If you’re struggling to understand how to use social media for your ecommerce business in a way that grows your audience, keeps your audience engaged and drives sales and traffic back to your website, don’t fret.
Here are 10 inspiring examples of social media done right, across different popular platforms, by different ecommerce businesses. You can apply these examples immediately into your own social media plan of attack to help you achieve results such as growth and engagement.
For each example, I’m going to go over what the example is, why it’s effective (and what it helps that ecommerce business achieve) and how you can implement the example into your social media strategy.
1. Inspirational quote by Ugmonk On Twitter
Why It Works: According to Buffer, quotes get a 19% increase in retweets than other Tweets. Quotes are very “shareable”. Twitter users love them because they are short, sweet and effective.
Tying in a shareable and powerful Steve Jobs quote with their “Never Settle” t-shirt works because not only does it allow for their product to be seen through sharing, it comes across less as promotional content and more as inspirational content. The quote makes sense with the context of the product which is why it works.
How You Can Implement It: Tie in an inspirational, motivational, entertaining, educational or funny quotation with an image of your product. For a better effect, include a call to action and link back to your product or even superimpose the quote over an image of your product, with a link.
If you need help finding great quotes to use, check out Reddit for some ideas.
Be aware that these can become overused and abused, so it’s also a good idea to try and find lesser known quotes that speak directly to your brand values.
2. Motivational images by Nike on Pinterest
What it is: Nike is very active on Pinterest, they even have separate Pinterest accounts for different customer segments. For example, their Nike Women account targets their female athletes. Their “Motivation” board contains a lot of motivational quotes on branded images.
Why it works: Pinterest is usually where most brands curate content but Nike creates original content just for Pinterest.With 80% of Pinterest users being women (according to Marketing Land) creating a Pinterest account and boards specifically for women is a great example of understanding the user-base of the platform.
Motivational quotes are shared a lot, including on Pinterest. Nike uses their branding and products in their motivational quote images so that their content are their ads. This helps create brand awareness and bring more attention to their brand.
How you can implement it: Know and understand the user-base of the social media platforms you are using and cater to those. This article by PewResearchCenter breaks down the demographics of popular social media platforms.
Include motivational quotes with your logo or products if it makes sense for your brand. If it doesn’t, look at entertaining or humorous ways to do this.
Don’t be afraid to create different boards on Pinterest for the different audiences you’re trying to capture. If you have different products that attract different kinds of customers, create content on social media that can appeal to each segment.
3. User-generated content by Ikea on Twitter
What it is: IKEA’s Twitter post is sharing user-generated content that shows real customers creatively using IKEA products.
Why it works: User generated content is excellent because it not only encourages engagement but it’s a lot less work to put together than creating your own content from scratch. It shows real customers using their products which serves as social proof. Your most passionate fans and customers get a chance to shine and it’s your opportunity to give back and say thanks by featuring them. When you recognize a customer, you gain a customer for life.
The image in this Tweet is great for Twitter as it creates separation from all the text posts on Twitter as well as showing a real example of a customer using IKEA products. Dan Zarrella, author of The Science of Marketing, found that Tweets containing images were 94% more likely to be retweeted.
There’s also a great use of hashtags in this Tweet without it being overdone. Lastly there is one, clear, call to action “Check out...” with a link at the end of the Tweet.
How you can implement it: Ask your customers to send you pictures of themselves using your product and curate the best images into a blog post or collage image and send that out on social media. Show potential customers and fans other people people using your products in creative ways. To make it even easier, you can simply retweet or quote tweet any images you get from customers using your products in creative ways.
Use images in your Tweets to cut through the clutter. Instead of just a text Tweet or Tweet with a link to customers using your product, include an image in your Tweet.
The Shopify App Store also contains resources that make it really easy for you to embed photos of customers using your product on your website, such as embedding Instagram photos that use a specific hashtag on store pages.
4. Upcoming looks by Gap on Vine and Instagram
What it is: Gap created a short video with quick editing showing an upcoming spring line with models posing and wearing the clothing and accessories.
