If you've come here looking for an article that aims to persuade you to keep your e-commerce strategy away from social media, this is not what you’re about to read. Our experience leads us to assure you, here and now, that social networks are the ideal travel companion for your sales strategy and, when well managed, can give you many satisfactions but ... watch out! Because if you don’t give it the due respect, this travel companion can become your worst nightmare.

You can use the social media to the benefit of your online and offline business in many ways. It can act as a showcase for the products you market, can also be a new channel for your customer service or a platform where customers can share positive experiences about your products. It is true that social networks will give you trouble, but they’ll give you satisfaction too.

Here is some data from the last Shopify study published by PuroMarketing. In this report, 37 million visits through social networks were analyzed, which generated 529,000 orders. The most effective networks to capture sales for e-Commerce networks were Facebook, which recorded 63% of visitors to online stores. Pinterest takes the second position with 13% derived traffic, followed by Twitter with 10.5% and YouTube with 8%. There are many sales that would have been lost had it not been for these social networks.

For this reason, we have summarized in 5 points the great benefits you can get from presenting your online (and offline) business on social networks.

# 1. Your target audience will increase

One of the success factors of an online store has to do with statistics. In a normal situation, the more people visit your e-Commerce, more people will arrive to your funnel. And as we have seen, one of the best platforms to attract new visitors are the social networks, especially if you make use of sponsored ads, which in some social networks, such as Facebook with their Facebook Ads, they work really well because you can choose the specific type of audience you want to reach based on your interest target.

# 2. A fantastic channel for customer service

Whether you're on the social networks or not, people can talk about you there. Why not attend and participate in these discussions? These social channels have already established themselves as a way of communication with the customer. It is a dynamic, user friendly system and provides an extra value to the company and its image. For this reason, preparing well is a must. You must have a plan of action. If there are several people attending this channel, they must be coordinated; you have to properly inform on the working hours and have to prepare a crisis plan in case criticism emerges or in case the trolls appear.

# 3. Turn your social networks into a new sales channel

Facebook has already taken the plunge and from this network one can start a small online store. It’s called fCommerce which enables the buying process to initiate and conclude without leaving their domain.

Twitter closely monitors this option and has entered into negotiations with Stripe, a payment platform. In the meanwhile, experiment with the Twitter Cards, a suitable system to show your online shop products on this network.

And if you’re thinking “just what I needed! another sales channel to attend to and keep up to date!”, we advise you not you panic too soon, because from Sales Layer we already have forecasted the launch of social media as an independent sales channel, and in a few months our global market places management service will also include your social channels.

# 4. Increased audience loyalty

You make sure that visitors do not come and go never to return. If you make your customers loyal through social networks, you’ll always have the opportunity to draw their attention and encourage a return visit to your market place.

Through the social networks you are able to inform them of new promotions, reward your followers with discounts and expand the experience by sharing interesting articles, videos or images relating to your products or your business.

It's a great way to reach them all without 'compelling' them to subscribe to your newsletter.

# 5. You can do your own market research

Market research is very important, that's the first thing to say. But it is also true that the social networks allow us to conduct our small market research that will certainly provide some valid insights.

Through these social channels, you can see what products appeal more, which ones get more likes, comments, recommendations, or are shared more ... This can help you for example take some of the products out of the catalogue or give greater visibility to others ...

And at this point you’ll probably think, “Well, where’s the harm in it... Is it all this wonderful?”. Well, everything has a reverse, and the social networks are not an exception. But the fact is that the reverse shows up especially when our social networks management is inadequate. So, it’s all in your hands! Plan, give them the time required and don’t just treat them as a sales platform, offer also information that may be of interest to your users. Do not bombard them with commercial messages; also offer them other content that they may be interested in.

Do you already employ social media as a sales and promotion channel? How's it going? Tell us your experiences; the real cases are the most enriching for all of us.

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