Social Media Success for Retail
You would have been living under a rock somewhere miles away from wifi connection to not realise the world of retail has changed forever. This disruption can be laid solely at the hands of the internet and changing consumer behaviours around the freedom offered by internet shopping. Whilst, the market remains completely fierce, opportunities exist for new and existing brands to capture market share by turning their marketing budgets to Social Media. Unfortunately, its quite simply do or die for these businesses.
Online retail exists in loads of different guises; there are brands which everyone has heard of like ASOS, and Boohoo, but there are many small independents crushing it using social media. The growth of online boutiques with a very niche product looking to obtain a loyal customer base is on the rise. All of these companies collectively are stealing a tiny share of the big retailers, leading the market to be slowly flipped on its head.
Enter this market at your own peril. There are countless companies advertising hype growth and super scale of your e-com store on social media. Before engaging such an agency, or service provider, ask yourself one question: If it’s that easy why don’t they have 10 stores of their own doing more than a million in revenue per month? While social media offers you a direct route to the customer, it isn’t a short cut to massive growth and profit, without the hard work. No better example is with imagery. The fashion industry spends millions on photoshoots. Without great lifestyle imagery, your e-com store will have a sales ceiling. All the tech and amazing targeting will be fruitless without fantastic sales imagery during the customer into your website.
How to be Successful on Social
Prior Planning Prevents P*** Poor Performance
If you want to take market share from the big retailers, you have to think like them but use your agility to sweep in and collect your cash. Be under no illusions online retail is a tough tough market. The number one mistake we see from people selling actual products is to much stock and not enough marketing budget to sell the stock. Don’t get stuck in Catch 22.
How do you think like a big Retailer? Planning is key – The big retailers have their images lined up for social media promotion months in advance. Getting yourself organised with at least 3 months worth of lifestyle images is essential for social media success. Be prepared for it to never end, you are going to need more content than you ever dreamed of. Success will come through testing, and you will have to test images which may never actually see the light of day as a post on one of your social media channels.
Factoring your advertising budget into your margin is an absolute essential. Also, factoring in for a slow start is also essential. If you are a new store it’s going to take months to start to break even. Its really not like you see in your news feeds. There is no such thing as hyper Instagram growth from a standing start.
Factor advertising budget into your margin
Take pictures of everything all of the time
Factor a remarketing offer into your margin
Be brave with your content. Create for specific age demographics and not catch all content
Research trends and competitors content
Make sure your site is set up to capture as many actions as possible
Our top tips
With years of experience doing this ourselves, we are well placed to offer you tips on how to maximise your success on social media:
- Try as many pieces of creative as possible (graphics or photos) – Aim for 500 – 1000 creatives. You don’t know what will work so try everything until you have an idea of what your audience engages with. If something doesn’t work so what? It doesn’t matter in the long run, just focus your efforts on creatives that work.
- Do the same with posts – The text you write is secondary to your image, but it’s a close second. Experiment with different tones of voice and calls to action.
- Be patient at first – It will take a couple of weeks for everything to average out and show your realistic results, leave it for a while and then come back to it.
- Monitor your campaign regularly – After the go-live period make sure you check your campaigns with regularity. If something blows up overnight you want to react to it and run with similar content for a while. Make checking facebook Pixel and Google Analytics part of your weekly routine. Try to understand how your social media is impacting other acquisition channels into your website.
What Does Success Look like?
Obviously in the e-commerce world success comes in the form of Sales and scalable sales. There is a myth mainly spread by social media gurus that e-commerce is an easy way to make money. It certainly isn’t easy and is fiercely competitive.
If you are a new e-commerce company breaking even would be considered a success, or generating enough revenue to go again. Lots of Marketing agencies will only work with e-commerce companies with an established revenue, who are looking to scale sales. Why? Quite simply because the data is there to make it happen. Starting an e-commerce store with no data quite simply isn’t for the faint-hearted.
Below are some headline stats from an established e-commerce store we have been working with. Our strategy was to increase its brand awareness on social media, and drive very qualified traffic to their website. They were previously only using PPC. We changed the PPC to be remarketing and drove a much higher volume of traffic from social media than was previously coming through PPC. This filled up the remarketing funnel and resulted in the below!