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Having a social media presence has always been a crucial part of just about any business out there, especially for online stores. Any full service digital agency will recommend a social media strategy to help your company strive online.

However, many companies still overlook this part of marketing. So, why is social media so important for online stores and how do you properly use it?

Why Is Social Media Important? 

1. It Increases Brand Awareness

Over 3.6 billion people have a social media account on one one platform or another.  This popularity makes social media ad campaigns a great way to get more people to know about your business. By making your company visible on social media you will be able to engage with your target audience and enhance your brand reputation.

2. It Increases Traffic To Your Site 

The more people who know about your brand, the more people who will visit your site. Generating as much traffic as possible has always been an essential part of any eCommerce business and with so many people active on social media, it couldn’t get any easier. Social media is a great way to get your business in front of a lot of people.

3. It Boosts SEO 

Having a strong social media presence can help you rank higher in search results. Being active on social media will eventually lead to generating more traffic to your website. In turn, the rapid growth in traffic will help your SEO.

Now that we’ve talked about why social media is so important for online stores, let’s take a look at some tips on how to get started with it.

Getting Started With Social Media 

1. Set Your Target Audience 

Before you get started on social media, determine exactly who your target audience is. Just because there are lots of people on social media, doesn’t mean that everyone will be your customer. Find out what types of people will be most likely to buy your products.  When targeting your prospective customers, it is important to find a balance between reaching out to a wide audience and narrowing it down to those who are most likely to become your customers. Too wide of an audience will cause your ads to reach people who will not be likely to convert, meaning that you’re basically throwing money out the window.

Finding your target audience will also help you determine which social media platform is most suitable for your business. For example, if you’re targeting millennials, your best bet would be Instagram, or Snapchat, since they are using these platforms the most. However, if you’re targeting older demographics, Facebook or Twitter might be the better choice.

2. Start Out Small 

There are lots of social media platforms available, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. You’d probably think that you need to create an account on each one of these platforms in order to reach as many people as you possibly can.

But it isn’t necessarily true. Take some time and figure out which one of these platforms suits your business the best. Identify where your target audience spends most time. After that, focus your social media strategy on the said platform(s). Once you start to generate enough income, you can consider scaling your marketing strategy and moving to other platforms.

3. Engage With Your Audience 

Even though social media is great for advertising your products, that doesn’t mean that you should overdo it. Overdoing product promotion may seem like you are there only to make sales pitches. Social media is primarily useful for interacting with your audience.

Engaging with your audience is important to make them feel like they are a part of your brand story. Therefore, besides advertising your products, make sure to post content that will add more value to your follower’s feeds and also encourage them to engage with your company.

To show a more personable and relatable side of your business, you could post content that shows what happens behind the scenes. Post photos and videos that show who is behind the brand and what work goes into building it. This can help create a sense of transparency toward your target audience, making your business appear legitimate and trustworthy.

Another great way to help build engagement with your audience is by making use of user-generated content. Announce that you’re going to feature photos of your customers showcasing your products in the profile description of your business. That could work great alongside a giveaway as well.

Keep in mind that building and maintaining engagement with your followers is just as important as running advertising campaigns. Don’t post just for the sake of it. Otherwise, users will most likely notice that and will eventually end up losing interest in your company.

4. Plan Your Posts 

Make sure to plan relevant content you are going to post ahead of time. This way, you’ll save a lot of time and energy since you won’t have to scramble to find something interesting to post at the last minute.

To do this, you can use a simple calendar or social media management tool. Just create the content beforehand, select the date, and schedule it when for the arranged time. Having a calendar will also help you figure out which days are most efficient for engagement and how many times a week you should actually post content.

5. Take An Integrated Approach 

An integrated approach is a great way to decrease selling costs, improve sales, and even learn more about your customers’ behavior.

It basically involves integrating social buying buttons within your social media pages. This will shorten the amount of time it takes for customers to buy a product after they discover it. With social buying buttons, users can get right to the checkout section after seeing the products you’ve displayed. They will no longer have to click on the ad showcasing the product, enter your, site and then proceeding to the checkout page.

This is important because you will give the user less time to think about whether they should buy the product or not, potentially increasing your conversion rates.

6. Don’t Only Use Conventional Networks 

Here’s the thing. Besides Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and all of the other popular social media platforms, there are also less obvious forms of social media that you might want to take into consideration.

Online review sites or Q&As can also be great, especially for online stores. Why? Well, people will rely on reviews before making a purchase. In fact, the average consumer reads 10 reviews before making a purchase decision. With that being said, they will most likely search for what other people think about the products you sell.

Final Words 

These are some of the most effective tips on how to get started on social media as an online store. Keep in mind to focus on one or two platforms at the most, at first. Find out which one is more suitable for your business.

After that, take some time and figure out who your audience is exactly. And remember, don’t focus entirely on advertising your products – instead, engage with them through friendly and conversational messaging. Remember that building engagement with your audience is the key to creating a loyal customer base.