Social Media may be the best thing since bakers started using knives. Like knives, there’s a right and wrong way to use them. This post explores common E-Commerce Social Media mistakes and how to avoid them.
Let’s dive in!
The primary mistake among companies is over-promotion. Social Media isn’t an advertising platform to be exploited, first and foremost. It isn’t like TV, where you can broadcast to the masses, a captive audience just waiting to see your marketing messages.
First and foremost, it’s an opportunity to engage with an audience, build relationships and your brand’s reputation and create desire. From that engagement, sales will come.
No one buys a newspaper for the ads, and customers rarely follow you on Social Media for yours.
How Much Time Should E-Commerce Stores Invest in Social Media
E-Commerce stores often fail to commit enough time and attention to Social Media. A strong E-Commerce Social Media strategy with measurable, valuable returns doesn’t take a few minutes per day or an hour per week.
Campaigns that produce the greatest engagement and brand value demand at least an hour per day and for larger brands with bigger audiences to reach and engage with, it’s a full-time job.
Choose The Right Platform to Reach and Engage Your Audience
You have to have Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, and Google+.
Your E-Commerce store only needs some of those channels, and it needs as many as you can manage and do an excellent job. If you can’t be awesome on everyone, pick just one Social Media platform, or maybe two, but never dilute your effort and be average at any of them. (See: Which Social Media Platform is Right for Your Business?)
Choose and commit fully to these platforms where your demographic audience is most present, a platform where you can compete for attention (the biggest isn’t always the best). One you enjoy using – you’ll likely be spending much time there.
Not Using User-Generated Content
You shouldn’t be the only one posting about your brand when using social media. Your customers should also post about you! This is the definition of user-generated content.
People tend to trust others so that they can relate more than they trust marketing messages from brands. Generate user-generated content and utilize it. Include them in your stories, and comment on them to create an engagement. This will help your brand get more visible and impactful.
Failing to Listen and Respond
The first rule for E-Commerce stores on Social Media is to Listen, engage and respond. Whether your E-Commerce store is active or not, your customers are and they’re either singing your praises or complaining about you.
It’s easy to set up listening dashboards to monitor channels for mentions of your product or brand, whether it is tagged in the post or comment or not – there’s no excuse for failing to reply to comments on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other Social Media platforms and if people are talking about your E-Commerce store, why wouldn’t you want to be part of that conversation?
Focusing Only On Their Own Brand
E-Commerce stores frequently make the mistake of failing to embrace the community spirit of simply being Social.
Knowing your audience well also means that you’re part of that community, understand and appreciate their interests and pain, and are part of those conversations too. If your audience is parents and your products fit, yes, you should be creating and curating content about parenting. If your products are used in sports, health, and fitness, you should curate and create content about those subjects and upcoming events and comment on relevant issues in that space.
Promote your E-Commerce store, but ensure a sensible balance that doesn’t focus only on your products. Engage first, and be relevant and helpful second. Sell third.
Focusing on the Wrong Metrics
A critical E-Commerce Social Media mistake that many stores make is focusing on the wrong metrics.
As we’ve already covered, Social Media is first about engagement and the reach of your brand and not usually about how many sales are driven directly from your Facebook page or your Pinterest board.
Your social activity creates “brand equity”. Increased reach and awareness. It’s not so good for interrupting people and making immediate sales, no matter how strong your brand or offer might be.
Ignoring Your Competitors on Social Media
Too many brands solely focus on their accounts and ignore their competitors’ social activity. If you want to improve your social media success, you should consider your competitors, and this is one of the best practices to help you to stay up-to-date with what your competitors are doing.
Following and monitoring other brands can guide you to stay ahead of trends and identify new opportunities. Try to figure out what other brands your target customers are following. Then take a look at their content and engagement.
After learning new trends at the earliest stages, you can add your spin to them!
Social Media Automation Over Engagement
It’s only possible to be genuinely social by being present. Many E-Commerce stores need to automate responses, retweets, and, worse still, automated private messages on platforms like Twitter.
We know from Twitter user research how impersonal automation makes them feel about a brand – at best they bear it, some just ignore it and a large proportion of users instantly unfollow. For those that stay, your brand takes a hit on the perception meter.
You’re on Social. Be social. Be present.
Common Manners and Decency
When someone shares your content, particularly on Twitter, say thanks. It doesn’t take much. Many eCommerce stores miss the opportunity to create deeper relationships and ambassadors for their brand, a strategy well worth investing in to increase the reach of your brand and your content on Social Media.
You can comment to those shares by engaging and keeping the conversation going. This can show your brand image besides just being an E-Commerce store!
Failing to Track and Attribute Social Media Traffic
Some platforms provide Source and Medium data when they refer a visitor to your website and/or Google Analytics, for example. Some don’t.
By simply adding Google Analytics tags to your social shares, you’ll be able to more accurately measure traffic from your social media efforts, how much traffic you generate to your eCommerce store and how many times those visits influence immediate or future sales.
Failing to Take Advantage of Video
Video is huge right now, but many E-Commerce stores must take advantage of the opportunities to create engaging content.
Facebook is deep into video, and Twitter remembers live streaming services such as Periscope, Google Hangouts On Air, Blab, Meerkat, Instagram, and Vine. Short videos can be produced quickly and easily with a smartphone for product reviews, descriptions, or behind-the-scenes access that will increase engagement with your E-Commerce audience.
You’re one step closer to your goals if you detect and escape common marketing mistakes. Remember, the devil is in the details.e-commerce marketing