Ever since the first time someone sold something on-line , this idea has been spreading, and, as we all are aware by now, e-commerce is a “thing” now, and more and more people are becoming aware of that. Take a look at the following numbers:
• By the end of 2012, people will have sold about $1 trillion worth of products.
• In 2011, the number of internet users was about 2 billion. Now, it’s about 3.5 billion.
Now, these numbers are very approximate, but, nevertheless, we are talking about extremely high figures. Who would have thought, about 30 years ago, that half the world will be able to communicate, share information, find information, and even shop by sitting at home and clicking on some device, or, better yet, by taking a small device out of our pockets (mobile phones).
Another important thing to note is the fact that the number of social media websites as well as the number of people who use these websites is increasing very rapidly, and with a geometrical progression. Some even have profiles on more than one social media network because different networks offer different options (logically). One can predict that very soon, when you start the computer, the first thing that you will have to do is to create a social media account (I am exaggerating).
These social media websites, apart from enabling you to talk to your relatives that are far away on a daily basis, give almost every business the opportunity to advertise its products on-line. There are businesses that have realized this, and that even now have personnel that are trained, specifically, to do social media marketing. Yes, it is that big a deal. Although there are some products that people, simply will not purchase on the internet (like food and clothing), there are loads of products that are sellable, and these unsellable products can most certainly be advertised.
Now, we all know that you cannot use some very popular social media networks to actually sell something, but no one forbids you to use them to get people to your online store, or simply to share information that is relevant for selling whatever it is you are selling.
Note that, for the reason stated above, you will have to have a well-organized and optimized web-site, because, without that, you are next to nothing in the internet world. If you don’t know how to do this, make sure that you have done sufficient research on the matter. Some of your main focus points should be that your website:
• Is attractive;
• Is user friendly;
• Loads fast;
• Is filled with quality content (text, images, video);
• It fits different screen sizes (responsive);
• Has different options for payment (not every country has PayPal)…
Moving on, in the following text I will provide you with some advice on how to start your social media marketing campaign, or, if you have already started it, how to improve it, so that it you get the best possible results:
• Know Your Audience
The most important thing to mention is that you have to explore all these networks to see whether what you are selling is appropriate for the people that regularly visit them. If you follow this link: List of social networking websites, you will see all the social media networks out there, and some specifications for each. I will say that the list is long so you better get to work ASAP.
• Organize Your Profile
Make sure that, when creating the profile (the “about” section, for instance), you fill in all the necessary information with great care. Do not say too much, but mention enough. Every SM network has detailed instructions, so, actually, just follow them accordingly, and you should have no trouble.
• Build Your Profile
I know that, when you start your campaign, you will be excited, and you will most probably want it all immediately. But, you should know that this process is slow, but if done properly, over time, you will see clear results that will put a smile on your face. Create a, sort of, focus group, and constantly invite people to follow what you post, but be careful not to be irritating. When you start building your profile, there is nowhere to go but up, so do not stop building and you will be in the clear.
• Explore Your Possibilities
Most social media networks have things like banners, buttons, text-links and so on, and these will help your campaign even more. So, make sure that you have looked into this subject thoroughly.
• Be Active
Let’s imagine that your campaign has gone successfully and that you have loads of people constantly checking out your updates. You have to, logically, provide your audience with updates regularly, so that they don’t lose interest in your business.
When you have taken all these accounts into consideration, you can conclude that this is all you will have to do (it’s not that hard, but it also isn’t that easy) in order to prosper. If you become an expert in social media marketing, you will be able to conduct a full campaign using only these means of advertising.
If we try to predict what will happen in the near future, given that everything continues moving in the direction it has been moved by now, we might assume that by the end of 2013, you won’t be able to sell anything the old fashioned way, and you will have to keep up with the times. The first rule of every business is the famous “the customer is always right” rule, and most customers prefer having it easy, and, frankly speaking, what is easier than ordering a product from your home, to be delivered to your home. And, if we take into consideration that nowadays you can access the internet through loads of devices almost anywhere in the world (wireless technology), naturally, the number of potential online customers will increase even more, since, as stated in the beginning of this article, the number of internet users is growing.
So, to conclude, if you are active in the e-commerce world, there is no reason why you shouldn’t use various social media networks to your advantage. I used plural intentionally, because you shouldn’t use only one, but rather expand your social media campaign as far as possible. SM networks are out there, just waiting for you, so my question is: What are you waiting for? Start clicking. And, if you have begun your social media campaign, continue doing it.
Finally, information-wise, do not stop at this article. Go further and read on. There is never enough info about this subject, particularly because it is updated constantly.
Image credit: Stuart Miles / Freedigitalphotos.net
What social media strategies do you know, do share them in the comment section, we’ll be glad to hear from you.
Written by Damian – Edited by Nizam khan
Damian is a blogger and marketing consultant for car parts online store. He mostly writes about business, social media and finance.