How Social Media Can Boost Your eCommerce Sales

Fri, Aug 10, 2012


Social media is the buzz phrase of the decade. Every business in the U.S. now knows that they need to have some kind of social media presence. Whether they know what that means or how to execute a social media strategy is another matter altogether.

If you’re a business owner, then you’ve probably already confronted many of these issues. Do you need a Facebook page? A Twitter feed? A Flickr account? Do you have enough contacts on your LinkedIn profile to seem credible in the business community? What about all the industry-specific social media platforms cluttering up the web? Who’s still on MySpace and Goodreads? And what the heck is a Pinterist?

It’s enough to make any business owner’s head spin. The Internet landscape has become so complicated that schools are offering online ecommerce degrees in social media. The truth is: while every business doesn’t need a dozen different social media accounts, a targeted approach to social media that dovetails with a sound marketing and strategic plan can do wonders to boost your ecommerce sales. So what do you need to make social media work for you and your company?

Ask yourself: what distinguishes social media platforms from traditional websites? A website can be a great resource for potential customers. With an intuitive web address and some innovative SEO, you can greatly elevate your company’s profile in the field. Websites make sense to most companies because they can be effective as stagnant portals of information. That means the data available on your website doesn’t need to change to be useful. If you’re a restaurant, you can put your menu up on your web page and potential customers can visit that site to figure out what they want to eat beforehand. The equation doesn’t need to be tweaked. Social media is a different animal.

The biggest mistake novice social media users make is treating their social media accounts like web pages. A Facebook page is not an effective portal for stagnant information. You need to put the social back in social media. The value of your Facebook page or Twitter feed comes from the strength and diversity of your connections. A Facebook page with ten likes or a Twitter feed with three followers is never going to reach a wide enough audience to be valuable.

You need to put time into cultivating your connections. Social media marketing is a game of exponential growth. When a Facebook page has thousands of likes, it starts to self propagate. Not only do your friends see your page updates, but their friends might as well. Maybe a few of them like what they see and become your newest connections. Now you’ve snared the initial friend, all of his or friends and all of their friends as well.

But cultivating connections is only the first step. The way to monetize social media connections is to remain active on social media platforms and to invite participation. This last piece is key. Facebook statuses need to be updated daily. Newer media like Twitter and Pinterist are even faster.

Whenever you update, ask your connections to participate in some way. Don’t just post a link to your daily deal on your Facebook page; ask your friends to click “like” if they want to see more deals like the one displayed. Every time one of your connections interacts with your page, they are broadcasting your message to all of their connections. Free marketing!

If you use these tips to enact a strategic social media plan, you’re all but guaranteed to see an uptick in ecommerce sales.

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