How to Drive Traffic to Your E-Commerce Store from Social Media (Facebook & Instagram)

Ann Pichestapong
|
January 17, 2019

The day has finally come! Your e-commerce store is up and running, your inventory is ready to ship, and you’ve told your friends and family to start shopping.


Now, it’s crickets...


After all the weeks, months, or even years spent planning - after finding manufacturers, pricing your items, and making your labels and artwork, how do you actually start the process of selling? How do you get people in the front door?


Simply put, you need to master your social media game - specifically on Facebook and Instagram.


According to Statista, Facebook and Instagram collectively have more than 3.23 billion daily users. Imagine the marketing potential that number holds if you were to leverage the power of social media effectively. With that in mind, driving traffic to your site through these platforms will depend on the kind of content you share.


Leveraging Facebook and Instagram will not only help drive traffic to your site, but they also make it easy to interact with an audience and build brand loyalty along the way.


Here are our top tips for driving traffic to your e-commerce store from social media.


Be Consistent


This is the holy grail of social media laws. This means using the same name across all social media platforms, sticking with a solid theme for your content, and staying on brand at all times. Consistency also applies to how often you post. Loyal users want to see new content from your site on the regular, so set a schedule and stick to it. It’s okay (even encouraged) to add content in between your set posts, but never leave your audience waiting.


Ideally, you should post at least once per day on Facebook and 1-2 times daily on Instagram, but that number is flexible. During a launch, you need to post far more often. Use this guide to learn more about the ideal times to post on each platform.


By posting frequently and predictably, you’ll be at the top of your audience’s minds when they think of your industry. You’ll also keep them actively interested in your content so they’ll eventually start seeking you out and even following your stories.


Make Your Content Unique


Content is King, but value is Queen. Even if you’re posting 10 times a day, nobody will care if you’re just regurgitating other people’s content or creating content just for the sake of it. Customers are smarter now than ever before, and they have more choices than they have ever had, especially on social media. To be noticed, you have to put out solid, valuable, unique content that your audience can’t get anywhere else. Do this with a branded hashtag and a strategic content calendar. Your posts should include a combination of interesting facts about your market, knowledge-based content, insider info about your e-commerce store and products, and useful tips.


Leverage User Reviews


According to HubSpot, approximately 84% of those who buy from you buy because of a referral. Additionally, 90% of buyers buy what their peers have recommended while referrals are trusted more by 92% of those surveyed. These are BIG numbers.


So what’s the takeaway? Get your customers to leave testimonials and share them across your social media platforms. In the same HubSpot post, we learn that 83% of buyers are happy to provide a referral or share your content with their friends when they’re asked. The trouble is, most people don’t ask. When left to their own devices, only 29% of customers will voluntarily leave reviews. This is low hanging fruit - just waiting for you to pick it.


To take things a step further, you can ask to send your products to an influencer in the space. If they love them, they may feel inclined to share them freely. And as long as you don’t officially ask for an endorsement or social shares, you won’t have to pay them. This is a great way to get more eyes on your product and to leverage social shares and likes.


Appeal to the Eye


Your posts get 40% more engagement when you use visual content on social media. Instagram was literally built for stunning photos, and Facebook has shifted over the years to prioritize posts with images attached. To stand out, you need to invest in high-quality images and videos as part of your content strategy. Apps like Canva and BeFunky are easy to use and have numerous templates to help you edit images for social media, blogs, and even your products. You can also get royalty-free stock photos from sites like Pixabay, Pexels, and Shutterstock.


Use Stories


Stories are huge on social media. According to Brandwatch, 15-25% of Instagram Stories viewers will swipe up to engage with a brand’s website - that means you have a shot to take a social media viewer directly to your store or to a landing page promoting a special offer. To easily get started with stories, just add your posts to your story. Over time, you can get more strategic by adding hashtags, location markers, links, and filters.


Host Free Challenges


Social media challenges are one of the best ways to grow your audience and build brand loyalty (which will hopefully translate to sales). Challenges encourage your audience to take some sort of action. Sometimes there can be a prize involved, like 10% off their first order. Other challenges are purely for the fun of it.


Some potential challenge ideas include:


  • Asking your audience to take a snapshot of themselves with your products and add your branded hashtag for a chance to win free merchandise.


  • Having a contest to choose the name of your next product.


  • Asking followers to share images of themselves doing something that relates to your brand (for instance, hiking if you sell hiking boots). Make sure they tag your page in the post!


Share Follower Posts


One of the best was to build brand loyalty and increase customer retention rates is to build a solid relationship with your audience. This means looking at your social media presence as collaborative. Don’t just create content and wait for your audience to engage. Engage with them. Seek out people who will love your e-commerce store and like their posts. Share their pictures. Comment on their stories. Show them that you love what they’re creating, and encourage them to check out your content as well. Just be sure to do this in a genuine way so you don’t come across as sleazy.


Social media provides you with a fantastic opportunity to drive traffic to your e-commerce store. The most important things to remember with social media are to be consistent and to create content that you’re proud of. Over time, high-quality content posted regularly will grab your ideal customer’s attention and increase your sales. Good luck!


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- about the author -

Ann is the co-founder and CEO of DataCue. Her unique background as a data scientist and an ex-management consulting helps her use sophisticated technology to solve real business problems. Her passion is to open up the power of personalization from only big tech companies to everyone.

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