5 Ecommerce Social Media Tools That Give You the Upper Hand
Social media and ecommerce go together, helping drive more than $30 billion in online sales every year. The current trend of fusing the two has made them even more important to each other. Online shopping has never been easier, especially if you are a fan of social media. Platforms like Pinterest and Instagram have added social commerce features so consumers don’t even have to leave the app to make a purchase. There are shoppable feeds, direct-buy posts and ways to make purchases even within ephemeral content like Stories.
To make a long explanation short, social media is a marketing (and selling) tool that can no longer be ignored, especially in the ecommerce space, where it’s estimated to drive around 5% of all online or digital sales. This makes social media tools a necessity for every e-tailer.
With the increase in traffic that comes from making a social splash, online retailers need a way to track their top performing social channels and allocate resources accordingly. From social media management to content creation, here are five powerful and easy-to-use ecommerce social media tools that will give your online store the upper hand.
Read on to learn more.
HootSuite: Social Media Management
For any ecommerce marketer looking for an all-inclusive social media tool, Hootsuite is a solid option. The solution truly is a suite, complete with tools for scheduling, content curation, analytics, monitoring, team management and security.
Social media has an estimated 3.1 billion global users posting millions of updates daily, so it’s not a reach to say that social media marketing can seem daunting. However, a solution like Hootsuite simplifies the process by allowing users to create posts, schedule them to go out at a predetermined time and analyze their results, all from within the suite. Users can also cut through the chatter and only see the posts that are relevant to their brand, if they so desire.
One of the most notable, results-producing feature of Hootsuite is its ability to track brand mentions on social media. All that is required is that you set-up the streams using hashtags, keywords and direct mentions. Brands can then see what is being said about them online, and they can also track positive and negative sentiments, too.
Case in point: Hootsuite recently published a case study about how outdoor brand Herschel Supply was able to achieve a 20% lift in customer service satisfaction rate and a 60% increase in overall positive brand sentiment by using their integrated tools and dashboard.
Plans start at $29/month, which is a price range that should be feasible for most retailers. Hootsuite also offers a social media blog that can teach you the basics of social media marketing while providing helpful examples and case studies of the latest strategies being employed by today’s most successful online brands.
Alternatives: Sprout Social, SocialBakers
Buffer: Social Media Post Scheduling
Post scheduling its not without its benefits, namely: efficiency. By setting aside time once a week to create posts, you can create a laundry list of captivating content to be shared on auto-pilot. If you know when your social audience is most active, use Buffer to post updates at those times to capture higher engagement and get increased views. The post times are completely customizable, and you can toggle days on or off to save your content for more optimal times.
Yes, Hootsuite and its alternatives have post scheduling features as well. But when your online store is just getting underway, or you’re working to build a strong social following, Buffer is an especially helpful tool. Users can stick with the free version for life and save some cash along the way, too.
Case in point: According to a recent report by Fortune, retailers have seen an uptick in social media engagement after using Buffer, alongside an even larger increase in engagement on photo tweets (a unique feature offered by Buffer that isn’t available with every post scheduling service).
Buffer’s paid plans start at $15/month and come with additional features, like analytics, connecting different social platforms and more.
Alternatives: Later, Postfity
Canva: Image Creation
The human brain processes visuals and retains them more than any other type of information. This is the idea behind the explosive growth of image-sharing powerhouse Instagram and the reason why social media posts with images massively outperform those without, helping us understand why Instagram has catapulted to the top as a major player in ecommerce. Therefore, it’s imperative for your social media strategy to contain memorable imagery, which is easily doable with Canva.
Canva is the solution for e-tailers that don’t have the means to hire an in-house designer. The site is full of templates for everything from wedding invitations to yearbooks. But the most robust category is: social media images. Each template type is correctly sized—think different specs for Twitter headers versus LinkedIn posts—and is also completely customizable. Simply swap out the copy, font, colors or other elements to make a unique image that’s ready to post and share. You can also build your own image from scratch, with hundreds of available premium and free backgrounds and add-on graphics.
But the capabilities don’t stop there. Canva also has an infographic template, which you can use to fuse education and entertainment. You’ll also increase web traffic by up to 12% just by adding infographics to your social posts.
