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The Importance of Social Media in e-Commerce

The growth of social media in today’s day and age is astonishing to say the least. According to Hubspot, social media use in the United States has increased 356% in the last seven years. If that isn’t an impressive statistic, then I don’t know what is! Nielsen reported that nearly 70% of adults who partake in social media buy products or services digitally. Along with individuals, businesses have also hopped on the social media bandwagon, proving that customers can be obtained using these outlets as well. As of 2012, 52% of businesses had acquired a customer via Facebook and 44% had acquired a customer via Twitter (Hubspot). With the rapid growth of social media, these percentages will only increase.

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Alright, enough with the statistics.  While it seems as though social media is going to be around for a while, some companies are still unsure if social media is the right fit. This is why it’s crucial to identify achievable goals and objectives when implementing these outlets. In the world of e-commerce, a company’s primary goals for using social media typically are:

  1. To obtain and nurture leads
  2. To increase sales
  3. Increase brand’s digital presence, stay relevant

Unfortunately, integrating social media into a marketing campaign does not always directly increase sales. Then why use it? Well, there are a multitude of reasons. Being present on social networks, such as Facebook or Twitter, increases brand reputation and awareness as well as provides ways to directly communicate with consumers. Having a conversation with the customer is the best way to gain feedback and ideas regarding their wants and needs. Through comments, tweets, or “Likes”, a consumer can directly engage with the brand, generating a sense of loyalty (creating repeat customers!). The positive word of mouth created through these social outlets is also incredibly important. The majority of Americans state that reviews from family or friends affect their own decisions to use a product or service.

                           social commerce forrester resized 600

Once social media platforms are developed and running smoothly, it may be beneficial to place Share buttons for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, G+, Pinterest, etc. directly onto the website for consumers to broadcast to their own followers. Not only does this encourage direct engagement, but it’s also free advertising with minimal effort. It’s a win-win! Providing promotions or exclusive offers that can only be claimed via a specific social media outlet is another great way to gain a strong following, as well as increase traffic to the website.

One important aspect to note: It is CRUCIAL that you monitor your social media on a daily basis. This will allow you to answer any questions fairly quickly in order to assure the consumer they are not being neglected. Also, it provides opportunity to clear up any misconceptions or negative feedback before potential consumers see it.

Social media is also a great portal in which display ads, or “online billboards”, can be placed. More and more ecommerce companies are utilizing remarketing in order to direct potential customers back to their site. Have you ever been on Facebook and seen the multitude of different ads running down the side of the page? It’s no coincidence that some of your favorite sites are advertised there. That’s remarketing!

If you’re still not convinced social media is right for you, here’s one last statistic… Socialnomics states that the number of Americans who follow brands via social media platforms have more than doubled in the last two years.

Want to learn how to track the success of your social media platforms? Check out Amin’s latest blog posts about Google Analytics Multi-Channel Tracking and Conversion Segments. AND you can attend our May event, “Tracking E-Commerce Success with Google Analytics”….shameless plug, I know 🙂 

 

                               


Register for our event here!


 

Article written by Jill Schmidt

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