Social media is a powerful tool for ecommerce websites. The ability to not only direct shoppers toward a new product or an attractive deal, but to engage with them and create a sense of community, is incredibly useful. A complete social media presence also includes direct sales through some networks, as well as having the back-end tools in place to let customers share products and recent purchases with friends and followers through just a single click.

While it's sometimes hard to measure concrete returns on the indirect aspects of using social networks, such as asking questions and engaging in conversation with followers, these components help to build brand loyalty and a sense of community. When it comes to dealing with consumer care issues, these social media interactions are important in retaining customers and demonstrating a commitment to resolving problems.

2 basic considerations

Just as social media promotes an ecommerce storefront, the storefront needs to highlight a social presence. Spending valuable time crafting posts for one or many networks isn't effective if shoppers aren't directed toward and encouraged to follow these pages. Use social media icons at the bottom of each webpage and provide links for sharing specific products.

It's also important to have a strategy before diving into social media. Starting off with just a few channels is preferable for new businesses, in fact. Creating a consistent tone that reflects the attitude of the business also helps. Research and intuition both play a part in social media strategy because posts are based primarily around conversations. Determine where the time and effort that goes into social media will be the most effective. Taking the time to add high-quality product photographs and a business logo to the picture and background fields of social media accounts will also help to unify branding and craft a consistent presence.

Increasing friends and followers

Increasing the number of people following a page or social media account has to be a priority. The more people that see posts, the more effective they are. Offering content that's useful, exciting or both helps to grow a follower base, as people share posts that they find engaging. Occasionally asking current followers to share content can also help, as long as the requests aren't too frequent or pushy. Offering current and potential customers an incentive to follow your accounts is another useful strategy, and one that is easily put into effect with the right tools.

Promotional posts

One of the most basic - and crucial- questions that needs to be asked is why the promotion is being conducted and what the end goal is. A sale that's geared toward clearing out stagnant inventory will have a different approach, and different goals, than one that is oriented toward growing sales or rewarding loyal customers with a small incentive.

One way to reward customers without losing too much in the way of the profit margin is to have pre-order opportunities, as well as modest discounts on such offers. Making the promotion only available to one or a few social networks will make this marketing effort stand out and provide customers with a sense of exclusivity - a powerful tool for businesses. Another way to focus in on exclusivity is to have flash sales, extremely limited offers that last for a few days or just a few hours. Promoting both the speed at which the sale event will be over and the discounts to be had is a good way to encourage consumers without having to take a cut in revenue over the long term.

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