There’s more than one way to achieve social success: relevant content; compelling imagery; catchy contests; inspiring campaigns. Yet while independent initiatives and “dunk in the dark” moments can get your brand noticed in the short-term, a truly powerful social strategy—one that drives long-term relevance—isn’t so black and white.

Instead of segmenting your social and digital marketing strategies, start considering ways to integrate social tactics into the context of larger ecommerce efforts. Below, we explore five common oversights made by ecommerce teams today, and how tapping into social insights and tools can help you to increase visibility and consumer advocacy – now.

1. Underestimating social share buttons.

social share buttons

The vast majority of product pins originate on brands’ websites. Despite this, 33% of the top 100 IR500 retailers Curalate surveyed have yet to install Pin It buttons on their product pages. If you’re one of these brands, then you’re missing out on a significant opportunity to generate referral traffic back to your website.

To maximize your brand’s social presence, make every image on your website shareable. Then, optimize the size and placement of social share icons to bolster engagement even further. By doing so, you can ultimately augment the size of your brand’s footprint on the visual web, which is key to driving awareness, aspiration and—ultimately—sales. For proof of how powerful the Pin It button can be, for example, look no further than BuzzFeed, who increased pinning by 10 times after simply enlarging the icon on share bars and overlaying it on images.

2. Depending on default product images.

biggest ecommerce mistakes

To understand not only which of your products consumers care about but also how they want to see them, add Pin It buttons to every image, not just the default picture consumers see when they first land on that page. Then, analyze which version is being shared most frequently. For instance, are consumers more likely to share images with a white background or gray? Do they prefer the model with or without an evening bag? Sporting a smile or somber look? Asking these types of questions can enable you to glean valuable insights around what your customers aspire to own as well as how they prefer to see the products that line your social and digital shelves.

3. Lackluster share language.

common ecommerce mistakes

More often than not, when consumers pin images from your website, they leave the auto text untouched. And as for that automated share copy, well, just try sharing an image from a few of your favorite brands’ websites. As you’ll find, this text is typically vague and inconsistent, inclusive of only the style name or ID, and devoid of persuasive details (“free shipping!”) or imaginative ways in which the product can be used (“a quick-and-easy vegetarian recipe”). Still other times, there’s no share copy at all!

On the visual web, this adjoining text is part of what convinces a consumer to engage with your product image – or to overlook it altogether. So, don’t skip out on this important step, and start creating consistent, descriptive share language that drives action.

4. Poor handling of out-of-stock products.

dead links

When content on Pinterest gets popular, it stays popular. So what happens when the products within these pins sell out? Inoperative links on Pinterest lead users to 404 or sold out pages, and this poor user experience is driving dissatisfaction with your brand. To address the “empty shelves” problem, your ecommerce and marketing teams need to talk. First, use a platform like Curalate to identify dead links. Then, provide alternatives to keep users on your website. For example, you can redirect users to relevant products or capture their email addresses to alert them when that product is back in stock.

5. Limiting product shots to professionals.

user generated content

Most brands are still fashioning their websites around catalogue-style product images produced by in-house creative teams. But today, it’s the images created by fans themselves after buying those products that really drive results. Curalate clients that incorporate user-generated images into their ecommerce sites using Fanreel, our UGC solution, are seeing 15-30% lifts in click-throughs to shop. Social proof is powerful, so start leveraging UGC on your website to inspire your customers and increase celebration around your brand.

Building Brand Advocacy in a Visual World

The ability to drive brand awareness on the visual web is becoming increasingly dependent on the actions consumers take when visiting your website. Addressing the missteps outlined above can immediately strengthen your brand’s presence while creating unique opportunities to connect with consumers at scale.

For an in-depth analysis of how social media is changing the way consumers discover products and establish relationships with brands, and how brands can evolve their social and ecommerce strategies to adapt to these relatively new behaviors, download our report, The New Customer Journey: Building Brand Advocacy on the Visual Web, today.