Social media is evolving. In the past decade, we’ve gone from solely sharing on social channels to selling as well. Retailers across the globe are trying to figure out the best ways to leverage social media’s massive popularity for e-commerce.
Recent research has found that B2C marketers use on average 7 different social media platforms to expand their reach. While social media is a powerful tool, it’s important to make sure you’re not making social mishaps that are losing you sales. So here’s a guide of 7 social media mishaps to avoid.
1. Not having an identified goal
Before you create your social media page you should have an idea of what your ultimate aim is. Are you looking for a space to showcase your products, a chance to market to a new audience or do you want open dialogue with your followers? Each site has its strengths and weaknesses. Some, like Instagram and Pinterest, are better suited towards appealing product images and others like Twitter are ideal for sharing stories. Once you know what you’re looking to achieve, you can tailor your posts accordingly.
2. Joining every social media site that exists
Don’t spread yourself too thin on social sites. Being selective about which channels you choose, and why, is key to getting the right engagement. Spend some time identifying the right platforms for your business. Look at the audience profile of each channel to identify if they align with your target market. Having a blanket approach to social and signing up to each channel might seem like a good idea, but you’re likely to be spreading yourself too thin, diluting your influence and exhausting content quickly.
3. Being automated
Social media is dynamic and reactive by its very nature. Showing the human side of your business with creative and considered messaging will yield better results than an automated, robotic feel. You should aim to be participating on a consistent basis, making sure to stay relevant and active. Impromptu posts or behind the scenes sneak peeks give a great sense of inclusion.
4. Not responding to your followers
If sounding automated is bad, not saying anything is much worse. Make sure you’re replying to your audience. Social is meant to be a conversation rather than a one-way broadcasting tool for your business. Gaining followers takes time and when they choose to interact with you, it’s a great opportunity to lead them down the path to conversion or further engagement. Don’t waste the opportunity by ignoring them.
5. Overlooking advertising
Social channels are far more than communication tools to connect with customers. They’re also a lucrative advertising channel. For example, Facebook generated $5.6 billion in advertising revenue in Q4 of 2015, a 50% increase from the same quarter the year before. Don’t overlook advertising avenues such as Facebook Dynamic Product ads, which can help you strategically promote products to shoppers who have already browsed your catalogue.
6. Ignoring negative feedback
Reviews and responses won’t always be positive but how you deal with them is important. Ignoring complaints could mean you lose a chance to show your level of customer service and possibly turn a bad experience around. In the same way, don’t just delete negative comments either; it can cast a dishonest light on your brand.
7. Not leveraging your reach
No matter what your primary aim is when using social, the platform is a great resource for brainstorming and getting feedback from the people that will ultimately be your consumers. Use this to your advantage by crowdsourcing content and testing ideas. It can help ensure that your end result is relevant and appealing.
When used effectively, social media can bolster your content marketing efforts elsewhere. By incorporating it into your overall communication strategy you can keep an ear to the ground and learn more about what’s working for your business (or what’s not) while building an engaged consumer base.
Blog post by Felicia Williams, account manager at ChannelAdvisor
Want to learn more ways to leverage social media? Download our Bridging the Gap Between Social Media and E-Commerce eBook today.