Nowadays, you can find almost anything you want on social media. From the most popular meme page and conspiracy theories to TikTok beauty vids and we can’t forget face-filtered news anchors, the content you find can make this marketing channel feel like you are floating in outer space without a spacesuit.
But if Instagram can even make a cute little Pomeranian famous that’s great news for your Ecommerce site. Insta-fame is great, but what’s even better is the potential to find, connect, and build meaningful relationships with your customers.
The Purpose of this guide
The purpose of this guide is to give you an overarching view of each of the platforms that Ecommerce businesses are finding success on. We’ll cover how to set up your business page and what kinds of strategies work for each platform.
Does this mean you need to be on all of every social site? Absolutely not! However, you may want to “claim” your business on each platform for these reasons:
- For SEO purposes, basically making sure you show up in Google search results.
- To claim your business name & to make sure other users don’t co-opt your name.
It’s easy to burnout on social media, so it’s best to choose a couple to focus on for a 3-month span, do a quick evaluation and then add another platform to your marketing mix (we’ll show you how, so keep reading).
MARKETING YOUR ECOMMERCE STORE
Sure, we all know and use social media in our personal lives, but what really is it for online/ecommerce businesses? Here’s the answer, direct from one of the leading Ecommerce platforms, BigCommerce:
“Social media marketing is the process of leveraging social media networks to interact with prospects and ultimately increase traffic and sales to a website. Online businesses rely on social media to build a connection with users who are increasingly relying on social networks and mobile devices to consume web content.” BigCommerce
With almost 4 billion users across the world, utilizing social platforms are your opportunity to find new customers, engage with current ones and effectively advertise your business. Here are the headline stats and trends for the global ‘State of Digital’ in January 2021:
4 Steps for Success
The key to effective social media marketing is to have a plan, here are five steps or questions to ask yourself to come up with that plan. Without a plan, you posts can become erratic, the content disjointed and your message off-kilter.
Let’s navigate the social channel by first digging into these questions:
General business goals, what are they?
- Generate new visitors to your site or landing page (awareness)?
- Educate your visitors and current customers (education/training)?
- Make more sales, this can be a SaaS download, physical product or service (conversion)?
Know your audience — this will guide you on what platforms to start with.
- If you have a younger audience – utilize Instagram, including ‘stories’ & ‘reels’.
- If you have an audience that are older than 60, Facebook is your ideal platform.
What is my competition posting and where?
- Do your research! Know your top 3 competitors and search out their posts!
- Want to know if your competition is running ads on Facebook or Instagram? Click here and you can use this tool to search them out.
What is your measure of success? Outlining basic KPI’s will help you know if you’re hitting the you outlined above.
- If your goal is new visitors, check this metric by setting up traffic & audience reports in Google Analytics.
- Educating visitors can be measured by how often people are engaging with your content – again, Google Analytics will tell you this.
- Measuring your sales is super easy by logging into your Ecommerce platform like BigCommerce or Shopify and viewing your dashboard. Additionally, you’ll see basic web visit info, so this dashboard might be perfect for most of your KPI measurement.
Make Your Platform Page Amazing
Great content and having a plan is necessary, but don’t overlook the actual setup of your company on your platform of choice. Use the company setup area as a place to shine – to really show people what your company and brand are all about. This step is even more important than jumping into platform advertising! If this type of marketing is new to your company, you’ll need to do a bit of assembly work on your business pages, but that’s ok!
In the following steps, we’ll map out which platforms you should have a presence on and how to make your brand pop!
If you don’t have a business profile on Facebook, this is a great starting point. Facebook as the most comprehensive profile-building process, so by the end of your page setup, you should know exactly how you want to display your brand with your social media strategy top of mind.
Create your Facebook business page through your personal Facebook account. Make sure you use your exact business name as the page name. In this process, you’ll be able to:
- Select business categories – You’ll be able to choose up to three that are applicable for your brand.
- Create your user name – Hopefully you’ll be able to find your business name available as your user name. However, keep is simple, even consider shortening your user name if your business name is more than a word or two. It’s important to know that your user name becomes a permanent part of your URL (www.facebook.com/epicdesignlabs). This is a good time to search out the user name you want on the other platforms you want to have an account on. A little forethought will help you streamline brand across your sites.
