Social Media Traffic for eCommerce
Social media traffic for eCommerce can be hard to muster sometimes as so many users are getting used to seeing advertisements that they’re training themselves to ignore them.
Advertising on social media is still very effective for eCommerce websites, but it’s not the only way to generate traffic. There’s plenty of manual methods you can perform if you’re willing to put in the work and time, but paid advertising will always get your eCommerce website traffic faster.
The role of social media in eCommerce is massive and many retailers will admit that without social media, they would be nowhere near as successful as they have been. Whether it’s promoting your website on Pinterest using free techniques or paying money for sponsored posts with Instagram influencers; there are many effective ways to blend social media and eCommerce.
You too could enjoy success for your online store by utilizing the power of social networks. Even if you just create accounts for brand presence and post a couple times a week with some researched hashtags; it’s still better than nothing. So, let’s take a look at a few techniques that you could try out to get social media traffic for your eCommerce website.
Getting Social Media Traffic for eCommerce
Getting traffic from social media could be your best traffic source for your website. There are plenty of free and paid methods to achieve this and new strategies are emerging as the social networks grow and evolve.
Whether you want to spend money on paid advertising or bootstrap it is up to you. Generally speaking, paying for ads can bring you faster results, but they can also fail miserably if marketed to the wrong audience. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways you can generate traffic from social media.
Instagram allows people to share photos with their followers and also categorize them with specific hashtags. The hashtag feature on Instagram is very powerful much like with Twitter but people find that they get more out of it using it on Instagram.
In order to get the most out of Instagram, you need to have a large and active following. The people who follow you could like and comment on your pictures and also tag their followers in so that they can see your picture too.
If you can accumulate enough likes in a short period of time, you can get on the explore page for one or some of the hashtags you have used and anyone who visits this page will be able to see your post front and center.
Making the explore page can have a snowball effect and make your photo just skyrocket with likes and comments and you will find that people will start to follow you too just from that one photo.
You are also allowed to have 5 Instagram accounts as well and you will be able to seamlessly switch between them using the app so you can create one for your business and one as a fan account if you choose to. The fan account, in this case, is not tied to your business and is just a collection of posts for people who are interested in your niche.
The idea of this is to post relevant pictures from your niche and build up a big following which you can then use to occasionally funnel people to your business account.
You will most likely find that a business account will take longer to get a following than a fan account. This is why it’s good to create the two and post different content on both of them so that they look completely separate and not related.
After your fan account gets a decent following (over 5000 followers) you can start to subtly promote some content from your website and business account.
This is the best way to get a targeted following on Instagram:
Go to Instagram and sign up for an account. You can do this on your PC or laptop, but you will only be able to post photos by using the Instagram App from your smartphone so a PC or laptop can really only be used for following other accounts and liking or commenting on their posts.
After you sign up, Instagram will send a verification email to the email address you used to create an account with.
Open the email and verify your account right away.
Upload a profile picture and fill out your bio page. You can include your website URL in the bio page for your business account.
Go to Google and search for “insert niche here Instagram hashtags” and find a list of the most popular hashtags in your niche.
Get about 10 or 15 and save them on your phone so you can copy and paste it. Also, make some hashtag lists that will be applicable to different types of images that you will post so you can copy and paste them in future.
Never use the same set of hashtags for every post and mix it up. This is fine if you have different types of posts which would therefore require different sets of hashtags.
Now it’s time to upload your first picture. You will need to have some pictures already on your phone to use or you can take one on the spot.
Click on the camera icon from your Instagram.
You can then upload an image from your phone or take one.
- When you upload the image, choose a filter if you wish and go to the next screen where you can add a caption.
- Write a short caption about your photo and paste the saved set of hashtags into the space then post your image.
- You may start to see some interaction within the next few minutes if your chosen hashtags are popular.
Make about 5 posts a day at different times with your hashtags to test out the best times for posting in your niche.
Over time, you will learn which hashtags are applicable for certain types of images you post and you can them type them manually to get some better exposure instead of copying and pasting your original list.
You will also learn which times are the best to post on Instagram and you can really tailor your hashtag and scheduling strategy around this and maximize results.
It’s highly recommended that you choose some Instagram captions as well to make your posts more catchy looking.
