18Oct
By: Marc Schenker October 18, 2016

If you’re not using social media to market your small eCommerce business, then you’re missing out on a channel that has been proven to drive leads and customers to online stores. Social media marketing for small business has become the standard for dropshippers who want to advertise their products, but without putting in a lot of money up front.

As a small business, you naturally don’t have a lot of your budget (maybe even any of your budget) to devote to marketing. That’s the beauty of social media. It’s free or doesn’t cost a lot, reaches a ton of people around the world, and doesn’t require a lot of time and effort to monitor its results (because you, of course, have more important things to do like actually running your online store).

While every store owner can open a Twitter, Facebook or Instagram account for their store, they don’t bring in traffic and customers just like that. If only it was that simple!

Still, what we’re going to show you in this blog post will empower you to set up your social media account, use it to bring people to your online store, and then easily monitor the results to see if the ROI is there.

Build a following on social media by sharing visual content before you open your store so traffic gets driven to your store

Setting up a successful eCommerce store comes down to what you do before you open your online small business. Preparations on social media form a crucial component of that strategy.

As a small business eCommerce store owner, you don’t have the time or money to invest in a grand advertising effort. Thankfully, social media provides a very low barrier to entry and ease of use in that effort. You can even start to test the marketplace before you open your store by curating a social media account that showcases images of the products you want to sell.

Social media marketing for small business: Instagram

For example, let’s say that you’re interested in starting an online jewelry store. So what do you do first? You set up a social-media account on a very visually friendly platform like Pinterest or Instagram, where you can share a lot of pictures of jewelry. If that starts to gain traction—as in you get a lot of followers and pins of your images—then you know for a fact that there’s a big marketplace out there on the web that you can drive to your store when you open it.

When you do this social media marketing for small business long enough, you already have a big enough following that you can drive to your store when you open it.

For good social media marketing for small business, use Instagram to sell your products after you open your store

Instagram is now one of the largest and most widely used social networks on the planet. Owned by Facebook, it’s more visual-based than Facebook, and that’s a huge benefit for small eCommerce store owners! Think of it, on Instagram, you can basically use the platform as a promotional tool for your products, which people will want to see before they buy.

If you’ve already done the previous step well and started using Instagram as a way to share visual content around products you’re thinking of selling, whether that’s clothing, jewelry, stickers or anything else you want to sell. Therefore, you already might have a sizable following when you open your store.

The great news is that not only will you already have a social-media following to send traffic to your site, but you’ll also have built-in leads and customers to whom you can continue selling on social media.

Here are some social media marketing for small business tips to sell on Instagram:

  • Analyze content on Instagram to see what’s already popular, and then share visuals of your products around that popular content
  • Retarget any traffic you get from Instagram to your Facebook channel to additionally push this target audience to buy
  • Use low-pressure and soft-selling calls to action (for instance, tag someone who would buy this or likes this instead of using “buy now!”)

Use Facebook ads to sell your products to the right audience

As with selling on Instagram, selling on Facebook is a relatively cheap, easy-to-do and proven way to market your small online store. Since Facebook is the world’s third-most popular site, it’d be foolish not to use it as a way of driving customers to your online store.

Facebook ads are designed to give businesses around the world a chance to reach their target audience and send good traffic to their sites. To be fair, though, while Facebook targeting is a very effective way to get at your audience, it can take time to finesse your targeting metrics before you see results and before you can cover your cost of ads with sales.

Social media marketing for small business: Facebook ads

However, it’s well worth your time to stick with it. Enjoying success with Facebook ads is based on understanding this ad technique very well. Before you use this sophisticated type of ad-targeting, be sure to read the following information about it:

Monitor your ROI (return on investment)

So far, we’ve seen how you can harness the power of social media marketing for small business to get effective results for your eCommerce store. Signing up for Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook is free, and taking out Facebook ads is only minimally costly, at first. In time, when you refine your ad targeting on Facebook, you’ll get more and better conversions since you have a better idea of who your customers are.

Social media marketing for small business: ROI

In short, you’re not risking a lot of effort or money on your part to use one of today’s most efficient ways of marketing: social media. As with everything you do for your eCommerce store, though, you have to make sure that you’re not just seeing results, but also how valuable those results are compared to the time, effort and money you put in. Monitoring your ROI is necessary, and it’s also easy to do.

Socia media marketing for small business: Building a following

When it comes to Pinterest, check out these six metrics to analyze for ROI.

Instagram is a bit odd because it doesn’t have its own, built-in analytics you can use to track ROI. However, you can use these free, different analytics tools to measure your Instagram ROI.

With Facebook, here’s a handy guide on monitoring ROI on that platform.

Social media marketing for small business works!

One cannot deny that social media marketing for small business is effective when done right. The key is understanding what you want to do on what social network and how to execute properly. With some trial and error and experience, you’ll eventually be able to take advantage of social media to help your small business marketing.

A small eCommerce store doesn’t have a big budget for ads. You also don’t have the time to run a complicated ad campaign because you need to focus on running your business so it survives and thrives. When you use social media marketing, both cost and time issues become easy to manage.