You know you need to be on social media to get the most out of your ecommerce site. But which social media platform is going to perform best? The answer is that it depends on a number of factors:
- What Do You Sell? The type of product(s) you sell on your ecommerce site will help drive the social media sites you choose. Research shows that certain products do better on certain venues, likely because of the venues themselves and the user populations they attract.
- How Much Are You Willing to Put Into Your Social Media Experience? Are you planning on being very active on social media, or are you just going to throw up a page and occasionally post? Do you intend to pay for advertisements, such as Facebook’s PPC Ads or Twitter Deck? Your engagement level will help determine the right platform.
- Who Are Your Target Customers? If you can define your target audience, you can narrow down the social media sites you should use. For instance, the average Snapchat user is going to be younger than the average Facebook user.
- How Much Do Customers Typically Spend in an Average Order? What is the average spending on your ecommerce site? Is it a higher number or a lower one? For instance, data shows that YouTube tends to bring in about $38/order, whereas Pinterest does better at about $58/order. Obviously, you want to improve your average order amount over time, but it might not make sense to choose certain social media sites.
Now that you’ve answered these questions, it’s time to look at some of the top social media sites in terms of their possibilities for your ecommerce goals.
Facebook for Ecommerce
Facebook is the undisputed behemoth in terms of social media engines. Once dominated by younger people, it’s now home to individuals of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds. In most areas, it’s a dominant player, which is why you’ll want to have at least a Facebook business page. Beyond that point, you may want to do a bit of homework as to whether you can gain an advantage using this platform in a basic way.
Some industries and products do better than others on Facebook. Sellers of antiques tend not to sell tons from Facebook, but sellers of running gear love it. Experiment a little and see if it works for you, but definitely have a presence there.
Twitter for Ecommerce
Twitter’s niche is that it’s immediate, which makes it powerful. If you have a product that people tend to buy reactively, Twitter could be a terrific place to hang out. Hold flash sales, tweet when you know your followers are likely to be active, and pay for Twitter Deck placement.
You can also turn Twitter into a place for immediate customer service and feedback. That can be a double-edged sword, though, if you aren’t dedicated to having someone online 24/7 to monitor tweets, retweets, and messages.
On the other hand, if you’re just going to occasionally tweet, you may want to rethink Twitter for your ecommerce site. It’s a nice-to-have platform, but only if you’re going to use it the way it works best.
YouTube for Ecommerce
You can build a huge following on YouTube if your ecommerce products lend themselves to “how to” explanations or “did you know” videos. From that following, you may be able to turn YouTube viewers into buying — and satisfied — customers.
YouTube is all about engagement and authority. If you believe the items you sell are worth talking about, why not start making short videos of no more than three minutes apiece? Then, systematically add them to YouTube, and include links from your website on product pages or in blog posts.
Pinterest for Ecommerce
A picture is worth a thousand words. No wonder beautifully imaged products get so much attention on Pinterest.
The goal for Pinterest is to create boards that are irresistible. This means your products should be suitable for high-quality or interesting images. Decide if your ecommerce products are ready for the spotlight of Pinterest.
What Social Media Sites Are Coming?
New social media sites are emerging all the time in America and around the world. Eventually, others will start to take center stage for certain populations. When they do, you should be ready to evaluate whether your ecommerce site belongs on their platforms.