Whether you’re just getting started on your entrepreneurial journey, or you’re just looking to branch out into new marketing channels, you may be wondering how you can create a social media marketing plan that will help your ecommerce store grow.
It’s well known that social media is a marketing channel which many ecommerce brands have already utilized effectively to skyrocket their stores growth, so we’ve created this article to provide you with some tips & tricks to help you find that same level of success. Whether you plan to use Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat to grow your business, we’ve got you covered. Let’s go!
Why Create a Social Media Marketing Plan?
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” – Benjamin Franklin
This sentiment is especially true when you’re marketing your ecommerce business. We mentioned above that there are a plethora of ecommerce brands who have already established themselves, so it won’t be easy to make your store stand out from the crowd.
If you want to maximize your chances for success, it’s critical that you create a social media marketing plan.
A well thought out social media marketing strategy will help you to grow your ecommerce store’s reach, engage with your existing customers, and ultimately lead to your store generating more sales. Once your store is generating a steady stream of revenue, you’ll be able to scale your marketing efforts even further, which will help you to skyrocket your growth.
Creating Social Media Marketing Goals
Before we get into the nitty gritty of building a social media marketing plan for your ecommerce business, it’s important that you establish goals and targets for what you want to achieve when using the marketing channel.
Not only will these goals shape your social media marketing strategy, they’ll also help you to gauge the success of your marketing efforts. If you haven’t established these goals, you won’t be able to measure your ROI, or prove that social media marketing is a worthwhile exercise for growing your business.
When you’re establishing goals for your social media marketing plan, we advise against selecting vanity metrics (likes / retweets) as your main metric for success. Whilst these are nice to see, and worthwhile to measure, they don’t directly affect your business’ growth. Instead, we recommend measure metrics that are likely to lead to sales, like leads generated, or conversion rate
If you decide to measure the number of leads generated through social media marketing, we advise adding a unique discount code to your social media posts — this will help you to understand how you acquired your customers. If you see that a discount code from a specific post on social media is being used more than others, it’s a good indicator that said content resonates well with your audience.
A great tactic for setting achievable goals for your social media marketing plan is to incorporate the S.M.A.R.T framework. Here’s what the framework looks like:
Each goal that you set for your social media marketing efforts should relate to all of these points. Here’s an example of a goal which follows the S.M.A.R.T framework:
“I want to use social media marketing to promote the latest products that I’ve added to my store. The main channel that I’ll focus my efforts on will be Facebook, and I’ll grow my audience with a combination of compelling content. When promoting my stores products, I’ll post an appealing image of said product, accompanied with a short description of the products main features. After 1 month of Facebook activity, I want to achieve at least 1 sale per post.”
Whilst this example is catered specifically towards an ecommerce entrepreneur who has just started their store, it gives you a good idea of how you can apply the S.M.A.R.T framework to your own social media marketing plan.
Launching and Optimizing Your Social Media Accounts
When you’re just starting out with social media marketing for your business, you’ll need to create accounts on the social media channels which you believe will help you to reach your goals. If you’re starting from zero, it’s important to make sure that you don’t spread yourself too thinly — it’s much more beneficial to focus on nailing one or two channels instead of trying to grow all of them at once.
If you’ve already tried social media marketing for your business, it’s a great idea to make sure that these accounts are optimized to help you reach your goals. This isn’t a difficult task to accomplish, but it’s one that can pay off once your social media marketing efforts scale.
Start with your posts — whether you’re using text or images, optimize them for each network that you’re posting on. If you’re posting on Instagram, try using hashtags — they will really help you to grow your reach.
You can also cross-promote your social media accounts. If your Snapchat following has skyrocketed, mention to your audience that you’re also posting on Instagram and Facebook. This will give your audience more ways to engage with your content, and offers you a wider social media reach. Double win!
It’s also a great idea to include a direct link to your ecommerce store in the bio of your social media accounts — this offers people who love your content, but aren’t aware of your brand, to take a look through your products (and potentially make a purchase).
Gaining Inspiration for Your Social Media Marketing Plan
As an entrepreneur, it’s difficult to decide which content will resonate most with your audience. If you’re ever unsure about what to post on your social media channels, it’s a great idea to look to other brands in your niche. Take a look at the content which they’re posting, measure how it performs, and think about what you can do to make sure that your social media content stands out from the crowd.
You can also use your audience to gain inspiration for your social media content. Look at the way your audience engages with the social media platforms which you’re active on, and try to emulate this style —it’ll be familiar to them, and it’ll help you to send a message which resonates. If you see that a specific type of post is popular, focus your attention on creating similar content — it’s the best way to reach your goals quickly.
Don’t be afraid to analyze what industry leaders are posting on social media when you’re looking for inspiration. Whilst it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to reach their level of engagement at first, this is your end goal, so it’s good to understand what goes into a successful social media marketing strategy. We’ve already created an article about the best examples of Snapchat marketing, but there are so many brands who are excelling at social media marketing — all you need to do is look!
Bolster Your Social Media Marketing Plan With a Content Calendar
When you’re using social media marketing to grow your business, one factor remains true: consistent posting is key to growing your following. This is why it’s a great idea to create a content calendar and include it in your social media marketing plan.
When creating your content calendar, it’s essential that you ask yourself these four main questions:
- How frequently will I post on social media?
- What types of content will I post on social media?
- How will my social media posts entertain and inform my audience?
- Do my posts help me to achieve my goals?
We recommend writing these questions down, and referring to them every time you post something on your business’ social media accounts.
If you’re looking for a platform to create your social media content calendar, there are a plethora of great options available. Both Buffer and Hootsuite are free to sign up, and allow you to schedule social media posts in advance, based on the platform of your choice. This means that you won’t have to worry about posting anything manually at a specific time.
When you’re using a social media scheduling platform, we recommend that you schedule all of your posts at the start of the week — they’ll roll out at the times you set whilst you focus on running the rest of your business.
If it’s your first time using social media for your business, make sure that you test out a variety of different content. Fill up your content calendar and make note of which content works best — this will help you to improve and optimize your future social media efforts.
Remember to Test, Evaluate, and Optimize Your Social Media Marketing
The world of social media is ever-changing, and if you truly want to succeed in growing your business through this channel, your content should be dynamic. In ecommerce, you’re fighting with thousands of other brands for your audience’s attention, and you can win them over by delivering a constant stream of compelling, unique content.
It’s essential that you’re tracking the performance of your social media marketing efforts, and testing what works best for your audience. Whether you decide to use UTM codes and measure your performance on Google Analytics, or opt for the built-in analytics that Buffer or Hootsuite offer, you can use the data from your campaigns to optimize for the future. If you want to stay on top of the game, it’s essential that you’re constantly testing, constantly learning, and constantly growing as an entrepreneur.
Now you know everything that you need to create a killer social media marketing plan, and grow your business through this marketing channel. Take the information in this post and use it as inspiration for your own social media marketing efforts — we’re sure that you can create great content for your audience.