- Create your business description – This is your area to make a BOOM with your visitors. We recommend adding a smidge of your own brand flair to show off your personality and write with your mission in mind. Additionally, we also recommend adding one or two keywords so you show up for more relevant Facebook searches.
- Add your profile photo – For your profile picture, use an image that is 180 x 180 (displays 170 x 170 on desktop). A logo is a great option for this image, but if your logo contains text, consider using a simplified version, as your text will be too small to view – especially on mobile.
- Add your cover photo – According to Facebook, your cover photo displays at 820 pixels wide by 312 pixels tall on computers and 640 pixels wide by 360 pixels tall on smartphones. This is a great place to start, but of course it’s never quite that simple. It’s tricky because your Facebook cover displays differently on mobile and desktop devices. Therefore, we recommend using the dimensions 820px by 360px and to keep all text and graphics in the middle safe zone as per the specifications below:
Advanced Facebook Optimization
The previous steps are the “must haves”, but the most successful Facebook business pages include more content. Think of your website and the pages that you utilize, in most cases you’ll have your home page/shop, and about page and contact page (at the most minimal). Here’s a shortlist of “should-haves” for your business page.
- HOME PAGE: The home page is what your visitors see when they visit your business profile. So, like your website, name your page after your business, or another name that people search for to find your business. Use the About section to tell people what your business does. Be sure to enter as much info about your business such as, contact numbers, the best way to communicate (you can use Facebook messenger too), your hours and if you have a physical location make sure you list it and engage the map feature.
- ADD A BUTTON: This is your CTA (button appear when running Facebook ads) to direct people where you want them to go based on your business goals.
- For example, you own an Ecommerce business and are interested in getting people to shop your online store. Your goal may be to increase online traffic to your website and encourage customers to browse your selection of goods.
- First, choose Traffic as your campaign objective. The Traffic objective is designed to send people to a destination on or off Facebook, in this case your website.
- To further encourage people to take this action you would then add the Shop Now button.
Want to jump ahead and learn about what makes a great Facebook Ad? – Check out our FREE resource, “68 Best Facebook Ad Examples”
The good news is that once you set up your Facebook profile, setting up Instagram and the others will be a breeze. 😎 Obviously you need an Instagram business account. If you have a personal Instagram and want to convert it to a business page, it’s very easy – click here for more in-depth info. But beyond the basic setup, here are some pointers:
- Use your brand voice and show your personality. Go casual, or professional, or a little bit cheeky, depending on what makes the sense for your business.
- Include hashtags: Instagram bio hashtags are clickable, and are a great way to show off user-generated content.
- Try emojis: These symbols can help to deliver a lot of info in one tiny character.
- Use spacing and line breaks: Line breaks make your bio easier to read online.
- Be sure to add your website or a landing page that you can effectively direct people to your shared content (links are NOT clickable in the posts – on your link in bio).
Just like a Facebook page is tied to a Facebook account, a YouTube channel is directly tied to a Google account. Make sure to create a Google account if you haven’t already or, better yet, use the account you’re already using for work.
As with the other platforms, the setup is easy, so rather than list out the steps from YT’s FAQ’s, just click this link for the full setup action items. Now that you have your channel created, you’ll want to customize it.
Below are the key items to update:
- Update your profile image & channel description – don’t forget, make your brand presence cohesive across all networks. While you don’t have to use the exact same image on all networks, but they should have a consistent theme and voice.
- Now it’s time to add some channel art!
- By Google’s own recommendations, your image should be 1280 x 720 pixels, with a minimum width of 640 pixels. A ratio of 16:9 is ideal as it’s used most often in YouTube players and previews.
- Not a graphic designer, but not ready to hire one? There are several apps you can use to make free content which is sized correctly for the platform you are using. We love these app: Canva, Adobe Spark, Glorify (designer app created specifically for Ecommerce stores).
DEPLOY Your Marketing Plan
Now you’ve built your social platforms, you can start marketing—that is, sharing content about your company/products. Again, you’ll want to keep your goals in mind when creating (drive more sales, educate, etc.).
But wait, you might be saying, “Great, I have these new profiles, yet how do I even start not to mention when & what should I post?”
We’ve got your back, listed below is our favorite tactics and type of content for the platforms we outlined above.
