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Choosing the Right Social Channels for Your Online Store

Businesses must have a presence on social media. That includes online stores, of course. You’re hearing it everywhere you go—and frankly, it’s become overwhelming to keep up. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest—there are simply too many social networks for you to manage a page and interact with customers on all of them.

Plenty of online businesses have adopted the perspective that Facebook and Twitter pages are better than nothing. But that might be wrong. You could be missing a golden opportunity to reach your target shoppers where they’re most receptive to buying from your store.

Take a look at some tips for choosing where to spend your time on social media marketing.

Don’t spend time on a social network just because other business owners say you have to.
You’re constantly bombarded with the same advice: create brand pages on Facebook and Twitter if you want to compete in today’s online marketplace. But many of the best businesses are built by running against the grain, not with it.

If you’re spending time on social media channels because everyone else says to do it, take a step back and reevaluate your marketing strategy.

Budget out how much time you want to spend on social marketing to start.
First, figure out how much time you have available to spend on your social media strategy. You have a business to run, after all, and getting the word out is only part of that daily battle.

Budget out around three hours a week to start. You can ramp up those hours when you start getting a following.

Figure out exactly where your shoppers live.
Here’s the key to your social media marketing strategy: specialized online communities and social networks could be more productive places to spend your time than Facebook or Twitter.

For instance, a jewelry storeowner can reach more people through Pinterest, a website that values visual content and caters to women who are comfortable with technology.

Measure your success on your networks.
There are tons of simple ways to see how you’re performing on social networks—and none of them have to do with your follower count. What you really want to see is how often content you post leads to actual purchases through your store. You can measure this by configuring your shopping cart’s analytics platform to record purchases originating from inbound social links.

by Gonzalo Gil Google