This post is all about getting traffic to your store by taking advantage of your social media and getting attention, and at the end we share the most important things you should do as an established business to keep the momentum going.
Now let’s start getting you some traffic this Holiday Season.
Ask friends and family to share
Your friends and family are likely your biggest fans – especially if you're just starting out. And you are already connected to them on Facebook! So why not ask them to help you promote your products?
It's the holidays AND they're your friends, so don't worry about annoying anyone. Ask your friends and family members to give you a boost by sharing around some posts about your business to their networks.
You can reach out in a targeted way to your friends and family on Facebook by talking about your store in an update. Remember: you're not going to ask them to buy your products. You're asking them to help you get your message out in front of as many people as possible.
Sharing your posts on their networks increases your reach exponentially by putting your updates in front of their extended network. Those friends are more willing to follow through and buy from you than total strangers. And if enough of your friends participate, you could generate enough momentum to keep a regular stream of customers without having to ask very often at all.
Here's an example of what you could say:
Hello everybody! It's Sarah. I just launched my store (SarahsCakes.com) and I'm so excited to share it with you! I make custom cakes, and if you're looking for a treat this holiday, I'm your girl! I’ll send you a sample for free ;)
Would you mind sharing one of my posts and helping to spread the word? It would be cool to start my store off with a bang!
Engage with your network on Twitter
Here's the crazy thing: you don't actually have to be selling products before you can make a name for yourself on Twitter. If you produce cool, shareable content you can get on a lot of peoples' radar even if you're just starting out.
First, look for ways to get followers. One way is to follow select people on Twitter who are interested in photography or the kinds of products you sell. Often if you follow someone (and they like your content) they'll follow you back. Start with your former customers and self-declared photography enthusiasts in your area. Then look for more users in those circles to expand your network!
The next thing you should do is really commit to your medium. Make sure to tweet relevant, quality content often and stay engaged in your social network. Keep your tweets specific and upload lots of pictures of your products. Link the pictures to your store and make them shareable.
Remember: you're not here to sell! Just show your work, demonstrate your value, and let your followers just enjoy following you. When it comes time for them to purchase your product or service, your name will readily spring to mind.
Get in touch with Instagram (or Pinterest) influencers
Instagram is a strong marketing channel for ecommerce merchants. L2 Think Tank published a study that found Instagram gives brands 25% more engagement than any other social platform. And it can even generate a higher average order value than Pinterest, Facebook, or Twitter.
Instagram offers online merchants a great way to drive traffic and awareness to your store in a number of ways. First, make sure to include a grow your own following by posting gorgeous images of your products. Remember: a product in use or in situation is better than a product at rest! Make sure your own bio links back to your store. Then, write an enticing (short!) description with each post and include relevant hashtags so you can get found in search.
Similarly for Pinterest, create boards for your products and upload beautiful photos. Make sure they link to your item in your online shop! Then craft a compelling description... but hold off on using hashtags. Instead, focus on putting the relevant searchable keywords in your pin description.
Now, how do you get attention for your store and products? Look for popular accounts that appeal to you and reach out. Using the Instagram app on your phone, you can check the “popular page” (the magnifying glass) which contains photos that are trending and have thousands of likes. Look for photos related to what you do and click over to the user’s profile to see if they have a large audience. Follow them and look for a way to get in touch.
Typically if a popular account has contact information - especially an email address – in their bio, it usually means they’re open to product placements, partnerships and advertising opportunities.
Now when it comes to reaching out, it’s important to be strategic about this. Not every Instagram user with a lot of followers is willing to feature products from users. But a simple message to the user (along with a free product sample and a polite request for a mention) that results in a popular promo post could make a huge difference in your holiday sales.
The Holidays is an easy excuse to reach out to a lot of people. So do everything you can to get traffic and convert them into customers.
Once you’ve built a following, look toward other ways to establish yourself as an online store. These methods include mastering SEO, following a good content strategy, engaging with fans on social media, and spending money effectively on social media ads.