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(Last Updated On: February 5, 2019)

Why Does Your Ecommerce Business Need a Social Media Presence?

Social media has grown up so much in the past decade. Far-removed from the days when those over 25 looked out of place for even having an account, it’s now front and centre of day-to-day marketing for most mainstream brands.  

I entered the social media marketing game around 2011, right when it was decided that all brands – no matter how the size – had to have a social presence. A website alone wasn’t enough – they needed accounts on everything, even if they were really using them. It meant thousands of businesses soon flooded Facebook, then Twitter with masses uninspiring content, led by junior staff with little marketing experience.

Strategy was the new word in 2012, and it wasn’t long before a brand’s social media prowess was seen as a valid deal-breaker for the public’s perception of the goods they offer. That’s when Instagram blew up, and Twitter really felt the pressure to adjust to a more visual timeline than it had in the past.

There are many people with ecommerce aspirations that simply don’t have social media in mind at all. Bar a few exceptions, there’s no room for that sentiment. Every professional company has an active social media presence. It’s a trust thing. It’s a credibility thing. It’s a standard online brand thing.

For those that either don’t know their way around social media, or are reluctant to make profile for their brand, I’ll help you figure out where to start.

Which Should You Pick?

It’s probably best to narrow things down the most mainstream platforms, and cut the rest out for now. Yes, you may be in a niche that requires you to focus all of your attention on a completely different one, but most people are going to find value in one of the following:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Snapchat

So which will you pick? Whenever I create a new brand, it’s a top priority to create brand guidelines. Once I’ve done all of my competitor research and I know my entity’s place, this forms the foundation of what I plan to create. It includes all details to do with branding, from the colours, thorough to copywriting standards, and then also a list of key online influencers that best aligns with the brand. Often enough, those individuals will guide me in choosing the social media platforms that are most applicable.

You need to ask yourself where the audience for your product goes online? Weddings and Pinterest are married to one another. Fashion and Instagram are inseparable. Influencers are a fast-track to finding where you belong and make it easy to figure out what kind of content resonates best.

It’s no use me going through each platform to tell you its main traits, because each industry uses social media in a different way. Your best bet is to see what the biggest brand name in your industry is using to push their messages out and follow in their footsteps. More often than not, they’ve already done the hard work in experimenting, and you can use their findings to get a head-start with your own plans.

Why Pick Just One?  

Social media is a world of subtlety. The reason to focus on one is because it’s so difficult to cater to every nuance that each social platform requires. In most circumstances, you’re going to be the one creating the content, managing responses and taking care of the community management. How do you expect to do that across 3/4 different places effectively while running the store?

By picking a single one, you’re much more likely to be able to satisfy at least one portion of your audience. Otherwise, you’ll probably just end up throwing out content that no one really cares about, and it does more harm than good for your brand. In fact, when your followers consistently don’t interact with your content, the algorithms that order the timeline make it less likely that they’ll see future content.


Should You Branch Out?

You should grow with your business, and it’s likely that as your operation increases in size, as should your social output. The first logical step is to expand to another platform. As per the first, the second one should be the next-best aligned with your brand. There’s really no need to overstretch yourself when you don’t need to.

It’s fine to spend all of your time doing lots of commenting and liking across Instagram, while you only really post the odd update on Twitter. When the time is right, start opening up conversations with followers and make an active effort to draw more people in.

Always remember that social media is much more about brand awareness than it is for actual conversions. It’s early on in the sales funnel, and you’re much more likely to earn sales through email marketing than a tweet, so it’s perhaps worth focusing your social efforts on driving people to a mailing list, rather than just throwing offers and promotions at them in your social output.

Chiino

27 / Nottingham, UK. Trying these things since 2007. Writing about these things since 2014. Doing this full-time since 2018.

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