You’re a brand on social media who wants to build engagement and grow followers but, most importantly, drive conversions. Despite sounding simple, brands often ask what tools they should keep in their social marketer toolbox. While Dash Hudson is the go-to social media marketing analytics tool around, what about free resources for visual production, content ideas, and analytics?
There are many tools available to marketers at different points of their strategy’s execution — we’re no strangers to tools like HubSpot and Google Analytics ourselves. But which tools are your competitors using, and should you use them too? Read on for more information on the social media tools that will drive your e-commerce efforts.
The Best Social Media Tools for E-commerce Brands
Whether you’re on TikTok, Instagram, both, or more (and there are definite perks of using a cross-channel marketing strategy), there might be tools that work better for certain platforms. Here’s a breakdown of which tools work best for each platform.
A social marketer’s toolbox isn’t complete without the following tools.
AI and machine learning are incredible advances in technology, but they can also be helpful tools for social marketers. AI tools like ChatGPT have been heralded as the future of content marketing, but we don’t recommend using this as a one-size-fits-all tool for your copywriting. And while Google is also introducing its own AI search function, there are tools that can detect AI, and it’s highly possible these detectors will become more sophisticated over time, which could impact how your social accounts will appear in search.
AI is an incredible tool, but it’s certainly no replacement for human expertise, experience, and personality. Here’s how brands can harness AI in their social strategies:
- Write social captions: Looking to write short, snappy captions to satisfy the Pinterest algorithm? Engaging language is important for all social captions, but since Pinterest is primarily a visual search engine, this is a great tool for caption copy. Try it for other platforms like TikTok, but be sure to use a ‘human’ eye to edit.
- Conversation Prompts: ChatGPT was designed to help with customer support — this makes it a great tool for social media managers to reply to simple queries or to create prompts for social media to encourage conversation among your followers.
- Content Outlines: If your content team is at capacity and social managers are looking to create blog outlines (or for social managers with blog-writing responsibilities), ChatGPT is a great starting point for blog outlines. Simply ask the tool to create a blog outline based on your topic — we recommend cross-referencing this with organic queries found on Google and in other search tools. This will help you maximize your content’s reach.
Google Analytics is an essential tool for marketers everywhere — from tracking social conversions from the platform to the site and looking at traffic acquisitions, to finding organic keywords. Google Analytics for social media offers marketers different ways to look at data and integrates well with different software — Dash Hudson included.
Google Tag Manager
Depending on your team’s makeup, tagging could fall with product managers, the dev team, or the social manager. Google Tag Manager is a simple way to tag your site’s pages so you can track your landing page activity and have a detailed look at where users fall in the funnel of your campaigns.
E-Commerce Tools for Instagram
Selling on Instagram has become an integral part of the user experience on Instagram — over 130 million people engage with shoppable posts each month, and the platform has followed suit, introducing shoppable tags and checkout directly on the platform.
Which tools should you use to drive as many Instagram conversions as possible? Try these e-commerce tools:
- LikeShop: Dash Hudson’s LikeShop feature uses one convenient link from your Instagram feed or profile, straight to your site. There is seamless integration with your product’s catalog and a one-time connection to your product feed that makes shopping feel natural and straightforward. Plus, you can use multiple live links in your Instagram bio.
- Easy data connection: One of the most essential tools for developing realistic e-commerce goals is data collection. Dash Hudson allows you to track users’ paths to the checkout and tells you how your most engaging content contributes to purchases.
E-Commerce Tools for TikTok
TikTok is quickly becoming one of the most popular search vehicles among Gen Z — and that’s not to mention its popularity among Millennials and Gen X as well.
Here are the e-commerce tools for TikTok you should use:
- Community: Parasocial relationships are a large facet of TikTok, and befriending and connecting with your audience is a great way to feel closer to them. Dash Hudson allows you to reply to comments straight from one central location to reduce the time suck of scrolling, tapping, and clicking for social managers.
- Trending Sounds and Hashtags: TikTok moves fast — what is a trend one month can become passe the next. Many TikTok trends are based on a popular sound, and social managers can save time with trending TikTok sounds, so they get an at-a-glance view of the sounds and trends they could contribute to.