Getting Followers on Instagram
Next, you need to start following some accounts in your niche. Use the search function to type in some keywords related to your niche and you will see a drop-down list appear.
Follow a few accounts who are not your competitors and click on the hashtag option too if there is one for your keyword. If you have clicked on the hashtag, you will now be taken to the explore page for that hashtag.
You will see about 9 pictures which are currently hot and depending on the popularity of this hashtag, the pictures could be getting some massive likes and bringing the account some big followers too.
Drop some well thought-out comments on these posts since they’ve got some eyeballs on them at the moment.
You should not be spammy and just hijack the post and ask people to follow your account.
Drop comments that compliment the post and are directly related to it.
You can get a lot of curiosity clicks from people viewing the post and they could follow you since your in the same niche as what they’re interested in.
Also, follow a few accounts which have made it to the explore page for these hashtags as long as they are not your competition.
It’s ok to follow some big accounts in your niche, but don’t expect any interaction from them. You want to find some accounts with a few thousand to a hundred thousand followers and follow them and like and comment on their posts. You can even tag their usernames in your posts which you think they would like and you may get a reaction out of them.
Next, you want to find your competitors.
This will not be hard at all and basic searches on Google and Instagram will let you know who they are.
Once you find them, analyze their Instagram accounts and see which accounts have the best engagement on their posts.
You’re looking for competitors accounts whose posts get the best ratio of comments and likes in addition to people tagging people they know.
If you find competitors with good ratios, then study their posts and analyze why they get this ratio of engagement. Whatever they are doing, they have a good formula that you can use for your own posts.
Now, you want to make a list of your competitors Instagram accounts which have the best engagement ratios and follow their followers.
These people followed your competitor for a reason, so following them means there’s a good chance they’re interested in your account too.
This can lead to you getting better quality Instagram followers who will actually engage with your content and hopefully visit your website and buy something too.
After 4 – 7 days, unfollow the accounts that did not add you back as a follower.
This is called the Follow/Unfollow Method, and it’s a tried, tested, and proven method to get more Instagram followers.
Maintain a mixture of commenting on the explore page posts and following your competitors followers in addition to utilizing good hashtags with a consistent posting schedule and you should be able to increase your Instagram following at a faster rate.
Twitter can be a great platform to market your website on if done right. It allows you to create “Tweets” which are just 180 character posts which can include an image and hashtags too. Your tweets can be about whatever you want that is related to your industry and business.
You can post the same tweet multiple times a day as people’s Twitter feeds quickly updates itself and it’s easy for your content to not be seen. Twitter users will scroll through their updated feed until they have finished it or get bored with it.
In the case of people who follow a lot of accounts, their feed could be hundreds or thousands of tweets long and they may never see your tweet. Some people may only check their Twitter feeds one to five times a day and if they have a lot of activity hey may even miss your tweets all five of those times. We would only recommend re-posting the same tweet multiple times a day if you have a large follower base and not if you are just starting out.
Head over to Twitter and create an account with your websites name if you haven’t already.
After you have gone through the sign-up process, you need to find accounts in your industry or niche and interact with them.
At the top right of your screen, you will see a white box with a magnifying glass that says “Search Twitter” inside it.
Type in a word that is related to your niche and click on the magnifying glass.
You will then be presented with a huge page full of Twitter accounts who have recently been active in relation to this word.
Follow the accounts which interest you and have big fan bases and make sure that they are not your competitors.
You can retweet their tweets and favorite them and you will find that some of them will follow you back and do the same in return.
This is a good way to get some followers and engagements when your account is new.
Another Way To Search
You can also use the search function to find people who have asked a question.
We did this as an example:
“need bodybuilding workouts”
And then we found someone three tweets down who was exactly after what we searched for.
You can then click on the “Reply” button in the bottom left of the tweet and let that person know that you have their answer which is a page on your website. You can then follow them and chances are they will follow you back and now you have a new follower who will probably engage with your tweets in the future.
You can do this with as many phrases that you can think of and just rinse and repeat.
Try this strategy every day so that you can get people as close in time as possible to when they have tweeted their question.
It may seem like a bit of work, but if that one person who was looking for bodybuilding workouts went to your website and purchased something, then wasn’t it worth the few minutes it took to find their tweet and reply to them?
