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How to use social media, quickly and easily, to market your eCommerce business

Building the marketing plan for an eCommerce business is great – you can see exactly what drove you sales last year, and what the Return on Investment of each marketing channel was. That’s great – but it does tend to push you away from spending time and money on social media. Very few small eCommerce businesses can directly attribute enough sales back to social media to have made their effort worth it.

So what should you do? Of course take a look at your analytics and see what’s already driving you sales and traffic and focus there – but there is one thing that’s universally applicable for all eCommerce businesses.

And that is social sharing buttons.

These are the little “Tweet this” “like this” buttons that you see on blog posts and newspaper websites. And they are brilliant. Brilliant for three reasons:

  1. They’re really easy to set up
  2. It’s a social media job you do once, and it’s all done (well until someone brings out another social media tool!)
  3. It gets your customers and site visitors to do your social media for you. (really)

Go to AddThis.com, create the set of buttons you want, copy the code and send it to your website team to put in place. You want it prominently displayed on every product on your site, and every blog post you write too (there is a handy AddThis plugin you can use on Wordpress too). Once it’s in place it will magically appear on all your products and blogs. Job done!

I suggest you have buttons for (at least) Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

Once it’s in place you don’t need to do anything else with it – visitors will see the buttons and use them.

The aim of all social media is to get people talking about you. Doing that via your own social media limits that conversation to those who are connected to you. So if you can get your customers and visitors talking about you then it’s going to spread your message / your products a lot further to all their connections, whether connected to you or not. The easiest way to encourage people to talk about your products on social media is to make it easy for them to do that. What could be easier than a button saying (and doing) “Like it on Facebook” that’s right there on the product page?

If you’re being talked about on social media your website is more likely to appear in the search results. That’s because Google gathers data direct from Twitter and Facebook to help it work out what the most relevant results are, and they own Google+ - pulling those shares directly into the search results. If people are talking about you it’s rather like them linking to you – so Google interprets that as a good thing.

To help grow your search traffic you need people talking about you and sharing links to your site – that’s just what social sharing buttons can do for you.

So:

-          Get your social sharing buttons code

-          Get your website team to put it on the site

-          Watch your stats to see which social media you should be using for the next three months (and keep reviewing it)

But I want shares NOW! Ok, so why not encourage your customers to share your products? Email them about it.

Run a prize draw for everyone who ‘pins’ this month, or ‘Tweets’ next month – I’d do a different engine each week/month. Don’t forget to be careful of the Facebook rules on competitions.

 

About the Author

Chloë Thomas is author of ‘eCommerce MasterPlan 1.8’. www.eCommerceMasterPlan.com.