The importance of a strong social media presence has never been more prominent than today. A consistent strategy will allow our e-commerce business to flourish, but keeping in touch with the ever-changing ecosystem of social media is a somewhat demanding task.

Yet it’s an investment worth making since it is an essential channel for customer research and customer engagement. Most social media platforms provide us with invaluable and highly accurate analytics that lets us calibrate our online behavior even better, in order to appeal to our customers even more.

Let’s dive right in, shall we?

Influencers

This is an aspect you should consider investing money in. There is now a large body of research that suggests that investing in influencer marketing is an investment with quite a high return, up to $8 per every invested dollar, to be precise. Today social media influencers are arguably more “influent” than “regular” stars. Google has recently published an article, which states that nearly three-quarters of teenagers relate to influencers more than they relate to celebrities.

Furthermore, this trend isn’t going to stop anytime soon, influencer marketing has been on the rise in the last three years and considering its aggressive growth, we’ll be witnessing this influence expansion for a couple of more years, at least.

The reason influencers appeal to the public is because there is no a barrier of exclusivity between them and the public. The vast majority of them position themselves as regular people, filming their everyday life in their natural surroundings, compared to the thick separative wall of exclusivity between the general public and Hollywood stars, for example.

The critical aspect of influencer marketing is sourcing the right person for your target market, followed by a long-term relationship with them. It’s a failing game just to arrange a one-off with an influencer expecting that it will pour gold right after it. Collaboration with an influencer should be like a relationship—meaningful and long-lasting.

Video content

Video has been dominating the Web for the last two years, since it became the most consumed type of content on the internet, partly due to the fact that Facebook started autoplaying the videos in its feed, which creates an even more entrancing experience for the platform’s users.

Research suggests that by 2020, video content will take up around 80% of social media traffic, which clearly indicates the importance of investing time and effort into developing high-quality content starting now. Furthermore, YouTube users clock in around 500 million hours of watch time every single day, and it remains the most visited site in the world, except Google (well, duh).

Don’t sell, create shareable content

The infrastructure of customer acquisition has changed considerably throughout the last decade, and the routing to your customers’ hearts no longer lies through selling them a product but instead providing them with value. This is why, for example, infographics have started taking over the internet in the last few years. If properly made, an infographic will provide your audience with valuable information and will associate this value with your brand.

Furthermore, good content will pretty much “share itself.” This is why videos, articles, and other forms of content go through the survival of the fittest: poorly made content will just disappear in oblivion, while useful information will rise to the top—the top of the search results in Google, the top of your Facebook and Twitter feed. Social media are passionate about providing their users with the information they find useful.

Leverage communication with customers

Businesses today grossly underestimate the importance of meaningful interaction with their customers. Communication beyond “thank you for your business” and “have a nice day.” Research suggests that customers today aren’t heard by the brands, and the numbers are infuriating. Nearly a quarter of customers feel unhappy with the service they are provided, and almost 30% feel that they are valued as customers. Have we started forgetting about the importance of maintaining a meaningful relationship with our clients?

Not only is it imperative to listen to your customers, but it’s also a great idea to showcase the fact that you care about their opinions. It’s always a great idea to feature your customers’ stories in your posts. It kills the two proverbial birds—it notifies your customers that their voices are heard, which considerably improves brand trust, and it also acts as a testimonial for the clients that have just found out about your brand, thus receiving valuable information from a customer’s perspective.

Use paid advertising

Although it is possible to advertise your business without any investments, free marketing is slowly dying out on the internet. However, paid advertisement is becoming more sophisticated and precise, which allows you to properly distribute your advertisement budget and rest assured that your marketing campaign will reach your audience. Furthermore, advertisements have become so cognitively loaded and elaborate that if done correctly, paid adverts will be an investment with a very high return.

Divide and conquer

Facebook, LinkedIn, and other major platforms will let you carefully segment the audience that will be witnessing your advertisements. Considering that these social media collect a lot of essential information about your potential customers, from their age and gender to preferences and political views, you can meticulously calibrate your target audience and maximize the efficiency of your campaigns.

Embrace video ads

Paid advertising partly intersects with the first part of this article—videos as a form of advertising. Considering that a large number of platforms have adopted the autoplay feature in their feeds, video ads have become a new standard. Every seventh post in your Instagram feed is an ad; Facebook has integrated video ads not only in their feeds, but in Messenger as well, and even more indie sites like Reddit have adopted this type of monetization.

Expand your coverage

Another great application of paid advertising is the fact that you can distribute your content beyond your blog section or official page on Facebook. Furthermore, it’s become a widespread phenomenon that brands have a strong presence on platforms like Instagram, where they generate visual content for their followers, which considerably increases their engagement, loyalty, and awareness. Distribute your articles or visual content via paid ads to reach much further than you otherwise would.

Paid search can highlight the flaws in your strategy

Paid ads couldn’t be as effective if it wasn’t for the sophisticated metrics they use. The even better news is that major social media platforms give you access to information on the users’ behavior when in contact with your content and ads. This data-centric approach gives you solid ground for permanent optimization and improvement for your marketing goals, like understanding which keywords work best with your posts.

Choose your words carefully

Keywords aren’t exclusively for search engine optimization. Improving the semantic core of your posts will most certainly skyrocket your brand’s visibility on social media platforms.

Study the language your customers use and the keywords that are most prevalent in their jargon. Once you’ve identified them, make sure you carefully incorporate them. Similarly, don’t hesitate to consult a professional before deciding to publish your posts online. There are not many online editing services reviews that can direct you towards a relevant and experienced professional.

Conclusion

There is a common trait that can be traced throughout all the points in this article—value. You can devise a complex e-commerce social media strategy, but you’ll hit a disappointing result if your content, either written or visual, isn’t in some way useful to your end user. You can pay to deliver the ad to your prospect’s feed, but if there’s no intrinsic value to it—you may as well burn the money you invested.

Marketing now almost entirely revolves around the customer, which is partly due to the way social media and search engines like Google are reshaping the worldwide web’s ecosystem. Thus, if you take the time to concentrate on providing users with a meaningful interaction on social media sites—they’ll sense the excellent intention and convert to return customers.

Guest-blogger at Syncee. Daniela McVicker is a blogger with a rich experience in writing about UX design, content planning, and digital marketing. Currently, she is the chief contributor at Grab My Essay and Trust My Paper where she helps individuals and organizations improve their web content writing, design, and planning skills. Her posts are always packed with examples and actionable content that readers can put straight into action.