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Read on as we explore how to integrate social media into websites, different ways to incorparate social media on your website, take a look at examples, and more.
When it comes to selling eCommerce products, integrating social media into your website is a must. If you aren’t already boasting social sales, perhaps it’s time to rethink your current strategy.
There’s a lot of hype associated with the selling power of social media: however, it’s not 2010 anymore. It’s become increasingly clear that if you’re not tapping into avenues such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, you’re likely leaving money on the table.
The numbers don’t lie as social media remains a potential goldmine for budding eCommerce brands. Brands with smart social strategies are more likely to convert, and it is estimated that by 2025, approximately 5% of the total eCommerce retail sales will be via social channels. If you want your browsers to become customers it’s crucial that they open up to you in their social feeds. Additionally, the classic statistic that 93% of consumers say online reviews have an impact on their purchase decision can’t be overstated: the more positive interactions you have with potential customers, the better. Finally, businesses that focus on social networks build a stronger customer culture: in other words, it’s possible for customers to evangelise you versus constantly trying to track them down.
The question remains: how do you actually make those sales happen?
The answer is simple: integrate social media into your website.
Not reaping the benefits of social media in an increasingly digital world is arguably one of the costliest mistakes that modern eCommerce brands make in regard to their marketing strategy. Your social strategy should complement your on-site sales rather than stand alone. In short, you need an effective website social media integration of various platforms to seal the deal with social customers.
Thankfully, with the wealth of resources and plug-ins out there integrating social media into your website may be easier than you think, regardless of your niche or industry.
Integrating social media into your website offers numerous advantages that extend far beyond mere convenience. By seamlessly incorporating social media elements into your online platform, you open up a world of opportunities to enhance engagement, expand your reach, and drive tangible results. Here are some key benefits to consider:
Social media and your eCommerce site go hand in hand. Rather than treating your marketing off-site as a completely separate entity, take advantage of the various ways you can integrate social media into your website.
There is no one-size-fits all approach to integrating social media into your website. However, a combination of the following strategies are surefire ways for any eCommerce brand to really start leveraging the power of the social sphere rather than sleeping on it. Read on as we take a look at 7 ways to integrate social media into your website.
Homepage social feeds, especially Instagram feeds, represent an incredibly powerful means of bringing your product to life on-site. Such feeds can be a great at to integrate social media into your website because they help your site look more authentic and less like a sales pitch in order to build trust with your shoppers.
If you decide to integrate a social feed into your website, keep in mind that you need to ensure that your feed only contains high-quality images worthy of your homepage versus unrelated selfies or advertisements. You may consider dedicating a separate account for your on-site feed: otherwise, just curate your images carefully.
The advantage of a self-updating Instagram feed is that it keeps your website looking fresh and dynamic, which in turn results in more time spent on your website and increased traffic which is essential for your marketing strategy.
Perhaps even more powerful than your own photo feed are the photos of customers using your products. What is User Generated Content? User Generated Content (also known as UGC) represents an autopilot form of marketing that ultimately builds a sense of loyalty and authenticity among your followers.
Ask yourself: rather than plaster your homepage with in-your-face ads and photo shoot perfect photos, why not let your existing customers do the legwork for you?
You can also turn UGC into a potential sale by linking products from the images your followers share. For example, check how CLUSE integrates a “lookbook” to leverage UGC for their luxury watches:
Meanwhile, consider the other added bonus of homepage feeds; feeds are a form of social proof, arguably the most important psychological trigger when it comes to drawing in new customers. This is especially true in the case of UGC where potential buyers can literally see your products in action beyond an advertisement.
You can also kill two birds with one stone with your on-site marketing, as your social content is able to reach visitors that aren’t following you and encourage new followers simultaneously.
In short, social feeds are a win-win situation when it comes to getting the most out of your content marketing strategy.
Content can be pulled from many social media platforms, such as:
…so that you can reap the maximum benefits of your customers’ content.
Perhaps representing the low-hanging fruit of integrating social media into your website, social buttons are an absolute must do for any modern brand.
This is especially true in an era where customers are spending a bulk of their time on social media versus on-site, it’s incredibly important that you make following your business via social a one-click process versus forcing followers to dig for you.
You can also use social media buttons on your website to increase sales: such buttons can promote your brand’s social media channels as a way for visitors to hear about contests or promotions you may be running.
