Social media may have begun its heyday in the late 2000s, but even as we approach the 2020s, it doesn’t show any signs of dying down. In fact, the biggest social media conglomerates of today are still in the process of innovating themselves, and one venture that can be linked to almost all of the big networks is eCommerce.
The ordinary customer might ask themselves: how closely tied are social media marketing and eCommerce to each other? Some answers to this question are best conveyed in statistics—for example, as many as 71% of customers who’ve had a positive interaction with a business on social media are likely to recommend it to their contacts, and 63% of customers already expect brands to provide customer service through a form of social media (DreamGrow, 2019).
Simply put, social media can do a lot for an eCommerce outfit: it can advertise the brand for free, it can instigate valuable conversions through the online store, and it can stamp the business with a much stronger web presence than if it depended solely on the homepage.
To illustrate even further, here are five reasons why social media marketing matters to eCommerce. Knowing these should give you the confidence to start your own eCommerce business and profit with the help of social media!
- Social media marketing will help you tap into a huge customer base, for free. News of your eCommerce site’s products and services can reach thousands of people, and sometimes in as little as a few minutes! Moreover, it is free to sign up for high-engagement platforms like Facebook and Instagram; it’ll be your choice to invest further by paying for ad placements. Word counter is a great tool for counting words in your ads or any type of content.
- It can give a small boost to an eCommerce platform’s SEO. Though search engines like Google do not have the machinery to boost site rankings via every single interaction on social media, there’s some evidence that search engines are acknowledging positive brand mentions and factoring them into what the eCommerce site will rank for. This connection between social networking and search engine optimization (SEO) is still being analyzed by the experts, but it is still worth it to know how social media affects your eCommerce business’s SEO.
- Information that’s shareable through social media can influence customers’ decision-making on your eCommerce site. This works on the simple principle of, “the more you know, the more confident you’ll be.” Social media can be a valuable conduit of information about your site’s products and services; once this information is disseminated and made readily accessible to a would-be customer, they will have more conviction about purchasing from your site.
- The features on social networking sites can help customers visualize what they’ll be buying from your eCommerce site. Ecommerce businesses can leverage the multi-media functionality of social networking sites by uploading photo, audio, or video content advertising their products. Think of how popular unboxing and customer review videos are; that’s because they allow buyers to examine what’s being advertised and see how it holds up to its intended application. So, eCommerce entrepreneurs should take advantage of social media to show off varied and interesting multi-media content to their customers.
- Ecommerce sites can gain prestige from being associated with high-profile customers. Say your e-commerce outfit fell under the category of business-to-business (B2B); would you be looking for clients on LinkedIn just for the profits, or also for a valuable co-branding opportunity? Social media can do a lot to boost an eCommerce brand’s legitimacy by linking it to a client base of power and prestige. That social capital will make your clients trust you, and therefore increase your chances of doing business with them.
In summary, social media marketing contributes quite a lot to eCommerce. It’s a means to drive online customers to a virtual storefront, and drive real business activity in ways a brick-and-mortar store can’t. If you are an eCommerce business owner yourself, do learn as much as you can about how to harness social media for your own benefit!