4 Social Media Tips Online Businesses Need to Know
May 30, 2018
Ecommerce is more than just a popular way to sell products and services via the internet; it’s an entire movement, and many believe, the future of the sales industry. From eBay to Amazon, ecommerce has become a driving force in everything from books and games to food and cars. If you can buy it, you can buy it online, and this is only part of the charm that has brought millions to their computers, tablets and mobile devices when it comes time to shop.
So, if you’re an online business owner, what can you do to set yourself apart from the competition? Well, there are a few tools that help in a big way to create a unique spin on your products or services, and much of this begins with social media. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have dominated the world of socialization online, but now they’ve begun to dominate business and shopping as well. Here are 4 ways you can kick your social media game into high gear and start competing with other ecommerce businesses.
1. Get Chatting: It isn’t always enough to post ads, contests and new content on your social media page. You need to interact with your customers and show them that you’re more than some large scale online entity; you’re a local business with their best interest at heart. Comment back to users, “like” and “follow” comments and posts they make regarding your products or services, follow up on negative and positive feedback, and chat with customers in private chat when they have questions or concerns regarding your business.
For example, some customers might not understand how a product works, or know whether something is still one sale. He or she can private message you through just about any social media platform and you will receive a notification that you have a message waiting. Replying quickly and efficiently in a businesslike and courteous manner will put you ahead of big box sellers who prefer to answer their customers through automated text services or third-party chat features.
2. Be Transparent: Your customers are going to find negative feedback whether you want them to see it or not, so don’t try to hide comments or complaints. Embrace this feedback and take it on the chin as constructive criticism; show consumers that you aren’t hiding anything and what they see is what they get. You can help redirect negative energy regarding a bad experience by commenting quickly back to any poor review and expressing your apologies. Some companies offer a coupon or complimentary service or product when a customer has a bad experience like this, but even just acknowledging and apologizing for a poor experience can be enough to keep a customer from fleeing to the next competitor business.
This also gives you an authentic rating on sites like Google and other digital marketplaces where consumers might be comparing products. When they see a product with all good reviews, especially if some seem forced or fake, they’re less likely to buy. It’s always better to be honest and genuine with your customers through the good and the bad.
3. Use Social Media for Sales: So many businesses out there have social media accounts, but don’t use those accounts for selling. It’s easy to fall into the habit of only using social media to post about new products or to put on a contest and get customers sharing content, but you can also use social media to host sales. Facebook and other social media platforms offer online shopping tools for customers to buy online from your social media page from the comfort of home.
Not comfortable using social media as a marketplace? No problem, you can also include a link to your main website where customers can stock up and shop. Just be sure to direct customers to the right links and content so they quickly and easily find your products or services. Google has found that most online users will forego a website if it takes more than 3-seconds to load and move onto the next. The same might be said for online shopping if users find it difficult to find the information or products they are looking for.
4. Use Photos: Social media is a busy place full of text, which makes it difficult for users to weed out the garbage from the stuff they really want to see. Using images with text applied to them can help encourage a new shopper to visit your page and be the difference between somebody scrolling by or sharing your page with friends and family.
Don’t just use images to announce new contests or sales, use images to represent your brand to your followers. A photo of the office today and who’s working at the car lot, or a quick video or the sales floor and what’s on sale in fashion will help your consumer base relate to your business and encourage them to hang out on your social media page a few minutes extra, or maybe come on down to your brick and mortar location if there is one.
However you choose to use social media for your online business, be sure to keep the tone professional and engaging, and reply with confidence in your brand. The more engaging you are with customers, the more visible your social media accounts become, so encourage shares, comments and likes.