Can You Still Grow Your eCommerce Brand With Social Media In 2021?
In 2021, social media is king, and there’s no way around it. If your brand or business is online, your customers will be looking for your social media presence. When someone finds a new brand, they’re likely going to go straight to Facebook, Instagram or YouTube to see what they can learn about the brand. How do they interact with their followers? Are they sharing information about their products or services?
If your e-commerce brand’s social media presence could use a refresh, you’ve come to the right place. With so many people relying on social media to help them make decisions, your brand can’t afford to have a lackluster social presence. Instead, here are seven best social media practices your brand can incorporate today to start growing.
- 01. Partner With Influencers
- 02. Post Consistently
- 03. Be Consistent With Your Brand Theme
- 04. Give Your Social Media The Attention It Deserves
- 05. Save Time With Automation
- 06. Social Media Monitoring
- 07. Run Contests And Giveaways
01. Partner With Influencers
Partnering with influencers within your niche is a sure fire way to grow your followers for Instagram, or any social media platform. People follow influencers because they like what they share. Influencers build up strong relationships with their followers, and their followers trust them. When they share recipes, product recommendations, travel hacks or whatever their niche might be, their followers are ready to learn, purchase and take action because of their strong relationship.
If your brand hasn’t worked with influencers in the past, it’s a good strategy to experiment with moving forward. Begin by creating a list of dream influencers, but don’t forget about micro-influencers with smaller followings. They might not have a huge audience, but that audience is often more dedicated and committed to what the influencer shares.
On YouTube, the Babish Culinary Universe account has many videos that are sponsored. This particular one is sponsored by The Botanist Islay Dry Gin, which the host mentions at the beginning and end of the video.
02. Post Consistently
One of the best social media practices you can use to grow your e-commerce brand is to post consistently. How frequently you post is up to you - it doesn’t have to be every day. But you need to decide on a posting schedule and then stick to it. If that sounds a little overwhelming, though, don’t worry. You don’t have to remember to go in and post on each day you’re supposed to do so.
Instead, use a scheduling tool to schedule and automate posts across your social media platforms. These tools also allow you to easily post and manage all your social media platforms in one place. This way, you can easily batch your content. Spend some time at the beginning of the month loosely planning your content for the entire month. Then, at the beginning of each week you can create your actual posts for the week so they’re ready.
Using a scheduling tool makes it so you don’t have to think about publishing your posts after you take the time to create and schedule them. If you’re not sure where to start, here are four great scheduling tools to consider:
- Hootsuite lets you publish, engage, monitor, advertise and analyze your posts all from within their platform.
- Sprout Social is an all-in-one management platform that gives you the tools to effortlessly be present on social media.
- Planoly lets you easily schedule your posts for Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter to simplify your social marketing.
- Later is a visual social media planning platform so you can easily drag and drop your posts to create the best schedule for your brand.
03. Be Consistent With Your Brand Theme
For all of your social media platforms, make sure you’re using consistent templates, colors, and fonts. This helps potential consumers who come across your content be able to know it's from you regardless of the platform and increases brand recognition.
This can be relatively easy. When you create posts for one platform, tweak them slightly so they’ll be ready for other platforms, too. It might mean filming a video horizontally for YouTube, but being able to edit it vertically for Instagram Stories. Or when you create a graphic for Instagram, change the size slightly and create a version that’s optimized for Facebook.
Your brand’s theme includes your colors, fonts, style and generally any visual elements that can make your content stand out from the rest. When you choose your theme, it should be reflective of your brand’s personality so you’re creating content that feels in alignment with who you are and what you stand for as a business. Relying on this theme will also help your content be visually cohesive.
Online business owner Jasmine Star creates content on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, just to name a few. As you can see here, her theme is consistent across her pages, from fonts to videos to images.
04. Give Your Social Media The Attention It Deserves
If you aren’t spending enough time and energy on social media, you’re not going to reap the benefits of it. It can be easy to get distracted and go down a rabbit hole online, but without giving your social media the attention it deserves, it won’t help you grow your business.
One way to avoid this is by having a dedicated social media manager. If you’re trying to do everything yourself, it’s easy to let social media slip. By outsourcing the work to a professional, you can rest assured that there’s someone thinking about your social media to make sure it’s performing optimally.
Another way to prioritize your social media is by using a social media agency. When you work with an agency, you’re getting a team that can focus on your business and brainstorm ideas together. Some of the most popular agencies currently include Sociallyin, Disruptive Advertising, Ignite Social Media, Lyfe Marketing and Sculpt. If you’re looking for an agency, you want to find one that understands your brand, whether that’s one of these agencies or one that’s local to your business.
05. Save Time With Automation
Social media is a great tool, but it can also take a lot of time. One of the best ways to cut down on your time commitment is by incorporating automation into your strategy. In some cases, this can be things like scheduling your posts, which we already mentioned. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to social media automation. You can also use automation to help you grow your following through engagement marketing.
Another way to automate your social media is by finding a platform to help you with analytics. Instagram and other platforms will give you some basic information and data if you have a business account. However, it can be easy to get overwhelmed when you look through all of that information.
Instead, there are platforms like IconoSquare, DashThis and HypeAuditor that will take that information and refine it into easily-understandable reports. These reports help ensure you can easily see what’s working well and what isn’t for your brand on social media.
06. Social Media Monitoring
As a brand, it's important to be responsive and polite when addressing comments and messages on your social media. Especially when you’re working to grow your brand, you want to respond to as many comments as possible on social media. That shows your followers (and potential followers) that you’re really there online and that you care about them.
This might sound like something that’s going to take you far more time than you’d like to spend on your various social media platforms. Instead, you can have someone designated to monitor and quickly respond to all comments. You can hire an assistant or outsource this engagement piece to someone who enjoys spending time on social media.
To ensure that all of the responses remain consistent, you’ll want to establish the tone and voice that matches your company. When you can train someone on following your brand voice, you can rest assured that the responses will remain the same across all platforms. You can even create some basic response templates that can be tweaked and personalized before they’re published to help get your assistant started.
07. Run Contests And Giveaways
Everyone loves feeling like they are getting a discount or winning. Social media giveaways and contests are a great way to generate user-generated content (UGC) and increase your following.
Before you start a giveaway, you’ll want to outline what your goals are, as this will help shape your rules. If you want to grow your following, you can require that entrants be following you and that they need to tag a friend who also has to be following you in order to win. If you want to grow your engagement, they simply need to like and comment. Sharing about the giveaway can unlock bonus entries, or you can ask your followers to create a post on their own page about why they love your product, service or brand.
To attract followers who will be interested in your brand, you’ll want to give away something related to your brand. Everyone wants cash or an iPad, so if the prize is something like that, you’re likely to just attract people who want free things. Instead, give away one of your products or something related to your brand or industry to target the right people.
For example, Stacy Tuschl celebrated the 5th anniversary of her podcast with a giveaway. For five days she gave away prizes related to podcasts and business, from headphones to a microphone to a self-care bundle to a standing desk. These prizes resonated with her ideal audience of business owners.
Best Social Media Practices For Your E-Commerce Brand
With these seven best social media practices, you’re sure to revamp your social media strategy and get your online presence in line to grow your following. Remember, you want to attract real followers who are interested in your brand and what you’re selling. Otherwise, you’ll have a lot of followers who don’t want to engage with you or eventually become customers, which doesn’t help much in the long run. Instead, follow these social media practices and you’ll be ready to grow your e-commerce brand in 2021.