Are you looking for practical social media tips? In today's Ecommerce Marketing Checkup, our experts provide real-world recommendations for our example store, Avance Electronics.
The Volusion Services Team selects one of our merchants every month for a comprehensive Ecommerce Marketing Checkup. Last week, our specialists offered advice for improving Avance Electronics’ SEO and conversion rates. This week we are shifting gears and exploring the same storefront’s social media potential.
Check out their recommendations below!
Social Media: Build Up the Networks & Begin Regular Engagement
“AvanceElectronics.com at one time created profiles on several of the major social media networks; however, they are not currently sharing any content nor engaging with an active audience. It’s time to plug back in and connect with an audience by regularly sharing engaging content, visuals and consumer-focused questions and product usage tips. Facebook advertisements and cross-promoting the social networks can also help build an active audience from the ground up.”
-Bethany Smith, Social & Search Marketing Specialist
The following suggestions are meant to reinvigorate AvanceElectronics.com’s social networks by establishing the brand as reliable, helpful and informative while also growing the target market to improve audience engagement.
Build Trust with Updated Profiles:
Avance Electronics has created profiles on several of the major social networks and claimed branded URLs on each of the networks such as “http://Twitter.com/GoAvance.” However, beyond the URL, many of these profiles are outdated and lacking in optimization. It’s important to maintain profiles to establish trust and relevancy. Up-to-date profiles help convey that a company is cutting edge, high quality and reliable, which is an integral image that an electronics and technology company such as Avance Electronics should always convey. Additionally, graphics across different social networks should reflect the brand’s voice, be consistent in design and have high resolution. Here’s how Avance Electronics can restore each of their networks to be up-to-date:
- The profile picture is oversized, cutting off “Avance.” Since the profile picture appears with every status, this should always be an easily recognized company logo or graphic.
- The cover photo offers a nice, crisp image, but the description has been left blank. An updated description is an easy and perfect place to link back to the website or a product. Cover photos should also change on occasion to reflect new products, specials, seasons and to also spotlight the consumers.
- While Avance Electronics supplies basic company information in the “about” section, this description cuts off mid-sentence. The “about” should always be descriptive, yet succinct. This description should also use industry-specific keywords while also explaining what sets the company apart from competitors.
- Avance Electronics’ Twitter has a short, simple but poignant description. It also links back to the website. Since the description is well under the maximum character limit allotted for profiles, Avance Electronics could integrate a branded hashtag into their description to help drive engagement.
- The Twitter account is lacking a header image. Like Facebook, this image should reflect the brand’s overall image and voice and should be occasionally updated to reflect new products, consumers, seasons or industry trends.
- Pinterest appears to have been created, but left to sit unused. Begin by adding a profile image such as the one used for the Facebook or Twitter accounts.
- Like Facebook, the Pinterest description is cutting off mid-sentence. This needs to be updated to a succinct description that explains the service provided by Avance Electronics.
- To gain analytical insights and establish this profile as official, Avance Electronics should follow steps to complete verification on Pinterest. Once verified, Pinterest adds a blue checkmark to the profile, which helps convey that a website is authentic and that links shared on the account are trustworthy.
- Avance Electronics’ Instagram profile has an updated design, but is lacking in image shares. As more images are shared, Instagram will create a header image collage for the profile.
Start Sharing & Establish Reliability:
Avance Electronics should focus on getting back into the social media sector by sharing regular status updates on their accounts. Consistent status updates will establish the company as reliable and personable. To build a social following, Avance Electronics must be committed to delivering long-term value through their social networks. The first step is develop an engagement strategy. An editorial content calendar for planning statuses can help Avance Electronics outline a variety of posts to share and tailor them by network. To save time, a management tool such as HootSuite can be beneficial in making things even easier.
Because it has been months since the last statuses were shared, it would be a good idea for Avance Electronics to start off with a post that explains and apologies for the extended time away with a promise of commitment moving forward. This not only helps humanize the brand, but reiterates trust and reliability moving forward.
Ideally, posts should:
- Offer variety: Regardless of the network, posts should offer variety and be interesting for the audience. Share industry articles, highlight special offers or new products, ask polls, offer company insights, post photos and share inspirations. As more posts are shared, Avance Electronics can learn what types of posts perform better with their audience and tailor their social strategy accordingly.
- Happen daily: Ideally posts and pins should occur daily, at least once a day. Different networks are more active by the time of day, so pay attention to when the audience’s peak engagement hours are.
