More than 97% of e-merchants have set up profiles on social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.) and share buttons are popping up in all online stores. So just a fad or a must-have for your store?
Are social networks a necessary step?
Is being present on the networks really useful for your store?
A traffic acquisition channel and a source of income
Consider some numbers on social media:
- The French spend an average of 1h30 per day on social networks
- Facebook is used by 28 million French people who spend an average of 55 minutes a day
- Twitter has 2.3 million French users
- Youtube has 25 million active users in France
We can see that they now have a preponderant place in the lives of Internet users. By allowing you to communicate about your business and reach a specific target, social networks are therefore a way that you cannot neglect to attract more traffic to your merchant site (and therefore automatically increase your sales).
They also play an important role in motivating your customers to buy with recommendations from their community. In fact, 42% of French people say that social networks have an influence on their purchasing behavior.
Finally, social networks can allow you to increase the transformation rate of your store. You can develop rich interactions with your consumers there. If you learn to take advantage of them, they will build loyalty among your current customers and get them redeemed on your site through new products or services, promotional offers, etc.
A vector of notoriety
The role of social networks on your brand image is essential. It is vital in the process of reassuring your customers to take this into account, especially if you are a very small or small-known SME.
Being present, communicating, federating the largest possible community will be a guarantee of seriousness for your potential buyers who will be less reluctant to place an order on your online store.
The potential for virality, which is the very principle of how social networks work, offers you a way to significantly increase qualified traffic to your e-commerce site. You can even opt for a reward strategy with customers who share their reviews or recommend you to their community.
A way to manage your customer relationship
You also have everything to gain by creating profiles on the main social networks to manage your customer relationship. Today, social networks are places of public speaking on which Internet users no longer hesitate to express their opinion, and sometimes their dissatisfaction.
It will be more constructive for you to offer your customers an official place to express themselves: you will be able to concentrate on the same page all the positive opinions but also reassure your potential customers by taking care to deal with the negative opinions or the customer feedback. Keep in mind that even if you don’t want to be present on Facebook or another network, this will not prevent your consumers from expressing themselves on your brand. You can also take advantage of its feedback to identify the weak points of your store and implement corrective actions.
Know that an unhappy customer whose problem you solve has a good chance of becoming one of your best ambassadors.
How to use social networks?
Choose your networks
Facebook is THE predominant social network in France, but it might not be the most interesting for you. It is anyway risky to bet on only one platform.
You must therefore define the most interesting networks to reach your target, especially in a rapid return on investment strategy.
Example: For example, a women’s clothing store might be better off starting with Pinterest (a network with a largely female audience) than with Facebook.
Define an editorial line
You can use social media for several things: retaining your current customers, giving out information about your business, entertaining your audience, liquidating your stocks are all examples of possible social strategies.
Be careful, people don’t go to social media to buy products, so you can’t just promote your products. Rather, you must develop a capital of sympathy with your customers, interact with them by involving them for example in the development of your business (choice of new products, communication media, etc.).
Some tips to ensure an effective presence
Intervene regularly on your different profiles by posts or dedicated campaigns
There is no right or wrong frequency to post on social media, it relates to your audience. The best way to find it is to test multiple post frequencies. The same goes for the best times of the day to publish your posts. Consider building on the habits of your direct competitors, to begin with.
There are tools provided by platforms or independent solutions (HootSuite, Buffer…) to schedule the publication of your messages on your different profiles.
In some of your posts, remember to thank your community by offering exclusive promotions, product samples, etc. on your profiles, etc. This is what 50% of brand subscribers are looking for.
Take care of your posts
To create a real community around your brand, you must offer content with added value. It is only at this price that it will be possible to create positive buzz around your brand.
You must take care of the quality of your visuals. Remember that even if you are a small organization you are competing with much bigger actors who publish very good quality photos and illustrations. An Internet user will accept a slight difference with your publications, but the too poor quality of posts will totally discredit your structure and make you lose potential customers.
Interconnect your site and your profiles
Use the social media sharing buttons on your product pages, they are included in most online store management solutions. They allow your customers to engage word of mouth around your products and act as prescribers of your brand in their community.
But your product sheets are not the only place where you can display your social profiles: the header or the footer of the site, your newsletters, the signature of your emails … are all means of making your profiles known and of ‘increase your community. You can also post links to your blog posts.
Conversely, fill in the address of your store on all your profiles and post links to your products from time to time to generate traffic to your site.
Social media advertising
You have chosen your networks, you have created your profiles and you regularly post value-added content for Internet users; your work is not done!
Indeed, your visibility is not guaranteed for all that. If you want to build a real community faster, you will definitely have to advertise on social media.
These systems allow you to highlight your business page, a particular message, or directly offer a product for sale.
Each platform has its own advertising network and its advertising creation system. Keep in mind that unlike the purchase of sponsored links, advertising on social networks allows you to very finely target one or more typical customer profiles (depending on gender, age, and even tastes or interests of Internet users).