<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=354413209184694&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

So you’ve got your on-line shop, the next step is to communicate and create brand awareness through social media channels.

One thing you can’t do is be shy….so start by getting social.

From Facebook, to Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram all these marketing channels are available to you.
Only you will know which communication channels will work best for your on-line business but one channel you simply can’t afford to ignore is Facebook.

Facebook provides a huge potential market for your social media efforts, it gives you the opportunity to build awareness, create a constant communication channel as well as initiating sales for your eCommerce shop. But most importantly it’s about building relationships, with the potential to increase new customer acquisition through on-line word of mouth.

Implemented successfully social media can increase the visibility of your website and, at the same time, enhance customer involvement to a great extent!

So let’s take a look at these 10 simple tips for marketing your eCommerce store using Facebook:

1: Play detective:

It’s important that you IDENTIFY your social media marketing goals. Each eCommerce business will have different objectives, so ask yourself what do you want to achieve?…Building brand awareness or perhaps your sole goal is to drive traffic to your eCommerce store?
There is no right or wrong answers, if you identify your objectives and pursue a strategy to achieve your goals then go for it! eCommerce companies can leverage social media for success.

2: Content is King:

The key when using social media for any business is to create a connection with potential customers. The way to achieve this is through content marketing. Educating your target about who you are and providing them with valuable and relevant content will help to increase your customer base and brand loyalty. Ensure you create fresh content to keep your targets interested by including tips, reviews, and even go as far to ask questions to encourage discussions and sharing of ideas.
However, don’t use social media as a priority sales platform, your sole purpose should be to communicate and create awareness with the potential customers and to drive traffic to your online store.

3: Timing is key:

If you want to engage your target and possible new ones, then make sure you do your research and look at the key times to post. If you’re providing great content but posting at the wrong time then it’s a missed opportunity as you’re not engaging the audience. The peak times to post tend to be noon and 7pm when people have time during lunch and after their working day. This will give you the best post engagement from a thumbs up to a comment. 1-4pm results in the highest average click through rate.

4: Get Visual:

Users and potential new targets respond better to visual aids, so photos will generate higher engagement then a simple piece of text. So make sure you’re mixing it up. Keep your audience interested and engaged. Reposting an image from a consumer using your product not only engages new customers but strengthens your relationships with existing ones as well.

5: Get Handy and use the tools:

Take advantage and use the Facebook insights tool to gather information about which posts are working and engaging the most response. The tool is there for a purpose; to provide valuable information about your audience engagement and consumer behaviour. Don’t ignore it!

6: To Pay or not to Pay?

If you believe you’re not receiving enough engagement then Facebook provide the option of paid advertising via Boost or Promote. This simply allows you the payment option to enhance any post and specifically target audiences via:
*People who like your Page
*People who like your Page and their friends
*People you choose through targeting
or Promote which allows more control over who sees your ad and how you pay for it.

Based on your marketing budget you decide the amount you wish to pay. Taking this option will help increase your engagement on posts and in tern their visibility and potential to expand your target market; exposing you to greater reach. This is optional and entirely at your discretion but a little boost never hurts anyone especially when trying to raise awareness about your eCommerce business.

7: Get Noticed:

Taking the social media route allows you to promote your profile through other social networks, simply by having the Facebook icon and any other social media icons clearly identifiable on your website, emails/newsletters or any other media you will use. It acts as a call to action to check out your page and LIKE!

8: Sweeten the deal:

Provide the target and potential new targets with incentives. The key to a successful social media marketing campaign is to think about what you can offer your customers. Reward their loyalty and provide your audience with special offers including competitions! In order for your eCommerce business to gain a following on the social channels you choose, entice customers with something they can’t get anywhere else. ‘LIKE’ and ‘SHARE’ competitions are a great concept of direct product marketing as well as a platform to build awareness and create mass exposure.

9: Schedule It:

It’s not often easy to find the time to run your online shop whilst making sure you keep on top of communicating via social media channels! So why not ‘Schedule’ your posts…you can choose the day and time making the whole process easy and convenient, ensuring you have content going out frequently and keeping your audience informed.
Running multiple social media sites? Then look to Hootsuite as your social media management dashboard and see the advantages by taking a 30 day free trial. Assess the effectiveness by reviewing the analytics and if you’re happy with the results then pursue a plan to suit your budget and size of business.

10: Blog it!

Want to add a little bit of your shops personality and know-how into sales conversions without a direct sales approach? Then a blog is an excellent way to achieve this. Blogs give you the opportunity to share your knowledge, tips and any upcoming trends related to the products you sell. E.g. If you’re running an online clothing store talk about Fashion week London, Paris, and the latest trends; What’s hot and what’s not! Customers will often be more inclined to turn to you for their purchases based on an established trust factor.

So, get the popcorn, sit back and watch how Facebook became a revelation with ‘The Social Network’ movie. Zuckerberg created a revolution and changed the face of human interaction for a generation. Social media is not just for keeping in the know with friends, it’s a platform to establish new customer relationships and promote your business!

by Tanya Wasiuta on 16/03/2015

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