times per day.
There is no one definite answer about the topic. Marketers debate the exact amount of times to post on each platform, but you should know that they all agree Twitter should have the highest number of posts, followed by Instagram, and then Facebook. To find the right answer for your business, analyze your competitors to create a strategy that is tailored to you. Fortunately, there are new platforms like Project Maia that are using machine learning to help with social media strategy.
Once you make a posting plan, you can easily schedule the posts with a platform like HootSuite. It will help you post consistently, driving continuous traffic to your eCommerce store.
3. Types of Posts
Now that we’ve discussed the ideal posting schedule, let’s delve into the types of posts that are most effective to drive traffic to an eCommerce store.
- Videos. They are the most engaging types of posts on social media. Buzzsumo analyzed millions of posts on Facebook and discovered that all image and link posts were declining in engagement except for videos. They work well on all platforms, but mainly on Instagram and Facebook. Keep in mind that Instagram videos have to be more condensed since they allow a shorter amount of time than Facebook.
- Livestreams. They are technically another type of video content, but they offer a new set of benefits of their own. Users love livestreams because they like to be in-the-know of what’s happening at the moment, and they also like to get a more personal insight of what’s happening behind the scenes. The best part is that users get notifications when an account goes live, which helps to drive traffic to it. Use it to announce a new product or show behind the scenes footage.
- Images, Quotes, and Memes. Although videos are king, there are still other types of posts that can drive engagement and eventually traffic. Not every post has to feature a product. As long as you keep engaging with your audience, you’ll stay top of mind until they are ready to make a purchase. Quotes and memes are a great way to build that engagement with your audience.For example, see how Cosmopolitan uses quotes together with editorial posts on their Instagram account. Although they are not an eCommerce store, it’s a great example of how you can use mixed posts to keep your audience engaged.
4. Paid Ads
We wouldn’t be able to discuss the most effective tactics for social media without talking about paid advertising. Running paid ads doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take advantage of all the other tactics mentioned before; it’s just an addition to your strategy. Even if you have millions of followers, paid advertising should be part of your strategy to drive sales.
There are many tactics that can help you optimize your performance to get cost-effective results. For instance, targeting your followers is a great way to get affordable cost per clicks or CPC and drive higher conversions. Your followers have already been exposed to your brand, so they are like “warm leads,” and your friends or followers will be more prone to engage with a brand their friends already like. You’ll be able to persuade both targets with a smaller budget, rather than trying to persuade a completely new audience.
To target your followers or friends of followers, simply go to the ad set section of your new campaign, and go to the connections part of targeting.
Select people who like your page to target your followers, or select friends of people that like your page to target the friends of your followers.
Another effective target audience is composed of people who have already engaged with your page. Create this audience by going to the Audience section of your ads manager. There, you’ll be able to create a Custom Audience, then select engagement, and Facebook or Instagram on the next screens.
Once the audience is created, you’ll be able to access it from your ad set to create new ads.
Finally, monitor and measure your results. Whether it’s engagement, likes, traffic, or shares, you need to stay on top of your performance to analyze what worked and what didn’t work. Facebook Insights can help you get a better look at your performance. In the posts section, you’ll be able to see which posts drove the most results. Also, visit the overview section, where you’ll be able to add competitors and keep an eye on their performance.
Have you tried any of these tactics? What has worked for you and what hasn’t? Comment below!