Ecommerce Growth

15 Underutilized Social Media Ideas For eCommerce Brands 

Social media marketing is all the rage, even in 2022. Here’s how you can make an impression as an eCommerce business owner - 15 brilliant ideas.

15 Underutilized Social Media Ideas For eCommerce Brands 

Trying to figure out new ideas for your eCommerce social media posts? 

Hey, you’re not alone. Business founders and marketers are expected to manage multiple social media platforms while keeping them updated with fresh posts. 

Your audience is hungry for new content and recycling the same posts or the same type of eCommerce social media posts would only make your social feeds look stale. 

That’s exactly why you need to have multiple (fresh and underutilized) ideas and social media marketing strategies for your eCommerce business. 

In this article, we show you the best and lesser-known eCommerce social media marketing strategies that both big and small businesses can use. Whether you’re in a content rut, on a hunt for new ideas, or hungry for more engagement, you’ve come to the right place.

15 Underutilized eCommerce social media marketing strategies

⭐ FACEBOOK

1. Build Your Own Bot 

Facebook lets you install a chatbot in Messenger to begin an automated conversation with your users who visit your Facebook Messenger. They can see your catalog, ask a common question, buy the product, and perform many other actions—all in your bot.

facebook chat
Here are some of the common Messenger chatbot mistakes brands make that you should avoid: 

Lack of strategy

Why are you implementing a chatbot? Is the goal to increase sales? Or automate customer service?

Instead of creating a Messenger chatbot because it is trending, knowing what your goal is will help you apply chatbot features and capabilities accordingly.

Incomplete customer information

Start by informing the user that she is talking to a chatbot and what they can expect from it. Let the chatbot introduce itself and explain the functions it can perform.

Create a welcome message when introducing the chatbot. This first message will make the first impression and determine whether the customer wants to continue messaging.

Interrupted chat

When interacting with the consumer, ensure that your bot responds to the conversation even if it is done in any other way.

For instance, if you have a quick response button, the chatbot should identify the answer even when the consumer types it manually.

messy chat example

Don’t leave the customer in a messaging session where the chatbot responds differently than expected.

Not using reply buttons

One of the key elements in improving the user experience is reply buttons as they allow the user to reply faster than typing manually.

Buttons also add context and help the user understand what kind of response is expected from her. It is found that people spend more time on chatbots with quick reply buttons than those requiring manual answers.

Messy chatbot

Design your Messenger chatbot to handle a misunderstanding during the conversation. If the chatbot fails to grasp the context, a default message should be sent. 

bad chatbot example

For example, if the chatbot finds too many keywords that may trigger a different response, it should ask additional questions to understand what the user is expecting.

Gathering and analyzing data helps reduce the chances of incorrect answers. 

2. Look into Dark Posting

Also called unpublished posts, dark Facebook posts are targeted ads that are delivered in the News Feed of specific fans of your brand’s page without showing up on the page's wall itself.

The dark post can feature text, photos, videos, discount offers, or links to your website.

How to make the most out of Facebook dark posting?

Reach different fan segments by targeting interests

For example, you run an eCommerce store selling fresh dog food and plan to introduce a new recipe next month. Different aspects of the new recipe (for example, grain-free, type of meat, vegetables, and herb seasoning) will appeal to different pet owners.

One of the unmissable eCommerce growth social media marketing strategies is to gather data on engagement rates for several variations of the most targeting different attributes. As you don’t want a bunch of similar posts to show up on your wall, dark posts are the best option.

Run micro-campaigns

Let’s suppose you run an online clothes store launching three new product lines: women’s athleisure clothing, men’s gym clothes, and men’s athleisure clothing. Before launching eCommerce social media campaigns, you’d want to see if the campaign will have the desired effect.

Previously, the only way to get the three product ads in your fan’s News Feed was by creating three separate updates. You’d then refine the campaigns based on the public ads that also show up on your wall.

Dark posts enable you to finesse the messaging and posts in a less public way without risking your overall social media templates. 

Target audience segments with relevant images

As a business owner, you must be aware of how different pictures appeal to different audiences. The precise use of keyword functionality of Facebook dark posts allows you to target community segments based on their interests.

You can use specific images that will appeal to specific segments, making them more likely to respond to your promotions.

Dark posts let you do this without crowding your page’s wall with multiple public posts.

Soliciting selective feedback

Dark posts can be a powerful tool for finding beta users for new products. Manually vetting participants can be a long process. Also, you run the risk of alienating people if they are denied participation.

However, you can use dark posts to target specific members of your community using the keyword functionality. You can eliminate people who aren’t suitable, leading to less work and fewer ill feelings from the community members. 

3. Curate Ads for Customers across the Funnel 

Today, three million businesses actively advertise on Facebook each day. The level of targeting that you can drill down to with your ad campaigns makes Facebook the best social media for eCommerce. 

