Do you know the biggest fear that stops consumers from shopping online?
For a big majority (77% according to this survey), it’s the lack of trust and security.
Customers don’t feel as comfortable and as secure as they will be while shopping at a brick and mortar shop.
So what can you do about it?
There’s only one way to win their trust and make them feel at home.
And that’s Social Media.
It’s baffling to see so many ecommerce businesses operating without a proper Social Media marketing plan.
Even if they have one, it’s limited to creating a profile and using it as broadcasting medium.
They totally ignore or fail to realize the real purpose of Social Media.
It’s the best way to build trust and credibility for your online store.
Anybody can set up an online store but only a real business will spend the time and resources on building a social media profile and interacting with their customers.
It’s pretty obvious, isn’t it?
Consumers will feel more comfortable while dealing with an approachable business with responsive social media profiles.
Social Proof can work like a magic.
In a recent survey, 85% consumers said that they trust online reviews about a business.
Can you really afford not to have Social Media as part of your marketing strategy?
Below we have chalked out an actionable Social Media plan for online stores.
Let’s look at it in detail:
Pick your Outlet:
Start from choosing a platform that is used by your target audience.
There must be a dozen social media platforms with more than 100 million active users.
For most online businesses, it’s not possible to set up and manage so many accounts.
Besides, there’s no need to maintain multiple profiles and pages just for the sake of it.
You can start from the big two … Facebook and Twitter.
Using Facebook for Online Stores:
Go to this link and set up a new page for your business.
Make sure you have chosen the right category.
You can choose “Brand or Product” or “Company & Organizations”.
If you want to have reviews or ratings on your page, you will have to choose “Local Business or Place”. However, you will have to enter a Physical Address and Phone number to be able to do so.
Choose a sub-category and company name and click on get started.
Next, you need to add a couple of lines to describe your page and upload your logo to be used as Profile Picture.
Your cover photo is your first impression so always use a professionally designed cover.
You can choose one from our huge list of 120 free cover templates.
Set up your call to action button by clicking on “Add a Button”.
You can choose from options like “Shop Now”, “Send Message”, or “Book Now”.
Choose a call-to-action and enter your website or store URL in the website field.
Click on “Save Changes” and your Call to Action will be placed on your cover photo.
Set up a Shop:
Here’s the most important part.
Facebook allows you to set up a shop where users can browse and buy products without leaving your Page.
You can set up a shop by clicking on “+ Add Shop Section” from the menu.
A new window will appear. Click on “Add Shop Section” button.
Choose the currency that you want to use and click “Save”.
Your shop is now ready.
Add a small description and start adding products by clicking on “Add Products”.
Add product images followed by the name, description, price, and click on save.
A shop section will be added to your page where you can add or remove products.
Updating the Right way:
Update your page at least once or twice on a daily basis, mainly because the organic reach is declining with each passing day.
Not all of these updates need to be relevant to your business or industry.
Just post attention-grabbing stuff that will be of interest to your target users.
For example, here’s an update by Lipsy London, an online fashion store.
This cute video of a bear doesn’t have anything to do with the fashion or clothing but it did its job and resulted in lots of views, likes, and shares.
Try different types of posts like short updates, long updates, images, and link to your blog posts.
Compare the clicks, reach, and comments and see which one works the best for you.
What’s the best time to post?
Don’t rely on what you read online.
The best time to post can differ from one audience to another.
Try posting at different times and compare the reach and engagement rates.
This information is available in your “Insights” section.
Respond to Messages Straightaway:
Another thing and a very important one at that … Always respond to the messages as soon as possible because the response rate is mentioned on your Facebook Page.
A page that responds within minutes will get a distinctive “very responsive to messages” badge under their cover photos.
To get this badge, you must respond within 15 minutes and achieve a 90% response rate.
Needless to say, this badge will add a lot of credibility.
Using Twitter for Online Stores
Twitter is different than Facebook.
Many businesses make the mistake of using Twitter as broadcasting medium to constantly promote their business or products.
Don’t do it.
You need to think of Twitter as a platform to engage and converse with your target users.
Be Responsive & Build Relationships:
In a recent survey, it was found that up to 70% companies ignore complaints on Twitter.
Twitter is probably the easiest way to connect with your customers and respond to their queries in a timely manner.
There’s no point to be on Twitter if you are taking days in replying to a simple query.
You must respond to all these queries without wasting any time, especially if it’s coming from a customer.
Keeping track of these queries is easy.
Every time someone posts a tweet mentioning your Twitter name, you will get a notification. You can find all these Tweets in the “Mentions” section.
In case your customers send you a DM, it will end up in Messages right next to notifications.
Encourage your customers to connect with you through Twitter.
Remember that every time someone mentions you in a Tweet, you will get some free promotion because their friends and followers will get to see this tweet.
What to Tweet?
You need to aim for 3 – 5 tweets in a day.
Instead of logging on to Twitter and composing a message multiple times a day, use a scheduling tool like Jarvis to save yourself from all this trouble.
Don’t start your tweet with a link. In fact, there’s no need to insert a link in every single tweet.
Remember, it’s supposed to be a conversation, not promotion.
Here’s an example:
See how this online store is sharing updates from a live football match.
Use good quality images because media and pictures get more engagement.
Hash Tags are important but don’t use more than two in a single tweet.
You can find the most popular hashtags by using a tool like Hashtagify.me.
Just enter your product or target niche and it will give you a list of top 10 hashtags.
Use these Hashtags in your Tweets and also search and monitor these hashtags to see what your target customers are talking about.
Twitter has recently launched a new App for businesses that allows them to set up custom feeds and see what their target customers are talking about.
ATM, the App is available only for US based businesses.
Let me say this straight.
Your marketing mix is lacking a vital component if you are not making use of Social Media.
It will result in more exposure, more visitors, and more sales for your online store, and it’s totally free.
What have you got to lose?