Getting Started with Social Media for Your Online Store:
We all know that social media is important for your brand engagement (and sales). However, many online retailers who have just started their online store do not understand exactly how to use social media for business or how it can be effective:
• Customers spend 20-40% more on companies they interact with on social media
• Online stores with social networks are on average 32% more than stores without stores
• Customers who have positive social media interactions with brands are three times more likely to recommend the brand
Before you start using more specific social media strategies in your eCommerce business, here are some important professional tips to keep in mind as you get started:
• Decide which platforms you want to use. Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are great places to start but don’t sleep on YouTube, Twitter, and other platforms that best suit your brand. Think about the general audience you want to communicate with and the type of content you want to communicate with. Do you post educational videos? Quotes and words that fit your brand’s mission? Blog articles? In particular, who might be involved in the type of content you want to post? This approach will better inform you which platforms to focus on, as you certainly don’t need them all.
• Make sure your brand, products, and company information are consistent across all platforms. Before you start posting, read your profiles and make sure all elements of your business are in place. Your brand should be recognized on all platforms and include your product offering, profile photos, biography, and general brand name. While the content itself may be different, it is imperative that each platform accurately reverts to what its brand is, so as not to confuse consumers.
• Link your social accounts to your website and to each other. Switching from your website to your social media accounts should be easy and encouraging, so make sure your links are set up and working correctly. You can also add tracking to see which social platforms are getting the most traffic. Also, consider using a comprehensive social management tool that allows you to post to multiple social accounts from one central location.
Once you’ve mastered the basics, you’re ready to get started and build your social game. Let’s look at specific ways to use social media for your eCommerce business.
Set up your social accounts
This may seem obvious, but setting up your social media accounts is critical, and we’ve found that many online marketers lack the basics. Here are the specific steps to set up your Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest accounts:
1. Register by going to facebook.com/business and clicking Create a page. From there, you will be taken through several guided steps asking you what type of business you are (most of our retailers choose a brand or product), as well as subcategories and contact information. Click Start when you are done.
Add photos, including a cover photo (820 x 312 pixels) and a profile photo (360 x 360 pixels). Make it visually appealing and align with your brand’s mission. If you don’t already have your own images, there are many free and easy tools to help you find and/or create them.
Add more information about the company by adding a short description, entering information about the item, and creating a username. The short description (click Add a short description to your page) can be up to 155 characters long, so keep it short and clearly state what you are talking about. You should also add a longer description of your business by clicking History on the right side of the page. This is another chance to explain why consumers should follow you.
It’s important to fill your department right away, as it’s often the first place potential candidates are sought. Click About on the left side of your page and start adding specific information about your business, including contact information, other social accounts, website URLs, etc.
You should also create a custom username that appears after the “@” and as part of your Facebook page URL, to make it easier to find people (save as an Instagram account, if applicable). Click Create a username for your page to set it up.
1. You will be asked to find Facebook friends and contacts, which is absolutely essential, but better if you have some content on your page. When it’s time, click Community in the left column of your Page and click Invite your friends to like [page name].
Download the app and create a new account with your business email address (do not link it to your personal Facebook account).
2. Create a username that should be your company name or as close to the name as possible.
3. add a photo and edit your profile by going to your profile page and tapping Edit your profile. Here you can add a profile picture (it must be the same as your Facebook profile picture), add a bio, and a link to the site. Keep your bio short, but use this space as an opportunity to explain what you have to offer and where it’s available.
4. Log into your Facebook business page (assuming you have set up your Facebook page first) by tapping the profile icon in the top right corner and then the settings icon in the top right corner. From there, scroll down and tap on Linked in in Accounts and Facebook. You can choose your Facebook business page here (you must be logged into FB on whatever device you are using) and then you will be asked to allow Instagram to post to your Facebook. Page. Tap OK and you’ll return to sharing settings, where you can change how Instagram content is shared on Facebook when you post it.
5. Complete the profile set up by adding your work email, phone number, and/or physical address and tap done.