Then, what if they follow you, retweet your content, and spread the word about your brand?
Don’t underestimate the power of one person and would it could do for your business.
Getting Followers on Twitter
In addition to the method above with finding individuals who have tweeted a question and following them, the next best way to get followers is to follow your competitor’s followers. Yep, just like on Instagram, the Follow/Unfollow Method can be done on Twitter.
Your competitor’s followers are basically a database of people already sorted for you who are interested in your niche. You can visit your competitor’s website and find their Twitter account through there or you can use Twitter’s search function too to find them.
Click on their profile and click on “Followers”.
You can then proceed to follow their followers and even give some of their tweets some retweets or favorites so they can see you. You can safely follow about 100 people a day spaced over time which could avoid Twitter banning your account for following too many people or doing it too fast.
As with Instagram from before, and we recommend this with every social network; analyze what your competitors post and look for patterns that stand out among the content that has the best engagement rates.
Whatever your competitors post that gets good engagement, it means they’re doing something right. Study what they’re all doing and take elements from them to use for yourself. Every social network will have a different style of content and methods of posting that are effective. The leaders in your industry are doing whatever is currently working so take note.
Facebook is the largest Social Network in the World and it regularly gets well over 1 billion different people per day to its website. It kicked off what a Social Network was really about and it connected the World like never before seen. Facebook can allow you to drive insane amounts of traffic to your website if you can find out what works for your brand.
One of the easiest, most immediate and economical ways to advertise your eCommerce website is to take advantage of Facebook’s power. This tool puts at your disposal two different mechanisms: your personal profile and a Facebook page.
The key to getting the most out of this channel is to calibrate your business intent carefully. Alternate your posts that advertise products with other content that is designed to provide value and entertainment. This way, you can encourage the establishment of a stronger link between users and your company instead of it just simply being a business transaction.
Facebook is becoming increasingly harder to grow a big following on and you will find the majority of your page likes will come through your website unless you pay money.
Like other Social Networks, you can gain a good following over time but money talks and it makes things happen faster so this method will require a cash investment. If you can get targeted Facebook page likes, then the people who like your page can share your content or even purchase from you.
How to Get Facebook Page Likes
Head over to Facebook and create an account.
Now, create a page and make it for your business.
Fill out your profile completely. This means profile picture, background picture, link to your website, contact information; everything you can.
Now, you need to post a bit of content to make the page look fuller.
Post some niche-related pictures and share your website’s pages in a rotating order. When you create a post on Facebook, the editor has a feature where you can schedule it for a later time.
Schedule all of them to appear over a 48-hour period.
Once you have filled up your page a bit, it’s time to create an ad campaign.
Click on the same drop-down tab as you did when you created a page but click on “Create Ads” this time.
On the next page, scroll down and select “Engagement”.
Then, on the next page, scroll down and select “Page Likes”.
Follow the prompts to set up your account on the next page if you haven’t already. It’s just setting your country, currency, and time-zone.
Next, you should be at a section where you can set up your campaign.
Choose your Facebook Page from the menu.
The audience you choose will be vital for your success.
Only choose countries applicable to your page and business.
If your website doesn’t need traffic from a certain country, then don’t include it in your audience.
Make sure you choose the other demographics such as age, gender, interests, and behaviors according to your ideal audience.
Identify what you think your target market is and especially play around with the “Detailed Targeting” section.
This allows you to specifically target people who would only be interested in your page. This is the part where a lot of people screw up. You need to think hard and carefully about the type of people who would be interested in your Facebook page and website.
Never just generalize and be broad, there’s a good chance the people interested in your niche have very specific interests in addition to being of a certain age and gender.
Then scroll down and set your daily budget with a minimum of $5 and up to whatever you like.
You can also choose the start and end date and we would recommend a minimum of three days.
Click on next and you will need to use some images for your ads.
Choose some niche-related pictures and enter your text in the box to attract people to your page.
Make the maximum 6 ads that you are allowed and monitor their performance over the next few days and cancel the ones which are going the worst and create new ones to replace them.
After your ad is approved, Facebook will display it to the relevant people you selected and you should start getting some page likes.
