4 Ways to Boost E-commerce With Social Networking

According to a recent study from the Pew Research Group, 81 percent of American adults are using Facebook, making it the world’s most popular social network. Though LinkedIn and Pinterest among other networks are gaining popularity in different age and demographic groups, 52 percent of people now use two or more platforms—a 10 percent increase from 2013.

So what do these numbers mean for companies seeking to boost business? Quite a lot, especially if you think of each network as a distinct marketing channel. Here are some strategies to get the word out and boost business:

1. Customize Different Messages for Different Audiences

According to the Pew report, 53 percent of users ages 18 to 29 use Instagram, and half of them use it daily. A smart business will be active on Instagram to engage with these customers. Consider posting different community events, new products, behind-the-scenes pics of employees, or anything else that connects well with this age group. Likewise, 42 percent of online women use Pinterest, so a company page might include products or pins that appeal to this group. Consider a board cultivated with your products in combination with similar items so that your boards aren’t exclusive to your business. Followers will be more likely to relate to your pins when they see that you’re assembling a useful collection, not creating just another advertisement for your company. Since Twitter use is growing—from 30 million in the first quarter 2010 to 255 million active users at the end of 2014—your followers may like Tweets with news related to your industry. LifeLock, for example, uses its Twitter account to share helpful newsbytes about data protection and links to credit card breach info.

2. You May Not Reach Everyone Easily

Though Facebook makes it simple for a business to create a company page and connect with potential customers, it is also notorious for not letting everyone see what’s happening. According to a Social@Ogilvy study, the organic reach for business branded pages dropped from 12 percent in October 2013 to 6.15 percent by February 2014.

3. Pay for Customers

You may not need to connect with every social network user. Instead, take advantage of customizable tools on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest that allow you to target certain demographic groups and extend reach—as long as you’re willing to pay. Facebook allows you to create paying campaigns with different age groups, locations, or genders to promote your page and individual posts. Costs associated with this targeting could be as little as $5 a day. The strategy is that more relevant customers equals more clicks, shares, or purchases.

4. Don’t Overdo It

Be sure to avoid inundating your followers with too many posts and updates. Fast Company worked with Track Social to study what times of the day are best for posting, and they determined that a Facebook page shouldn’t be updated more than twice a day. Additionally, the ideal number of Tweets per day is 13, but no more than hourly.