Anyone who possesses even a modicum of experience within the online retail industry is aware that a strong social media presence is one of the keys to success. Not only can these channels provide an excellent way to interact with customers, but they are often used in order to measure the success (or failure) of an ongoing marketing campaign. However, there can still be times when a strategy no longer seems to be producing beneficial results. Much like a hot air balloon, you need to provide an ongoing source of energy if you hope to remain afloat. This is when a synergy of technology e-commerce comes into play. What are some of the ways in which you can inflate a social media campaign that has otherwise appeared to fall flat? Let’s take a look at a selection of guidelines to keep in mind along the way.
Remember the SEO Basics
It is wise to briefly stress the continued importance of search engine optimization. This is critical in order to rank higher within the search engine results page. While the algorithmic impact of using the correct keywords is obviously relevant, let’s also mention that content imbued with the appropriate phrases is more likely to be viewed who are looking for a specific product or service. This is why performing a bit of preliminary research before creating a new post is always wise. You can thereafter be sure that your efforts have been focused in the right direction.
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Choose the Appropriate Networks
There are numerous social media channels to choose from. A handful of the most well-known include:
However, some may be more appropriate than others. This will ultimately depend upon the audience that you are trying to connect with. For example, retailers catering to younger generations (such as the millennial demographic) will often leverage the exposure provided by channels such as Facebook and Snapchat. Those geared towards establishing B2B and similarly professional relationships could instead choose to employ similarly oriented sites such as LinkedIn. Knowing which portals are the most relevant will allow you to hone your subsequent strategies around the audience in question.
Embrace the Multi-Channel Approach
Variations between strings strengthen the weave. This is another way of saying that it is best to employ at least two or three social media channels if you hope to reap viable rewards in the future. One of the most common errors made by novice online retailers is to focus their efforts on a single portal. While this could very well prove beneficial from a short-term perspective, they are actually missing out on the bigger picture.
We need to remember that the majority of online shoppers frequent more than one social media site on a regular basis. Thus, it is important to adopt a multi-channel approach. This may appear to represent a time-consuming process. But, there are numerous tools that can be utilized in order to maximize your efforts. This brings us to the next main point.
Select Bespoke Automation Tools
Technology always comes into play when tackling social media marketing. Perhaps you are already familiar with the concept of automated email campaigns. This approach can also be adopted within the world of social media campaigns. There are a handful of packages that will provide you with a centralized means to create and distribute a high-quality post across numerous pages. Some of the most reliable include:
Not only can you quickly curate batch posts, but these can also be monitored from within a centralized dashboard. So, it is much easier to tell which ones are receiving the greatest level of interest.
Updates: How Often is Too Often?
While technology will definitely come into play when reshaping your present social media marketing strategy, we should also point out the notion of “too much of a good thing”. In other words, how often should you choose to post? This is a rather subjective question and it will involve how new you are to the online retail community as well as your number of followers. Still, there are some professional suggestions to follow.
According to research performed by HubSpot, it is normally optimal to create between one and two posts per day. In the same respect, you should make it a point to create a minimum of three posts each week.
As far as when to post, we need to consider at what time users are the most likely to visit their social media profiles. Most experts agree that content posted in the early afternoon is likely to enjoy more hits. However, this also depends upon your discrete audience base as well as where they are geographically located. Be sure to use informative technical tools such as Facebook Insights in order to create an effective posting schedule.
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Respond to All Types of Feedback
In order to appreciate this next suggestion, it is important to consider the online hotel industry. Websites such as TripAdvisor and Booking.com are the mainstays in terms of reservations and reviews. Hotels appreciate the fact that these portals are excellent ways to engage with their customers due in no small part to the number of reviews which they receive. In the same respect, one of the ways in which the reputation of a property is determined involves their levels of client engagement. We are referring to both positive and negative feedback in this case.
While most retailers will obviously love positive reviews, the majority tend to ignore negative comments associated with a product or service. This is actually a massive marketing error. Not only can negative feedback provide valuable insight, but interacting with a less-than-satisfied customer will illustrate to visitors that you care about the end-user experience. This sense of transparency can represent the determining factor between future engagement and a prospect who chooses to look elsewhere.
Engagement as Opposed to Promotion
The term “social media marketing” could be a slight misnomer. The reasons for this observation arise from the fact that there is a fine line between a proactive promotional social media campaign and a strategy that serves to alienate your customer base. We need to keep in mind that social media is not the place to bombard visitors and followers with an inundation of sales campaigns. On the contrary, its primary intention is to serve as an engagement portal.
Of course, you can still advertise a specific item that you happen to be offering. It is nonetheless wise to tone down an unabashed sales campaign. Those who feel that they are being constantly accosted by the latest product or service are likely to unsubscribe. It is better to provide a brief overview alongside a link that redirects the visitor to a section of your standalone website. This can help you to find a balance between sales and real-time interaction.
Work in Synergy with a Reputable E-Commerce Provider
E-commerce platforms are absolutely essential in this day and age if you hope to truly leverage the benefits of social media. As each bundle offers its own set of utilities and tools, you will need to perform a fair amount of preliminary research. Search terms such as “Big Commerce vs Shopify” will provide you with objective opinions as well as an overview of what each service has to offer. Some of the key features that should always be present within an e-commerce solution include:
- Excellent levels of customer service and support.
- Secure checkout platforms.
- A drag-and-drop functionality.
- A host of unique templates to choose from.
Make it a point to view each provider from an objective point of view, as you can then make an informed and unbiased decision.
All About Valuable Content
Content is king. This maxim has remained the same since the early days of online marketing and it is just as true in these modern times. Be sure to provide quality material within each and every social media post. Remember that you are addressing the human reader as opposed to a search engine. Furthermore, ensure that all material is relevant and up to date. Google will look favorably upon your posts and as a result, they will rank higher.
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Putting it All Together
We can see that there are a number of ways in which you can resurrect what appears to be a dead social media marketing campaign. Some of the suggestions highlighted above are likely to be more relevant than others (depending upon what it is that you are offering). The bottom line is to always embrace a proactive stance so that you can determine if your strategies are producing viable results. If not, small changes can be made without impacting your bottom line. Success is literally only a “like” or a “share” away!