The Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing for Ecommerce

Ecommerce social media marketing, graphic of social media channels

Ignoring social media is like shooting your business in the foot. Sure, it probably won’t kill you—but don’t expect to go anywhere fast when you’re limping on a bum leg.

Forgive us for dumping this bucket of cold water on your head: all ecommerce businesses need a social media presence. (Yes, that includes you. Sorry.)

At Goods, helping ecommerce SMBs grow is our calling. Experience has taught us that it sometimes feels impossible for a small, tightknit team to rustle up the right ingredients to bake a smash-hit social media post . . . and that’s to say nothing of the steep time demands.

So if you’re feeling a little like we just stepped on your shot foot, it’s no wonder. And no judgement. The Goods team is here to help you clear the social media clutter and see your target.

We’ve gathered data from our relationships with hundreds of e-com companies, consulted our online marketing experts, and compiled this complete guide to social media management for ecommerce. Think of it as your step-by-step social media handbook.

In this guide, you’ll find:

  • actionable steps that will drive sales and help you clinch your social media marketing goals
  • tips from our many years of ecommerce industry expertise
  • insights to better understand your target audience
  • input on how to choose the right platform to build brand awareness
  • advice on running effective advertising campaigns on social media
  • the keys to crafting content that actually works (i.e., builds relationships with your customers)
  • mindsets and metrics for measuring success
  • real-world examples of social media strategy excellence

So read on for a happier, healthier—and maybe more humorous—online life.



Hey, you with the dead Instagram account—stop right where you are. Back away from your front-facing camera, and for the love of all that is good in this world, put down that “brand-new” meme your teenager stopped laughing at six weeks ago. Well before you dive into the fun and flashy job of creating content, you need to hit the books.

That means it’s research time. As data nerds, we could extoll the virtues of diligent information gathering and sigh learning is its own reward, but reality has warning for you instead. It says, “C’mon, you can’t expect to write messages your audience cares about if you don’t understand the people you’re talking to.”

Here’s what you need to find out. (Unless you already found out, in which case, here’s a gold Goods star for our favorite student.)

  • Identify Your Target Audience: Make sure you take the time to conduct in-depth market research on your ideal customer. That includes info like:
    • Age
    • Gender
    • Location
    • Income level
    • Interests
    • Purchasing behavior

Goods Tip: Please don’t scrounge the dark corners of the internet to find this data. There is absolutely zero shame in using the analysis tools (Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, etc.) that are already out there. If you can’t find the exact information you need, there’s always the option of designing your own customer surveys—but do keep in mind that these are limited by sample size and the integrity of your survey respondents.

  • Become Audience Experts: Dive deeper into your audience’s preferences, pain points, and buying habits. You can check out threads on social media or snoop the reviews sections of your competitors (don’t boo—you know you want to).
  • Develop Buyer Personas: Draw up a few detailed buyer personas that represent different segments of your target audience. This is where it starts to get fun and creativity kicks in. Try thinking back to your last creative writing class as you use that audience data to give each persona a set of traits, like personal goals, personal problems, expected objections, favorite websites, and their usual online haunts.
  • Dissect Your Competitor (Humanely): Study the competition’s social media presence and engagement levels across different platforms. Which platforms do they pour all their exhausted, sleep-deprived social media intern’s time into? And where are they getting the most customer love?


If you love LinkedIn but your buyer personas are all hanging out on the ’Gram, that’s where you need to be, too. Don’t fall into the trap of wasting valuable time and precious content on platforms unlikely to reach your customers—it’s like serving veggie smoothies at a steakhouse. Good stuff, wrong place.

  • Platform Selection: This is where your audience research shines. Go down the list of every social media site you’re considering adding to your arsenal of popularity, and evaluate each based on the information you found out in the first step.

Goods Tip: Need a refresher already? That means the demographic data about the audience you want to reach, plus your own team’s marketing goals. Throw those buyer personas in, too, and see if your conclusions check out with them.

  • Platform Demographics: Research the demographics of each social media platform to understand the user base. Does the user base align with your target audience?

Goods Tip: If you need a cheat sheet to help answer this question, it’s a good idea to revisit the categories you used to identify your target audience. Look for overlap—it likely indicates a strong match.

  • Content Format: Not all content works for every platform. Think about the sort of content that looks best on each platform. The best place to post your adorable company retreat selfies at the beer pong table is probably not the best place to post your text-heavy white paper. Whatever posting strategy you choose—from silly to serious to straight-up sarcastic—always pick the platform that showcases your team, your products, and your story in an enticing way.

Goods Tip: You’re very likely to frustrate yourself and churn out ugly posts if you try to force content you made for one platform into platforms that weren’t made to support it. Don’t make your social media manager cry; draft separate versions of each post, optimizing the format and dimensions by platform.

