Prepare for Q1: Drive traffic to your store with social

Traffic and revenue are not inextricably linked, but they do tend to have an impact on each other. With revenue dipping in January and February it is likely that if you look under the hood your traffic will be suffering too. Fix this and you are likely to see a positive impact on the bottom line.

The solution:

If the shoppers aren’t coming to you, you need to go to them – and with the average internet user spending 1.72 hours per day on social media platforms, it’s a good place to start. Social media use, while prone to slight fluctuations, is not heavily affected by the changing of the seasons in the same way ecommerce traffic is. This means it provides you with a consistent method of reaching out to your target market. As discussed above, social advertising is an effective way to drive traffic from social media sources, but with social media creating a new platform for interaction, so too does the approach we take to communicating with our customers has to change. In fact, some of the most fruitful ways to engage with prospective buyers fall outside of traditional advertising techniques.

Social competitions

With people feeling the post-holiday pinch, now is the time to use freebies as a form of entice them back to your store. Competitions are a good way to promote your brand, encourage certain social interactions and ultimately highlight items in your inventory in a way that is more interesting to your customers.

  • Photo or video contests – These have been shown to get the most engagement and are a good way to turn your customers into promoters – ask customers to include your products in their entries and all of a sudden they are creating the adverts for you! Make sure to get them to tag your store or use a hashtag so you, and anyone who is interested, can keep abreast of all the entries.


Photo or video contests have been shown to get the most engagement and are a good way to turn your customers into promoters.


  • Social engagement posts Spread the word by asking customers to like or share a post about one of your products for a chance to win it. This takes advantage of net-work effects and ensures your items are making their way onto the timeline of people who are not yet interacting with your brand, as well as getting existing fans or custom- er more heavily engaged. Remember, though – whatever competition style you choose, make sure the barrier to entry isn’t so high as to deter people.

1. Om Nom Nom Cookies encourage their social followers to take and share a photo of themselves with their product to be in with a chance to win a t-shirt.

2. Drinkwel encourage social engagement by asking people to simply like their post to enter their product-lead competition.


Spread the word by asking customers to like or share a post about one of your products for a chance to win it.


  • Caption competitions – Are another a fun way to interact with your customer, encouraging people to comment on a post which will result in naturally feature higher in people’s timelines and extending your reach.

Tauck ask their followers to come up with a funny cation for their photo, allowing them a fun way to engage with the brand.


  • Hashtags – Hashtags are great way to start or follow a trend, effectively grouping posts together, you can either create your own- making your posts searchable- or you can jump on the bandwagon of something that is already trending, in a bid to send some the activity around that topic your way. Hashtags can be used in a number of ways and the way you interact with them will be determined by what type of hashtag it is –
  • Hashtags for hashtag’s sake. Some more light-hearted examples are what we like to refer to as ”hashtags for hashtag’s sake” – a recent example of this was “#MakeLifeBetterIn3Words”, which encourages user to participate by suggesting, you guessed it, a three word description of something they think would make life better. Sometimes these type of hashtags are started by a company or charity, sometimes they have a message behind them but they can also occur organically out of the collective boredom of the internet. Either way, they can be used to your advanatge as people will actively search them to see what other are saying. A good example of a company using this approach is KitKat’s reply;A clever use of their slogan, it is on brand and paints their product in a positive light.

Hashtags are great way to start or follow a trend, effectively grouping posts together.


  • Current affair hashtags – These are pieces that refer to real-time happenings in the world and can, again, be used to your advantage. For example, when Budweiser sent this tweet after Kim Kardashian’s nude photos started the hashtag #BreakTheInternet. This was clever, in line with subject and their brand and so was well received. However, be cautious and be sensitive when using this type of hashtag- attempting to highjack a serious or upsetting current affair just because it is the most popular topic on the internet right now will not go unnoticed by internet users. Expect rebuke and quite rightly so.
  • Forums – While Twitter & Facebook may be the first platforms that come to mind when discussing social, depending on your brand and what you sell, don’t be afraid to seek out other alternative avenues. Conversations are being had in many nooks and crannies of the web and the aim of engaging socially with your customers is to find out where they are having them. LinkedIn particularly has an active group section, where people of similar interests or professions will come together to discuss. Though not exclusive to, these are particularly suited to B2B businesses. If LinkedIn groups aren’t for you, seek out forums that are specific to your area of expertise- do you sell video games? Then gamer forums are a hotbed of highly engaged enthusiasts. Find out where your customers hang out online and then make sure you are joining their conversation in a way that’s authentic and provides them with value.

At Nosto we regularly start and partake in forum discussions with our customers.


Conversations are being had in many nooks and crannies of the web.


For more tips to help you prepare for Q1 come back next week when I will be giving tips on using content to build your brand (or in case you missed it, check out my last piece which looked at acquiring new customers by personalizing your advertising efforts)!

Alternatively, you can download our handy Q1 checklist for all the tips in one go…


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