If you had a magic wand that allowed you to always target your ideal audience—those who are ready to buy right now—would you use it?
Everyone would (let’s be honest).
The good news is that an in-depth marketing strategy can help guide your ideal audience to the point where they’re ready to buy.
However, you have to begin at a much earlier stage and build up to that point.
That earlier stage is also known as social media.
In fact, social media can be a much stronger tool than just a place to build brand awareness. The average order value for purchases that started on social media is right behind email, the rockstar channel of ecommerce:
Still, many ecommerce brands haven’t tapped into the power of selling—and making money—on social media.
In this guide, we’ll cover five unbreakable rules that will help you get ahead with your social media marketing.
Pssst: you’re going to want to try some of these in your own jumper account, so make sure you sign up for a free jumper account before we jump in (pun intended!).
Rule #1: Use social media for all stages of the purchase journey
We sort of hinted this one already, but it’s worth diving deeper into it.
People don’t follow your social media accounts and engage with your updates just because they like you or find you funny.
They want to see your products, hear about launches when you announce them, and get inspiration for gifts:
Consumers want to stay up-to-date on products they want to buy now or in the near future.
They spend more than 2 hours on social media each day, so there is literally no better place to get on their radar and make shopping from you as easy as possible once they’re ready to buy.
The mistake that brands commonly make is tiptoe around their social media followers. They’re too concerned with being relevant and useful so they focus on advice and ignore their own products.
They fear coming across too promotional if they mention an ongoing promotion or shout out their latest product line.
The solution is to always think through the lens of relevancy.
Sure, mentioning your latest product 25 times in one day definitely won’t be welcome.
But if you’re selling camping equipment and there is a sunny, long weekend ahead, your audience will want you to let them know how to get prepared and which products they need for their weekend under the open sky.
Furthermore, mentioning it more than once over the course of a week will ensure you’re covering multiple lifestyles and timezones. Remember, each of your social posts are always only seen by a fraction of your audience.
You can make the most of this rule with these two actions:
- List all relevant holidays, seasons, events, and other external factors that can positively impact your sales so that you can plan your social media activity around it
- Make it easy for your audience to shop during these times by setting up an automated checkout on your social accounts with jumper—we wrote a guide to walk you through it
Rule #2: Best results come from platform-specific posts
Automating your social media posting is tempting. But automatically sharing Instagram posts to Facebook and Facebook posts to Twitter will set you back instead of helping you save time with your social media marketing.
At best, it will do nothing for your brand.
At worst, it will annoy your potential customers and get them to unfollow you.
Not having a platform-specific strategy will set you back in two ways:
- Your audience won’t see the value of following you if they keep seeing the same post on different platforms
- You won’t make the most out of specifics and benefits of each platform
Twitter is a highly conversational platform. Instagram is best for beautiful imagery on the feed and real-time updates on stories. Pinterest is the perfect place for shopping inspiration. Facebook is great for video content and it also provides lots of space for written updates.
The mistake that happens with this rule is believing that simply repurposing the identical text and visual across platforms is beneficial because it means you’re present on a platform.
The solution? Look through the events and seasons you’ve identified in the first rule and think about them through the perspective of each platform you want to be present on.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to define a strategy for each platform:
- Facebook: How can I turn these topics into product spotlights, video demonstrations, live video, entertaining posts, and rich image galleries?
- Twitter: What does my audience talk about when it comes to these topics? What are their burning questions I can help them with?
- Instagram: How can I make people stop scrolling to engage with my brand and products? How can I build trust by taking my audience behind the scenes in my Instagram stories?
- Pinterest: How can I serve as inspiration for when the time comes to shop?
- YouTube: How can I talk about my products and relevant topics to get my audience to engage with my videos and share them with their friends?
Remember, you don’t have to be on every single platform to run a successful social media strategy.
Start out with one or two you’re able to commit your time to. Get to a point where you have your strategy perfected and you’re seeing decent gains before moving on to complementary platforms.