Case in point: Conversational is a virtual receptionist provider for small businesses and startups, and it’s just one of many businesses that uses Canva for its social media marketing. In a case study, Conversational found it has seen a 1,100% increase in engagement on social media and more website traffic than ever before since adding Canva to its arsenal of social media marketing weapons.
Canva is a low-cost solution with a free-for-life personal plan and a $9.95/month Canva for Work plan. Certain templates and elements cost one or two dollars to download for use, but the free selection is so vast that you may never even need to pay for the service.
BuzzSumo: Research, Influencers & More
BuzzSumo, like Hootsuite, is a suite style, multifaceted solution. There are tools in each category of content research, influencers and monitoring. It’s a bit of a doozy, but we’ll break it down and show how these tools directly tie into any effective social media strategy, especially in an ecommerce world where 79% of your potential customers use Facebook and Instagram daily to find new brands and shopping ideas.
Content research on BuzzSumo is based on keyword searches, with results showing related topics, top-performing articles, what’s trending, which questions have been asked in forums, and which articles have linked back to your site. While this is most helpful if you’re using content marketing to promote your site, this research can also help you find outside relevant content for your social media channels.
In 2019, there’s no denying the power of influencer marketing. It has a return of over $7 per dollar spent, and it’s effective. In fact, 40% of respondents have made a purchase solely based on a tweet from an influencer, and influencers, not beauty brands, created 86% of the most-watched beauty videos on YouTube last year. The influencer research tools from BuzzSumo easily help you identify influencers in your industry based on keyword searching. The software then presents you with Twitter users and bloggers who meet your selected criteria.
BuzzSumo’s monitoring tools also let you track keywords, brands and specific websites. It’s like HootSuite’s social listening feature, but it looks at articles and forums instead of social updates. Like the content research functions, monitoring can help you source content for your social channels. Articles like independent reviews can also provide social proof, which is important to feature on social media because 54% of the time, consumers will click over to an online store from a positive review they’ve read on social media.
Case in point: Trueshopping Group owns a handful of ecommerce brands and uses BuzzSumo to source content and gather ideas for their blogs, according to a case study. The software has also enabled them to connect with influencers in their various niches. Additionaly, other notable brands using BuzzSumo include: Rolling Stone, Moz.com and BuzzFeed, to name a few.
BuzzSumo offers five plans that start at $99/month, making it the priciest tool on this list. But for online retailers running a high-volume, high-revenue operation, this is a must-have ecommerce social media marketing tool.
Alternatives: Mention, Feedly
Pexels Video: Free Stock Video
Video has taken over the internet, especially on social media sites. Need some convincing? These statistics prove its exponential growth and global usage, with product videos showing a healthy 16.85% conversion rate:
- Mobile video usage has increased by nearly 10 million daily viewing minutes in the last two years.
- Cisco projects that global internet traffic from videos will make up 82% of all consumer internet traffic by 2021.
- 70% of YouTube viewers watch videos for “help with a problem” they’re having in their hobby, studies or job.
- 43% of B2C marketers say pre-produced video is the most successful type of content for marketing purposes.
- Globally, YouTube is consumers’ leading source of video content, at 83% (Facebook is second, at 67%).
As you can see, you can’t afford to skip on video, but you probably don’t want to spend on a videographer, either. Fortunately, there is a solid middle ground in stock video.
Pexels Video is a completely free service that lets users download video clips, which e-tailers can use for short and sweet social media video ads. There’s no better way to capture consumers’ attention.
Case in point: Studies show that marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users, and 64% of consumers make a purchase after watching branded social videos.
We mentioned Pexels Video is free, but be sure to read the licensing rules on the site to avoid any trouble down the road.
Alternatives: Pixabay, Coverr
The Final Scoop
Social media is a must-have for any e-tailer that’s looking to boost revenue. It’s free marketing, a customer engagement facilitator and a source of education and entertainment for consumers. You can easily leverage the power of social media by sharing consistent, high-quality content that helps drive new engagements, targeted and organic site traffic and more sales.
Need even more tips? Check out our related guide: Want More High-Powered Sales? Use These Social Strategies for Ecommerce