There is no “proper” way to integrate social media buttons or badges into your website, although many eCommerce brands keep them either at the top or bottom of their homepages. Regardless of where you place your buttons, you should keep the following in mind before rolling them out:
Many of today’s eCommerce brands use simple, minimalist styles of social buttons that match their brand aesthetic. Check out the following example from Alpro.
Rather than distract your visitors, social buttons are perhaps the easiest way to integrate social media into your website and attract new followers.
As with social media icon buttons, follow and share buttons give your customers a direct link which they can easily access. In return, they are signed up to your socials, meaning that they are more reachable, therefore growing your audience and outreach, which is crucial for social sales. Sharing is equally important, as word of mouth marketing cannot be overlooked. These buttons will allow your shoppers to share content from your website directly to their personal socials which can reach new potential customers.
Given that modern customers are hungry to evangelise the brands they support, there’s perhaps no easier way to encourage social sharing and generation of UGC than by creating a hashtag.
Hashtags represent much more than trending topics and flavours of the week, granted you understand how to integrate them into your website and future marketing efforts. Not unlike social buttons, hashtags can be implemented throughout your brand’s visual content to provide customers with a hub of discussion and sharing for your brand and its products.
But first things first: Let’s discuss the power of the Instagram Hashtag.
Don’t overthink it. If you’re already boasting a unique brand name, chances are there’s little to no competition or existing traction for your hashtag. Beyond coming up with something unique, keep the following in mind as well:
Like just about anything else regarding social media, you have plenty of freedom as far as what you can do to leverage your hashtag goes. In regard to User Generated Content, hashtags are the primary means of customers tagging your products to share with the world.
Simply put, a hashtag is more than just a vanity slogan: it’s an advertising tool that helps you keep track of your customers in real-time.
Hashtags can also be used as incentives for customers to take action or engage with your brand. Whether offering up a discount or promotion in exchange for posts featuring your hashtag phrase, seemingly small interactions can build into big traffic over time.
You can promote your hashtag on your website by inviting visitors to use it via social media and feature their images on your homepage. For example, Maison Canevas encouraged their customers to share their hashtag by using “#plancanard” as a contest entry: images from Instagram then pop up in a widget. With the accumulated content of their customers embroidery, the brand collected more than 550 photos, which were then curated and compiled into a video, demonstrating the undeniable power of UGC campaigns and community. From discounts at checkouts to product giveaways, you can use existing hashtags for one-time campaigns as well.
Don’t underestimate the potential of a hashtag: they’re a potentially powerful tool when leveraged creatively.
Social media generates word of mouth: buyers want to brag about their purchases and the products they deem worthy of their hard-earned cash. Therefore, you need to do everything in your ability to get into the social feeds of your audience.
To feed into your customers’ needs to share, ensure that you have social sharing enabled on your product pages. For example, check out how Crocs Mexico incorporate social sharing on each and every one of their products (bottom of the page):
Be warned: social buttons on your product pages should not interrupt the buying process, but rather provide a way for customers to receive one-click feedback on their next purchase. Keep the following principles in mind as a means of optimising your products for shares:
The last bullet point is crucial, yet often overlooked: the post will likely get lost in the shuffle without some form of imagery to back it up.
With so much emphasis on driving social traffic to your product pages, don’t forget about the importance of your customers’ experience once they’ve landed. Give them a chance to share their experience in the buying process: you may be surprised at how many of them are more than happy to leave a good review.
Many eCommerce brands thrive off of visitors who sign into their sites from platforms such as Facebook. The benefits of social sign-ins are two-fold: visitors can browse your site without the annoyance of creating a new account and they can comment on your blog with ease.
One of the key reasons to integrate social media into your website is to encourage commenting: a steady stream of comments is a positive signal for your site and products. How so?
You get real-time feedback regarding your business from actual readers and customers. Comments ultimately uncover what is buzzworthy on-site, if you notice that particular product or blog post is driving discussion, consider putting it at the forefront of your future marketing. On top of this, consistent comments signal that your site is alive and well, establishing your site as a bigger player in your space.
Although you can simply ask and encourage feedback from your visitors, you can also harness the power of social media in the comments section to make a personalised and streamlined user experience.
For example, social sign-ins through Facebook have become an incredibly popular means of encouraging on-site interactions without users having to create a separate account: likewise, their comments have the potential to pop up the news feeds of friends.
In fact, in the case of many eCommerce brands, Facebook shoppers are significantly more likely to make a purchase, which signals that logging in through the social network represents a lower barrier to entry for shoppers.
