As a merchant, or somebody who works with businesses, you may have come to the conclusion that getting involved in social media is a prudent thing to do. After all, brands and businesses that excel in their industries seem to leverage social media better than their competition. In fact, many businesses have hired full-time staff to tackle the very real need of social media management.
However, if you’re a small time operator, you may not have a budget that you can dedicate to a full-time social media manager, who can do it all. But you still may determine that doing a little is better than doing nothing at all, and you’d be right.
So, you need to prioritize your social media marketing. There are so many social networks nowadays that it’s hard to determine which one (or ones) you should focus on.
Website Magazine recently published an article about the very best social networks for merchants. You’d be wise to read it and give it careful consideration. Here are a few snippets from the article.
Twitter is a great platform for marketing your brand and sharing your unique message with the world. Since you only have 140 characters to say what you need to say, it really ensures that you stick to the essentials (something most marketers would be smart to do more of). It’s also an excellent platform for accepting and responding to customer queries and complaints (and retweeting compliments) in an efficient manner. Plus, with new services like Chirpify, in-stream Twitter-commerce is starting to become a reality, although a shaky and certainly immature reality, for the time being.
Google+ has yet to come out with a really feasible, useful shopping option like Facebook or Twitter, and it certainly doesn’t have the audience reach that Facebook can offer, but it does do one thing: help you get found. Since G+ is so closely integrated with Google Search, setting up a Google+ Page for your online e-commerce business is a great way to improve the way your business shows up on the world’s most popular search engine (by a long shot). Google+ also offers the added benefit of Google Authorship, which is great for online merchants with a blog, as it will provide their content with more credibility and authority in the SERPs.
Merchants love Pinterest, because it allows them to share images of their products to interested consumers, and we all know how much people on the Internet love pictures. The huge surge in popularity that Pinterest has seen in the last two years has been a dream for retailers, particularly those that sell products that lend themselves to being looked at repeatedly, such as apparel or home décor. And although interested consumers can’t actually make purchases on the social pinboarding site, Pinterest does allow them to click and link and be taken directly the specific page on their website for the product their interested in. So, since it is basically the online version of “just browsing” through a store, and can thus lead to impulsive purchasing decisions, Pinterest is certainly a favorite among online merchants, for good reason.