E-Commerce Tools for YouTube
YouTube, the home of the original influencer — and the platform still holds sway. If you want to optimize your YouTube presence (to drive sales), these are the tools you should keep in mind:
- Video topic segmentation: How will you know what type of video content performs best and which you should continue to produce (and what should you work on)? With video topic segmentation — social managers can create their own segments based on Shorts, campaigns, or content clusters to organize data efficiently and pivot strategically.
- Community guidelines: While some might not consider this a tool, YouTube’s Community Guidelines are a great way to stay proactive with your strategy and make sure your account avoids penalization. YouTube’s introduced stricter guidelines in recent years, which makes receiving a violation a bit easier.
- Influencer monitoring: Brands should definitely produce their own YouTube content, but they are almost always missing out if they don’t leverage influencers or brand ambassadors. Dash Hudson pulls in the UGC content related to your brand that performs well, so social marketers can work on investing in creator relationships.
How Can I Get More From My Social Media E-commerce Tools?
If you feel like you need more from your social media e-commerce strategy, here are some basic tips every brand should consider incorporating into their strategy:
- Leverage UGC content: Explain the benefit to the user of promoting UGC through galleries on key product pages — shows potential customers how they can use products, etc. It might be an excellent opportunity to also mention opportunities to leverage CGC to brand influencers.
- Track and analyze audience: Does your brand’s audience convert? Are they retaining existing customers on social media? It’s important to look at things like bounce rate on product pages — does your site receive a lot of traffic, but visitors are leaving before checkout? These insights let you know which landing pages need to be reworked and other areas for improvement.
- Cross-channel campaigns: To make the most of your time on social, it’s important for brands to be active on more than one platform. Cross-channel campaigns give insight into how your followers interact across all platforms you release campaigns on.
Tips for B2B Brands
- Know your consumer — Be sure you produce content and promote your products to demographics with purchasing influence or power. Think of Old Spice’s infamous ‘I’m on a horse’ ad campaign. While men ultimately use this product, this campaign spoke to women, who they found usually made hygiene purchasing decisions.
- Optimize your site for mobile — According to Webinar Care, more than 80% of B2B buyers are using mobile devices. If you’re only thinking about the desktop e-commerce experience, you’ll miss out on sales and risk introducing a frustrating check-out experience for prospective customers.
Tips for B2C Brands
- Use all the platform tools at your disposal: Do you want to create conversations with your audience but are only sharing posts in your feed? Try using polls, Stories, Reels, and more, to see what content resonates most with your audience and elicits a response.
- Video and rich media: Often, the look and feel of your product can help drive sales. What do you do when the tactile experience is removed from the shopping experience? Do your best to showcase it online using crisp magnification, 360-degree views, and video showcasing the most beneficial product features.
How Have Social Technologies Changed E-commerce?
Social technologies have changed e-commerce in major ways — In 2022, Meta was the most popular social e-commerce platform, with 19% of consumers preferring Facebook and 12% preferring TikTok.
TikTok is catching up in popularity — in 2022, the platforms’ e-commerce platform made $208 billion, growing 76% from 2021.
Besides generating earnings, social media has changed the way consumers shop in major ways. According to the Census Bureau’s Annual Retail Trade Survey, e-commerce sales increased 43% ($244.2 billion) during the pandemic’s first year, with trends like live selling on TikTok, mobile voice search, and AI-powered live chat flourishing — that’s to name a few.
There are more ways than ever that social marketers can stand out on social platforms, from features like Dash Hudson’s Vision that easily locate your best content opportunities or cross-channel insights that offer a more meaningful report of your social efforts across TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and more.
What are the different types of e-commerce?
The different types of e-commerce are B2C (business to consumer), B2B (business to business), B2G (business to government), C2C (consumer to consumer), C2B (consumer to business), and B2B2C (business to business to consumer).
How do e-commerce social media tools impact performance?
E-commerce social media tools impact performance in many ways — they offer a robust look at your sales data, which social managers can use to hone their social strategies to drive more sales, and answer the following questions.
- Do users engage with a specific type of social post more than others?
- Does your audience ask questions, and are there opportunities to use tools like polls, and Q&A?
- Should you post more to Reels than your feed?
Social media tools give you the data to solve issues arising from these questions — and more.
How effective is social media in the process of e-commerce?
Social media is very effective in the e-commerce process. More consumers use social media to purchase than ever — in 2023, 107.6 million people in the United States alone have made purchases on social media, and this number is expected to rise to 111.2 million people on social media in 2024. 22% of people who made a purchase on social media did so on Instagram.