Just continue to run your business page as normal and keep posting content about twice a day.
Getting these targeted page likes could be your first step to success on Facebook. If the people who liked your page start sharing your content then you could have a snowball effect happening so make sure the interests and demographics for your ads are targeted and well-optimized.
YouTube is the largest video-sharing platform on the Internet and it is still continuing to grow. At the time of writing this, over 400 hours’ worth of videos are uploaded to YouTube every minute and over 1 billion different people in the World access YouTube every month.
There are a lot of potential people within this user base that you can market your content to and you may be missing out by not including YouTube in your websites marketing plans.
There are three main ways that your YouTube video can gain valuable exposure:
1 – Rank it on YouTube
2 – Rank it on Google
3 – Both 1 and 2
Depending on the keywords you target and the niche that you are in, some of these ways are going to be easier than others. Both 1 and 2 require SEO and some engagement for it to work but you could very well receive a traffic boost just from achieving one of them.
These are the main factors which influence your YouTube videos rankings:
- Number of views your video gets
- Number of likes your video receives
- Number of times your video is embedded on other websites
- Number of times your video is shared on Social Media
- Number of comments your video receives
Total seconds users spend watching your video
How to Get YouTube Views
You need to create or have a video created that is directly related to your website and a keyword that you want to target. It should be at least two minutes in length and be informative and easy to watch. Longer videos tend to rank better though so if you can get it up to at least five minutes in length your chances for ranking will be better.
Good videos to create are “How To” topics as many people are searching for how to do things and these videos can be quite favored upon within search engines too. The video could even just be you talking into a camera and explaining how to do something for two minutes if you don’t have many ideas or a low budget.
Connect YouTube with your Business Gmail account once your video is ready to be uploaded. It is completely up to you what you want to include in the video since it’s your business and you will also need to create a YouTube channel.
Fill out your profile for your channel and username with all the required details it asks for so your profile looks complete.
Ranking A Video On YouTube
YouTube looks for the text that you have used in the title and description to get an idea of what your video is about.
You have to pay close attention to the text that you use and include your target keyword in the title, tags and the description of the video on YouTube and also save the video file with your keyword in the name. Try to put your keyword first in the title so it is the first thing that YouTube and Google will read.
Make the description as long as you can to boost your chances of ranking and keep it all relative to your niche and the video without drifting off to take up space. Only mention your target keyword once in the title and description and don’t copy and paste content from anywhere, it must be 100% unique and original.
Most important: Add a link to your website in the description.
You may get some traffic from people knowing that this video is related to your website, but you should do the work for them and also give yourself a backlink by linking to your target web page in the description.
Choose the best image that you can find that you think people would just have to click on. This is going to be used as the thumbnail for your video and it’s what entices people to click on your video.
After you have filled out all these details and uploaded your video to YouTube, it’s time to promote it using the methods listed after the next part about ranking a video on Google.
Ranking A YouTube Video On Google
Embed your videos on your website. The amount of sites that embed your video contributes to its rankings and what better way to start than placing it on your website.
You should only embed the video on a related page. So if you created a video about how to apply eyeliner and you also have a buying guide on the same subject then this is the perfect page to embed the video on.
Pretty much everything listed in the next part about promoting a YouTube video directly influences its chances of ranking higher in Google because it involves link building and Social Media signals so it’s best that you try and follow those techniques.
Promoting A YouTube Video
Share your video on all of your Social Media accounts. Tell people that you just posted this video and ask them to spread the word about it and subscribe to your YouTube channel so that they can see all of your future videos.
If you have followed the Facebook method listed above and got lots of likes to your Fan Page and Business Page then promote the video on both accounts on different days and pay to boost the post so more of the people who like your page will see it and share it.
Respond to people who comment on your videos, this keeps people talking and coming to your videos page. You can also search YouTube for the most recent videos posted in your niche.
Type your keyword into the search box and filter the results to display the most recent. Find some videos that don’t belong to your competitors and write a good and lengthy comment for it. This means watching the video and knowing what it is about. Other people who watch the video will upvote your comment so it appears first and it will give your name more exposure and people will be able to click on it.
Send an email to bloggers in your niche and let them know that you have just put a video on YouTube that they may be interested in linking to from their website.
