How to get started in e-commerce with the help of social media
A well-planned and finely tuned marketing strategy is essential for the success of a modern company. In advance, considerations should be made that define a concrete goal and measures should be introduced that are useful for achieving this goal. There are various marketing strategies that are used in the e-commerce sector. In the following, social media will be examined in more detail from a marketing perspective. More specifically, it will be about establishing and expanding contact with customers under the major topic of social selling.
What is social selling exactly?
Social selling is a marketing strategy for acquiring target customers via various social media, retaining them over the long term, and generating sales. Social selling involves social networks in such a way that a consistent digital relationship can be built up between the respective company and a customer within a certain period of time.
Social networks such as Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and Twitter offer an ideal platform for developing a sustainable customer relationship and thus retaining potential customers in the longer term. By actively and strategically posting pictures and videos on various social networks, you can reach many users and attract their attention. The second step is social selling. The active presence of one’s own company on social platforms can arouse interest in the company and its products among customers and, in the long term, build trust. The main difference to pure social media marketing is the focus on the customer. While in social media marketing the content can quickly be perceived as advertising, social selling enters into a dialogue with their target group and presents relevant information and engaging content for successful social selling. This approach can be seen as a contemporary way of getting in touch with potential customers and serves to interact with them. Simply put, social selling replaces the old-fashioned cold calling.
Why is social selling important?
It has been known for some time that social media play a not inconsiderable role in the purchase decision process of many users. Studies have shown that intensive social media conversations with potential customers have significantly increased a company’s sales opportunities. In many companies, social selling is an integral part of the marketing strategy. Those who do not actively engage in this area in the long term risk losing many potential customers to competitors who have already built up a large network and thus engage in successful social selling.
What exactly is a social selling index?
In order to determine how well social selling works and to have a measurement value, the so-called Social Selling Index (SSI) was developed. This value measures the success of a company’s or brand’s social selling activity. The SSI concept was introduced by LinkedIn in 2014, and a total of four categories are examined more closely in order to determine the corresponding value:
Creation and maintenance of an individual brand
The LinkedIn profile should be informative and extensively provided with important information. Each section of the profile must be filled out with care and in detail. This also includes giving the profile relevance. Creating content is as much a part of this as interacting with other users, replying to comments, and sharing relevant articles on the topic.
Build complete network
The company structure should be clearly comprehensible in each profile. The relevant people should be assigned to their positions and their connections to each other should be clearly shown. Second-degree connections should also be linked. A clear structure always has a positive effect on SSI.
Create relevant content
A relatively good way to establish yourself as an expert in a particular field is to produce high-quality content and share it. By sharing specific information, one’s profile can be perceived as a reliable source of information.
Build and develop relationships
It is always important to maintain one’s own network and to keep adding new contacts to one’s network. This way, one’s own reach always continues to grow and contact is made with people who make a buying decision.
How does performance marketing work?
Performance marketing is also about measuring a marketing performance and deriving measures from it that are useful for optimizing one’s own marketing strategy and campaigns. It is only in online marketing that performance marketing has really been able to develop its potential. Unlike print media, most online campaigns have tools that can be used to precisely evaluate the ongoing campaign. This is also the essential prerequisite for performance marketing. Because only when I have the necessary information about an ongoing campaign and can read this information correctly is it possible for me to derive insights from it and to intervene in a campaign in a regulating manner and, if necessary, to improve it.
In addition to Google Analytics and various SEO tools, the success of your own marketing campaign can of course also be determined by the click-through rate or cost-per-click indicators. Click, traffic, or conversion data play an important role in the analysis and should not be neglected as an indicator. It is crucial for a company to regularly check its own marketing performance in order to be able to derive the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) of its own campaign in the long term.
What are the performance marketing channels?
In the online space, there are a variety of ways to successfully conduct performance marketing. These include marketing channels such as:
- Search engine marketing (SEM), such as Google Ads
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Affiliate marketing (using affiliate links)
- Mobile marketing (targeting customers via mobile devices)
- Email marketing (can be done with the help of newsletters)
- Display marketing (with display advertising)
- Video marketing (for example, through explainer videos)
- Social media marketing (through platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, etc.)
Today, no company can do without a good online marketing strategy. Important considerations would have to be made at the beginning in order to define a concrete strategy and thus a promising campaign for a specific product. Various indicators play an important role here in order to be able to measure successes or failures and make corrections if necessary.
While the performance marketing indicators provide information about the performance of a particular campaign, the social selling index (SSI) measures the activity that a company or brand achieves with its customers on social networks. For this reason, it is not possible to make a statement at this point about whether a company should opt for social selling or performance marketing. Since these are two different approaches to how a company can pursue an online marketing strategy, it is advisable to consider both approaches in order to be able to derive the maximum profit benefit from the two methods for oneself.