Utilizing social media to effectively grow your eCommerce business takes sufficient time and because of the amount of time required it also means money. According to a Socialnomics study: In the near future we will no longer searchfor products and services they will find us via social media.
Social media is something we cannot ignore and while many pundits will argue the ROI or lack of calculating it in social media - you know better. You are out there in the field talking with your clients and learning more about what they want and do not want. You know you spend countless hours trying to attract visitors and sometimes it seems like that's all you are doing. I understand completely and you are not alone, but don't give up.
According to a recent Gartner study, the majority of Consumers (74%) Rely on Social Networksto Guide Purchase Decisions.
In order to make social media work with eCommerce you have to understand how and when to use it. There are all sorts of statistics indicating consumers just like you are utilizing social networks like Facebook and Twitter to make purchase decisions and it's all because we trust our friends. We are making new friends everyday. Every new customer you make becomes an eventual friend.
It is not about how many times you use it or how long you are online, but how you use it that matters most.
Sharing your items with your followers and fans works, but it only works so much. You must empower your audience to do it for you too. Let's your fans and friends become your supporters and you will see your business expand greatly.
How is this possible?
As you make acquaintances online and they slowly develop into friendships as trust develops over time they will begin to share the experiences they have developed with you with their own friends in their network. They will share your trustworthiness, your delivery, and your credibility. And what happens through all of this sharing?
Your "Trust Network" develops - Your reach and presence in the social media space will increase exponentially.
Your old and new friends are becoming advocates for you and it's happening by itself. More and more people are trusting you. And as shoppers discover you and your products they will also begin to share these experiences outward and continue to expand your network of trust. How great is that?
Why does this work? - When we talk about ourselves people listen, but they are more prone to not share. When someone shares something about another more people are prone to listen to that information, but they are also inclined to share it too.
Here are some quick things you can start today to build your very own "Trust Network:"
Post blogs about your passions and business experience and share them
Ask questions on Twitter and on Facebook to entice customer responses and comment on others eCommerce blogs (LinkedIn also works too)
Share your thoughts on business related articles on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
Be yourself and meet others selling similar products or just selling online (forums, discussion boards etc)
Invite others to check out your store and provide their feedback
I encourage you to begin developing your "Trust Network" because your future clients are already connected to your existing fan base or will be in the future and getting them to share their knowledge of you and your business will go a long way in establishing your credibility in the marketplace.
Please share your thoughts, comments and questions below. Thanks.