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E-commerce: 7 strategies to increase traffic, visibility and sales using social networks

Por Josefina Casas | Content Manager & Writer at Postcron.com

E-commerce: 7 strategies to increase traffic, visibility and sales using social networks

Being able to stand out and get customers is the ultimate challenge we face in this ever growing market with thousands of other e-commerce sites competing for the same audience.

In this post we’ll point out the latest trends and strategies to increase the visibility of your business, the size of your on-line community and therefore the amount of your sales and traffic.

1. Increasing traffic: Post at least 3 TIMES A DAY on Facebook

It is essential your e-commerce site is constantly on social networks as it is paramount to create and MAINTAIN your brand positioning in order to survive the online world. Out of sight, out of mind.

We are aware most entrepreneurs that have opened their online shop aren’t experts in creating content which is why we offer 3 tips so you can apply this first strategy without a hitch and take your business forward:

Upload valuable content for your followers daily.

It can be a special offer, news, pictures, phrases, any kind of information as long as it’s eye catching, moving or inspiring to your followers. This means you will need to be in touch with your audience in order to know their preferences and lifestyle since publishing the right content will improve your chances of having your post shared and it been seen by more people, directly impacting the visibility of your site, its amount of followers and potential buyers.

We recommend a website from which you’ll be able to take ideas and content ready to be put on your communities.

upworthylogo

This website provides content that targets emotions and convictions, two of the most engaging aspects which bring about involvement in social networks. With over 10.4 million visits it was qualified and acknowledged as one of the best web sites designed for this purpose. They must be doing something right, don’t you think?

Be aware of what your competitors are doing and analyze it.

Never stop researching and checking what it is they upload, what works for them and what doesn’t since you can apply all of that information to your business. Analyze how many posts they publish every day, how many special offers they upload and what kind, which topics engage their audience and at what time most interactions take place.

Choose the best time to post.

Previously we stated content is important but it is even more important to ensure IT IS SEEN.

Below we will show you which are the ideal days and the best times to post in each social network. However we encourage you to test it out on your own since, depending on the type of business and the lifestyle of your followers, interactions can occur at other times.

According to a research performed by Dan Zarella (Social media scientist – Hubspot) the following are the days and times that work best:

Facebook:
  • 12AM: lunchtime is the best time to share things.
  • 11AM – 4PM: this is the best time to post a featured story or piece of news.
  • Saturdays: this is the best day to share things and get comments.
  • 7pm >: highest involvement rate after the workday.

 

Twitter:
  • 5pm: most retweets happen at this time which makes it the best time to post.
  • 12 PM AND 6PM: high CTR percentages are recorded at lunchtime and at the end of the workday.
  • Wed – Sat – Sun: the highest volume of involvement and CTR percentages are recorded on Wednesdays and weekends.

 

Note: the research previously quoted recommends posting every other day on Facebook. As specialists in the administration and publishing of posts we beg to differ with one of the previous points: posting every other day is NOT what we recommend.

According to results we have gotten from the analysis of thousands of accounts we have come to the conclusion that you should post several times a day: between 3 and 10. The more times we upload content during the day the more amount of people will be talking about our brand. Since the number of likes you get are the direct result of each post by posting more than once a day you increase your chances.

We encourage you to review different examples and draw your own conclusions:

ShopSimple – Wedding.
Blue Nile
Amazon.
Claro Argentina.
Williams-Sonoma

TIP! Use tool to schedule your posts Facebook and Twitter to save time and energy!

Postcron is an excellent alternative so you won’t waste time with your updates (I should say I write for Postcron but you can also check Hootsuite, one of its competitors). With this type of tools you can program posts on Facebook and Twitter and therefore save plenty of time and maintain your presence in social networks.

 

2. Using pictures to post on Facebook.

There’s no doubt we are and will continue to be a “visual” generation. People use more pictures, not just because it is a trend, but because, as it’s been scientifically proven, 90% of the information being sent to the brain is visual which is processed 60.000 times faster than a text.

A simple example can be how phones and their applications are now oriented to and working in a way that makes them easier to assimilate and more visually friendly. What’s more, web architecture has changed since some years ago, the largests spaces are kept for pictures.

Result: this trend has reached social networks and the way to do marketing with them.
A research performed by Hubspot indicates that:

  • 50% more likes are gotten from a picture than any common post in Facebook.
  • 104% more comments generate a post including a picture
  • 84% more clicks are received by posts that include a picture and a link which expands on the content, comparing to those which show a link and a long text-

 

obama y su esposa

4.4 millon likes on Facebook.
This was the most viral picture of 2012 and the most retweeted picture until now.-

 

Summing up, a good picture has to have a revelant link with it that will redirect traffic to your website, blog or piece of news you want your followers to read. In return you will get many more likes, readers and of course, buyers.

However, it is counterproductive to overuse this resource, we suggest you alternate this type of post with others including questions, news and phrases.

More statistics? Click here for more information!

 

3. Adding the icons of the social networks you are part of.

tetera botones

This way your followers will be enticed to share your posts increasing the chances it will be seen by other people and get more “Likes”.

You can add icons on your website, blog, newsletters, in your mail signature and in specific articles of your blog.

4. Including a “Call To Action” in every post!

Besides the tips we provided in strategy number one we thought it wise to write a different point for the action of posting.