  • Engagement Levels: Check out the engagement levels and interaction methods of each platform (such as likes, comments, shares, and direct messaging). Look for platforms where your audience is actively engaging with content and brands. To grow your social media presence, you want quality customer relationships and ongoing interaction—not just raw views.
  • Advertising Options: Explore the advertising options and targeting capabilities offered by each platform. These options can change by the second, but there are some tried-and-true standbys like sponsored posts, partnerships with influencers and other minor internet celebrities, and special ad targeting.
  • Ecommerce Integration: Make your life easier by driving traffic and sales directly from your social media accounts. Keep an eye out for platforms that offer ecommerce integration features, such as shoppable posts, product tagging, and direct shopping links.

THIRD STEP: MASTER OF YOUR DOMICILE (The Most Popular Ecom Platforms)

  • Facebook: No matter how many times you spin around, flick the light switch, and chant Zuckerberg, Zuckerberg, Zuckerberg into your mirror, Facebook is not dead. The old FB still hosts 3.05 billion monthly active users, which is as expansive and diverse as social media gets. Their robust advertising features allow businesses to target specific demographics and interests.

Goods Tip: Remember our golden rule . . . social media should make your life easier, not harder. So use Facebook Shops and Marketplace to showcase and sell your products directly on the platform.

  • Instagram: Instagram loves a pretty picture. It’s ideal for showcasing products through high-quality photos, videos, and Stories. Try leveraging features like Instagram Shopping and influencer partnerships to drive engagement and sales.
  • Pinterest: A popular platform for discovering and saving ideas, Pinterest is perfect for promoting products with visually appealing pins and curated boards. Use Pinterest Shopping and Rich Pins to automatically sync information—and sales—to your ecommerce website.
  • X (formerly known as Twitter): Thanks to its real-time nature and conversational style, X is a great choice for engaging with your audience, providing customer support, and sharing product updates and promotions. Advertise on X to reach a broader general audience and drive website traffic.
  • LinkedIn: The professional’s paradise. Chockfull of skilled specialists and decisionmakers, LinkedIn is vital for B2B ecommerce businesses seeking to network, share thought leadership content, and generate leads. LinkedIn Ads and Sponsored Content can help you reach a professional audience with targeted messaging.


Research is our favorite vice at Goods, but we’re realists too, so let’s be straightforward for a second: Research means nothing if you don’t put it into action. You may have shot yourself in the foot by avoiding social media for this long, but now that you’ve got an armful of bandages, there’s no way you’re going to sit there and bleed.

Time to decide what kind of social starlet you want your company to be.

  • Set Clear Goals: Define your social media marketing objectives. Maybe you hope to increase general brand awareness and drum up broad traffic to your main website. Or maybe you’re more interested in generating special leads and making highly specific sales. If you want to be able to track your progress—and trust us, you really do—you’d be smart to create your benchmarks now.

Goods Tip: Beefing up your social media presence takes time. If you’re the kind of creative thinker who likes to dip your toe into the waters early, you officially have our permission. Now is the time to go for it. Test the temperature with some carefully monitored experimental posts, take notes on their performance, and make revisions based on what you learn.

  • Tailor the Content to the Platform: Not to sound like a broken record, but it’s very important that you adjust your content to each platform’s unique features, audience preferences, and content formats. A one-size-fits-all strategy is doomed to pump out gross, awkward, gangly posts that don’t really fit anywhere. And that’s just kind of sad.
  • Nail Down a Posting Schedule: In the changeable land of social media, consistency is key. That means you need to plan a posting schedule in order to reach your audience when they’re logged in. Unless you love teeth-gritting manual processes or you passionately hate your social media team, invest in scheduling tools to automate your posting times.
  • Measure Performance: Consult key performance metrics such as reach, engagement, click-through rate (CTR), conversion rate, and return on investment (ROI) to evaluate the effectiveness of your social media efforts. When it’s time to revise, analytical tools are your saving grace and best friend yet again.


The marketing maestro Guy Kawasaki (you’ve seen his work on Apple and Canva) likes to call the art of posting on social media “feeding the content monster.”

The content monster eats two main courses:

  1. content your team creates (created content)
  2. content created by others, shared by you (curated content)

Smart social media managers know it’s foolish to try and create one hundred percent of your company’s content. While your best and brightest (and brand-iest) posts will almost always be your team’s custom creations, there’s nothing wrong with mixing in curated content. Everybody loves a good museum tour, right?

For your average run-of-the-mill post, curation is faster, cheaper, and—as long as you’re putting in the work to pick posts your audience genuinely loves—there’s no harm done.

Whether you’re giving birth to your own original content or sharing choice content from other accounts, there are some key guidelines that will help ensure high quality.