There are four types of audiences across the purchase funnel, for whom you should create curated ads. Your ads targeting audiences in each buying cycle will need a different approach.

buying cycles and facebook ads
Let’s see the best Facebook ads for eCommerce targeting each stage of the funnel.

1. Top of the funnel

The goal of running targeted ads to cold audiences is to get them familiar with your brand and pixel them for less expensive retargeting. 

Tell your customer story

In this ad from Moleskin, in a short span of 13 seconds, the ad makes you imagine how their products can integrate into your life. It makes you believe that if you are a creative and thinker, Moleskin is for you.

Your eCommerce social media post can show the lifestyle of your customer archetype - in this case, a creative, thinker and modern classic. 

2. Middle of the funnel

For warm audiences who already know your brand, craft video and carousel ads that help you tell a convincing story of why people should care about your products. 

Looping video ads

An ever-green eCommerce trend on social media, looping videos are great when you have an image. By adding simple effects, you can turn images into eye-catching short videos (15 seconds or less).

Show different use cases - Probably, you need to show different use cases of your product in the ads for people to “get it.” 

3. Bottom of the funnel

The best return on advertising spend (ROAS) comes from ads that target previous purchasers, cart abandoners, and product-page viewers who didn’t buy. These ads include: 

Dynamic product ads (DPAs)

DPAs require the least amount of effort as they are automated ads taken from your product catalog created through your eCommerce store’s product feed. 

Facebook can create these ads using product image, title, descriptions, and price and advertise the product to people who’ve previously viewed it. 

Carousel ads - A great way to use carousel-style ads is by encouraging users to swipe through the carousel by continuing from one image to the next.

Hey, have you seen this? 15 insanely powerful Online Sales Promotion ideas for eCommerce

4. Leverage 3D Technology

3D posts by the best social media for eCommerce could be your brand’s opportunity to get noticed as they are more interactive than other types of Facebook content. 

Take a photo in Portrait Mode on your phone’s camera. Select “3D photo” from the upload menu while creating the Facebook post and uploading your portrait for a 3D surprise. 

The cool things you can do with Facebook 3D posts are:
  • Showcase your products in detail and up-close - For your fans and potential customers, to see a product online in 3D is the second-best way to see it in person. 
  • Getting creative with UGC - The playful aspect of Facebook 3D posts can encourage your audience to create UGC which is shareable by both brands and users. 
  • Immersive behind-the-scenes experience - Use 3D posts are an immersive and virtual reality format to take your audience behind the scenes. You can use 3D videos for events, showroom tours, demos, or product reveals.

⭐ YOUTUBE

 5. Be Clever with Ad Placements

Naturally, you don’t want to show your ads to everyone. Instead only to interested users as you will be paying per view or engagement. This is primarily why being clever with your ad placements is an essential part of your eCommerce social media campaign. 

The keywords you select will determine which videos your ads will show on. For example, if you run a vegan food store, your ads will be most relevant when they come up on cooking videos. 

Let’s see some of the best ways for Youtube ad placements:

  • Competitor channels 
  • Skippable in-stream YouTube ads 
  • Non-skippable in-stream YouTube ads 
  • Bumper ads

How to make your YouTube ads sticky? 

  • Keep the video ads between 15-30 seconds. 
  • Choose a custom thumbnail image that best suits your content. 
  • Use clear but creative CTAs.
  • Effective descriptions - Focus on what your ad says and how it makes people feel is more critical than the way your ad looks. 
  • When it comes to placing your logos (whether the goal is viewership, brand awareness, recall, or all three) show the logo on the product. 
  • Viewers tune in to the right tone (humorous/emotional/calming/suspenseful). 
  • People prefer watching people. Keep your ads authentic and feature smiling characters in the first five seconds. 
  • Try ads with and without music, track the analytics, and see what works for your brands.

Here's a handy structure you can borrow:

how to structure your youtube ad
Source
Here are some examples of YouTube ads for eCommerce for inspiration:

This ad for William Painter (which sells sunglasses online) has a smiling character as the thumbnail image.

clever ad placement youtube

This ad by Nectar Mattress (a company selling online mattresses) has a CTA that can be clicked, giving the ad more visibility.

cta on youtube ad

IKEA often promotes sales through YouTube ads. 

ikea promotes sales

6. Optimize your video length (keep it < 5 minutes) 

While there are many debates on the ideal watch time of your videos on Youtube, what’s important is that length does not matter as long as the video is inspiring and interesting.

Here are some good reasons for people to be interested in your YouTube video:

A compelling introduction: to influence the audience to view the rest of the video.

Example - Luxury hair oil and body care products store Moroccan Oil has a series “Inspired by Women” where each view starts with a compelling introduction by the use of an engaging hook.