Rule #3: On Facebook, ‘sell’ conversations, not products
Facebook doesn’t want you to be promotional—they want people to see meaningful content and join conversations that matter to them.
If your content doesn’t match this requirement, your audience will see it less.
This is nothing new, but it still makes social media marketers nervous.
The knee jerk reaction might be to post more. More posts, more chance to get seen, right?
Quite the opposite. The more frequently you post, the more likely it is that your content is mediocre and gives no reason to be amplified by Facebook.
On top of that, the social media pros at Buffer tried doing the exact opposite of that—posting less—and saw some pretty stellar results. Their reach and engagement tripled!
With this in mind, how can you ensure your Facebook efforts are bringing a positive return?
Our answer: by focusing on creating conversations.
One-on-one interactions, rather than just likes and shares, can wildly impact both your brand loyalty and sales. You can focus on creating these opportunities in two ways and turn them into sales with jumper—here’s how.
People love sharing their opinions, sending good finds to their friends, and feel heard in casual interactions. Share posts that tap into their preferences and emotion, and they’ll jump onto the opportunity to comment.
One of my favorite brands to showcase in examples is New Look. This post is a great way to showcase this strategy:
Once your comments start going up thanks to conversational, relatable posts, you can start using jumper’s ability to kick off an automated checkout bot in Facebook Messenger.
This is as simple as adding a “Comment #hashtag to purchase!” to your Facebook posts after you’ve set up your product(s) in your jumper dashboard.
Encourage messages (cleverly)
Messaging apps now count 2.5 billion users (literally one third of the planet!), so it’s no surprise that marketing on this channel recently spread like wildfire.
And with almost half of those users being on Facebook Messenger, it’s also not a surprise to see Facebook limiting the number of promotional messages
More specifically, businesses used to send messages to Facebook users through Subscription Messaging, but it is now only allowed for use cases that fall under news, productivity, and personal trackers.
Tough luck? Not entirely.
Even though most businesses can no longer use subscriptions on Messenger, there’s still a pathway to great conversations, and it’s called Standard Messaging. More importantly, it involves something called the 24 + 1 policy.
This essentially means that within the first 24 hours from a person messaging your business, you can send messages that promote your products. The ‘+ 1’ part of the rule means you can also send one additional message outside the 24-hour messaging window.
Here’s the kicker: you can only do this when a person starts a conversation with you—more specifically, your Facebook page—you can’t go the other way around.
To make this happen, you can take steps such as:
- Prompt people to send messages (in Settings > Messaging)
- Help people start a conversation with your page (in Settings > Messaging)
- Add a ‘Get Messages’ option to your organic Facebook posts (from your main page screen)
Whichever option you go for, make sure you’re providing value and relevance over everything, and sales will follow.
Rule #4: On Instagram, make your products part of your story
We’ve already talked (a lot) about sales techniques and tools on Instagram, so definitely make sure you’re caught up on them—our favorites are:
- How Brands are Quickly Selling Products on Instagram
- The Best Instagram Marketing Tools For Ecommerce.
Instead of going over those points here too, let’s focus on another aspect of Instagram that many online shops keep getting wrong: storytelling.
Do you remember when magazines were the most popular visually-driven medium?
Me too. But now, instead of turning the pages of a magazine while I’m at the hairdresser’s, I scroll my Instagram.
The reason why magazines became so impactful in promoting products was their ability to tell a story around them.
Whether it’s fashion, beauty, home improvement, or cars, magazine issues are themed and guide the reader through a cohesive story. The adversity, the winning, the inspiration—it’s all in there, always.
No one would care about a magazine if it was a list of products with two-line product descriptions.
In fact, maybe someone would… But it wouldn’t be called a magazine, it would be called a product catalogue.
Your Instagram should always be a magazine rather than a catalogue. It’s what drives people to feel emotions and relate to brands. It’s what constantly brings in new interest instead of only serving existing customers.
Think about the following questions to spark ideas about posts and topics you can cover:
- What is the lifestyle of your ideal customer?
- What makes them laugh?
- How do they unwind after a long day?
