If you’re in a hurry to set up your social strategy for your eCommerce app in time for the holidays, hold that thought. This blog will answer (almost) all of the questions that are certain to come up along the way. Finding your target audience is easier on social media than on the street these days. But your strategy is important as there is no one-size-fits-all approach — and doing it in time for the holidays means you have to commit to going all-in.
There are paid ads and organic campaigns you can pull off. For both, you’ll need to give your potential users that holiday feeling! Those VLC icons with cute Christmas hats provide a perfect example of digitally getting your audience in the holiday spirit . This doesn’t mean that you have to immediately go add a Christmas hat to your icon or profile picture. Identify where your target group discovers you, and then get creative to get their attention! Christmas stockings maybe?
Let’s take a look at the most popular channels and what each can offer to make your planning easier.
- Facebook: With more than 1.59 billion active users and over 1.44 billion mobile active users, it’s the easiest platform to find any permutation or combination of your target audience. With Facebook’s customizable ad platform, it’s a piece of cake to reach your desired demographics. And for retail and ecommerce specifically, Facebook categorizes possible marketing objectives into 3 stages— Awareness, Consideration and Conversion. Awareness is where you can promote your Facebook page, posts and generally increase your brand visibility. Consideration is where you can get app downloads, reach more people by video and increase attendance at events. Conversion is where you can increase website and app visits, get people to claim your offers and promote products in your catalog. There are a few more campaigns you can run on Facebook, too. And since it is increasingly becoming a video discovery platform, those fancy GIFs and videos of your brand can be leveraged extensively.
Go setup your business account at https://business.facebook.com today and play around with it!
- Twitter: Twitter might not have hit its expected growth, but it still has over 317 million monthly active users (some more active than others, *cough* Donald J. Trump *cough*). Twitter takes a bit of courage to strike up a conversation with a stranger if you’re a new user with zero followers. But that’s the reason engagement on Twitter is higher than on Facebook. And for accounts that are trying to sell and to actively give customer support, it’s easy to get discovered with hashtags.
Twitter’s ad platform is not as extensive as that of the Facebook ad platform, but you still can run multiple campaigns to increase followers, awareness and engagement. If you’re running offers and special discounts for products, use hashtags wisely and you’ll increase your chances of getting discovered globally. If you’ve accumulated a solid set of followers on Twitter, and if your account is active, you can create a series of tweets and campaigns which can even potentially hit ‘trending’ status. Once you start trending, that’s like hitting the jackpot!
Start thinking of what you’ll redeem with all those prize tickets, and head over to https://business.twitter.com/ to get going.
- Instagram: Millennials feel right at home on Instagram and Snapchat. If your target audience includes millennials, you’ll meet them right where they already are by leveraging Instagram. With a new ad platform, it’s become more exciting for brands. Instagram ads are actionable. You can create ads to increase traffic to specific areas of your website or increase app downloads. And apart from photos and videos, Instagram allows Facebook-like carousel ads. Since it is a photo-sharing platform, you can take advantage of this if your products have great quality images. As you build your brand in Instagram, start sharing exclusive stories to increase engagement. Instagram ads can be managed directly on Facebook’s Ad Manager.
- Snapchat: With Instagram mimicking many of Snapchat’s features, and with over 10 billion videos being watched everyday, Snapchat is already disrupting social media. SnapAd is a full-screen video ad platform that allows Snapchatters to swipe up and interact with a brand’s mobile site. It’s currently accessible through their partners and you can find get in touch with them here: https://www.snapchat.com/partners. Snapchat is a community that you should definitely utilize if you already have a presence there.
- WhatsApp: Yes, WhatsApp is a messaging app. But, if you don’t have a large social media presence and if you have the approval from your existing customers to reach out to them directly over WhatsApp, you should definitely consider it as an alternative. With WhatsApp supporting gifs, videos and photos, your products and offers can be explained in creative ways! If the user feels like the promotions are annoying, they’ll instantly block you. Remember to get their consent before you go overboard.
- YouTube: YouTube also might not fall directly into the social media category. However, it is a channel that you can use widely during the holiday season if you already have a decent subscriber base there. YouTube ads are something you can consider to widely increase your visibility. Your video content can likely reach more of your target audience there than on television channels!
You can try any number of social media channels to increase your presence and get new users into the holiday spirit (and onto your app!) But most importantly, you should talk to your current customers every chance you get. It’s probably difficult to respond to each and every response from your followers, but very critical that you acknowledge them and make them feel important. If you have a large ad budget, play around with the ads, making yourself comfortable with each platform before you spend too much of your budget with limited ROI. Each of these platforms provides extensive analytics, so remember to start low and eventually scale up. Be prepared to hit traffic spikes as you promote offers. You don’t want to have a ton of ads coupled with too many out-of-stock products.
It’s going to be a fun holiday season. Where’s the mistletoe?
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