August 31, 2015
The key to increasing your ecommerce store’s productivity is to increase its visibility. While there are several methods that you can use to drive customers to your website, there are few greater tools than social media. Unfortunately, many social media sites, like Pinterest and Instagram, bar retailers from making sales directly from their sites.
But what is the Internet if you cannot hack your way out of a problem? Just because the main social media networks do not want you to directly sell from their site does not mean you cannot find a way through or around this prohibition to sell on social media.
Instead of setting up an ecommerce store on directly on these sites and turning social media into an online marketplace, you can use five clever hacks to not only drive traffic to your site but drive purchases as well.
1. Sell on Social Media anyway
Technically, businesses are not allowed to sell their products directly on social media sites. However, there are several third party applications that you can use to get around this minor technicality.
Curalate’s Like2Buy button has made Instagram ‘shoppable’, much to the delight of the platform’s fashionistas. The button allows users to click on the image to be direct to their products. Target and Nordstrom are just two major retailers to get in on the action. Curalate is also available for Pinterest and Tumblr.
2. Reward Sharing
Offering referrals is a great way to use social media to drive both purchase and brand recognition. All you need to do is integrate your website and ecommerce store with social media sites. When customers make a purchase, you can give them the option to share their purchase on social media and receive a reward.
For example, Jetsetter previously offered those who booked a hotel room on their site a discount if they shared their purchase on Facebook. Uber also famously offers ride credit to users who share their personal code with their friends online.
3. Embrace the Video
If you do not believe that video sells products then you haven’t heard of Tanya Burr, British v-logger turned cosmetics mogul. Including a video on your social media sites will not only make your brand more personable but it will also keep your content trending. It should also be noted that Facebook has started to engage with videos in a big way and now prioritizes them in their algorithms.
Believe it or not, customers love to make purchases of goods that are shown off in videos. Get involved with Brandlive and Bumebox to bring your products to your customers in an engaging way. You can even include links to your products in these videos.
You may also consider creating behind-the-scenes videos or tutorials. These videos bring products to life without acting like an overt advertisement.
4. Encourage Engagement
Every post that you make needs to include a Call to Action. A call to action encourages your followers to get involved with your message. Whether the message is to buy, share, or simply like, the Call to Action psychologically prepares a follower to engage with your message.
You should also encourage engagement when you are promoting your ecommerce store. It is not enough to simply include a link to the store in your post. If you struggle to create the engagement you desire, consider running a competition. A competition will spark interest among your followers and separate your post from the thousands of other advertisements users encounter every day.
5. Take Advantage of Recent Trends
When something is trending on social media, millions of people around the world are talking about it. You can capitalize on trends on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and even Pinterest.
There are several ways to keep up with trends. You can use Google Trends to see what people are searching for in your region. You can also utilize Facebook’s trending topics services. Facebook’s service will not only tell you what is trending but why it is trending.
When you decide to use a recent trend to promote your website, you need to make sure that your content is both topical and relevant on both sides. You need to integrate your post into the current trend and you also need to ensure that the trend is still engaging.
Silicon Valley does not want businesses to use their social media sites as an online marketplace. However, that does not mean that you cannot successfully drive customers to your web store from your social media accounts. The key to winning customers on social media is relevant and engaging content. Learning how to hack social media takes dedication and research. But if you can engage customers in the deluge of information that is Facebook then you can engage them anywhere.
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