Online Shops Need These 3 Social Media Platforms

This article was updated to show stats for 2020.

As of November 2019, 7.7 billion people populate this Earth out of which 59% go online and 2 billion are socially active there. Translation – If you share your office with 9 other people, we bet at least 4 of them are surfing the internet right now. Even more, as you read these lines, 3 out of those 4 are engaging within their social networks. Now, what if you’re in a room full of customers? Wondering if they’re accessing that hot Facebook ad you’ve placed up to drive them to your online shops, yet?

According to the latest piece by Avasam in terms of social media stats, around 2.5 billion people use Facebook, more than 500 million go on Instagram monthly and 300 million are actively registered on Pinterest.
The average Joe owns roughly 8.5 social media accounts, so broadly, without customer profiling, you have at least 1 billion people worth of leads! What are you doing to get their attention? Are they even aware that they need your online shops?

No worries if you don’t, mate! There’s a reason why you ended up on our page. So that after reading this article you will:

  • Be able to make a good case for why you should direct as much traffic from your social media to your online shops
  • Know with precision whom you’re addressing to and directing – customer profile and purchasing behavior
  • Be equipped with 5 GCPs (Good Case Practices) which exploit Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram to the maximum to turn each of your social media assets into traffic generating machines right as you surf away from AYG’s Blog (just in case you missed it, this is our page *wink).

Why directing traffic to your online shops becomes the norm?

Well, have you been out lately?! We live more socially than we like to believe or to admit. Hence, we’re at that point where we’re thankful for football matches that bring people together, face-to-face, for it seems otherwise we’re not likely to do it on our own. Our survival instinct has brought out our individualistic side, but social media has pulled the strings to bring us back together again.

So, since we have very little time for anything besides work, we’re compressing most of our lives online. Shopping first!

Thanks to social networking, retail traffic has dramatically increased, with 54% of customers using social media platforms to discover new products.

We socially shop:

  • Because, as stated above, it saves us time!
  • Because it is convenient! It’s easier to read through a couple of product reviews than to ask people directly. Imagine if you had to call someone and they wouldn’t answer – yes, we’re being ironic. *Wink. But at the same time, we have access to a lot more insights than our limited network of friends who might or might not have used the product or service we’re thinking of acquiring.
  • Because we’re flexible like that! We go from screen to screen to satisfy our needs and end up in the actual store for the purchase. Funny thing, right?
  • Because it makes almost no difference! Online shops, offline shops – Does anything really change? The process is comprised of the same stages, indifferent of where we perform it. At first, we become aware of our needs, we research to find alternatives, then we evaluate offerings and, in the end, we decide to buy… or not. In both contexts, it’s as simple as that.

Directing traffic from social media towards our online shops is as beneficial as it is somewhat tricky. Let’s go through the actual numbers to make it clear.


43% of small businesses find that social media is the most effective medium for achieving their advertising goals, and 56% of them plan to spend more on social media advertising

In terms of functionality, Facebook is largely used for informational purposes. It enables conversations and brings people together so that they would talk about their purchases and generate written content. Facebook is about text and about reading key data about the company or brand you’re interested in.

People, usually dedicate most of their social media time to Facebook. According to Zephoria Digital Marketing, they spend, in average, 20 minutes a day on this platform. This means you have approximately 20 minutes to convince them to check your online shops out. Spend them wisely.


According to Pinterest, retail brands see a 2x higher return on ad spend from Pinterest than from social media.

It’s interesting to notice how men make up for only a third of this platform’s users. Yet their numbers are increasing by the day. Usually, men use Pinterest as a buying shortlist and women as a wishlist.

People largely save pins to get inspiration for doing or buying what they actually want to do or buy. This way, it’s more of an individualistic platform – like you’re creating your online oasis. But by having a follow button and being given this option after each image you save, pinners who have the same interests come together.


Instagram has 2M monthly advertisers

Instagram has the most engaged users.
You don’t use this app to collect information, but to share moments. It might not drive significant traffic, but it is perfect for branding purposes.

Since we’re compartmentalizing our lives, it’s only natural to do the same with the social platforms we use. We clearly separate them based on the purpose we attribute and the channels we choose to communicate by – text, image, etc.

Tailor your online shops according to social media demographics



Best For


SEX (% total adults)


25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 64+ M F


20.3% 18.8% 18.1% 15.7% 10.6% 66%


Fans, Branders, Social searchers, Influencers, Gamers, Neutrals*

Building Brand Loyalty



23.9% 20.9% 17.4% 13.7% 7.5% 16%



Tech Savvy, and have more disposable income than non-users.

Most active users: Millennial moms – they have young children in the home and grew up with smartphones and social media.**



Art & Food

INSTAGRAM 22.9% 25.6% 19.4% 15.5% 11.1% 5.5% 24% 31% Millennials make up 51% of the users on Instagram, making it the most millennial heavy social platform right now. ***





Entertainment & Beauty

Source: comScore Media Metrix Multi-Platform, US, Dec 2015 | | Pew Research Center, 2015
*Facebook’s 8 Fundamental Hooks and 6 Basic User Types: A Psychographic Segmentation
**Ahalogy Report 2014

Good Case Practices to direct traffic from social media to online shops

Online shops that nail Facebook marketing

  • Williams – Sonoma’s Weekly Round-Up

A lookbook poster with all the images you’ve posted throughout the week might surprise you with a sales increase throughout the weekend. Besides some very appealing images, it gives your audience options.

Facebook Tactics to Increase Traffic to Online Shops from Williams - Sonoma

  • Facebook Marketing & Other People Content (or as we marketing geeks tell it – OPC)

If trustworthy, share other articles. Giving credit for quality content is a plus for your audience.