Why it works: The quick cuts with different models showing different products fits with the type of content that creates buzz by “previewing” the upcoming line, and is among the more popular content types on Vine. It effectively shows off the new patterns for the new clothing line, without also being an obnoxious ad.
Another clothing company using short videos, Lululemon, saw their average likes on Instagram double when they started using video on the platform according to SimplyMeasured.
Videos encourage interaction from your audience as well as keeping them engaged with your content. The call to action at the end of the description of Gap’s Vine, encouraging users to comment on which look they love, further helping increase their engagement.
How you can implement it: A video that previews an upcoming product or feature is a very effective method at creating buzz. Use Vine (or even Instagram video) to provide quick snapshots of your products, their features and even upcoming products to generate some buzz. Make it fun and fit in with your brand.
A call to action at the end, encouraging an answer to a question you pose like “Which look do you love?” is a great way to get more engagement.
You can use either Vine or Instagram to do this. Instagram might be a better choice if you already have a presence on Instagram or need a slightly longer video length, otherwise use Vine if you use Twitter, since Vine videos integrate natively on Twitter. It’s also worth noting that the demographics on both platforms are very different. As mentioned earlier, it’s important to understand and learn about the user-base of each platform before committing to one or the other (or both!).
5. Cheeky self-promotion by BeardBrand on Twitter
What it is: Beardbrand sells beard oil for the urban beardsman and in this Tweet, they put together a long article describing why their beard oil is the best in the industry.
Why it works: This is a no shame, humble brag with a little bit of cheekiness. Most brands take the serious approach when they try to sell “why we are the best” on social media. Beardbrand keeps it light with their admitted “100% biased review”. This helps humanize their brand on social media. Also, the product image used is simple but fantastic.
How you can implement it: Have fun and show personality when you are being self-promotional on social media, especially on Twitter. There’s a lot of noise on Twitter, separate yourself from everyone trying to promote their own products with some humor and really nice looking images.
Adjust your tone on Twitter, too, where you think it makes the most sense for your brand. This can be as simple as being genuine with humor. Instead of “Here’s why we’re great” change the tone and own it “We’re patting ourselves on the back, and were okay with it!”.
6. Video content with a lot of value by Lowes on Facebook
What it is: Lowes created a short video providing their followers five inspiring ideas to improve the look of their bedroom, really quickly. This video is natively uploaded to Facebook and posted to their Facebook page.
Why it works: Facebook rewards Page owners that upload their videos to Facebook with more organic reach, just look at the average recorded reach for each type of media, according to Socialbakers.
Videos not only will get a larger organic reach but also better engagement.
The video also provides valuable and compelling content to their audience which acts as a silent movie that catches your attention while you are scrolling through your feed.
This captures the attention of their fans and keeps them engaged, especially if they consistently put out content like this (which they do). That way, when it is time to promote something on Facebook, it will be a lot easier since their Facebook fans haven’t been pounded with constant promotions. Their Facebook fans will be more receptive to promotional content since they’ve been receiving so much valuable and useful content previously.
This kind of content is also very shareable, which drives more people to Lowes’ Facebook page.
How you can implement it: Start creating video content and uploading it to your Facebook page instead of linking out to the video on your YouTube channel or Vine profile. Native videos will not only help boost that organic reach you’re already struggling with but also keep your fans engaged.
Ensure you’re adding value with your content, such as providing tips and ideas that relate to your niche or industry. You’re telling a story and you want to do it in a compelling way. You don’t want to make your Facebook page a bombardment of promotional posts. The key to is keep fans interested and engaged with great content first so that they are receptive to your promotional posts.
At the same time, you could also create a video and upload it to Facebook to create an effective promotional post, driving fans to a product page or your ecommerce website, when it’s time to finally promote something to your Facebook page.
7. Riding hashtag wave by Sephora on Twitter
What it is: Sephora promotes their line of nail polish while #manipediday trends on Twitter.
Why it works: Sephora took a trending hashtag and used it within the right context. This Twitter post not only gives the brand personality but also puts their product in front of more people. It’s a fun and subtle way to do self-promotion on social media.