Add the link to your YouTube channel on your other Social Media profiles if you can place a link. Facebook will allow you to add more links to your profile than other Social Media websites who only allow you to link to your website once.
Advertising your eCommerce site through YouTube videos gives you more than one advantage. First of all, it is clear to everyone the power that images in motion and audio together can have to promote a product, a brand or a company. To this we also add the boost given by the social features of this channel, expanding with YouTube Community.
Your videos will be included in search results not only on YouTube but also on Google; in this regard, pay particular attention to the video title, which must contain one or more relevant keywords, to insert a link to your product pages and to include tags – in order of importance – that attract users by interest.
What kind of content do you have to convey? Producing effective videos takes time, energy and even money; but the result is worth it.
In general, the content that works most on YouTube is educational such as guides, pros and cons, how to’s, tutorials that explain how to solve a problem or provide operational instructions, interviews with experts or influencers and demonstrations that highlight the characteristics of products.
Pinterest is a bit similar to Instagram in the sense that it is very visual and image-based.
In addition to being a great platform for visual content, Pinterest offers eCommerce websites enormous potential.
The first thing you can do to take advantage of Pinterest is to install the Pin It button on your product pages so users will be able to post images from your shop to the social network.
Take advantage of both your personal and company accounts if you have them. Create clever bulletin boards to group images of your articles: it is proven that the boards to which you have been assigning a specific theme (such as gift ideas for Valentine’s Day, for example) arouse more interest.
It is very important that for items that are regularly in stock, you add to the description of the pin also the price.
Take a look at our guide on How to Use Pinterest for Business for some strategies aimed at eCommerce websites.
How to Get Pinterest Followers
Go to Pinterest and create an account. Notice that there will be an option to create a business account.
Once your account is created, fill out your profile completely and go and create about 5 boards. You will see the option to do this on the main screen after you have logged in to Pinterest.
These boards can be about anything specifically related to your niche and you will need to find some niche-related pictures too. Later on, people are going to follow your boards if they like your pictures because they will want to see your future pictures you post, much like Instagram.
For the fitness niche, for example, you can create separate boards about bodybuilding, food, motivation, exercises and random related pictures that you like.
Upload about 20 pictures that you like from around the Internet to each of the boards you have created. Nobody is going to follow you if your boards only have a few pictures and don’t look interesting.
You can also use Pinterest’s search function to find people in your niche and you can re-pin their images too. Do this with about half of your pins to start off with but only use the best quality ones that you can find.
Once your boards are populated, just like you did with Twitter and Instagram, you need to find non-competitors in your niche by using the search function and following them.
Start following a bunch of individuals who have made posts related to your niche and re-pin one of their posts if you like it.
This will alert the person that you have followed them and re-pinned their post and quite often they will follow you back and you may get a re-pin out of it too.
Rinse and repeat this by following people in your niche every day and re-pinning at least 10 posts to every board that you have.
Consistency is the key with Pinterest and over time you will see your following and engagements start to go up. The good thing about this is you don’t have to find 100 new pictures a day as you can just re-pin in order to get your content.
If you make this a daily activity, you will start to see your account grow over time and Pinterest can easily bring in hundreds or thousands of people a day to your website once your account gets big enough.
A group board is when someone has created a board on Pinterest that other people are allowed to make pins to. You can identify which boards are like this by looking for an icon underneath them with multiple people pictured like this one below.
You need to make a request to join this board and the owner will decide to approve you or not. They will usually display their email address in the board’s description.
If you do get approved, you will be able to allocate some pins to go to that board.
Don’t overdo it though, as with previous methods listed in this guide you need to look impartial and only share your website on very rare occasions once you have built trust and a reputation.
The Browser Button
Download the Pinterest browser button and follow the instructions for the browser that you are using.
Go to a page on your website and click on the Pinterest button which has now appeared in the top right section of your browser.
You want to share the pages of your website this way because it allows you to link back to your website without putting your URL in the description. Every time someone re-pins this page that you shared, your backlink will be with it.
You could share your website’s images or pages to a group board but you are also running the risk of a ban if someone finds it to be spammy.
That’s not to say it doesn’t work though, and a safer alternative is to post something from your website on rare occasions to your own boards.