Driving More Customers to Your Online Store with Social Media
One of the hardest aspects of running an online store is driving traffic to it. Many assume that once you build a website or buy a website, it will be picked up by search engines and hundreds, if not thousands, of people will start to stream in. While this is certainly possible down the road, driving traffic to your online store is going to take more work than that. Luckily, there are some great tools to help you.
One of these tools is social media. Social media makes it easier than ever before to promote your business to millions of people, all for a very low cost. However, you won’t be the only person promoting something on social media, so you need to find a way to stand out from the crowd and get others to follow your accounts. How can you do this? Here are a few strategies you can use to drive more customers to your online store with social media, and ultimately make more sales.
Share More than Your Products
The first thing you need to do is realize that you should use your social media accounts for more than just promoting your products. If someone visits your Twitter page, for example, and they see only links to your newest products, they likely won’t follow you. Just sharing links to products, or promoting your store, doesn’t really provide much value.
This is why you need to share more. Let’s say you decided to start an online store that sells beauty products. A great way to add value to your social media pages would be to also share beauty tips or tutorials that might help your target audience. If your social media pages are full of useful information besides posts promoting your products, people will be more likely to follow you. Then, when you do promote your products or store, you’ll have a wider audience that you can reach.
Get Promoted by Influential People
The next thing you’ll want to do is find people within your niche who have popular social media accounts. If you can get one of these people to mention your store, you’ll be able to reach exponentially more people than if you just posted a mention yourself.
Take some time to research your niche and find who has the most popular social media accounts. Create a list of who you want to target, then start reaching out to them one by one. Of course, you typically can’t just send a message that says “Hello, please promote my online store.” You need to give these people a reason to do so.
How can you do this? For starters, you could offer a discount code. As an example, create a discount code that is specific to the person you’re targeting. Tell them that if any of their followers use that code, they can receive a discount on their next purchase. You could also offer to give the person promoting you a cut of the sales from that discount code, providing them with even more incentive.
Another route you can take is by publicly thanking them. Going back to our previous example, if you come across a helpful skincare tutorial online, you could share this with your followers. You could then thank the creator of it (the influential person you’re targeting). If this person sees your message, there’s a chance they will publicly respond or share it with their own followers. This helps to build up brand awareness for you, and establishes a connection with an influencer within your niche.
The same strategy can be used if you’re running a blog. Any time you mention someone of importance, let them know on social media. Include a link to your blog post, and if you’re lucky, they’ll share it with their own followers. Using your blog in this way is a great method for providing value to your audience, while also connecting with influencers.
If you’re willing to spend some money, the next great way to drive traffic to your online store via social media is through advertising. Each of the major social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn – all have tools available for businesses who want to run advertising.
With the tools available on these platforms, businesses can target the specific niche they are after, and ensure they are spending their ad dollars wisely. The two main keys to running successful ads on social media are knowing your niche, and creating enticing ads.
For example, if your online store sells kitchen supplies, you probably don’t want to target college students who don’t have a kitchen. Or, if you’re selling new electronics, your target audience probably isn’t seniors. The more specifically you can define your target audience, the better results you’ll get from social media advertising.
As for creating the ad, remember to keep it simple and enticing. Try creating several different types of ads at first and see which ones perform best. You can then use this information to create new ads. Repeat this process over and over again, and you’ll eventually have some great ads going out to your specific target audience.
Hold a Contest
The last strategy you can try is to hold a contest. Holding a contest is great because it offers several benefits. For instance, it can:
- Help you promote a new product
- Increase your social following
- Get your target audience engaged
- Encourage customer loyalty
- And drive traffic to your online store
Here’s how it can work. Let’s say you’re launching a new product. To promote it, you create a Facebook post and offer to give it away for free to a few lucky winners. To win, all the person needs to do is share that Facebook post with their own followers. If you get just 10 people to share the post, and each of them has 100 friends or family connections on Facebook, you’ve now promoted your product to over 1,000 people just for the cost of a single product.
Holding a contest is great for anything from small niche sites up to huge online stores. There are some costs associated with it – such as the cost of the product and shipping – but it’s typically worth the money. Look into running your own contest on one of the major social media platforms, and you should find that this is a good strategy for your online store.
Making the Most of Social Media
Social media is for more than just sharing links to your new product or answering customer questions. When used correctly, it can become a major source of traffic to your online store for a long time to come. The key is to provide value to your followers, gain the attention of people who have a large following within your niche, and make use of the tools each platforms makes available to you.
So whether you just bought a new website, or you’ve had an online store running for a while, start making social media more of a priority. If you can do this, it won’t be long before the number of visits to your online store starts to climb – all thanks to social media.