Clickworthy thumbnails

Moroccanoil’s tutorials on hair styling has videos with thumbnail images of how the final hairstyles would look. 

good thumbnail example

Add suitable background music

Keep your background music subtle so that it does not interfere with the audio and ensure that you have the legal rights to use the music. 

Add a short description

When introducing a new product, let the user know in 1-2 sentences what are the benefits. Online mattress brand Casper introduces their new heat-resistant mattress with a 1 line description. 

youtube description example

Don't forget to add a hyperlink to your website in the description box

This helps interested people go to your website. 

Chewy is an online store selling pet essentials. In the description, they add a link to the store’s summer shop. 

youtube text example

7. Use the end screen to upsell and cross-sell

Think about the end screen as a call to action.

There’s a great piece of content the user has just finished viewing and now they don’t know what to do.

Bam. They see an ad for something that is strongly related to the content.

Chances are they’re intrigued, they want to at least know more.

That’s how you close your deal.

The best ways to use the end screen are:
  • Placing your Shopping page right after an internal video 
  • Placing an ad after a competitor’s video
  • Placing a high-intent ad right after a relevant video (such as a listicle)
  • Showcasing Product Catalog after an influencer’s video

Here’s how Beardbrand, an online store that sells beard products, uses end screen cards to direct users to shop for their products (by taking them to the website) or subscribe to their YouTube channel.

end screen on youtube

It’s a relatively simple progression. But it can really work well, especially in the cases when users aren’t expecting it, similar to how SleepyCat plays it smart in this context.

SleepyCat mattresses ads show their ad on competitor Casper mattresses’ video. The ad shows up before Casper’s video starts.

clever ad placement

⭐ WHATSAPP

 8. Use Interactive Business Messages for faster checkout

If you’re using WhatsApp for eCommerce social media marketing, interactive business messages allow you to add interactive buttons to your messages. 

They are of two kinds:
  • CTA: Clicking on this button redirects the user to a specific web page or to make a call. 
  • Quick reply: Users can answer with predefined options without manually having to type the answers.

For example, the message below can be confusing for the user. Should she with the number or “make an order”? And when the user types something else, the bot would not understand. ​​

whatsapp marketing

However, using quick replies prompts the user to click on the right answer and move to the next step. 

whatsapp marketing

CTA buttons give users options to either check out or transfer between platforms.

whatsapp marketing

Interactive buttons in messages will result in higher engagement as they are faster, easier, more understandable, and convenient for users.

Remember that it is a paid option. This means you will have to pay for every message you send.

Hey, you’ll love this: 20 amazing (& high converting) mobile checkout examples

 9. Use Micro-Campaigns for Inbound Leads

With WhatsApp marketing, you need your users to first message you before you reach out to them. You need to get creative by prompting users to make the first move by giving you their phone number.

Here’s a good example of an eCommerce brand getting creative with targeted micro-campaigns for inbound leads.

BuyaGift

The online retailer created a landing page on their website with their WhatsApp number. They offered to send coupon codes to people who messaged them the word “Start” on WhatsApp. An interesting part of this campaign was a mock screenshot displaying deals for those who opted in. 

micro campaign on whatsapp

Once the user opts in for this type of eCommerce social media marketing strategy, you can send direct alerts to prompt immediate action from customers. 

free ebook

⭐ INSTAGRAM

10. Run Influencer campaigns with “Shop the Look” tags 

Shop the Look tags allow influencers to make their own shoppable Instagram posts thereby driving sales on behalf of brands they partner with. The influencer’s followers can tap on the “view products” to purchase the tagged products using Instagram checkout.

instagram shop the look

As a brand, you have the potential for greater reach since Instagram shoppable ads offer a purchasing process with fewer friction points

Beauty brand Glossier frequently collaborates with influencers for the “Shop the Look” tags.

instagram shop the look
As per Instagram, the do’s and don'ts of using “Shop the Look” tags are: 
  • Use shopping tags in all of your content 
  • Don’t limit yourself to using product tags in feed posts 
  • Do tag up to 5 products per post 
  • Don’t overcrowd your content with overlapping product tags 
  • Don’t let tagged content expire from your profile 
  • Do turn on auto-highlight in Stories

 11. Enable Reviews on IG Shop 

With Instagram Shop now running in full effect, the native product pages continually become stronger.

The latest feature Instagram released to fuel this is Reviews.

Yep, that’s right. Reviews left directly on your Instagram Shop pages, accessible to your entire audience.

And it’s brilliant.

When you use these Reviews well to fuel brand awareness, you open another channel that can amplify the reliability of your brand. And we all know how important it is in the eCommerce world.

Reviews on Instagram Shop:
  • Build trust with new customers, especially those in the discovery phase
  • Establish a rapport with your Instagram followers
  • Drive sales right from your Instagram page
  • Amplify connections with influencers

How do you enable these?

