5 Steps for a Higher Conversion Rate for E-commerce Brands from Social Media

Social e-commerce

Social e-commerce Image credit: http://xen.com.au/

Facebook’s potential to help brands grow is undeniable. It’s a behemoth in the social media world and has the numbers to back it. With over 1.15 Billion users who spend an average of 20 minutes per visit, facebook sure has a lot of traffic! And traffic is what brands want.

 But when it comes to an e-commerce brand, the stakes are even higher. We are talking about not only higher clicks but also driving relevant traffic so that it can lead to better conversions. Here are a few lessons that I learnt while managing an e-commerce brand that helps divert quality traffic to their website.

Step 1: Get your numbers straight

 Before you decide to do anything, plan out your goals in numbers.

For example, let’s start with the level of sales you want to achieve from facebook in your first year.

  • We’ll say Rs 500,000 for argument’s sake.
  • Divide that with your average order (Rs 100), which would mean 5000 order per year or 13 orders per day.
  • Using a conversion rate of 1% (may range anything between 0.5 – 10%), you’ll need 1300 visits each day to make this possible.
  • If you do an average of 3 posts per day, then with a conversion rate of 1% again you’ll need each of your post to have a reach of at least 43,000.

(Note: The numbers have been used for the ease of calculation. They may vary for each page, depending upon its audience and a number of other factors)

Tip: Half life of a post on facebook is about 90 minutes, so it is recommended that you post more than once per day to stay at the top of your fans’ mind and have a higher brand recall.

Step 2: Really know your Buyer Persona

A buyer persona is an example of the real person who buys or might buy your products. What do you need to know about him/her?

Who is this person?

The age, gender, demographics, educational back ground, when do they come online, what content do they consume, what do they share, how much money they make, relationship status and outlook, etc.

A lot of this information is available through the facebook insights. For example, Ferns N Petals, an e-commerce flower chain, targeted people who were either in a relationship, married or expressed interests in love, romance and happiness.

Why do they need your product?

What is the situation/circumstance that causes the need for your product? What is the emotional & financial impact of this need? What alternatives to your product are available in the market and how does your product fulfill this need? Also think about whether this need is seasonal & temporary and if it could be easily fulfilled by an alternative. Once you have answers to these questions, you’ll know the basic motivations behind people wanting to buy a product like yours. Identifying these would help you create a communication strategy that addresses those issues directly.

What is the competition doing?

Know your competition and what they are doing. Check out the competitors, and see the profile of people who like their page. You could add pages to monitor on Facebook and know how they are performing. You could then do a qualitative analysis of what are they doing different that you are not doing? Facebook insights also provide engagement rates for each post. You could collect a sample of your posts and find out an average engagement rate that could be compared with other brands.

Engagement Rate of a post

Engagement Rate of a post

While you’re at it, think about your USP (unique selling proposition) and how your products are different from that of your competition’?

Often there are more than one buyer personas and defining each of them would help you segment your target audience. To cater content smartly, experiment and A/B test your posts to find out what works for which segment. An after-shave brand could communicate coolness associated with its use by showcasing popularity among girls or by being manly. An A/B test could also tell you which line of communication works better with the TG.

Step 3: Sell the story, not the product

Follow the cocktail party rule and build stories around your brand. This entails listening 80% of times and speaking the rest of the 20% times. Don’t just talk about your products, but instead get people interactive.  Ask questions, post pop quizzes, let the audience chose between this or that, fill in the blanks, and ask them to caption the pictures. It’s easier said than done, but here are few things that could get you started:

Create Mystery: If a post conveys only half part of the story, then it elicits a response from the audience. Depending upon how interesting and genuine the mystery looks, it will elicit the response. Click baiting works on this principle itself. And even though Facebook has decided to penalize click baits in the future, you could take a lesson from their success and create a mystery around your products, so that people would want to know more about it.

Leverage Festivities: Of course you post on festivities, but the real point is how you associate the festival to your product. Also, don’t let the smaller ones just pass you by. There’ll be less competition and a clever post might just take you viral. For example, Zomato recently did a post on Engineer’s Day.

Engineer's Day

Engineer’s Day

Have a voice: One of the mistakes most brands commit on social media is being too uptight about the way they communicate with their audience. People like to know about the people behind the brand, so develop a special tone in which you would like to talk to your fans. To identify that voice, think of a celebrity that would closely resemble your brand if it were a person. Once you have that, personifying your brand would be easier.

Find your anchor:  It might come as a shock to you, but people are really not interested in talking about products. So to make them interesting to the people, find your anchor. This could be a social concept like women empowerment for a beauty product or love and relationships for a flower shop. The only important thing here is that the anchor should be simple and strong enough to touch your audience.

Catch them with Catchy Phrases: Use taglines that elicit response. Look around what’s already popular and make it your own like Flipkart wished Daniel Radcliff on his birthday with this post.

Daniel Radcliff's Birthday

Daniel Radcliff’s Birthday

Step 4: Give them an offer they can’t refuse

If you make something available for only a few people, in almost all the cases it will automatically become authentic and wanted. Exclusivity works. Put up offers, sweepstakes, deals and contests they will not get on any other channel. Don’t underestimate the power of a quirky contest. Recently, the launch of the Mary Kom trailer was documented live through the vine videos and fans got a chance to participate in a contest to meet her as well!

Mary Kom Trailer Release Vine

Mary Kom Trailer Release

Step 5: Agile Marketing

Don’t lay low on events and festivities with boring posts. Be agile and be available when the action is happening. There’s a reason behind why this is so crucial for brands. This is because people are more likely to talk about an event while it is happening than after it has occurred. There is an actual window where brands could associate themselves to the event and enjoy attention from their audience.

For example, within 10 minutes of the power outage during the Super Bowl 2013, Oreo came up with this brilliant tweet that went viral.

Super Bowl power out tweet

Super Bowl power out tweet

So how do you kick in agile marketing efforts for your company? Just say 1-2-3

1: Be Transparent: More brands need to open up to their audience. This prepares your audience for a more honest chat and develops a stronger relationship

2: Identify the opportunity: Monitor online trends, keywords, hash tags and conversations regarding your brand. Learn to identify patterns and opportunities, set up campaigns live quickly, introduce iterations based on analytics and user feedback to avoid major errors.

3: Trust the data: The idea is to run several small tests, use the feedback and develop optimized campaigns that could give higher returns.

These are just a few ways that helped me get a better click through rate. But there are a lot of other best practices. Have you found something else that works for you to get more clicks? Share with us in the comments section.

One comment

  1. Bharat · September 26, 2014

    Excellent information Indeed. Always wanted to use facebook for marketing, but didn’t knew how to get started. This will help.