“I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody…”
On The Waterfront (1954)
Even though there are some powerful online contenders, there’s still opportunity!
Did you know that 55% of US Pinterest users in 2016 used the social site for finding products? [Source: Statista]
Or that 71% of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others? [Source: Ambassador]
Social media can help give you a profitable foothold in the eCommerce arena and can get you building strong brand loyalty. It gives you more options since it is at the very fingertips of your ideal target market. You currently have the ability to become a bigger piece of a consumer’s life than ever before!
Now the question is: “Where do you start?”
You’re in luck! Here are 5 things that movies can teach you to get a visible impact from social media for your eCommerce business.
“Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”
Social media isn’t about word vomiting everything about you unto others. Make sure you’re keeping to the ‘social’ in social media! You don’t create relationships with others because they talk about themselves every day. It has to be a give-and-take relationship in which what is given is as equivalent (as possible) to what is taken (i.e. value).
And, don’t just create value for your product, but also for the reasons why your target audience should follow and engage with you in the first place. Think of this as the “So What?” factor. The more that you show you are investing into them, the more they will invest into you.
You can stay social by:
- asking questions to spark conversation;
- replying to comments and messages;
- sharing surveys to get your audience’s perspective;
- making your audience feel like they are the best thing to happen to you all day!
“There’s no place like home.”
The Wizard of Oz 
Create a social media page (or profile) for your eCommerce business that becomes a daily habit for your audience to visit. By giving them a reason to constantly check back in with your content, the stronger the thought-leadership and trust that you’re building becomes. You become a part of their daily lives as a reliable resource - whether it's for content that impacts them, for your own custom brand entertainment or for the latest sales.
This point may seem slightly odd to those that make what they sell. Shouldn’t the creator / manufacturer of the product already be established as the perfect resource of information? With technology and the Internet, it's a lot tougher.
You’re dealing with many, many options for resources (resources, to boot, that may already be far more established than you). And people are much more inclined to learn about a product from established 3rd party resources - because they feel they can trust them more.
The benefit of establishing yourself is that you can fully control your messaging and engage the audience the best way you know how to - for far better engagement. It can be a bit more work initially to create this thought-leadership, but the return is well worth it!
“Why so serious?”
The Dark Knight 
Show your personality in your online content and “brand voice." One of the big perks of social media is that people can virtually connect to interesting individuals they may not otherwise be able to connect with, in-person.
Your audience knows there isn’t a literal Mr. or Mrs. Amazon that takes their online orders, and they will carry the same logic to your eCommerce business.
This is the very reason why you need to show your brand’s personality! If you can’t entertain and engage your audience, and to humanize your company, you won’t get a single person to bat an eyelash, or spend a dime.
“I’ll have what she’s having.”
When Harry Met Sally 
Are you getting positive feedback on your products? Encourage those giving the feedback to share online and spread the word about your eCommerce site or products!
Find creative ways of incentivizing happy customers to share their experiences with their networks (even if it's just making the process incredibly simple for them, such as sending a follow-up email with a call to action and a clickable link!). When your customers get social with you online, that opens the door for others to come across those conversations and engage with you, too.
This “word-of-mouth marketing” or “referral marketing” is still considered one of the most powerful methods of generating sales.
As the conversation progresses (just like the examples above), it’s the perfect time to implement points 1 - 3! Engage with those individuals in the conversation, establish yourself in their eyes, and share that unique personality.
“I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.”
The Godfather 
With social media, you can make your target audience feel like they are truly a part of your overall process, and give them a sense of community. You can further foster the growth and engagement of this community through targeted offers that only followers of your page / profile would receive.
By creating unique targeted offers, you give positive reinforcement for people to further engage with you and share your brand out to their networks. Think about special discounts, product packages that involve some sort of bonus content or item, or even a give-away that gets your audience talking!
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off 
Your products impact the lives of your consumers - but it doesn’t just stop there. Take the time to create those more humanistic social connections with your audience, to show that an investment in your product is an investment back into themselves. Give them a reason to truly care by showing that you truly care (a.k.a. lead by example) and you will see how much influence your company can have!