How you can implement it: Keep an eye for the trends and trending hashtags and when one fits your business or you feel like you can capitalize on it, do it! To keep tabs on what’s trending on Twitter, try using one of these sites:
Remember that these hashtags are often started by influencers, celebrities or even other brands. This provides you the opportunity to participate in conversations with other people that might be interested in what you’re doing. This isn’t an opportunity to spam your brand.
The image posts are, again, much more effective than a simple text tweet for reasons mentioned in #5 in this blog post.
8. Simple but effective product CTA by steam horse on Facebook
What it is: A Facebook post by Steam Horse Dry Goods Co. to their Facebook page with a simple and clear call to action to their henley shirts product page on their website.
Why it works: Steam Horse Dry Goods Co.’s post has a clear call to action with an effective image of their product that they’re promoting. It’s to the point, only has one call to action and link, and the image clearly shows the variety and looks available for this product. This is an effective and simple way to promote a product on social media.
The link is also shortened using a link shortener like Bit.ly which not only makes the link look cleaner, it allows for them to track the amount of clicks the link in this particular post is getting.
How you can implement it: Make your next promotional social media post simple and to the point with a clear call to action. Tell people to check out your stuff, don’t just talk about your product and throw in a link at the end of it. Give them clear instructions like “check it out” or “shop here →”.
You can improve this by adding a call to action button, such as “Shop Now”, in the Facebook Power Editor.
9. Fun way to get engagement by Bluff Works on Facebook
What it is: Bluff Works asks their followers a fun question on Facebook and includes an image with their post.
Why it works: Questions are an excellent way to encourage your fans and followers to engage with you. This works even better when you ask your audience creative questions that still involve your audience and brand. KISSmetrics found that posts with questions got 100% more engagement.
To help separate from all the noise on Facebook and catch the attention of users, Bluff Works attached an image to their post.
How you can implement it: Ask your audience more questions. If you want more engagement and comments, this is what you need to start doing on social media. Here’s a chart courtesy of KISSmetrics to help you brainstorm and come up with great questions to ask to get your audience more engaged with your social media profiles.
10. Promo with content by Kurly Klips on Facebook
What it is: Kurly Klips Extensions creates content on their YouTube channel educating fans and customers on different looks and styles as well as hair care. This Facebook post not only is promoting the content out to her fans, but it also mentions discounts for brides.
Why it works Kurly Klips has a YouTube channel where they create valuable content for their fans and customers to keep them engaged as well as keep them receptive to future promotions. This works well because they are promoting the discount which is packaged with content.
Instead of simply posting about the product or simply posting about a discount, they use Facebook to share valuable content that educates and helps their fans and customers, which also helps promote their product and the discount.
How you can implement it: Start creating really helpful or entertaining content like how-tos, instructionals and tips that can educate your audience in your niche so that they are more receptive to your products and discounts. This will keep fans of your Facebook page engaged if you put out consistent content like this.
If you don’t have a blog post but are still using video, upload the video to Facebook as mentioned in #6 to get a better reach. In this case, Kurly Klips links to a blog post which embeds the YouTube video from their channel, but if your content is just a video, upload it to Facebook.
Get creative with your discounts on social media. Create content around your promotions to leverage people sharing your useful content which extends helps spread the message on your promotion and discount.
Now that I’ve shared ten awesome examples of social media done right, it’s your turn to steal one of these strategies and implement it into your social media marketing strategy.
As a free bonus, I’ve included another 5 awesome examples of social media done right by ecommerce businesses. Click the link below to download the PDF and see more fantastic examples of social media posts that you can steal.
You don’t need to apply them all, apply the one that makes the most sense for your ecommerce business and your brand. Stuck? Let me know in the comments below this post. Feel free to ask any questions regarding any of these examples or your social media strategy. If you know someone who really needs to step up their social media for their business, share this blog post with them.
About The Author
Corey Ferreira is a passionate entrepreneur, coconut water lover and content creator at Shopify.