The social media revolution has made it possible for businesses of all sizes to reach an infinitely expanding audience. For small or medium-sized businesses in particular, social media provides a great opportunity to drive traffic to websites without breaking the bank. Used alongside traditional and digital marketing, social media provides an affordable, personal, and scalable way for your clients to attract visitors to their online store.
How does this impact you? We already discussed the value of offering additional services to your clients beyond the launch of their store as it creates additional revenue stream and can help nurture healthy, long-term client relationships. One service you can provide is to help your clients set-up and manage their social media integrations. Channels like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are great for growing your client’s online community and boosting their sales… if you know how to use them correctly.
To help you get started on becoming a social media specialist, here’s an overview of a few common social media channels with six essential services you can provide to your clients to grow their following and drive traffic to their online store.
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Which social channels drive traffic?
In order to drive maximal social traffic to your client’s online store, it’s crucial to understand the value and benefits that each network provides for your marketing strategy. Here's an overview of the big players in the social media space:
Coming in at over 1.3 billion users,Facebook is the most popular social media network. It's a great place to share rich visual content, and target new users through affordable and effective targeted advertising. Furthermore, Facebook is the ecommerce king when it comes to traffic and sales. Nearly two thirds of all social media visits to Shopify stores come from Facebook while an average of 85% of all orders from social media come from Facebook. Plus, with the recently announced Buy Button for Facebook, your clients can showcase their products directly on their Facebook Page where they can choose to redirect shoppers to their website for payment, or checkout without leaving the Facebook at all.
To get the most out of Facebook, make sure to supply your clients with great high resolution photos of their products or online store. Photos on Facebook have been shown to generate over 50% more likes than the average post.
Although it’s difficult to rival Facebook as king, Pinterest is another great channel for your clients to promote their products. Pinterest accounts for 13% of all social media traffic to Shopify stores and is especially useful if your client is selling niche products like antiques and collectibles or books and magazines. Once again, Pinterest is a highly visual platform, so make sure to create a stellar photo collection to hand-off to your client when you send them your social media strategy.
Twitter has over 232 million users, with especially high adoption in the United States. Twitter users exchange content with their followers, who can then share with their followers, and so on. This makes Twitter particularly amenable to growing your client’s social reach. Rich content, such as photos and videos, is especially valuable, with retweets shown to be 35% higher than pure text. Use shortened links to drive traffic to your website and track the results.
Google+ is a fast growing social network with over 300 million active users. But that’s not what makes it a great social channel to be on. Because Google+ profiles have a role in Google search results, having a solid presence on Google+ is a great way to create extra SEO juice for your client’s store. This way you can leverage Google+ Pages to enhance your client’s discoverability on Google search, Google maps, and other Google business tools.
While Google+ might have less users than Facebook or Twitter, its users are also extremely passionate. This passion translates in a desire to learn, and users tend to respond well to posts that teach them something. Provide your client’s followers with knowledge, be it information on a product update or new tools for learning. From cars to cardio, chances are there’s a niche audience on Google+ looking to learn about whatever product your clients are selling.
with over 250 million members, LinkedIn is known as a professional network and is especially popular with businesses selling to other businesses. Like Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn lets you promote posts to reach audiences not currently following you.
On LinkedIn, people are most interested in discovering industry insights. They want content that will either make them better at their jobs, or will show their own networks that they’re knowledgeable about their profession and field. Share the latest news about your client's industry, new developments, or trends they might expect in the near future. You can also offer relatable insights into what it’s like working in your industry.
Instagram is a fast growing, photo and video sharing social network with over 300 million users worldwide. Brands take advantage of Instagram’s highly visual community to connect directly with their audience. Instagram is also a great platform for visual marketing campaigns. While you can’t share links on Instagram in posts, you can use it to get your brand discovered, and share your website URL in your Instagram profile.
Instagram is all about beautiful visuals. If your client’s product isn’t well represented by visuals, use the platform to make your client’s company more relatable and personal. Use images to illustrate your client’s personality and what makes their company tick. Finally, capitalize on user-generated content, and encourage your clients to share (with appropriate credit) other people’s images of their products.
Services you can offer to grow your client’s reach
Growing your client’s Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter following will ensure more people will land on their website and hopefully convert into paying customers. The larger the following, the more social media can be used to find prospects, drive leads, sell products, and shape a brand image. Here are six social media services you can offer to grow your client’s following.
1. Develop a content strategy
Be intentional around how you want to drive social media users to your client’s website. There are lots of ways to be creative and effective on social media including visual campaigns, contests, and blogging relevant and fun content. Try different things, watch what drives referral traffic using analytics tools, and double down on the winners. Once you've settled on the best strategy for your client's niche, present them with a detailed plan that they can use to guide their social media initiatives after the store handover.
2. Create engaging content
With social media, the consumer is in control of what they see and what they ignore. Unless you’ve built trust with your audience, you’re going to have a hard time getting them to pay attention to your brand. If you want to build trust with your audience you need to provide content that is honest, interesting and of value to them. One way you can do this is to offer to write blog posts that enrich your client’s customers’ and prospects lives through lifestyle tips or humor, rather than a direct sales pitch.
Remember: Don’t just sell, provide value first to build trust.
Herschel Supply Co. has become a master of social media engagement by sharing rich content that captivates a large audience, while effectively featuring their products. Their Instagram community has swelled to an impressive following of over 700,000 and their content –– often generated and contributed by their loyal customer community –– never fails to impress. By providing something of value, they are able to market their products to a more engaged audience.
Tip: Try highlighting any specials, discounts and exciting offers you have on social. This will drive more traffic to your client's website.
3. Set up a dashboard to follow influencers, competitors, and customers
Find and follow influencers in your client’s industry or niche. Once you have a list of people who are thought leaders, present your findings to you client and encourage them to engage and meaningful connections. At every opportunity, ask influencers to share products or refer their followers to your client’s store. Influencers who share your content dramatically increase your client’s organic reach.
You can also save your client time and effort by offering to set up a social media dashboard for their business. A dashboard can help them track competitors, customers, and industry trends from different social networks, all in one place.
4. Preschedule content for multi-channel sharing
A great social media strategy is a multi-channel strategy, and that means hitting as many channels with as much impactful content as possible. Posting topics one by one, however, is tedious and ineffective. So once you've finished creating all that rich, engaging content for your clients, offer to set up a pre-planned content schedule with a scheduling tool like Hootsuite or Buffer. Scheduling helps your client maintain a steady flow of content so they are continually driving traffic to their online store from many different places.
5. Research hashtags to encourage users to drive campaigns
Social media consumers use hashtags to follow trends. Jump on board by sourcing and then adding relevant hashtags to your clients posts. In addition to increasing brand awareness, hashtags also help track how your social campaigns are performing.
Apparel company Herschel Supply collects and shares customer-generated media alongside their branded hashtag, #WellTravelled. They’ve collected more than 40,000 posts from fans and followers using that hashtag, providing them with useful user-generated content and offering them clear insights into the interests of their consumers and the reach of their products.
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6. Track and measure success
Now that you’re listening, strategizing, engaging, and driving traffic back to your client’s website, it’s time to start measuring success so you can create detailed reports to send back to your clients. Use link shorteners like bit.ly or owl.ly measure clicks and engagement. Make sure to include campaign tracking codes on your links to compare social media referral traffic with that of other sources such as SEO and Adwords. Tag individual campaigns and double down on the winners. Once you've collected enough data, send your client recommendations for areas they can improve in or notify them of their successes.
Don't just say you're a social media expert. Be one.
Prove your social media expertise with Hootsuite’s Social Media Marketing Certification.
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