eBay research reveals that 98% of digital consumers are also social media users, 74% of people trust social media to guide their purchasing decisions, and 55% of all buyers actively do research on social networks. With nearly 13M followers, eBay’s social channels give them extraordinary access to online shoppers interested in eBay at a very low cost and also a ton of insight into how to use social channels effectively.
Organic vs Paid social channels
To drive traffic from social channels, eBay use a mix of organic and paid social.
Organic describes social media posts that are free and have not been paid for to be amplified. Organic posts show up naturally in followers’ feeds or timelines. They reach the broad, untargeted audience of eBay followers, so eBay uses it to share more general promotional or marketing messages. Organic is useful for driving awareness and engagement at no cost, but it’s harder to cut through the wealth of activity that’s going on across social media.
Paid social posts are those that the user puts money behind to guarantee more of the right people will see them. They may appear as “Sponsored” posts and are more akin to traditional advertisements. eBay uses paid social to target specific consumers who have shown interest in specific items or categories, regardless of whether they follow eBay. Paid has greater targeting options, so eBay are able to get very specific about which customers see which message. Paid is great for acquisition and growth and for motivating or enticing a buyer to make a purchase.
eBay’s top tips for social channels
In this, the third week of eBay Traffic Month, eBay are sharing their top tips on how to get the most out of your own social channels.
- Set your goals upfront
Are you looking to boost awareness and market your products to more buyers, increase traffic to your store or listings, or increase loyalty?
- Choose your platforms
Each has its own strengths and particular audiences which you should consider in relation to your goals. For more platform-specific advice, check out our Seller Center Social Media page.
- Set up your accounts, and pick your handles
It makes sense to keep your social media name (aka “handle”) the same as your eBay seller name. If it isn’t available, you can add an introductory word (like “The” or “eBay”) or underscores.
- Learn posting best practices and tools
There are so many resources available just a Google or YouTube search away. For instance, eBay social media managers stay up to date with trends through the very thorough SocialBakers blog.
- Build your followers
Follow your friends, your competitors, and your competitors’ followers. Avoid buying fans—it’s not worth it! You want to build followers who are going to be genuinely engaged with your account.
- Shape your content for engagement
Pay attention to what’s working and do more of it. On the other hand, do less of what isn’t working. Focus on taking great photos, and take advantage of the analytic tools on the platforms to learn what’s getting the kind of engagement you’re looking for. Remember that hashtags are your friend!
- Link back to your eBay store and listings
Drive traffic to specific listings straight from your posts, and include a link to your eBay store in your bio. eBay links tend to be long, so use a link-shortening service like Bitly.
- Use ads to increase your reach
We recommend sellers start with exclusively organic posts as you build an understanding of how the platform works and what type of content is working best. When you’re feeling comfortable and seeing a little success, begin testing paid marketing. Each platform has its own tools for creating ads or boosting posts, which you can do at a very low cost to get initial learnings. You can start from as little as $10 investment to boost your organic posts.
- Have fun with it!
Carve out time in the day to dedicate to social media marketing, and treat it as an investment in your business. Free publishing tools like Hootsuite allow you to plan and schedule your content in advance.
Video social channels
YouTube is ideal for long-form content, between 3-5 minutes. Product demonstrations and how-tos work well on YouTube. Include important keywords in your title and descriptions to ensure you show up in search, and always link back to your eBay store.
Facebook and Instagram
Facebook and Instagram Story segments can be a maximum of 15 seconds each, so either plan to keep your videos under 15 seconds, or let Instagram automatically chop up your story into 15-second segments.
Where to find more tips
You’ll find a page on eBay with specific tips and best practices for for each of the following social channels: Facebook; Pinterest; Twitter; Blogging; YouTube.