  • Visual Content: No one likes a sloppy, stretched-out jpeg. Only post the good stuff: professional product photography, high-quality videos, smooth GIFs, and crisp graphics. If you’re showcasing products, make sure to take some snaps from different angles and vary the use case narratives you spread around.
  • Storytelling: Don’t just blurt out information to your audience. Delight them. One undying truth about people is that we love a good story, so build those loveable stories around your brand, products, and customers. You don’t have to do this alone, by the way; your customers are an excellent source of testimonials, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and lighthearted drama that will humanize your brand.
  • Content Calendar: Curating or creating, you’ll need a content calendar to map out your posts. A strong calendar doesn’t just preload posts at specific times—it also ensures diverse post types, frequency, and platforms.

Goods Tip: Never miss a holiday post. Celebration content practically write itself, so hammer out some adorable season’s greetings messages in advance and supplement them with photos, news updates, and good vibes from your team.


Views are fun and all, but they’re nowhere near enough, and eyeballs alone won’t make sales. You’ll need to entice at least some of those wallflower followers to step up and become active members of your social media community.

  • Customer Engagement: Foster authentic conversations with your audience by responding to comments, messages, and mentions. Social listening tools can help out here, alerting you to when others mention your brand.

Goods Tip: Chop-chop, friends. Wait too long to respond to a follower comment, and your conversation will fade out of memory.

  • User-Generated Content (UGC): What do you do when you’re running low on content? Invite others to share theirs! Shine a little of your spotlight onto customer-created posts by featuring them, especially those focused on good experiences, photos, and testimonials mentioning your products. You get a steady flow of authentic content, they get fifteen minutes of fame, and everyone walks away with an extra spring in their step.

Goods Tip: If you’re struggling to find popular hashtags that are relevant to your industry space, make your own. Just be consistent and remember to use the hashtags on your custom created content whenever possible.

  • Community Building: Create and nurture online communities, groups, and hashtags related to your industry. Host discussions, consistently share A-plus content, and try some Q&A sessions. Each tiny meet-up will build trust, boost engagement, and establish your company as rightful experts in your field.


The plain fact is that, well . . . sometimes the “organic reach” of a post needs a little gas. The paid variety.

Give it a chance—we’ll break down your options and why they aren’t so dirty after all.

  • Social Media Advertising: We know cash doesn’t grow on trees, but it’s wise to allocate a portion of your marketing budget to social media advertising. What you really want is targeted traffic, since these viewers are the most likely to buy. In order to clinch these high-profile visitors and net maximum ROI from your campaigns, experiment with different ad formats, targeting options, and bidding strategies.
  • Influencer Partnerships: Collaborate with influencers and brand ambassadors in your niche to reach new audiences, build credibility, and generate buzz around your products. Ask yourself which influencers are truly aligned with your content and values, and you’ll likely find their follower count is packed with your people. Beyond that, it will be easier to share your vision and split the sweet rewards of a popularity partnership.
  • Promotional Campaigns: Run targeted promotional campaigns, contests, giveaways, and exclusive offers to stimulate engagement and purchases. In our experience, nothing works the retail heart rate up like a good old-fashioned flash sale.


You know we’re huge data nerds here at Goods. Of course, we recommend you check your numbers often in order to determine when and how to update your social media strategy.

Which numbers, you ask? Our favorite topic:

  • Key Metrics: Track and analyze key performance metrics such as reach, engagement, click-through rate (CTR), conversion rate, and return on ad spend (ROAS). One more time—that means tools like Facebook Ads Manager, Google Analytics, and Sprout Social. Not DIYing your own numbers out of vapor and popsicle sticks.

Goods Tip: Alas, the brutal music of social media. Just like kids and vegetables, you care about your audience, and you want them to love what should be enriching and nourishing to their interests. But you may find out fast that what you think they need isn’t always what they actually want. Make sure you review your post metrics often to stay in sync with what followers are asking you, and you’ll successfully sneak a few vegetable posts in without causing a mass exodus.

  • A/B Testing: A/B testing can help you identify what resonates with your audience. Things you’ll probably want to test at some point include ad copy, images, variations of important messages, calls to action, and audience segments.
  • Iterative Improvement: Always monitor, measure, and iterate your social media marketing strategies based on data-driven insights and feedback. Don’t just review and revise once when you have the power to regularly monitor changes in your campaign approach. When it comes to social media, adopt and adapt fast, or you’ll be yesterday’s meme.



Social media can be a temperamental tool, wild and hard to predict. The same traits that make it so challenging are often the very things that make it so thrilling, delightful, and energizing for your business.

We hope our guide armed you with everything you need to stop thinking of social media as a stressful, time-sucking chore. By implementing these strategies piece by piece, you can harness the explosive power of social media to attract new customers, outmaneuver the competition, and foster genuine relationships with your audience.

Because the big-picture truth is that building your social media isn’t just about chasing trends and playing numbers games. It’s about connecting people in order to boost your ecommerce business to greater heights.

With a little TLC, you may even come to embrace social media as the strongest tool in your marketing toolbox.

And if not—at least you’ll stop shooting at your feet. 😉