Many of our small business clients have recently pivoted to eCommerce in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. By shifting to or enhancing online sales they have been able to create revenue streams that are not only providing immediate relief, but are also scalable in the long term.
Once online, the next question is how to get the message out to your customers that you are open for business.
Here’s How to Start Marketing
We’ll start with our top three tips for marketing your new eCommerce site.
1. Pick the top 1 – 2 social media channels that you feel most confident and capable of using. Then, use them well. This means posting consistently, being authentic, and communicating clearly.
2. Make a clear connection between your eCommerce website and your social media channels. Not only should the technical integrations work together, but the messaging and visual identity should be the same.
3. Use social media not just to “hard sell” your products, but use your profiles to communicate in a helpful manner. Posts that are sharing relevant updates, providing information and answering questions, addressing pain points, and providing relief (joy, humor, distractions, etc.) are all helpful.
Be sure that you’re not just adding to the “noise” or posting to social media just to be posting. With that in mind, set your goals.
Setting Goals for Marketing
Overarching goal of social media marketing usually boil down to driving sales and traffic to the website. However, t’s important to understand that each social media post should have a micro-goal. Before creating a post, complete this sentence, “If someone sees this post, I want them to know _________ and then take this action _________.”
Next, ask yourself if that post is customer-centric. Is this something your customer wants to know or needs to know? Have you anticipated their pain points? Have you made it easy for them to do what you want to do?
While each post does not have to be perfectly polished, there are some bare basics you want to be sure to include:
- A line or two of copy that “speaks” clearly, is genuine/authentic, and is grammatically correct
- A relevant link (ideally to the specific product or information being referenced in the post)
- An image that reflects your brand and the content of the post (noting original photos and short videos tend to have higher engagement)
Further tweaks should be made depending on which platform you’re using.
Adjusting for Different Social Media Platforms
Always default to the amount of time and energy you can devote to your social media marketing as a small business owner. However, you will see a higher return on your investment if you can make some minor adjustments to your content for each platform.
Facebook is geared more towards news and entertainment and is one of the highest website traffic drivers of all the platforms. Focus here on sharing a variety of content, keeping business updates current and content conversational.
Instagram is much more visual and sees more success with more unique and aesthetically pleasing photography. It’s not a high traffic driver, but is wonderful for brand awareness. Use this platform to help your customers know what your products and services look like.
Twitter is essentially a fast-moving newsfeed, so you would use it to get updates out quickly. Need to urgently update curbside pickup directions? Twitter would be a great way to quickly share that news. Be sure to provide a link to the place on your website where followers can get more information.
Pinterest is similar to Instagram in that it is very visual. With optimal SEO power, this platform should be used to inspire your audience. Content produced for Pinterest is quite “evergreen”, so you’ll find it valuable to pay closer attention to what you post here.
LinkedIn is a great platform for sharing business updates and industry related news. It is much more formal and professional in nature, so the content should reflect those tones.
Don’t forget, you should also keep your Google Business listing, Yelp profile, and other directory listing sites up to date. These are critical for making sure that anyone who searches for your products or services sees up to date information in the search results. Google, in particular, will pull information from their listing first. Be sure to update your website URL, your business hours, and your services.
Frequency of Communication
A popular question even when we’re not in the middle of a pandemic is, “How often should I post?” There isn’t a magic number, but it also doesn’t have to be a mystery! As a general guide, we recommend posting on social media once per day. Because times are a little uncertain, this number could easily shift up or down by a couple of posts.
It’s very important to note that consistency is critical. It’s much better to commit to 3 – 4 posts per week than posting a lot but at infrequent intervals. And, there are some really easy ways to make sure you’re getting the most return on those posts.
Utilize Metrics in Marketing
Look to your social media metrics to help you make more informed decisions about your content. High engagement trends indicate your audience is liking what they see and they may want more of it. Lower engagement trends might indicate you are not posting enough or you are sharing the “wrong” kind of content. Also, pay attention to the days and times that your audience is online. You might just be missing them, so with a slight adjustment you can be more effective.
Stressed at the thought of even just 3 – 4 posts per week? Did you discover your audience is wide awake at 2am, while you’ve been in bed for hours? A scheduling tool, like Buffer, will help you solve those dilemmas.
Hire a Professional
Still wondering how to tackle marketing your new eCommerce site? Reach out to an industry expert. For the sake of a couple of hours of consultation, you’ll save yourself hours (days!) of unnecessary stress. Many marketing agencies like ours will offer a variety of affordable and customized options to meet your needs. We’re able to do everything from pointing you in the right direction to taking your social media marketing off of your plate.
Jenny Green, Co-Owner of Fisher Green Creative, specializes in digital strategy development, social media marketing, and SEO for small businesses. Away from helping clients or studying the latest marketing trends, Jenny volunteers her time coaching youth soccer, enjoys a cold craft IPA, and works to save the elephants. Connect with Jenny on LinkedIn or email.