Facebook is the biggest social media platform in the world, so prioritizing this platform for many businesses is a no-brainer. Sure, Instagram is #5 on the list below, but Facebook purchased Instagram in 2012 and there is a lot of crossover in the Business Manager Portal for FB/IG that helps you keep a consistent brand message – investigate more on this right here.
Devote Time Here If:
- Your goals are conversion or lead generation.
- Your target is millennials and/or older generations.
- You have a niche audience & want to reach as many people as possible.
Content to Consider:
- Use video! Short videos work on these platforms – try testing one video post per week.
- To engage comments from your audience, pose a problem and ask for advice. Here are some examples from an Ecommerce store owner that sells holistic pet products:
- “What natural products do you turn to when your Pup encounters anxiety with thunder and fireworks?”
- “One of our followers has a question around local dog grooming in Portland, Oregon – If there are any Pacific NW Doggie Owners, we’d love your comments AND links! Comment now 💬 !
- Create and share events – especially webinars and public Zoom meetings.
Instagram is your place to use awesome imagery, but what you post is just as important as how you post. The first step is to have a content layout plan. This means you want to visualize your feed to make sure that your pictures, fonts and types of posts are varied. Take a look at the below and you’ll get an idea of what we’re talking about.
The IG puzzle is a series of photos that you post separately, one by one on IG to become one giant, interesting and attention-grabbing creative collage – like a mood board. It is a new way of styling your feed, our clients love it!
With any story, the point is to keep the reader engaged throughout and ultimately to read through to the end. Just as authors want to keep their readers interested, the same is true with carousel ads. Once you’ve hooked the user with the first image, encourage continued engagement with the other images.
This carousel ad by Tesco Foods certainly elicits the “I can’t stop swiping” response. To see the entire photo users must swipe through all of them. This is a great example of drawing a user through a story and, in this case, a very delicious-looking one.
There are so many ways that you can utilize IG Stories for your brand.
– New product release – use great imagery
– Use stickers (see image below)
– The eraser brush is a fun way to display product reveals!
Tip! Instagram Stories disappear after 24 hours, however, you can save them. Learn more in this great article.
Don’t forget your #hashtags – use them in your posts and stories!
YouTube has grown up in the past 16 years since they launched – what started as a place for great cat videos has morphed into an amazing business tool. In the beginning, you probably won’t have a ton of videos to post, however, you can easily create brand content and post to YouTube – once you have enough, you can add to different playlists. Here’s some examples: how-to product videos, lifestyle reels with your product, even informal iPhone videos are great, and finally, go live. Those videos will post to your channel and can also route to a specific playlist.
Our In-House YouTube Case Study
When COVID-19 hit in 2020, Kal, Epic’s owner saw an impact across the Ecommerce business space. In order to address the need for immediate ideas to keep a small business running, we launched a LIVE video session every day for 60 days, packed full ideas to keep businesses going through such a tough time.
Not only did we post to YouTube, but we cross-posted live on Facebook. Each video was automatically posted to our channel content. From there we added to our “COVID Marketing Tips Playlist” and also added to a dedicated page on our website – this process was super easy!
Even if you did one or two videos per month it’s a start. I guarantee that during the process you & your team will learn a bunch about shooting videos and editing them. Here’s a great article where you can get some product video pointers.
Social media for an Ecommerce business can sometimes feel like the early days of a new workout regime. You’ve just got to stick with your plan. Here’s a quick reminder of what that entails:
- START SMALL – Choose 1-3 social platforms, we love Facebook, Instagram and either LinkedIn or Pinterest (LinkedIn for Professional Services/SaaS and Pinterest is great for products/lifestyle brands).
- KNOW YOUR GOALS – Depending on your goals, your content and message may vary. Remember, you’re considering one or all — conversion (sales), education, traffic to your site, content engagement.
- HAVE A PLAN – Be thoughtful about your content, meaning consider the layouts we outlined above for your Instagram. Additionally, use a content calendar or tracker. This can be a simple Google Sheet, an online calendar or a social media automation app.
We’re BigCommerce, Shopify & Klaviyo Certified Partners! — If you need help with your Ecommerce store, marketing or platform support, we can help, send us a note here or call us at: (503)-536-7350.