Using Social Media to Engage eCommerce Customers

By on Jan 10, 201310

eCommerce MascotSocial Media campaigns can be integral to marketing eCommerce businesses. However, just setting up social media accounts is not enough to make a company a social success. Social media communications are an outlet for the company’s online presence .

Set Up and Presence

Engagement and interaction with a business’ customers is the key. The first order of business for an online eTailer wanting to get into the social arena is to realize that the main goal of a social media campaign is not to increase sales; the top objective is to interact and engage with current and prospective customers, clients, and guests.

A good social marketing campaign with interaction can lead to increased profits through happy and engaged customers. When setting up a blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, and YouTube and any other pages or accounts for a business, it is important to take into consideration the branding, message, and alignment with current company image and outlook.

Customer Service

Communication really is important and giving your social media campaigns a personality in line with the business’ core values, outlook, and level of professionalism must be taken into consideration during development and throughout execution; do not let the moniker fool you into being too friendly.

Many customers look to contact businesses through online platforms, especially if they are an Internet-based business, so having a professional there to answer questions and support comments is very important. Response to all comments must be timely and tactful. Treat the people addressed in social channels as if they were guests at your retail location.

Just like any form of communication, online interaction is a two-way street, not just the company making announcements to the public. The employee who handles social media interaction needs to be trained in best practices as well as the customer service guidelines for the company.

Companies also need to have policies in place, not only for employees’ personal accounts, but for the regulation of the company’s pages and guidelines and policies in writing as to what happens to an account in the event that an employee is no longer with the company.

Promotions of products, sales, special events

Social media communications definitely should include promotions of company products, sales, and special events. However, those messages need to be mixed in with engagement and the sharing of other relevant content. Consistent messaging of a business’ information is still important, but it should not be the focus.

Making a weekly and monthly schedule of “marketing” posts will help fan out the messages so that they are consistent,  spread out over time, and mixed in with other types of posts. Sending several promotional messages out all at the same time is not best practices for social media.

Use messaging tools such as Buffer to schedule posts ahead of time if necessary. Treat those who interact with your business on social platforms as if they were guests at a retail location, or even guests at a party. The host of a party would not simply make one-sided announcements. Instead, mix it up with conversation back and forth and share other information that visitors will enjoy.

In addition to sales and promotions, social messaging can include important industry information, connections to the company’s other outlets, funny (yet tasteful) images related to the product, industry or company, tips and tricks, infographs, and seasonal messages or current events; all OF these can create a nice mix of integrated messages to keep the attention of fans and followers. One idea to keep those fans and followers engaged with your social channels is to ask questions and use polls so that participation is encouraged.

Conclusion

When a company or brand decides to set up a socially integrated marketing campaign, the best practices is to make sure not to just set it up and think it will run itself. Social media is an outlet for the company’s presence online, customer service, and promotions; but engagement and interaction through the social platforms with a business’ customers is the key. Always remember that communication through social channels is a two-way street; not just the company making announcements to the public.

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Brian Lakeman

Author and Brand Manager

Brian Lakeman is author and Brand Manager for Activ8me, Australia's leading NBN Satellite provider. His writing experience is primarily online in the form of blogging, he contributes to numerous websites in the internet and computer industries. Brian's capacity as Brand Manager allows him to explore various marketing avenues for Activ8me, all over the world. You can find him on Twitter and Google Plus.

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