Don’t throw stones just yet. Social media is a critical and powerful marketing channel for connecting with customers (and potential customers), and growing sales; there’s no arguing that, but, it’s also one of MANY marketing channels every ecommerce store should be leveraging.
Let’s start first by first dissecting why social media works, and then talk about why and how you can pair it with other channels for a compound effect, while protecting your business from unforeseen catastrophes.
Social media for ecommerce plays a bigger role than just routing people to your website and hoping they buy something. Getting more website traffic is important (after all, that’s where they buy things), and social media can do that, but it’s just part of how social media influences purchases.
Belonging is one of the 5 core biological needs for humans, and creating a community online where your customers and potential customers can feel a part of something bigger than just themselves is a powerful marketing tool, and is appreciated by people. One of our clients, Cured Nutrition, does a great job with this. By actually caring about the people in their Instagram community, they’ve created an ecosystem that’s serving other people and their business simultaneously.
Social media creates opportunities for people to discover your brand, and when they consume your content (assuming it’s good), it solidifies your brand as an authority around your company’s area of business, making it easy for customers to choose your products over competitors.
With so many products and brands bombarding people all day every day online, it’s easier than you might think for people to forget you exist, even if they love your brand and products. By being active on social media, it gives you a better shot of staying on your customers’ minds because they’ll see you pop up in a feed once in a while, instead of hoping they remember you.
Social media can be powerful for revenue growth, but don’t stop there. Think beyond just social media. Where are you leaving potential sales on the table by not venturing outside of this one marketing channel?
What about all of the potential customers who don’t regularly use social media, but who would love your products if they found out about them?
What about the people who follow you, but the social media algorithm decides not to show your posts to them so they forget about you?
What about the people who follow you, but have never bought anything before because they’ve never been offered the right promotion or the right information at the right time?
Money on the table. And all of these problems can be solved by leveraging other marketing channels.
Email marketing should contribute to at least 25% of your ecommerce revenue. If it’s not, it’s time to lock in on it. When people come to your website from social media (or anywhere for that matter), they should have multiple opportunities to opt-in to your email list. Not everyone uses social media, but most everyone uses and checks their email on a daily basis, so it’s a great marketing channel to capture lost sales from people going to your site and not purchasing right away, and for people who just need a little more convincing through some targeted emails over time.
Here’s what one client had to say after we began implementing email marketing for his business:
“We have been able to consistently add thousands of subscribers each month in addition to several thousands of dollars in recaptured sales. I was concerned that we were not in the position gain a return on investment, but quickly noticed…an additional sales channel we weren’t capitalizing on. Highly responsive and always deliver what we are looking for.”
Don’t let potential customers leave your website without collecting their email address if you can, so you can have more opportunities to get a purchase in the future.
Running ads on social media platforms, or other places like Google search or sponsoring podcasts (wherever your target audience hangs out) will get you in front of people who can become customers and never would have found you otherwise. Pair that with a good email marketing campaign and eventually asking them to follow you on social media, and you’ve got a nice top-of-mind ecosystem set up to get more customers and engage them for life.
Retargeting ads work by adding what are called “cookies” on the browser of visitors who come to your website so you can show ads specifically to people who clearly already have some familiarity with you, increasing chances for a sale. You can run ads that offer coupons or special deals to people who have visited your site recently and recapture lost sales. Most social media ad platforms have good instructions to set these ads up for running on their platforms, and you can additionally use software like Adroll (or just call us here at Jump and we’ll help you out).
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the strategy of optimizing the words, phrases, links, tags, and content on your website to optimize for search engines like Google and Bing so that pages on your website show up first when potential customers search for words or phrases that relate to your products. It can be competitive, but with the right strategy, it can be your biggest source of website traffic, and ultimately, a majority sales driver.
Of course it’s difficult to implement all of these marketing channels at once (and we’re just scratching the surface here with this article), but if all you’ve been doing so far for marketing has been social media, start by adding in one of these channels, and continue expanding over time.
If you aren’t doing any of these yet, we recommend starting with email marketing—it’s the most affordable to start with, and gets you the quickest return on your investment (our clients see an average of about 4X ROI after 3 months of working with us on email marketing).
We offer free consultations (no pressure or strings attached—scout’s honor) if you want to chat it out and get some ideas of what you can do next to increase revenue.