Webinar: How to Create a Custom Social Media Plan That Converts

Searching for the best recipe for ecommerce social media success? Watch experts from Volusion and Simply measured as they share a how-to guide for creating a comprehensive social media strategy to increase sales conversions for your online business. You'll learn about utilizing unique channels and campaigns, tracking your store's progress, blending social media into your marketing mix and much more!

Here are some answers to some of the most asked questions during the webinar:

General Social Media Questions

Once a social media presence is established, how much time per day is recommended to tend to your social media strategy?

The answer will depend on your industry and competitors, as well as your fans. Once you’ve built up a following, you can likely devote 10-15 minutes a day to keeping up your social media presence and see success. If you have more time, that’s even better!

What are some ways to build a social media following?

Here are a few of our tried-and-true methods for building your following:

  • Run ads targeted to your audience. Facebook ads are an especially great way to target the highly specific user base of your choice
  • Cater your ads to any promotions you’re running
  • Use giveaways and/or fun contests to generate excitement
  • Cross-promote across all of your channels (email, other social networks, website, etc.) so that existing fans on one channel will be able to follow you on others
  • Try to engage with industry-relevant influencers or people who have a large following on social media networks; conversations with these people will often get noticed, and influencers can also become your best brand evangelizers

Is it considered underhanded to follow your competitors’ followers just out of the blue? It seems unethical and somewhat "guerrilla-like" to go out and follow my competitor's followers.

It’s a common practice in social media marketing to follow your competitors’ followers. Doing so helps you get to know your audience better, and it has the added benefit of getting additional followers if people follow you back. Since Twitter followers are public, we wouldn’t call it unethical to use that information to your advantage. Just be sure to provide them with value so they’ll feel like following you was a good decision.

How can I figure out the right time to post to my audience?

Facebook Insights, as well as the analytics platforms on other networks, is a great resource for this. You can test posting at different days and times to see when you get more engagement, and refine your strategy as you get more information. Another option is to use a service like Post Planner, which can help you optimize the timing of your posts.

What steps should you take when planning a giveaway that relies on users posting their own original content? Any tips for making this kind of campaign a success?

This can be a fun, successful strategy if you have an engaged audience. Take the following steps to maximize the campaign’s impact:

  1. Think about which networks you want to use. Instagram an especially good platform for this, since the audience is comprised of users who continually generate their own content
  2. Make sure that what you’re giving away is a good exchange for the time invested
  3. Create a contest-specific hashtag so that participants can promote the hashtag while allowing people to see and enjoy what others have contributed

Can you speak about the importance of reviews/ratings on ecommerce and social? I have heard they are not as important as they used to be.

Ratings and reviews are still important. Recent research has shown that 84% of millennials and 70% of baby boomers say user reviews are an important part of their purchasing decisions. Ratings and reviews may not directly help you reach a new audience, but they can help you convert customers who hit your website or social platform.

In ecommerce, people don’t have the same ability to learn about and test a product that they would have in a physical store, so reviews can help customers determine whether the product is right for them. You’ll also have the added benefit of possibly cutting down on returns because shoppers will be armed with more information about the product before they purchase.

If you’re interested in setting up a review feature in your ecommerce shop as well as Schema markup that can help your website reviews stand out in the search results, Volusion makes it easy. Read up on how to set up your reviews here.

I already have a personal Instagram account and am having difficulty creating another one for my business. It only allows you to create one on your phone. Do you know how to do that?

Log out of Instagram on your phone (from your profile, click on the settings cog, scroll to the bottom and click “Log Out”). Once logged out, you will be able to select “Sign Up” to create a new account. Use a different email, preferably a business email, when creating your new account.

I was going to set up the detailed demographic reporting on GA, but was concerned about changing my privacy policy. Is there any way to get demographics while managing my customers' privacy?

Volusion has a built-in default privacy policy page for all Volusion stores. Although we haven’t encountered any problems in the past using Volusion’s default privacy policy page and enabling demographic reporting in Google Analytics, you will need to make a few adjustments to the default privacy policy page.

These changes will more closely follow Google’s guidelines for privacy policy pages for merchants using demographic reporting as well as remarketing ads.

I've got over 6,000 likes in a sport decal business and I cannot get people to converse. I have tons of pics, sales, etc. How do I get people engaged?

A great method to get people talking on social media is the same method to get people talking in a face-to-face conversation: Ask them questions! What is their favorite sports team? Between two products, which do they prefer? What are their thoughts on a recent relevant news story or sports celebrity? Ask all types of questions to keep things interesting, and don’t forget to respond to them to keep the conversation going.

Any thoughts about YouTube? Recently been working with YouTube creators - thoughts, ideas?

YouTube videos are an excellent strategy. Videos - how-tos, product information, or just-for-fun videos that relate to what you sell - drive engagement and open the pathway to conversions. Consider that a recent marketing study revealed an increase of nearly 50% in conversions among an audience who had watched product or service videos to inform their buying decisions.

