How does one start a social media presence from the ground up? It’s likely a question few ecommerce businesses have had to ask themselves. That’s probably because they have — to some degree, already loosely created some sort of social media presence. An ecommerce business might have set up a business Facebook page, for instance, but posts and checks in periodically.
The good news is that if you don’t have a social media presence for your ecommerce business it is never too late to strategize and create one. Follow these tips to ensure you’re starting on the right foot if you’re revving up a social media presence from scratch.
I. Plan Before You Post
Before you begin posting content (or even making it) you need to establish a plan that outlines your goals. Here are a few key areas to consider when getting started:
Who is my target audience?
You will likely already know this, as it has been previously outlined in your business plan. Understanding your audience will better help you determine which social platforms to be active on and how to create engaging content specific to their needs.
Which social platforms should I have profiles on?
Again, this will be contingent largely on your audience. A general rule of thumb is not to spread your ecommerce business too thin. Try to avoid creating profiles on every possible social media account. It’s unnecessary (and too much work to keep up with) if you know your audience is not there.
Will you need an editorial calendar?
This is a calendar that outlines the 'when', 'where' and 'how' of the content you’re posting. It helps keep you on track and organized.
How often will I post?
Create a schedule so you are able to stay consistent with the days and times you post content.
Define your social media goals.
Do you want to increase awareness of your products and services? Are you keen on becoming a thought leader in your industry? Part of planning for social media success means setting goals. Ideally, these should also be SMART goals — specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
II. Define Your Voice
The voice and messaging behind your social media accounts is what will ultimately allow you to engage and build lasting relationships with your audience. How do you want to sound? Identifying and defining your voice often plays a significant role in the kind of content you create, too. Some ecommerce businesses create a voice that is down to earth and human. As a result, they’re often able to show fans glimpses behind the scenes, make jokes and highlight team members that make up the business.
III. Create Fully Fleshed Out Profiles
This includes photos, banner images, complete bios, links to landing or home pages and accurate contact information. Make sure that your profile is branded, so that customers are able to recognize your company when they view the account.
Fleshing out your profile does more than introduce you and what you do to the world. Using specific keywords and relevant hashtags in your bio or links to landing pages, for example, can help optimize your accounts for SEO purposes.
IV. Consider Hiring A Social Media Assistant
Everything I listed above is the absolute bare bones of social media prep for an ecommerce business. I haven’t gone into the details of creating content, engaging with and responding to questions, analytics or automation and scheduling tools. It is key that in addition to planning and creating social media profiles, you are able to keep up with them and their needs on a consistent basis.
Don’t panic if it starts to feel a bit overwhelming! You may want to consider hiring a social media assistant (or intern) to assist you. Having a social media assistant can be useful in engaging with fans and potential customers. Beyond keeping up with day-to-day duties, having hired help can help grow and expand your brand and online storefront. They can stay on top of trends on behalf of your ecommerce business, have a hand in your PR strategies and integrate inclusion of your social presence everywhere from your email bio to newsletter blasts for your customers.