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Basics For Small To Medium-Sized Ecommerce Businesses

If you’re a small business owner or marketing manager in this day and age, you already know that having a social media presence has become as commonplace as it is necessary. You can find Facebook pages and Twitter accounts for the biggest corporations, 10 year olds with a smartphone, and every type of person and business in between.

The influence that social media has on day-to-day life is what makes it a key resource for small to medium-sized businesses, allowing them to connect with customers and facilitate growth. Knowing that, the next step is understanding what the different types of social media platforms are, which ones are the best to invest in, and how they can be utilized to benefit your business.

This guide will cover all three aspects and thus help you get your business’s social media presence moving in the right direction.

Facebook

Facebook is the behemoth of the social media realm. With over 1.76 billion active monthly users and a database of demographic data that can target audiences with pinpoint accuracy, this platform is at the core of any successful social media strategy. Here are the initiatives that should be at the foundation of your powerful Facebook presence:

  • Detailed Business Page - Beyond just creating a page for your business, you need to add as much information as you can, from your address to your hours. Having all the information your audience may need in one place makes for a smooth and easy user experience.
  • Consistent & Engaging Posts - When someone reaches your business’s Facebook page, the last thing you want is for it to be bare. Posting content that not only catches your audience’s attention (images help) but also encourages them to engage, will help you build a foundation of followers that you can advertise to and ideally establish a repeat customer relationship with.
  • Audience Interaction Efforts - Leveraging the “social” aspect of the platform, you should use Facebook as a way to start conversations with your audience. Simple responses to user comments on your posts or page will communicate that there’s a person on the other side of the account, not a cold, faceless brand.
  • Ad Campaign (Based on Goals) - When you’re first starting out, don’t be afraid to experiment with advertising, but make sure you know what the goal of your campaign is ahead of time. If your goal is to establish brand awareness, for example, you can target more general demographics. Or you can get specific and hone in on a smaller group of people that might be more qualified leads (potential customers).

Instagram

A user base of 600 million people, a simple interface that keeps users engaged—Instagram is a social platform that has a lot of influence. And now that it’s been acquired by Facebook Inc. and integrated into the Facebook ad platform, it is here to stay and will likely only grow in its importance and influence as the years go on. For your understanding, a strong Instagram presence consists of these core elements:

  • Visually Focused & Engaging Content - Your goal is to capture users’ attention while they scroll through the various pictures on their feed. The best way to do that is by having visually appealing and eye-catching imagery. Once you catch the user’s eye, you want your imagery to trigger engagement with the content and your business.
  • Tagging Strategy - Utilizing hashtags can make all the difference when it comes to the visibility of your posts. Without tags, only users that follow your business on Instagram can see your posts. Always try to tag your posts with relevant and possibly trending topics, phrases, or words that tie back to your post content.
  • Ad Campaign Synced With Facebook - Since Facebook’s advertising platform is integrated with Instagram, you can link your Instagram account to the Facebook ad platform. Any ads you build there will be mirrored on Facebook as long as you choose to opt in to Instagram advertising when building the ads.

YouTube

YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine and one of the most popular mobile apps in the world. With over 30 million visitors per day, it can be an extremely effective platform for marketing. There are several ways to optimize your YouTube videos to rank better. The main points of importance are quality content and keyword optimization.

Quality Content

A video does not need to be professionally shot or have a huge production budget to be great. As long as it has quality content that is interesting to watch and easy to follow, you are in good shape because those factors are what lead to user engagement, and user engagement is what gets your video to rank higher.

Unlike Google or other search engines and media platforms that can utilize different trust signals to boost authority, YouTube determines video authority based solely on how people interact with it. That is why quality is key. There are many digital marketing tactics a person can use to optimize a video, but if the quality isn’t there then no amount of optimization is going to get you where you want to be.

Keyword Optimization

Past the quality of a video, optimizing for keywords is very important. There are two aspects of this strategy to keep in mind--what the keywords are and where they are.

  • The What: There is a difference between normal keywords and “video-friendly keywords.” A normal keyword, for example, would be “bread pudding.” But a video-friendly keyword would be “how to make bread pudding.” The difference is that if you want your YouTube video to show up on the normal Google search result pages vs. just the YouTube search result pages, your keywords need to target search terms (like “how to”) that would correlate with a result for video content.
  • The Where: Once you have selected your keywords, you need to be strategic about where you optimize for them. Utilize keywords in your video file name, video title, video description, and in tags for best SEO results.

Lesser Platforms

When you run any type of organization, whether a small to medium-sized business or a Fortune 500 company, people are going to tell you about the importance of social media. What becomes tricky though, especially for smaller businesses, is making the decision about which social media outlets to invest in. As detailed in the above sections, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are generally the most effective and worthwhile outlets to focus on. Others (such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest) may have their merits, but in general they have flaws in terms of effectual marketing tactics where sales or acquiring new business are concerned.

Twitter, for example, is great for establishing brand. Tweets are a terrific way to give your company or product a voice, personality, and flavor. The platform is also a good way to engage with users. However, Twitter is not the best place to advertise. It is very fast-paced and a platform for quick-to-consume content, which does not favor buying actions.

LinkedIn, meanwhile, could be an effective place for business-to-business marketing, but not wider marketing efforts past that. Finally, although Pinterest is a popular platform, people do not go there with buying action intentions. Again, like Twitter, Pinterest can be a great place to establish and reinforce brand, but not achieve big Ecommerce goals. Between limited viewership, restricted demographics, and its quick-to-consume content, it is a lesser social media platform for marketing.

All in all, while Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest have their virtues, they are not the ideal platforms for inspiring a purchase.

Main Takeaway

Social media is an ever-growing, ever-changing realm of digital marketing and online presence management. With a myriad of platforms out there for businesses to make a stand, it may seem overwhelming.

However, by understanding the three most important and influential platforms (Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube), and knowing which other platforms may not be effective for your Ecommerce goals (Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest), you can best prepare yourself to mount a strategy that will lead to success and return on investment.

written by: Geanna Culbertson

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