Note: This post originated from this question being asked on Quora, that I then answered. I’m expanding on it here.
The question: What marketing strategies for online stores get the best ROI?
Most social media “experts” will convince you to make the mistake of trying to be everywhere all at once. You may have heard something like, “You need to be marketing on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Tumblr, YouTube, Periscope, Instagram and all the rest.”
That is terrible advice. Particularly if you are a small to medium size business.
Here are the three reasons why:
1. You are an expert on your business and the product/service that you sell. You are not an expert at social media marketing. Chances are the person in your business who claims to be an expert, can’t really help you get a ROI either. You may know social media, but that doesn’t mean you know how to generate a real ROI using all of these platforms.
2. You don’t have the time to be GREAT at marketing on all of these platforms. Social media marketing planning and execution takes time. Your time has to be spend working on your business, not in it.
3. You don’t have money to waste. Time is money. Also, if you are attempting to do any paid social advertising, your money can be easily wasted there too if you don’t know what you are really doing.
4. Trying to be everywhere all the time, and doing it poorly, could hurt your brand image and influence – the reverse of what you were after. You are better off staying off of Twitter for example, then having a small presence that gives the impression you are small time or don’t know what you are doing.
My advice is to focus on one platform at a time, get GREAT at that social marketing platform the move to the next.
The exception? If you have an agency partner you trust, then they may be able to help with strategy and campaign management.
The solution? Start with one and market on that one platform really really well. Then move on to master the next.
Which one should I start with?
Immerse yourself in Facebook marketing. Promoted posts, Campaigns/Ads. Focus on doing giveaways to get momentum. Giveaways that require people to like, comment and share your posts in order to enter into the giveaway. Also, you can have people opt-in to your email list in order to enter the giveaway. It’s amazing what people will do for the smallest item giveaway.
My wife’s company went from 0 to now almost 90,000 authentic Facebook fans within a two years by spending $5/day on promoted posts and running a few Facebook advertising campaigns. The ROI? A million dollar ecommerce business. Hundreds of products shipping each day out of our home. Deal sites have picked up her items and feature her, and this has also directed traffic to her site and she’s building her own list. You can see for yourself how she is doing this on her Facebook page:
On this image below of one of her Facebook posts (boosted for $5 only) you can see that her giveaway promotion gained 287 likes, 111 shares, and 354 comments. This resulted in over 200 new orders.
The advantage she has had is I own a marketing agency that specializes in this, but now she’s running most of the marketing on her own and it takes her just a few minutes a day.
Facebook marketing and advertising is just a start – but I’m confident it’s the best place to start to reach your target audience, no matter what you are selling online.
Share your comments and thoughts below!