March 25, 2015 | Shares:

How to Grow Your eCommerce Traffic with Social [Guide]

You plant two seeds in the ground. One, you take care of every day. You plant it in fertile soil, keep the weeds away, water it, and ensure it has plenty of sunlight to thrive.

You leave the other to fend for itself. Weeds steal its water and sunlight, and the soil around it quickly becomes exhausted.

At the end of the growing season, which seed do you think has sprouted?

The difference between the healthy growing plant and the dead seed is like the difference between those who take care of social channels to grow traffic, and those who leave their social channels to fend for themselves and then wonder why their traffic shrivels up.

Luckily, we have a green thumb when it comes to growing eCommerce traffic.

We’re here to give you some of our insider tips on how to grow your eCommerce traffic with social.

how to grow your ecommerce traffic

Many people misunderstand the purpose of using social for traffic. They make efforts to get more traffic from social, and then they get disappointed when they feel their actions aren’t reaping a good enough harvest.

Before you get started, you need to understand how, when, and why social brings you traffic.

How social grows traffic

Social’s greatest asset isn’t getting direct orders, but for building brand awareness that leads to more targeted traffic.

Our data shows that while Facebook brings approximately half of our users’ overall traffic, it only accounts for 16.5% of their orders.

This doesn’t mean Facebook doesn’t drive sales: it means Facebook is definitely bringing a lot of traffic, but the sales that result from them may not be direct.

Social media should serve as the starting point for customer interaction and exposure.

The most important thing to understand about social is that it doesn’t always result directly in measurable traffic, but it is always important for its potential to make a huge impression and get your brand in front of new eyes.

When social grows traffic

Social grows traffic when brands have a strategy that doesn’t aim for brand endorsements, but aims to spark organic conversation that aligns with their brand image and customer base.

Chubbies is a brand who does this particularly well. Their Twitter stream doesn’t worry itself with brand endorsements – instead, they use it as a channel to talk about topics their customers are interested in (beer, girls, and the weekend).

They don’t force conversation, they build it by talking about the things their customers are already interested in.

Why social grows traffic

Social is the perfect platform for spreading your brand among targeted networks.

Social is like a coffee shop: you’ve got a big group of people talking and spreading information. So how do you get people talking?

The thing about social is that you can’t really force it. Brands who do this come off as inauthentic. You need to have a clear idea of what interests your consumers and then use data to see if your hunches were right.

If you feel you aren’t getting enough social media traffic, it’s probably because you’re under the impression that sending out a few Facebook updates and Tweets is going to get new customers to flock to you. Unfortunately, that isn’t true.

Social grows traffic when you have a consistent plan that keeps shoppers aware of you. Simply popping up every once and awhile isn’t going to do the trick.

pick the right soil and season

Pineapples don’t grow in the arctic, and you’ll rarely find cacti in a rainforest. Different plants thrive in specific environments, and your social traffic is no different.

You need to be investing in the social channels that you’re getting back from. Period.

If you’ve consistently failed to generate traffic from Twitter, a magic fairy is not going to suddenly drop down and make Twitter your #1 traffic generating channel.

To identify the right social channels to use, pay attention to your analytics: your current and past performance, your audience behavior, and spikes or outliers that can key you into possible opportunities.

You also need to consider engagement levels.

Picking the right social networks to tackle relies on not just knowing where your customers are, but what they are doing.

Perhaps a huge hunk of your customer base is on Twitter, but they’re not interested in brands. In contrast, there’s a small, active group pinning everything you post.

Figuring out how to maximize traffic follows a formula: 20% of your efforts are likely getting the most return.

To grow traffic, you need to cut away from anything that isn’t getting you measurable results, and put more effort into the campaigns that are proving they get meaningful traffic.

Only by doing this will you grow traffic. Doing anything else will simply cause traffic to stagnant.

diversify your crops

Farmers don’t risk all their profits on one crop, so why risk it all on one platform? 

When it comes to social, diversifying is key.

Social commerce is constantly in flux.

If you’re relying completely on one platform, changes like Facebook’s organic reach reduction or Pinterest’s affiliate marketing ban can give a serious blow to your efforts.

However, you need to be both focused and diversed. You can’t do it all. Understand what you can realistically manage before deciding how many platforms to be active on.