Videos are also great in their multi-use capabilities; not only can you upload them directly to YouTube, but you can also embed them on your site (where they will provide helpful information and increase Time on Site, an important metric for SEO) and share them across your social media channels. Additionally, YouTube SEO is an area where there is still a lot of opportunity to make a mark. A well-optimized video on YouTube can push the video to page one of YouTube’s search results, where it can then get discovered by an audience who may not know about your website or product/service yet. If you provide a call-to-action and a link to your site in the video’s description, you’ll find yourself serving a larger funnel of engaged customers.

Do service business do better on one form of social media over another?

Service businesses can find a lot of success with social media, and many of the best practices that apply to ecommerce businesses can apply to service businesses as well.

Our three favorite social networks for service businesses are:

  • Yelp
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Our product is in a niche market that only sells items once a year. How do you keep social media relevant in the off-season?

Try posting about things that are relevant but not related to your products. You can also ask your customers what they would like to see for the next season. Even in an off-season, you should keep a conversation going with your customers to keep your brand fresh and in their minds.

If I do post on social media, would non-relevant posts be considered junk posts and hurt our strategy?

It depends on what you mean by non-relevant. If you’re posting links to dog care blogs on your social media page for a children’s clothing store, then yes, it would be considered junk posting. However, don’t get tricked into thinking that if a post isn’t actively selling your products it’s irrelevant. If you sell children’s clothing, not every post has to be about your store. Instead, you could post about fun activities to do with your children this summer, and it would be good for building your presence on social media.

B2B Social Media Questions

How is B2B different for social media?

LinkedIn is a good place to start for B2B companies! Follow brand ambassadors and industry groups on this network and post articles, white papers, etc. that show thought leadership from your page.

Getting Social Media Assistance

I’d like to hire a dedicated resource to do my Social Media. What are the key requirements for the role?

  • First and foremost, they should be passionate about using social media! Ideally they will have run social accounts in the past but if you’re looking for an intern or new talent, make sure they’re at least managing their own personal accounts successfully.
  • They should understand your brand well and share your enthusiasm for your products
  • They should be a strong communicator, with an ability to adapt their voice to the one you’d like to use for your brand
  • They should have innovative ideas -- ask them what these ideas are!
  • They should keep up with trends and be able to post about them when relevant to your brand

Are there any Volusion partners that you recommend for "done for you" social media management? Or is this something Volusion provides?

Thanks for asking! We do offer a social media package where our social media specialists will handle your social media management. You can read more about those packages here, or call our representatives at 1-888-750-3996.

Facebook Specific

Do you have to start a Facebook page under your personal Facebook page?

Yes, you have to have a personal Facebook page to create a business page. Check out HubSpot’s resource for creating a Facebook business page here: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/5492/How-to-Create-a-Facebook-Business-Page-in-5-Simple-Steps-With-Video.aspx

What is the most important to look at on Facebook to show success? # of shares, # of comments, # of likes?

One of the best ways to drive yourself crazy with social media marketing is to obsess over specific metrics like the number of Likes on your page or the number of comments you earned on a post you thought was great. Try taking a broader view of your Facebook Insights. Has your overall engagement increased over time? Are you beginning to see more value in engagement - comments that provide insight about customer demographics and preferences, website clicks that lead to conversions, etc.? These are the kinds of improvements you should be looking out for. While it’s great to have an enthusiastic fan base, you should also make sure your posts are leading to sales.

Should we link our website to create a "Facebook" store?


Are the Follow and Like buttons different for business pages? I see some pages that have a like and a follow button.

There is no Follow button for business pages. The Follow button is reserved for personal pages.

How much should I expect to pay daily for an ad on Facebook?

We recommend a daily budget of at least $10 for your campaign. A single ad may cost you less than that, and it would be a good idea to test a couple of ads against each other to see which one performs better.

What about posting links to my website or FB page to Facebook groups? Some Facebook groups allow commercial posts. If I sold auto racing products, what are your views about posting to FB Groups about cars, auto racing, etc.?

You should treat Facebook posts the same way you would treat posts on a forum or someone else’s blog - it’s okay to promote your products, but make sure that your comment adds some value for the reader. If you’re simply blasting social networks (or forums or blog comments) with sales pitches that don’t contribute to the conversation, your posts will be seen as spam. However, commenting with a link to your site or a particular product in a conversational, natural way can be a great way to demonstrate your authority and build relationships with new customers.

What if you run a company that Facebook considers controversial, and when you boost your Facebook post they message you back that it's been rejected? How do you recommend we get our audience to view the content?

Engage in Facebook groups dedicated to your industry. Boost informational posts that aren’t directly related to controversial topics or products so you can build your audience, and then post engaging content so it will have higher visibility within your audience.

Facebook does not allow ads for weapons, but my website sells sporting goods, including guns. What do you recommend for marketing strategies if Facebook ads are not an option?

