Have you ever had a really good butcher who told you to skip the foreshank in favor of the much tastier short loin? Or, how about a concerned barber, who told you to keep your bangs down to better frame your face?
Consumers tend to put their trust in experts because they offer educated insights. Who really has time to learn about all the different cuts of meat and their uses? Who can say, without arrogance or modesty, which is the best hairstyle for them?
While the above two examples focus on face-to-face interactions and in-person services, the same idea can be applied to online retail. Ecommerce sellers have an opportunity to share their expertise with shoppers, thus encouraging sales and boosting brand visibility.
Below are a few tips for using social media to showcase your ecommerce brand as an authority in its field.
Use Social Media for Two-Way Conversations with Consumers
To be considered an authority, you need to start using social media as a two-way conversation rather than a megaphone for promotions. While you can (and should) still post updates on sales, product launches, and company news, you also need to diversify your communications.
Start posting more content that your audience can engage with. Examples include discussions about specific topics, calls for customers to post self-made content, and yes even relevant memes.
Let’s say you sell diet and exercise plans from a self-built ecommerce website. There will inevitably be questions, troubles, and personal victories that people will want to discuss in an online forum. Opening your Facebook page to customer queries, users can support each other through the tough times, cravings, and sore leg days. Similarly, your e-store’s Instagram profile can repost and feature success stories.
The ratio of “relatable content” to promotional content should be three to one (i.e. for every one promotional announcement, schedule three posts followers can actually engage with).
Creating Video Reviews & Tutorials
Following that same thread, ecommerce sellers do well when posting video reviews and tutorials on their social pages.
If you sell kitchenware that turns pancake mix into kitschy animal shapes or bacon and eggs into skulls and crossbones, you might need some tutorial videos online. These short clips can preempt customer complaints about misshapen culinary critters or broken yokes. Plus, these tutorial videos are easy for audiences to share, thus extending your e-store’s reach to new potential customers.
If you are looking for clever ways to sell ebooks on your own Shopify run website, you can post reviews on YouTube. To appear authoritative, you’ll need to balance positive and negative reviews of the ebooks you sell. For instance, you might need to say that books by Dan Brown are undeniable page-turners, even if their lasting literary value fizzles out after Angels & Demons.
By sharing unabashed reviews of your products, customers know they can trust you; just as you’d trust a butcher pointing you to the right cut of meat.
Working with Influencers
Another idea to come off as authoritative is to collaborate with influencers.
Influencers are popular personalities who command a large social media following. There are influencers for everything from diet and exercise to unboxing; so, it should only take a short time to stumble upon these famous folks.
Once you identify influencers in your field, ask them if they would like to collaborate on a project – such as developing a weight loss plan that matches their workout routines with your guide to vegan cooking; or to write a blog post about the best works of historical fiction.
You are combining the power of their personality and audience with your ecommerce brand. This expands your reach to new audiences, provides additional viewpoints to the conversations happening, and establishes your brand as an outgoing authority in its field.
These are just a few suggestions to leverage social media to boost your ecommerce store’s authority online. With enough practice and finesse, you’ll see this influence turn into dollars.