If you are an Internet entrepreneur, then you are already well aware of the power and influence of the online community when it comes to your business’ success (or lack thereof). Therefore, you simply cannot afford to overlook any of the ways in which the Internet can be used to your advantage, and that means you should be developing your social media presence. If you are still a stranger to the ways in which social media can be a powerful tool for the betterment of your ecommerce site, then the time to get in the know is now.
Need some convincing? If so, just check out the impressive numbers of a big-time online retailer that has used social media to its advantage. Fab.com is a virtual store that specializes in “everyday design” items (basically, you can find everything from refurbished vintage typewriters to pug-faced t-shirts on this massively popular site). Between January of 2012 and January of 2013, Fab.com saw an explosive boom in business sales–over 300 percent (!)–due to its savvy social media usage. In Europe alone, more than 50 percent of Fab’s customers are social media-derived. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a major player like Fab.com to reap the benefits of social media. You just have to understand what social media is, and how to put it to work for you.
What social media is not. Many ecommerce site owners that attempt to gain customers through social media approach the task in the wrong way and actually end up turning people off. Social media is NOT a sales channel; you simply will not make direct sales through social media networks. Don’t enter the realm of social media thinking you are going to be able to bombard people with advertisements and promotions and get away with it. Instead, you will get blacklisted.
How to use social media to your ecommerce site’s advantage. Rather than think of social media as a sales channel, you need to think of it as a way to engage with your customers (and with potential customers) in a personable way. Your social media presence is integral to your ecommerce business brand, and your brand is what will drive people to your ecommerce site. You can find more information about turning that traffic into sales on web development sites. Therefore, use social media with thoughtful interaction in mind, and communicate with your network as if they are friends, and not people you are trying to sell to. Your posts should offer something of use to them, either in the form of entertainment, information, or social engagement. Leave the obvious marketing messages out of it.
Social media can be a very powerful tool for making your ecommerce site more lucrative, but perhaps not in the way you would expect. If you learn the ropes of social media and play by the rules, however, it will reward you with more customers in return.