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9 Secrets for Taking Your Ecommerce Startup to Social-Media Bliss Getting known on the internet comes easily to some self-promoters but everybody can learn to do it.

By Ellie Martin

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The social media game seems like it comes naturally to some businesses. On the other hand, some online business owners just can't seem to find the time or the knowledge that turns places like Facebook and Twitter into gold mines.

Is there some sort of secret ingredient that social media managers use to engage hundreds or even thousands followers? What about getting started and convincing users to follow along?

These are valid questions, but the primary answer is that there's no secret ingredient. However, you can make some progress by following the rules and touching on a few key ingredients. These are for the people who would like to start expanding their online stores, especially since the world of ecommerce has seen quite a bit of success on social media.

Why is this the case?

Mainly because customers are drawn to the companies they enjoy. If following on social media means that they can get notified during special deals, that's a small price to pay for saving money.

Related: Social-Media Marketing Is Not Dead: 10 Companies That Are Still Rocking It

So what are some of the key ingredients you can sprinkle onto your ecommerce strategy for better success? Let's have a look.

1. The basics -- sharing and links to your pages.

This may sound rudimentary, but you'll find that so many new ecommerce websites forget (or omit) to put social media sharing buttons on crucial pages. To start, you have to think about where the buttons should go. Blog posts are a good place to start, since they boost SEO and get people talking about your brand. The product pages and homepage are also excellent choices.

We also recommend thinking about the proper location of the sharing buttons. If people can't see them, no one is going to share. Having counters on those social buttons has been shown to improve your credibility and boost conversions. After all, if people see that hundreds of others have shared, it's not going to take much for them to think that an article or product is worth looking at.

The final element pertains to your social platform follow buttons. The two key ingredients revolve around location and motivation. First of all, no one is going to follow your Facebook if they can't find the button, so make them a little larger and put them towards the top of your site. Lastly, if a user navigates to your Twitter and sees that you have nothing to offer, or the page is pretty much empty, expect them to click the "x" button fast.

2. How social campaigns help with analytics.

Google Analytics and ShareThis both include reports that outline where your social media purchases and clickthroughs are coming from. You can also understand how people interact with your social media. For example, Company A may have seen an uptick in sales during the fourth quarter. A significant portion of this had to do with female Facebook followers who clicked on clearance imagery.

Without any reports this realization never would have happened.

3. Post-sale sharing buttons.

It's human-nature to think that the selling stops after a sale. This is far from the truth with ecommerce, since you'll want to try and bring folks back for more.

That's why it's prudent to look at the types of communication you have after a sale and integrate social media buttons. These include, but are not reserved to, email newsletters, email receipts, confirmation emails and thank you pages. Most website builders offer these days features and add-ons to help you with post-sales promotions.

4. Product videos and sharing on social media.

This one can take a little extra time, but it's not going to be long before having 10 videos on a product page is going to be no different than 10 pictures. Your product pages require tutorials, demos and other videos for boosting sales. The good part about this is that you can turn around and share the videos on social media for more coverage.

Related: How to Save at Least 2 Hours Per Week on Social-Media Marketing

5. Social media as an alternative support outlet.

You'll notice that Facebook now tells customers how long it takes for companies to respond to messages. It's a good thing too, because all online stores need to embrace Twitter and Facebook as support outlets.

Social media is where people spend most of their time online, so why not connect with them there?

6. Make some products and sales exclusive.

Blocking some content until people follow you is not as common in the ecommerce world as it is with blogs and magazines. An online magazine may want to collect a payment before letting people see articles, but this also works nicely when you have anything from a raffle to a clearance.

For example, Rafflecopter is a module for raffles where you give out entries to those who complete tasks like following on Twitter and Facebook.

7. Cite fun elements about your company.

It makes sense to mainly talk about your products, but that's where social media goes to die. In fact, most experts suggest that around 80 percent of your social media posts be about fun quotes, images, news or suggestions about your industry or company. We also like the idea of sprinkling in original blog posts to push people to your site.

Related: 6 New Social Media Marketing Tools the Experts Use. You Should, Too.

8. Use trackable links.

Bitly is far more than a URL shortener. Sure it assists with keeping URLs small for cleaner posts, but these types of services also have tracking settings. This means you can go back to view which links are receiving the most action. Maybe people love your videos but they don't care for your images. You'll never know until you use a tracker.

9. Use social galleries if necessary.

Some industries are more successful on places like Pinterest and Instagram (fashion, jewelry and food or tea come to mind). If you're active on one of those sites then you can use a plugin or extension to reveal all of the imagery on your homepage or product pages. This not only makes your site look more fun, but it pushes people to interact with you socially. Not to mention, user-generated content comes up in the galleries too.

Ellie Martin

Co-founder of Startup Change Group

Ellie Martin is Co-founder of Startup Change Group. As author and writer, her works have been featured on Entrepreneur, Yahoo! , Wisebread and AOL, among others. She currently splits her time between her home office in New York and Israel.

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