How we transformed the social media presence of our e-commerce business


Palicomp is an established e-commerce business that specialises in PC building and sales. Just a few months ago, it had a zero social media presence. Now, we have over 3,000 avid PC followers worldwide — and the number is growing fast.

Thanks to our new social media presence, we can now engage with followers about current trends in the industry, we offer regular competitions and we respond to feedback. We never “sell” our products via social media and never ignore or delete any constructive criticism or feedback.

As an e-commerce business, trust is one of the most important factors in our conversion strategy. Our customers are increasingly likely to use online review websites, testimonials and social networks to gauge whether or not they can trust the businesses they deal with.

When a customer visits our Facebook page, we work hard to make sure that a customer feels at home with our brand — they can see the level of interaction we have with users as well as customer recommendations and posts by other fans.

So how do we build our community?

Many of our suppliers — big PC names — have large communities of Facebook fans and those fans are very much our target market. By working with our suppliers, we have been able to interact with an audience that is likely to engage with us on our own social media pages.

One way we have been able to reach this wider audience is by running competitions through our Facebook page. To spread the word, we invite people to “like and share to enter” or to “paste this status to Facebook/Twitter”. And we’ve been able to call on the support of the suppliers that have posted the competition on their own walls, some of whom have thousands of fans.

Think before you build

However, Facebook likes are not the most crucial part of the campaign. It’s true that they bring brand awareness and build trust, but the engagement of your community is the most important factor. That’s why we have worked so hard to ask questions about new products and get our audience to participate in surveys and give feedback on our products and services.

One thing we never do is to advertise our products on Twitter or Facebook. “Buy, buy, buy” is a negative signal in social and alienates the people you are trying to win over.

Creating a brilliant competition

Once we were up and running, we were looking for a really good product for our next competition — something that had value and was sought after. The prize we managed to secure was Powercolor and it was supplied by AMD. Thanks to the support of both AMD and the makers of Powercolor, we had access to their considerable communities of PC fans — AMD has close to one million likes and Powercolor has 41,000.

The next step was to create an app so that friends of friends would also see and enter the competition. The app was simple — by answering a question, entrants had to visit our “gaming page” helping us to increase traffic, show off our products and create a larger average page visit to our analytics. When they submitted their entry, entrants had to share the competition on their Facebook page and post an update on Twitter.

We launched the competition on a Friday lunchtime — a social time of the week when people were on their breaks. Very quickly, we had an explosion of likes and were soon interacting with a great new audience.

We are continuing to work with our suppliers to help us develop our social media strategy and build a large, highly active community of computer brains. Social media remains an exciting and powerful metric for our online business.

Chris Turton is marketing lead at Palicomp.