Check out the following example from Salsa Jeans, which provides the option for visitors to create a unique login or sign in through Facebook:
Beyond Facebook, enabling universal platforms such as Disqus on your blog is a solid starting point for encouraging more comments and discussion on-site. Although such comments may not be traditionally treated as social media, they do contribute to the social buzz surrounding your content. The more comments you build, the better. Meanwhile, having a login system in place can help keep spam out of your comment section.
When users share links to your website on social media, the content can be automatically extracted through the use of OG Tags. OG (Open Graph) Tags consist of meta information that can be embedded into the <head> section of a webpage.
The advantage of OG Tags lies in their compatibility with most major social media platforms. Once set up on your website, these tags can automatically provide content across several social platforms. It’s beneficial to identify which social platforms are popular among your users and ensure that the OG Tags are configured to function effectively on those platforms. However, it’s important to note that Twitter operates differently, requiring its own set of specific tags known as Twitter Cards.
From killer visual content to real-time UGC solutions from Flowbox, there are tons of ways you can mesh your social marketing with your on-site efforts. Although you may not be able to roll out all of your plugins and updates immediately, figure out where your site may currently be lacking (whether it be social mentions or comments, for example) and start there.
Thanks to Flowbox Bonprix Poland have integrated social media into their website in the form of a stylish carousel.
Maxi Cosi chose to integrate social media into their website across multiple different pages, including the example shown below a community page boasting social media content shared by happy customers.
If you strive towards providing a seamless user shopping experience across all your social media channels a.k.a an omnichannel strategy, then an Instagram Shop with Flowbox’s help is the way to go. Optimising your social media channels, especially one as content-rich as Instagram, is vital to expanding your customer base and strengthening your brand-to-customer relationship.
We can acknowledge Instagram might not be the only marketing channel involved in a brand’s strategy but the combination of UGC integrations, for example, the Flowbox platform and shoppable Instagram integrations are likely to be an integral part of an omnichannel strategy.
While integrating social media into your website is important, the quality of execution is equally valuable. Here are some common errors to avoid when integrating social media into your website:
Implementing the correct social media tactics can positively impact your ability to expand your reach, build relationships with your audience, and achieve a positive return on investment for your marketing efforts.
Speaking of social media, Instagram is a hotspot of inspiration and, one of the best platforms to drive users to your website. Billions of Instagram users login worldwide on a daily basis, you just can’t get that social reach anywhere else.
The majority of Instagram users visit a business profile every day, and one third of users have purchased a product from the platform. Instagram also offers brand engagement that is 25% higher than all other social networks, which speaks for itself. This platform is undeniably becoming one of the most important vehicles for eCommerce and marketing.
Rather than integrating social media into your website, this is more of a way to integrate your website into your social media. The Instagram shop allows you to create an in-app store-front which helps to build your brand and drive product feeds.
Your clients can then browse and purchase your products through Instagram but also encourage users to make their way to your website or your brick-and-mortar store.
Facebook also has a similar feature with their Facebook shop, and the differences are minimal. The shops themselves are extremely customisable, with different designs, accent colours, and the ability to set a cover image to best showcase your brand in a more personal way. Since the shop is integrated amongst most Facebook apps too, you can make it available from your brand’s Instagram as well.
Communication is also prioritised with this kind of set-up as it enables your customers to be able to contact you through Whatsapp or direct message if they have a problem or query.
Accessibility is crucial to involving your customers and encouraging them to purchase. At the end of it all, they want to feel like you have made an effort to see and hear them. Social media, specifically social media shops, are a really effective way to stay connected.
Considering the sizeable benefits that come with utilising an Instagram shop, it would be useful for you to know how to start. Here are a few easy steps to follow to get started.
The Instagram shop needs to be available in the country in which you’re based, you also need to have a business or creator profile. Last, you will need to connect your Instagram to your shop’s Facebook page.
This can be done through Facebook catalogue manager or eCommerce integration, in which Flowbox offers a solution. It is also worth gathering enough UGC through a useful platform like Flowbox to have lots of great material with which to work.
You need to submit your account for approval. You can do this by going to ‘Settings’, and then “Sign up for Instagram Shopping”, follow the steps and then click submit! It can take a couple of days for it to be approved.
Once you’ve been approved go to ‘Settings’, ‘Business’ then ‘Shopping’ and then you can select the product catalogue in which you want to connect your shop.
It’s a quick and easy process, in no-time you will be reaping the benefits.