Gone are the days when social media was simply a way for friends and family to connect. Now, social media is a marketing tool that many thriving brands and businesses use to connect with their customers, build brand awareness and communicate key messages.
In addition to engaging with online audiences and driving website traffic, a number of social media platforms have also expanded their reach to include ecommerce capabilities. This means businesses can use these platforms to drive sales for consumers who are ready to purchase right from their mobile, tablet or desktop computer.
There’s no denying the power of Facebook as a marketing tool. Create a Facebook business page and start building your online community. You can publish engaging posts that drive traffic to your website and allow customers to interact with you via comments, shares and likes. You can also encourage customers to leave positive reviews to build the credibility of your business.
Facebook also offers the option to showcase a ‘Shop Now’ button at the top of your profile, which can drive people straight to your website or ecommerce page. You can also open a shop on your Facebook page using an ecommerce platform, allowing customers to purchase your products without even leaving Facebook.
If you have stand-out visual content, Instagram is a fantastic way to get your business noticed online. Create an Instagram business account and start posting new content daily. While Instagram doesn’t allow hyperlinks in the post content itself, you can place a link to your online store in the bio area. Business accounts on Instagram also have the ability to add a link to Instagram Stories, which can direct potential customers straight to your website or ecommerce store.
Recently, Instagram announced that it’s rolling out a new shopping feature where customers can purchase items that are tagged in Instagram posts, by clicking on the tag and being redirected to the relevant business or ecommerce store. Shopping on Instagram is currently only available in select countries to approved businesses only.
Pinterest is a wonderful traffic driver for many businesses around the world. This visual search engine opens a world of opportunity for businesses selling products online. Create visually appealing pins that direct pinners back to your site and you could grow your website traffic and potential customers.
If you have a business account, you can also launch a campaign using promoted pins that will then surface your content to specific customers. Pinterest is currently rolling out Buyable Pins, where customers will soon be able to purchase products without leaving the platform.
Twitter can also be a fantastic sales driver for small businesses. Create an account, upload a profile picture, write a short, catchy bio and add a link to your website. Then it’s time to create engaging posts that direct people back to your website – don’t forget to use those hashtags! While Twitter currently has limited ecommerce capabilities, it still can be a great traffic driver to your online store. You can also chose to pay for Twitter Ads if you want to reach a wider audience.