Have you ever swiped through Instagram stories of friends, family, and celebrities – when a perfectly designed product video suddenly sneaks into the rotation?
One simple tap and you can find yourself on a brand’s profile browsing offerings, learning more about the brand’s culture, and even making purchases directly via the app.
These spontaneous customer engagements and buying experiences form the backbone of social commerce – and it’s an incredibly helpful tool to embrace this holiday season.
The holidays are some of the most influential months for revenue – and not surprisingly, 58% of consumers say that social media will influence their holiday shopping this year.
With numerous sales, promotions, and campaigns flooding consumers’ social media feeds at this time of year, the question is: How should an ecommerce brand leverage their social media channels during the holidays and beyond?
Know your audience and build a community
Before getting into personalized content and advertisements, it’s vital for brands to take the pulse of their audience. Who are they? What are they looking for? What type of content do they want to see?
Without getting to know your audience, spending money on ads or boosted posts can result in targeting social media users who aren’t fully invested in your brand. These consumers are more likely to have a negative experience when seeing your brand’s advertisement or post. Plus, you may be spending money on unqualified leads – a guaranteed way to push up your customer acquisition costs (CAC).
So, how can you make sure that you’re connecting with people who are genuinely interested in your brand?
One simple way to build an online community is to include hashtags that are relevant to your product and niche. Hashtags are a great way to organically attract the right audience based on their interests and current needs.
Gone is the myth that too many hashtags will be detrimental to your post. In fact, consumers will appreciate the hashtags as a way to bring forth content they are actively looking for.
Engage with micro influencers who love your brand
Another way to build your brand’s online following while organically promoting your product is to leverage micro-influencers. Who are micro-influencers? These are social media users who are regarded by their following as experts within a specific niche.
This doesn’t mean that they have hundreds of thousands of followers or have a blue verification check next to their username. Instead, they may only have 5,000 followers – or possibly even less. But they are well-known within their smaller community and are considered a go-to when it comes to their specific interest. This means that their recommendations for products and brands tend to be highly trusted by their followers.
For example, if your brand is selling yoga mats or attire, you can reach out to yoga influencers and ask them to try and review your new products. This micro-influencer strategy will help get your brand name into social networks that are likely full of people who are also interested in yoga and associated products.
Create brand awareness with interactive promotions
It’s a well-known fact that the holiday season is a great time for giveaways, discounts, sales campaigns, and more. It’s called the season of giving for a reason! It’s also the perfect time to get your brand name out into the social media universe.
Regardless of the season, it is becoming essential for ecommerce brands to use their platforms to promote their products. In a study by Facebook, 81% of respondents said that they use Instagram to research and gain insight into brands, services, products, and more.
Take advantage of having a social media platform by engaging with your followers for promotions and product launches with an interactive approach. It can be as simple as having them tag their friends or share your post for a chance to win a free item or access a discount code.
Bringing in an incentive for the customer to comment and share your content will boost engagement while extending your brand’s reach to additional social circles. It’s a wonderful way to identify audiences that may not already be following your brand.
Prepare your CX team for social media messages
Perhaps one of the most important parts of social media is having a representative ready to answer questions. With so many shoppers turning to social media for research and reviews of products, it’s likely that brand profiles will see an increase in Direct Messages (DMs) this holiday season.
With 40% of holiday shoppers more likely to buy from a brand that they can message directly, it’s important to make sure that your social media page is equipped to provide customer care.
Along with customer service reps standing by for an influx of DMs and comments, try adding FAQs into your profile via posts and reels. The more information you can provide, the better, as your prospective customers are more often than not stalking your page to see if your brand is the right fit.
Last, but certainly not least, always continue to hone your brand voice and your story. While advertisements and promotions are an important part of the sales process, they shouldn’t be the only thing that your followers see when they head to your profile.
You’ll want to develop a social media strategy beyond advertising that includes authentic ways to tell your brand’s story – consumers, especially younger consumers, are continuously seeking a more genuine connection.