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by John Waghorn on 22nd March 2012
Having a high quality and well-designed ecommerce website that provides a decent customer experience is great, but have you ever stopped to consider how you can generate more traffic via other platforms? Ultimately, you want people to come to your site, purchase your products and enjoy their experience so much that they return time and time again.
The more traffic you can generate through other means, the better it will be for your ecommerce site; and social media is one popular way of achieving this.
Social media can offer you more though, as fans and followers can become ambassadors for your brand; recommending your site to their friends. This will be hugely advantageous for your company, as word of mouth is possibly the most powerful marketing tool for any business.
A platform that has really taken off over the last seven years, social media is an excellent way to promote your company, improve brand awareness and, more importantly, drive traffic to your site. Even if your business has yet to set up any social profiles, you can guarantee that many of your customers and competitors are engaging online. To put this in to perspective, the S-1 Registration Statement – Securities and Exchange Commission stated that in December 2011, Facebook had 845 million active users worldwide. This is potentially a whole new market that you can target, simply by making the transition to social media. So how exactly do you use social media to drive traffic to your ecommerce site?
Which profile should you target?
There are numerous social networks available from Facebook and Twitter to YouTube, and LinkedIn, along with a whole host of others. Essentially, they all have the same basic function, although they vary in terms of the types of services offered and users. It’s best to start with a few of these sites rather than setting up a profile on each one and never really maintaining them, as your customers will get frustrated if there is a lack of communication.
Build and engage with your followers
You can use social media as a separate portal to your ecommerce site to build awareness amongst a wider audience. This works in your favour, as once you have built up your followers you can use social to promote your products, as well as post links to offers and deals on your site. With an existing, captive audience. You can even create separate promotions only available on social so that your audience have an incentive to add or follow you.
Google Plus has a unique function known as ‘circles’ where you can group together selected contacts. If you choose to use this, you can send out a status update to a specific group of customers and clients, making the message more personalised and targeted.
Make sure you vary your comments though; nobody wants to follow businesses who only push sales messages. Ultimately, selling products is your top priority, but don’t forget that you are human too. Therefore, ask your customers how they are, what they like about certain products, or what they would like to see on your website. This is a simple yet effective way to build relationships with your customers and over time if there is constant communication you will build up trust – a great thing for any company to have.
Dealing with negative feedback
As we all know, the social world is a canvas for some people to vent their frustrations, and sometimes your company will be in the firing line of such criticism. If this is the case and someone comments that they are not happy with one of your products or the level of service they have received, then make sure you respond. Be helpful and offer a solution such as a discount or even a product for free. Allowing an unsatisfied customer to become a happy one again, with faith fully restored, shows others that you are willing to look out for the needs of your customers – again building trust and recommendations from the customer.
Create product videos to share
Everyone likes to watch videos, so use this to your advantage. Creating a YouTube profile will allow you to make product videos; even if they are short, they will be shared between your customers and can be posted on other social profiles. It will also provide users with a useful visual guide to your products, increasing interest and conversions, hopefully. Videos can also rank well within the search engines, meaning that you can get decent visibility for your target keywords and drive searchers to your product pages.
Think of unique and creative ways that you engage your audience through videos showing product reviews or presentations, a quick seasonal message to your customers, or a one-off special deal.
Adding social buttons
Although these will be added to your website, social buttons will encourage people to share your content with their followers and also locate your company’s social profiles. The more ways that you can encourage people to add you on social sites the better. Once they are there, maintain these relationships and keep your customers interested in your company. Look online for social button templates to download for Google Plus, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube and add these to your website.
Remember that you are trying to sell your products, but don’t take it too far. You want to engage and make the customer feel at ease with your brand and company by establishing trust. Offer your help and solutions where possible so that customers know you are looking out for them. By following the above pointers you should be able to drive more people to your website and generate a greater awareness in your business through reverting people from your social sites to your website.
Shopping cart icon via BigStock
John works as a Content Marketing Executive at Koozai. With previous experience in PR, he helps the team by writing a range of client content including press releases, guest blog posts and website copy. He is also a regular contributor to the Koozai blog.