A huge amount of people are using different social media services every day. For e-retailers this is an excellent opportunity to meet new customers and convert them into loyal customers. Also, social media is a cost effective marketing and communication tool.
By using social media, users are able to search for information about very detailed themes. Also a group of users can focus on some very marginal subject. As a result of this, e-retailers are able to segment their target group very precisely.
Social media is mainly free for both users and companies which makes the step to marketing easier. The only thing you need to invest is time. And of course there are service providers within social media as well, that offers to help with maketing and visibility.
One important reason to appear in social media is the fact that it improves your search engine visibility.
What services are available?
There are tens or even hundreds of different services. Before you start marketing your online shop with a service, test it yourself as a user. It's important to know what is appropriate and what is inappropriate. Flashy advertising and excessive updates might instead turn against you. On the other hand there might be other users that actually really like your products and therefore recommend them to thier own contacts. This is the thing with social media: both good and bad news spread very quickly from user to user.
Facebook is known by a huge amount of people, which is an important factor when considering the use of their service. On Facebook users are able to like a shop or a product and the retailer is then able to communicate news about the products and shop on their page. When a user like the page it is also shown to all the user's contacts and the information spreads.
How can a webshop benefit from social media in practice?
Perhaps the most important thing you can get from social media is loyal customers. When your customers can follow what happens in your shop at the same time you can follow what people are saying about your shop (and if needed, react on it).
Examples of what you can update:
- Events in which customers can take part
- Campaigns, offers and sales
- New products
- News and other information
It's also worth having a look out and update if your shop, products or industry is mentioned in any blogs or newspapers. Also, remember to inform if you are writing your own blog. Discount vouchers can be good for attracting more readers.
Think about how often you make updates in social media. Don't write too often, perhaps once a week (except if there are some special news). Customers can easily get bored if there are just too many posts from you. Of course it is important to make some kind of updates at least once a month or so, so it doesn't look like your shop is completely dead.
Be honest and open
Since we are talking about social media it also means that your customers are free to write whatever they want. This can be used for feedback. React quickly and openly also on negative feedback.