Facebook Marketing Tactics to Increase Traffic to Online Shops

  • Threadless’ Offline Engagement

Promoting themselves as made “by the people, for the people” the online T-Shirt company regular people to model their products. Because they activate mostly online, they need to and, in fact, have managed to drive insane engagement rates. To take this endeavor further and consolidate an even stronger relationship with their customers, they also organize face-to-face meetups, outside their online shops.

Facebook Tactics to Increase Traffic to Online Shops from Threadless Shop

  • The Next Web’s Asking of Questions

This is why we use Facebook – to feel like we belong and to express ourselves. Facebook users are eager to have a dialogue with (key word here) their friends. So, be their friend. Ask your customers to rate your products on your Facebook page and then engage them in a deeper conversation.

Facebook Tactics to Increase Traffic to Online Shops from The Next Web

  • Marie Forleo’s Videos

Inspirational movies receive more shares than messages. Enthusiasm for short films is what lead to the new Facebook Live transmissions.
Marie Forleo does a great job with her approx. 15’ Q&A Tuesday professionally made movies. She answers a question from her audience every week, inspiring and encouraging them at the same time.
So, whether you choose Facebook Live or directed short vlogs, just make sure you take… action!

Facebook Tactics to Increase Traffic to Online Shops from Marie Forleo

Online shops that are great at Pinterest marketing

  • Etsy’s 8000+ pins

For Pinterest engagement posts frequency is a focal point. Take, for instance, Etsy’s 8000+ pins spread over 90 boards. In addition to their own DIY posts, they also share recipes and other tips & tricks to create an entire cozy universe around what you could make for yourself or buy from them this weekend.

Pinterest Tactics to Increase Traffic to Online Shops from Etsy

  • Country Living’s Contests

Another great idea to drive traffic directly to your online shops is to organize contests. Pinterest is good for setting up a contests’ board. Country Living came up with the idea to ask their Pinterest followers to post dream bedroom photos out of which 5 were supposed to be part of Country Living’s collection.

Pinterest Tactics to Increase Traffic to Online Shops from My Country Living

  • Martha Stewart’s PinIt Button

Since Pinterest was 2015’s platform with the largest growth, PinIt Buttons have gained ground and became more popular lately. So, why not add one just like Martha Stewart’s to your online shops?

Pinterest Tactics to Increase Traffic to Online Shops from Martha Stewart

  • Bourbon and Boots’ Influencers Marketing

Connect with Pinterest influencers to promote certain store items and, extensively, your store. In an old fashioned PM, tell them what you genuinely appreciate about them and then ask them to test one of your products by sending a free sample.
Bourbon and Boots chose a few of their 250 influencers network and paid them to search through their catalogs and pin whatever they found interesting. They ran this campaign for 3 days, time in which traffic to their online shop increased 10 times and sales profits tripled.

Pinterest Tactics to Increase Traffic to Online Shops from Bourbon & Boots

  • Shopify’s Group Boards

Involve everyone! Engage all “stakeholders”. Power together staff, Pinterest influencers, and followers to post onto a Group Board. A team effort taps into our need to belong and increases traffic to your online shops.

Pinterest Tactics to Increase Traffic to Online Shops from Shopify

Online shops that exploit Instagram marketing to the max

  • Footasylum’s window shopping model

Make sure you have the most beautiful and high-quality pictures on your online shops and use those so that your followers could easily make the mental connection between your shop and the Insta images. Another great tip is to not repost pictures from other platforms but to add new content.

Footasylum’s Window Shopping Model for Online Shops

  • Beaucoup Bakery’s Employee Photo Sharing

Increasing brand awareness is easy with Instagram. Use it to promote your team, connect, engage and be friendly. Getting a sneak peek behind the scenes of your business is always delicious for your customers.
Beaucoup Bakery does a great job by posting pictures of their employees at work with the hashtag #beaucrew.

Brand Awareness Tactics for Online Shops from Beaucoup Bakery

  • ABC World News’ piece of news

Always feed your audience with new, fresh content. Show them that you value them by offering playful, interesting hints about what’s about to happen in your business or the latest product or service you’re working on. Every once in a while, ABC World News, for instance, posts a hint on their following famous person feature.

ABC World News

  • Converse’s Instagram Videos

Also incorporate videos in your marketing strategy. Besides an outstanding campaign on Instagram either juggling between their own and their customers’ appealing reposts, Converse also wisely and lively leverage their video strategy to introduce their initiatives.

Converse Tactics for Online Shops

  • Zappos’ # Engagement Strategy

Zappos found a great way to use the #nextOOTD hashtag. Post a selfie with this # and they’ll make you a professional recommendation based on your other Instagram posts. They’re leveraging both the popular OOTD (Outfit Of The Day) hashtag and linking recommendations to their online shops. Isn’t this great? We mean, who hasn’t thought of having a personal stylist, right?

Zappos’ Engagement Strategy for Your Online Shops

Yes, you now have the motives, the actions, and examples of how to generate traffic from the most used social media platforms to your online shops.

But keep in mind that consumers’ needs change during each stage of the buying cycle. They are 71% more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals. We lose more clients in the passing from each stage to another, instead of in the actual stage. Potential customers are being dropped because the content isn’t where it should be or it has a different voice than expected.
So, whenever you’re applying all the above models or whatever other tactics you find appropriate for your online shops, make sure you’re being relevant!

And if you found other tactics, sharing is caring! Tell us in the comments! *wink

PS: Please do me a little favor and share this guide with others, for there’s a good chance that it will help them with their marketing endeavors.

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Deliana Trasca

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