As an e-commerce store owner, you may be asking yourself how much time and effort is worth investing in your social media strategy.
If you don’t invest enough, you may be leaving an entire marketing channel untapped for future customers in profits. If you invest too much, then perhaps you will not reap the rewards of your labor and efforts.
In this post, I’ll outline a few key strategies for determining the best social media strategy for your store. This will include which social media platforms perform the best, what types of content to post, and which images perform the best.
Why post to social media?
Social media can be a great tool for:
- Engaging with your customers and their interests
- Driving traffic to your store
- Building a following of loyal fans
- Amplifying your marketing reach online
Which social media platforms should you post your products to?
Shopify posted a nice breakdown of social media performance by industry for stores hosted on their platform. They analyzed 37 million visits which converted into 529 thousand e-commerce orders.
Facebook dominates as a source of social traffic and sales. Nearly two thirds of all social media visits to Shopify stores come from Facebook. Plus, an average of 85% of all ecommerce orders from social media come from Facebook.
According to their post, the top 5 platforms based on traffic were:
- Facebook – 63% of visits
- Pinterest – 13% of visits
- Twitter – 10% of visits
- YouTube – 8% of visits
- Reddit – 4.5% of visits
Based on this data, at the very least Facebook should be on your social media list. Keep in mind, some products will do better on different social media platforms than others. It may be worth experimenting to see which platforms work best in your particular case.
What social media content should you post?
Not all social media content is created equal. It may be tempting to just setup an auto-post for all of your products. However, in my experience this strategy will not result in a lot of interaction on most social media sites.
Give some thought to your overall social media strategy for your store. A good strategy is to outline a specific content calendar with the types of content you will be posting, and the frequency of the posts.
Here are a few tips to help guide your social media content strategy:
- Engage with your audience – ask questions, take polls
- Use compelling, eye-catching images
- Post funny, shareable content
- Share other popular, related content with your audience
For additional inspiration, take a look at what other successful social companies are doing in your niche to see what gets the most comments and shares.
What types of images work best on social media?
Did you know that each social media platform presents images slightly differently? As a result, it’s important to pay special attention to the way you create product images and other images you share on social media. Otherwise, you may end up with poorly cropped, or less visible images that will greatly diminish your overall social strategy.
The good folks over at Buffer have created a great, regularly updated, resource on the best image sizes to use for social media. Based on Buffer’s research, there is a simple way to satisfy most social media using just two formats:
In experimenting with the fastest, easiest way to create images we know will work well in social media feeds, we came across a couple of image sizes that became our go-tos: one size for horizontal (landscape) images and one for vertical (portrait) images.
- Horizontal (landscape) – 1,024 x 512
- Vertical (portrait) – 800 x 1,200
However, if you want every one of your images to shine on every social network, Buffer also provides specific dimensions for each of the popular social media networks.
Social media image creation tips
If you only have a few products or images you need to create, you can try using a tool like Pablo by Buffer. I used this tool to create the image for this post.
However, most e-commerce stores will to need to automate this process. If you are planning on automating this process, a few quick tips will go a long way to simplifying your automation:
- Create the highest resolution source images. This will enable you to create great looking photos with varying dimensions.
- Keep your source images the same dimensions if possible. This should allow you to use the same set of rules to resize or crop these images consistently.
- Store your source images in a consistent, easily accessible location. If you need to regenerate these images, or use a third-party tool, having these images easily accessible will be a huge time saver.
NOTE: You may need to have multiple versions of your source images (i.e. – a vertical and a horizontal version) to allow for the best looking images which fit the target dimensions.
A little planning goes a long way in making your social media strategy run smoothly. This strategy can be summarized in 3 simple steps:
- Pick which social media platforms you plan to target.
- Define a content calendar
- Create social-media versions of your product images