- Encourage conversation: Ask questions, request an action such as a like or a comment, or encourage clicks. As an electronics company, a good example post might be, “What features do you want the new iPhone to include? Comment and share!”
- Be specific by network: Each network has its own formatting rules and lingo. Preferably, unique statuses are crafted for each network, but if there is some overlap between a Facebook status and a tweet -- at minimum – tailor by network. Shorten the tweet, use a relevant hashtag, etc.
Seek Out and Expand Audience:
With a content strategy plan in place and networks that are updated, Avance Electronics should next focus on expanding their existing audiences to help grow engagement.
- Facebook: There are only five likes for the Facebook page, which limits Avance Electronics’ ability to engage with consumers and also restricts the ability to gain analytical insights from Facebook. Facebook offers advertisement options specifically focused on building likes. Avance Electronics should target advertisements on consumers who buying behaviors associated with electronics, like iPhones and other smartphone company pages, and are at least 16+ so that they are of an age likely to purchase high-end electronics.
- Twitter: Avance Electronics follows 16 other industry-related Twitter profiles. While this is a good start to building out the network, seek out and follow not only industry profiles, but consumers as well. Using advanced Twitter search options can allow user discovery by brand names, product keywords or even hashtag topics. As more users are followed, some will in turn follow Avance Electronics back. In addition to following users, sending @messages to other users discussing electronics can help grow the audience as well.
- Pinterest: Like Twitter, regular engagement with other users can help build the Pinterest audience. Re-pin relevant pins from other users, “heart” to like interesting images and follow boards that might be beneficial to re-pin from in the future. As Avance Electronics grows their own boards and engages with other accounts, followers will organically discover the profile.
- Instagram: Avance Electronics has used the #iphones hashtag on pictures in the past, but more targeted hashtags can help expand the accounts visibility in Instagram search. Like Twitter, following other relevant users can also help grow the audience size.
Inform Consumers of Social Presence with Promotion:
The AvanceElectronics.com domain does a great job promoting social networks and engagement. The footer of the site integrates buttons featuring links to the company’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & Instagram accounts. Each product page also includes social bookmarking options to allow customers to easily share products on their own personal social accounts.
Avance Electronics should continue spreading the word about their online presence and make links to their networks readily available not just on the website, but on the social networks themselves. Include links to Twitter, Pinterest & Instagram in the Facebook extended “about” section. Link Pinterest to Facebook and Twitter. Occasionally, use a tweet or Facebook status post to inform audiences about other networks. Let the audience know the value of joining the brand on a different network, or offer an incentive. For example, a good Facebook post might be: “Are you on Pinterest? Follow us as we share pics about the latest phone designs and we’ll follow you back.”
Facebook advertisements are also an easy way to promote the company website or other networks. In addition to building an audience on Facebook with a targeted campaign to generate page likes, Avance Electronics could promote pages on the website, encourage engagement on a status for increased visibility or even share another social network.
As the audience grows on each of Avance Electronics’ networks, loyalty should be recognized and rewarded. To do this, offer a discount for consumers who have liked the Facebook page, follow back pinners who engage on Pinterest, retweet users on Twitter, give an exclusive product glimpse to Instagram followers, etc. Also, respond quickly and professionally to any comments addressing the company. By showing respect and offering exceptional customer service on the social networks, Avance Electronics is making a promise to their social network audiences that they are personable and trustworthy brand. In turn, this trust will help foster and encourage future network engagements and even website sales.
Other Opportunities Worth Exploring:
Consumers often have questions about sturdiness, quality and product applications of electronics. To help explain and answer questions, a presence on a video-based social network would be a good opportunity for Avance Electronics. Brief how-tos, out-of-the-box product reviews, and drop tests would all make for great video content series on a network such as YouTube or Vine.
Additionally, these instructional and informational video series would be beneficial content to share on a blog. At one time, Avance Electronics created a blog on BlogSpot, but never updated it. If Avance Electronics is limited on time and unable to launch consistent blog updates, the “Discover” link should instead be removed from the website’s global navigation. However, if time is not an issue, Avance Electronics could establish themselves as an industry leader with blog articles. These articles could then be linked to by the other social networks for increased promotion.
Notice something we forgot?
Is there anything else you think should be added to this list? Leave us a comment with your questions or tips and tricks. If you’re feeling a little social, check us out on Twitter or Facebook:
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