After analyzing and observing several brands we have reached the conclusion that the posts that motivate users to participate in a raffle, take advantage of a special offer, leave a comment, tell a story or just answer a question, get much more involvement than those that don’t.

Perhaps with all of this information on how to post, what strategies or techniques to use, we forget that the simplest choice is usually the best solution: if you want them to leave a comment, ask them to do so. If you want a like on a comment then let your fans know you would like to know their opinion, whether they support what you are sharing. It’s not the same to say:

(Incorrect)
“Once again I couldn’t start the car. Anotherday I’m late to work” plus a picture.

(Correct)
“Once again I couldn’t start the car. Anotherday I’m late to work. Click like if the same thing happened to you” plus a picture and a link to a product related to what you are talking about.

And if you want to sell with your e-commerce site encourage your customers with a good call to action and place the link to your product in the post so they can buy it. Yes, Sir, social networks DO help sell! But remember, ADD A CALL TO ACTION AND A LINK to every post.

In a very simple and basic example we show you a way of calling your fans’ attention, getting comments and selling more!

Tucci & Pet Shop

Blue Nile

5. The power of “Word of Mouth Marketing”

Lately social networks have become valid platforms customers use to look at product reviews before deciding to buy something, even more than the price or special offers.

Adding an application that enables your followers to leave comments and rate their purchase experience works as an extremely powerful factor in order to strengthen your credibility and your customers’ trust. Adding this service will drive more traffic to your online store, it will give you more visibility and consequently many more sales.

We’ll show you the statistics obtained by: “Nielsen Global Trust in advertising survey 2012”

  • 92% of consumers around the world trust recommendations from their friends and family more than any other type of advertisment.
  • 70% of the survey respondents trust the comments and reviews they read in social networks.
  • 58% of people find valid and believe in advertisements that appear in the brand web.

In order to carry out this strategy we leave you the presentation of one of the “free social review app” with the highest score and the one used more around the world: YOTPO.

The best thing about this application is that besides being free it’s really easy to use and it allows to share the feedback of your customers on your Twitter or Facebook account. YOTPO tells us they have proven the conversion rate can go from 14% to 76% in some cases.

Here I’m sharing with you Jacob Hurwith‘s take on BeB:

“Word of Mouth Marketing is more powerful than ever. The amount and ways of sharing in social networks, using and discovering information and brands has significantly and drastically changed but consumers have always trusted recommendations and advice from friends and peers more than they do brand advertisement which is why you have to take advantage of the power of the supporters of your brand so they can speak their mind (…)” (Marketing and Social Media Coordinator, WOMMA)

 

6. Using Pinterest

This site has more than 48.7 millon users and it has become the
fastest-growing social network since brands can show their products to a large community of eager buyers that expect to find the perfect product.

Argentina is the third Latinamerican country with more people using this platform actively which is why I suggest you take advantage of this information.

Why use it?

  • What you post today will work and attract customers in six month’s time as well. Meaning the content can be used over and over again. Social networks are all about fresh updated content. What was news or novely before is now over. Pinterest is part of this social networks with the difference that it also allows you to “repin” a picture of a product from a while back and get the same amount of attention today. For instance, a fabulous chair that for some reason went unnoticed at a point in time is “repined” 3 months later, it catches someone’s eye and you sell it.
  • In your account’s page you can organize what you sell in families or groups of products, as you’d like, using
    pinboards so your followers understand your brand the way you see fit
    As an example here’s a link of a successful e-commerce account so you can see what we were just talking about:

Crate and Barrel.

Crate and Barrel

  • Sharing products of other brands: this shows confidence and the fact that you acknowledge what other people also repin.
  • It allows you to show your personality and tastes both as a user and a brand. By creating a pinboard based on your personal interests people get a glimpse of who you are which makes your relationship with your followers more casual, they will be able to get to know and understand you more.

 

7. Start a Q&A.

Q&A

Generating involvement in social networks is critical in order to keep loyal active followers and your community in good shape. We want to introduce you to yet another option that will ensure an increase in involvement: organize a weekly Q&A (Questions and Answers)

Choose a day a week and encourage your community to post questions about your products, your business, your hobbies or whatever seems relevant.

For example: “Have you already used the new XXXX application? If you have any doubts this Wednesday we will be ready to answer all your questions on Twitter.”

This strategy activates a customer care and loyalty action as well as directing more traffic, creating more involvement and therefore more visibility to your brand. Questions bring about comments which increase the EdgeRank of your website. Your customers will be satisfied not only because their questions were answered but because someone is listening.

 

MOST SUCCESSFUL EXAMPLES OF E-COMMERCE SITES

To sum up we suggest you review the following websites, the social networks they are part of and the strategies they use in each community. Most of these shops make the most of each resource we mentioned previously and they carry out each of the strategies we put forward.
Blue Nile

American Eagle Outfitters

Amazon

Sears

Victoria´s Secret

Williams Sonoma

Wal Greens

You would do well to study these strategies and apply them to your e-commerce site. Don’t forget each of the previous points are aspects that at the moment have become a trend and so far they have worked perfectly for big brands.

And remember:

  • Post every day, at least 3 times: interesting content for your audience, special offers, phrases, contests, etc.
  • Use a tool to program posts in Facebook and Twitter in order to save time.
  • If you want to sell an item include a good call to action, a good picture and a link to the product in each post!

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