Reach your customers through ads that are not gun-related, then let them know through your regular posts that you also sell guns. You can also try different online marketing strategies, such as SEO.

I’m in the flashlight industry. How can I make our products not boring and engage with customers on Facebook?

Focus more on the reasons to use your products. Perhaps your customers need those flashlights for camping trips, and you can talk about camping. Telling a story is a great way to get an emotional connection, so consider how your flashlights play a part in their lives. Get creative!

Pinterest Specific

Can you link Pinterest to your store?

Yes! Here’s Pinterest’s resource to understand how: https://help.pinterest.com/en/articles/confirm-your-website

I've been on the Pinterest promoted pins waiting list for a few months now. Should I just give up?

We know it can be frustrating to wait for something like this, but since Pinterest promoted pins aren’t required for success on the network at this time, it won’t hurt your business to wait until you’re approved. Keep building your audience, and you’ll be in a great position once you’re approved for promoted pins.

Does printer/copier consumables fit for Pinterest?

It depends on the type of content you’ll be producing for Pinterest and the niche your business fits into. For example, if you’re producing a lot of great and interesting infographics related to your industry, you may find a lot of success on Pinterest. If you’re only posting links to product pages with ink and toner, Pinterest is probably not the right network for you. Additionally, think about your target customer. Are they using Pinterest? If they’re not, your efforts would be better used elsewhere.

If I sell note cards, should I add other people's gift pins to my boards?

Absolutely! Pinterest is a great way to showcase the different ways potential customers can use your products. Try pinning a photo of a creative use of a note card - you might inspire someone in your network to buy from your store and get creative themselves.

Industry Oriented Questions


We have a very wide range of customers. Being in the Equine business (aka horses), we deal with everyone from teens to retired riders. What is a good way to be able to reach that large span of Customers? How can you productively target such a wide span?

Targeted Facebook ads are a great way to reach different groups of customers from the same business page. Facebook allows you to create highly specific audiences for each of your ads, so you can run several at the same time, targeted at very different groups of customers, and test which audience blocks are worth spending your ad budget on.


We sell products relating to Pageant Supplies and Awards. We have already started using Facebook, but what suggestions would you have for this very niche market?

Pinterest would be a great way to engage your customers, since it is a very visual platform. You can post fun, interesting pageant-related photos, inspiration and fashion ideas. Since your Facebook page is already established, try running targeted Facebook Ads to reach the people who are interested in this market.

I sell urine odor control products for pets. Really. So how can that work on Facebook?

While at first glance this may seem like a difficult industry to promote on social media, you actually have a great topic to build a community around: pets. People love animals, and they love talking about their pets on Facebook. So, post a lot about pets, pet care, etc. As you build an engaged audience, then help them solve a problem all pet owners face: accidents inside the house. Don’t go overboard with promotional posts, but if you build a community that pet lovers enjoy, they’ll be receptive to a promotional post about your products once a month or every few weeks.

We sell custom knives. What would be the best way to boost our sales?

Consider the reasons why people purchase custom knives. Perhaps they’re buying your products for groom’s gifts or as a birthday present. Your audience will engage with stories, so find the stories and help your audience find opportunities to purchase more custom knives.


I’m in the high-end professional skin care industry. What are the best social platforms and your suggestions for this industry? Any influencers that are popular?

The beauty industry can expand beyond traditional platforms to the following:

  • Makeup Alley
  • Polyvore

Additionally, the following traditional platforms will be great for your industry:

  • Facebook
  • Pinterest

Check out Topsy to identify and learn more about influencers in your industry.

I'm in a healthcare industry (nutritional supplements). We sell only to practitioners. Should I try to get in an existing target audience group or create a closed group from my company with relevant educational content as well as product promotion?

You can do both!


For women’s clothing, where I can advertise?

Facebook and Pinterest would be great options for you. Polyvore is an excellent choice too if you have images that are high-quality enough to compete in that space.


We are a long time specialty food retail store, in business 60 years. Started selling limited products online 4 years ago with minimal advertising/marketing. Looking to sell more now. What are the best avenues to explore to generate more sales?

Look into Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram to appeal to visually-oriented, enthusiastic “foodies” who will share your passion for specialty food.


We run a horse-drawn carriage service for special events (weddings, birthdays etc) - After Facebook where do we go?

Pinterest would be a great place to start! There are a lot of women planning their fairytale wedding on Pinterest, and your business can fit into that perfectly.

We own and operate a wedding venue in Georgia. We were recently ranked the #3 venue that will WOW your guests onlyinourstate.com. How can I take advantage of this on Social media channels?

Try using this distinction as a way to gain trust with your social media followers - announce it on social media, then put in the “About Us” sections where appropriate. You could also incorporate this into your cover image if it makes sense for your brand. Additionally, since you run a local business, you should be on Yelp so people can find you when they search for wedding venues in your town. This distinction would also work great in the “About Us” section on your Yelp page.