Very few industries can ignore Social Media in today's consumer and even B2B marketing, given that a lot goes into how audiences share their experiences. With Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and many more platforms like TikTok getting very popular, social media platforms can make or break certain companies based on the experience received. Online stores are now integrating positive experiences back into their eCommerce website with social media Apps. Additionally, they are combining the likes of Facebook Ads into the mix for a more powerful message, targeted to specific audiences. Let's dive into how all this works.
Social Media Accounts and Forums
With the massive smartphone penetration worldwide, clients now do open boxing with their phones, take pictures of their purchases and share them online. All of this media, comments, and remarks are shared with like-minded audiences. Most people have some sort of Social Media account, participate in forums or groups when it comes to their hobbies, work-related disciplines, or activities they engage in. Within these groups, you have various products being reviewed, anything from repair assistance, to service experiences. The customer "touch" is amplified in these online spaces, you can either embrace it or ignore it at your peril.
Selling Products and Services
I would venture to say that every product or service is being commented on or shared on the internet. Good or bad, everyone speaks out. While before the open box experience would then be the "hand-over" to the client to take on the responsibility of use, maintenance and be responsible for its performance - the internet has pushed the responsibility of the online store owner and manufacturers further by the power of sharing those experiences. Reviews are a starting point of what people look for in understanding the performance and experience of users. Social Media being interactive, where questions can be asked for further explanations of the content posted - can be so much more powerful. As a product gets used, pictures, videos with the context and its operation in the environment of how it is applied all amplify the desirability of having that ability in your very own hands. Taking this sentiment forward back on your online store is where this hits home.
Types of integrations
When considering what types of social networking sites you are considering integrating with, understanding their various functions and abilities you want to incorporate is important. Understanding where your target audience collects in, and what activities they engage in with your products and services is the next step. No point in adding a tool where your customers aren't sharing their experiences. This does require research, and while you might have your homework done in your marketing plan, your market segments may reside in several niche markets which you need to hone in and capture.
Streaming Instagram feed shares the images that you capture from your audience as well as your very own into a picture gallery with commentary.
Instant Messenger from Facebook allows you to be contacted directly from a Business Page, in which various groups can be associated. Instant messaging can also be added to your online store so that you can be reached directly from your Shopify store - using the same Shopify App.
Youtube can be embedded into your theme, showing the use, installation instructions, and client application in the field. The use of video is very powerful, especially when it comes to more complex products.
TikTok can be used as an Advertisement or short clips on the use of a simple product. Small and simple to start selling your products will help on engagement and be able to share with your friends.
Pinterest will give your shoppers a photo gallery to view your photography and be able to submit your very own to the online store to post.
Twitter - given that it only attracts a specific market and crowd, there are apps that can stream your Twitter or track hashtags within your store.
Others such as LinkedIn are harder to integrate as their feeds may not easily produce a feed for a consumer-like content stream for consumption.
Instagram/Facebook are very popular when it comes to sharing and audiences engaging with your product - what's best, is that they collect in groups and Facebook Ads can then circle back and target that very same audience.
Setting up your Shopify store
Of course, the use of your website builder with your chosen theme will do most of the work when it comes to adding your brand and products, and services. However, adding the excitement of your clients from the popular social networks to drive sales is a key marketing element for your customer base. The goal is to have a real-time feed where users are sharing their experiences and engaging with you to drive sales and positive customer service.
Target Marketing with social media
By now you have read that social media is a medium worth considering in your marketing, as well as keeping a keen eye on the adoption and use of your products. Exploiting the medium increases your engagements, how about if you did Advertising in that medium? Well, here are some ideas on how to go about it.
New product introductions - more than a show-and-tell, every type of media can be employed to cover a new introduction. However, if you have a primed audience, you can even segment them on early access to a new product, and have a ramped roll-out all the while fine-tuning the product/experience for the audience.
Registration for sales events - you can use social media advertising to collect registrations from the target audience. With this in mind, you formulate sales events to fulfill your Marketing 4P's (which focus on Price and Promotion) to entice and convert the audience into customers.
Upgrading/Trade-in products - for when you are having a product upgrade, the upgrade path (could be discounted with their existing product serial number, and/or mail-in of their existing product) can be an enticement to bring to current on a newer product.
Accessory announcements - when new accessories come out for a particular product, announcements, their application, and environment can be shared and shown. Using social media as a funnel to demonstrate and then obtain these can widen the application and experience.
Facebook Ads/Instagram Ads - Both are similar in how you determine your segments to be relevant audiences from the Ads portal. It is important to note that profiling by segment can either restrict your audience or can be too wide, and understanding the impressions of your Ads to your budget requires some experience and fine-tuning.
Adding your very own Shopify Social Media integration to your online store to highlight the engagement of your audience to your products, services, and business can be a highlight to boost confidence in purchasing and converting audiences into customers. Social Media is a very powerful tool today, and you can easily target and reach them via engagement, advertisement, and communicate with them via the messaging app. Your "Social Proof" strategy has considered all mediums, platforms, and how your users engage - capturing and augmenting their positive experience can be one of your best assets when it comes to funneling and converting. If you have needs to review your social media integrations for your Shopify store, feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org