John Hood, Senior Dealer on World First’s Ecommerce team explore the parallels between social media and ecommerce. Read on to find out how you can harness your Facebook savvy to optimise your online sales.

I’ve recently heard my millennial friends describe Facebook and Instagram ‘likes’ as a type of currency. Getting ‘likes’ and online acknowledgement for photos or quotes is important to people because it makes them feel good. It’s a simple concept and it has simple science to back it up, very well explained by famous Ted Talk-er, Simon Sinek. He says that if you are feeling down, you can send out a few text messages and the replies you receive trigger the production of dopamine in your gut. That’s the happy feeling you get when your partner or friend replies to your message. That buzz of instant gratification is magnified by our desire to be acknowledged, even adored. And that very experience is not an Atlantic voyage away from the emotions of selling online. In the world of ecommerce, people essentially like what you’ve got and even better, they’re willing to pay you for it.

I’ve recently started using an ecommerce platform to help my family rent out a property, short term.  I bet you can guess which one. The process was very similar to opening a Facebook or Instagram account. You share information about yourself and upload some high quality photographs that are good enough for Facebook/Instagram. And the similarities continue… you read tips and surf other accounts so that you can learn about what others are doing. You use the tools available, like filters for a better look and tags for inclusion, and you come up with interesting descriptions to display your products attractively.

With online shopping platforms, your product listings are like the Facebook or Instagram profile for your business, but instead of earning you social currency, in the form of ‘likes’, they (hopefully!) bring in actual currency. The good feeling you get when your cool friend likes your selfie is at least matched by the experience of a paying customer buying your own-branded selfie stick. Both social media and online selling platforms have all have tools, tips and guidance you need to help improve your listings. Making these small tweaks, over time can ultimately improve how many sales or likes you earn and how many new friends or customers that you gain.

So, why do you want feedback on your products? For the same reason that you want comments on your pictures, really. It’s kind of the point. To help clarify further, consider these three parallels, which apply equally when optimising your social media and your online store:

  • ENGAGEMENT: Both social media and ecommerce sites are platforms for engagement and you have the opportunity to positively affect a user’s experience on them. If someone likes your latest post or product, it stands to reason that someone else in their network could have an interest too. If this interest spreads then you could even generate enough activity to gather a digital crowd.
  • BUYERS: They read feedback. Their comments are important, but so are your responses. When you get complimented on a nice outfit or a beautiful photo on social media, it’s common to like, heart or LOL your contact. Perhaps even comment back. This goes for your buyers too, though I would recommend using more traditional vernacular when engaging with a customer. Always thank them for the purchase and use it as an opportunity for feedback.
  • EFFORT: How often do you post on Facebook or Instagram and the same few friends like the photo? Probably a lot more frequently than when you post that awesome photo of your friendship group looking great. You tag everyone, check into the venue and leave a pleasant description of the activities going on in the photograph. The difference between the two is EFFORT. By adding in this missing ingredient, all of a sudden people that you haven’t heard from in ages are lolling and thumbs upping your social media. This is the same attention to detail that the products in your online store deserve. Your product listings need to be as good as your best social media posts. Even better – they are your professional posts.

So, if you’re getting a bad rap for spending too much time on social media – you now have a free excuse from me –you’re honing your transferable skills. Just make sure you bring them to your shopfronts and to each of your individual product listings with the same dedication.

Want to learn more about optimising your online sales? Get in touch with John and our friendly ecommerce team. Or, check out our related blogs:
4 expert feedback tips for Amazon sellers
How to master Instagram to drive online sales
Ask our experts: what’s the biggest challenge facing online sellers?