Super simple. All you have to do is ask your customers to visit their Latest Orders page and leave a comment. That’s it.

While we’re at it, here are some other ways you can use reviews on Instagram:

Add reviews to your highlights

Here’s how Glossier does it.

reviews on instagram

Glossier also uses informative customer reviews in its posts and stories. 

reviews on instagram

Include it as a part of your content strategy

Bim Ban Boo Paper (an online store selling toilet paper) shares customer reviews in the form of text captions. A great way to thank the customer while encouraging others to leave a review. 

reviews on instagram

 12. Use Guides to showcase Product Catalog

Although Instagram guides are the perfect tool for sharing curated collections of your products in an easy-to-digest format, they’re a relatively underutilized eCommerce social media strategy. 

Looking to get started? 

Here’s how some brands are using Instagram Guides to highlight product catalogs:

Create a Gift Guide

Repurpose product listings into gift guides for holidays, Mother’s Day, Black Friday, and beyond. Performance-driven nutritional skincare brand Vintnersdaughter has 8 guides for botanical lovers. 

instagram marketing

Compile a list of tips

Each tip could feature a different product with how-to-use tips. 

Collect posts under a theme

Hot for Food shares vegan snack, meal, and dessert recipes. If you’re looking for vegan dessert ideas, they are under a guide Just Dessert Stuff. 

instagram marketing

Share Your Brand Story

French jewelry designer Louise Damas uses guides to describe the company’s history, founder’s journey, unique pieces, and highlights the ladies-first approach.

instagram marketing
Want more? Check out eCommerce product catalog: common mistakes + how to fix them

13. Try out the Instagram AR Filters

Did you know that users spend over 75 seconds on average when using AR filters as compared to spending 26 seconds on Instagram videos and 15-30 seconds viewing an Instagram story?

To put this into perspective, AR filters through stories give ample opportunities for brands to reach out to consumers, create awareness and encourage engagement. 

Some ways in which brands are using AR effects on Instagram Stories are: 

AR filters for online shopping

When you click on the filters on Kylie’s cosmetics page, you can try out different lipsticks from Kylie’s lip kits to see the shade that best matches your skin tone.

kylie cosmetics ar filter

AR Filters for Causes

Your business can use AR effects to raise awareness for causes that you and your audience care about. 

Rihanna created her own AR filter to promote Clara Lionel Foundation during the Diamond Ball. 

rihanna ar filter

⭐ PINTEREST

14. Add Buyable Pins for quick checkout

Every product displayed as a buyable pin can be purchased directly from Pinterest. To activate Pinterest checkout, your website should be integrated with either Shopify, Magento, BiCommerce, IBM Commerce, Salesforce Commerce Cloud.

buyable pins on pinterest
Some Buyable Pins best practices include: 

Use secret boards

To try out different ideas, images, text overlays, and descriptions to see what works the best for your buyable pins. 

Pin high-quality attention-grabbing images

If you are selling accessories, model the products on real people. For home decor goods display the images in real-life settings so that the buyer can envision how the product will enhance the surroundings. For DIY products, you could post a collage with stepwise instructions. 

pinterest marketing idea

Include keywords in your description 

Add a tone of voice that appeals to your potential buyers. 

Save your pins to public boards

Make your pins more accessible to the Pinterest audience by saving buyable pins to public boards.

Track Pinterest analytics

Useful analytics on how potential customers are engaging with pins, what content is working and the performance of buyable pins helps in creating an informed Pinterest social media marketing strategy for eCommerce brands. 

15. Stay ahead of your competitors with Pinterest Trends

In the simplest terms, Pinterest Trends are defined as keywords that people have been searching for on Pinterest during the past 12 months. These trends can be used for your Pinterest eCommerce social media calendar.

For example, if you run an online furniture store and you come across a trending keyword “Christmas decorating ideas.” You could write or curate a listicle along with adding your unique angle to stand out from competitors. Ashley Luengo created a post on a DIY dessert board for Christmas.

pinterest marketing idea
Additional tips for making Pinterest the best social media for eCommerce:

Look for related keywords below the trends graph to spot if you’ve missed any keywords. 

pinterest marketing trends

To know the most popular search queries for your topic, look for autocomplete suggestions in the Pinterest search bar. 

pinterest marketing idea

The related categories below the search bar are subcategories related to the main keyword that can be used to create your eCommerce social media strategy. 

pinterest marketing idea
Keep Reading: 7 surefire ways to grow your email list in 2022
Which of these underutilized eCommerce social media marketing strategies catches your eye?

If you’re looking for inspiration for your best eCommerce social media campaigns, why not give some of these lesser-known ideas a shot? Why adhere to a single type of content when you could explore different ideas from the latest eCommerce trends on social media.

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