- What are their core values?
Finally, get your inspiration for weaving your products into genuine stories from some of my favorite brands on Instagram.
Forever21 caters to their young audience with a unique sense of humor, relatable jokes, memes, and cute animals while still sharing their products:
Casper, a mattress company, is all about sleep, but they talk about it in so many more ways than simply promoting their products:
Cultivate What Matters, a company that sells goal-setting planners, posts photos of their customers in a community they’ve created, their planners in action, and their team celebrating their launch:
How can you use this as inspiration to bring your own ecommerce business to life through your Instagram strategy—and sell more products as a result?
Rule #5: On YouTube, focus on viewer’s intention
When you crack the code to getting attention to your online store on YouTube, you win.
There are two pretty awesome things about it:
- You can go into more depth compared to other channels
- You’ll start showing up in recommended videos as more people start to discover you
It’s a great domino effect that’s too good to pass on.
You might be tempted to use videos to only talk about your products, but there’s an important distinction to keep in mind:
People early in their purchase journey want to know how to do something.
People more advanced in their purchase journey want to know which products to use to achieve something.
Therefore, a great YouTube strategy is a healthy mix of videos geared towards both groups.
A successful strategy doesn’t stop there. Make sure you’re using all available features to create attractive call-to-actions and encourage actions that take your viewers deeper into your ecosystem.
Videos for early-stage viewers
People who are in their research stage of the purchase they want to make need as much information as possible. This is best put into practice with how-to and tutorial videos.
Since you can’t (and shouldn’t) fit all of the useful tips and guidance in one video, making sure it’s easy to consume more than one video or resource is crucial.
YouTube cards are the perfect way to achieve this.
I scoured a couple dozen (!) ecommerce brands’ YouTube channels to find a great example of this and there wasn’t one, so here’s a great example from an online entrepreneur Sunny Lenarduzzi instead:
She’s not only using her YouTube cards to take the viewer further into the topic, but also to ask a question that matters to her audience.
As you may notice, all the videos you can see are highly valuable and not sales-driven. Another option you can use here is linking to a resource on your website, as long as you keep it value-based.
Adding YouTube cards is easy. In your Video Manager, select the video you want, click Edit, then Cards, and use the Add card button to select the desired card.
If you want to add a link from your website to a card, you have to add it to your Google account by going to Creator Studio > Channel > Advanced, and adding it in the Associated website section.
Videos for purchase-ready viewers
Viewers who are ready to buy are usually weighing out their product or vendor options, so this is your chance to shine with your products.
Product demo videos and real-life applications are what gets people to want to own something.
What does that exact watch look on a woman’s hand?
How can I combine this particular coat with my winter outfits?
How easy is it to connect this model of a bluetooth speaker with my devices?
These are questions driven by specific products, not just a range of products, so make an effort to showcase them in their typical environment.
Then, you can drive sales by integrating your YouTube channel with jumper and turning your YouTube comments into sales.
In your jumper account, select Sales channels > YouTube and add your YouTube channel by using the Connect button.
Once you’re done, click the Link #hashtag to video and select the video you want to add this product to.
When you click Submit, the only thing left to do is to remind your viewers they can purchase the product you’re talking about by commenting a specific hashtag!
A strategic approach to YouTube videos like this one will help you turn loyal viewership into an even more loyal customer base.
Bringing it all together
We’ve covered the five key rules to selling more through your social media presence:
- Rule #1: Use social media for all stages of the purchase journey
- Rule #2: Best results come from platform-specific posts
- Rule #3: On Facebook, ‘sell’ conversations, not products
- Rule #4: On Instagram, make your products part of your story
- Rule #5: On YouTube, focus on viewer’s intention
As you may have noticed, there are some common threads: being intentional with your posting strategy and using your brand’s story as the driving force.
No matter who your competition is, a solid social media strategy can set you apart because, at the end of the day, there’s only one you—and your audience wants to be a part of that.
Make the most of a successful strategy by integrating your social media with a jumper account to make purchasing quick and easy!