Going Vine crazy or getting Meerkat mania every time a new social platform crops up will drive you insane.

The key is to have a balanced effort – split between paid and organic – on the platforms that you’ve proven are getting you results.

Analyze which social media is popular for your demographic. For example, Instagram is a popular platform within the fashion industry, so it’s wiser to advertise on Instagram than attempt to reach potential clients through Reddit.

Then comes the debate over whether you need accounts for every platform.

It can hurt brand image if you are a Pinterest eCommerce star but have a half-optimized Facebook page that hasn’t had any activity since 2009. In this case, it’s best to put your best foot forward in the platforms you’re using, like rather than keep open dead accounts.

That being said, you should always give it a go to see if you can revive your accounts if you’ve put in past effort. Update your information, change your photos, and start a new campaign to see if a fresh approach will bring you new results. Adapt your strategies as the platforms change – for example, your Pinterest marketing strategy should include implementing Product and Buyable Pins to directly sell on Pinterest, which were not available in the past.

Not all traffic is created equally.
Not all traffic is created equally. Make sure you're getting the traffic that matters. Get my free download

let happy customers grow traffic

Plants help other plants grow. Just as flowers cross pollinate, customers refer.

Your customers are your best advocates and one of the best sources for qualified traffic.

As you probably know, it’s much more affordable to keep customers you already have than try to get new ones. And, it’s much easier to get new traffic as a result of social referrals than on your own.

The number one rule of social media is to let your customers tell the world how much they love you. Many eCommerce have found the easiest and most effective way to do this is by adding reviews to their social media marketing.

Yotpo data found adding reviews to social increased Twitter traffic by 26% and Facebook traffic by 6%.

It’s not a mystery why this works. Think about social media. Customers are using it to talk to each other about things that matter to them. Their purpose is not to get information about brands or products – if they wanted to do that, they would simply go to Google.

On social media, they are best primed to receive brand messaging when it comes from a trusted source. If a friend shares a blog post, photo, or review of something they love, a customer is much more likely to view it than if they see a brand advertisement or update.


There’s a reason farmers use scarecrows. Birds know to scan fields for anything that looks out of the usual and could be a threat. Like birds, consumers scan the digital world and quickly become immune to content they don’t want. It takes a lot to get customers’ attention today, and too many consumers have banner blindness.

You need a different kind of ad if you want to get attention on social.

It may seem counterintuitive, but social ads that don’t look like ads are the most successful.

One way brands are using this is by leveraging customer content or influencers in their advertisements.

Jewelry brand Pura Vida used this approach when using reviews as Facebook ads. Their most successful ad had a click-to-conversion rate of 17%, and Pura Vida saw a 255% ROI. Because their ads doubled as social referrals, they didn’t look like ads.

Like we said previously, people are on social to interact with each other. They’re scrolling through newsfeeds, scanning for content that interests them. Brand advertisements are easy for them to simply move past as they seek out information their friends are sharing.

Social advertising flourishes when it combines the nature of social with the power of social. Don’t create ads that disrupt the social experience but flow with it.


Growing your store’s social traffic is easy. You just need to know how to give your social marketing the sunlight and water it needs to thrive.

Get The Right Traffic Learn how to get traffic that brings results.Get your free copyNot all traffic is created equal.
Aimee Millwood
Aimee Millwood, Director of Content at Yotpo
Aimee loves hummus and hates misplaced commas.

@aimeemillwood – Follow me

  • Ingrosso Bijoux

    Why does my Yotpo platform crash when I click on “Collect Reviews on Facebook”? Anyone else with the same bug?

    • Hey! Sorry for the late response — this must have slipped through the cracks.

      Sounds like your Facebook token might be expired. For help with this, please get in contact with our awesome Support team via this form:


  • The Chief Master
  • The Chief Master

    My was able to increase my traffic to my website in more than 50%. thanks

  • Darren DeMatas

    Really solid post, Aimee “if you’ve consistently failed to generate traffic from Twitter, a magic fairy is not going to suddenly drop down and make Twitter your #1 traffic generating channel.”

    • Aimee from Yotpo

      Thanks Darren! I’m glad you enjoyed =)

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