How to Sell More Online With Social – Key Takeaways From the Brisbane Shopify Meetup February 2020

At the first Brisbane Shopify Meetup of 2020, we invited ecommerce specialists from Instagram and Shopify to share their insights into how to take advantage of social media to connect with your audience and drive business results. We also heard from Shopify merchants ECO. Modern Essentials on how they use social media to increase exposure, reach, engagement and sales for their brand. Here are our key takeouts from the evening.


Be a Genuine Brand – Natalie, Finance & Ecommerce Manager at ECO. Modern Essentials

First to take the stage was Natalie from ECO. Modern Essentials, who shared how ECO. grew from a start-up into a global online business. 

ECO. Modern Essentials was founded on the Gold Coast in 2009 by former CFO Claire Mitchell. Since then, the business has grown into Australia’s leading wellness brand, with worldwide shipping, over 10,000 five star product reviews and 72,000 email subscribers. ECO. aims to simplify aromatherapy by delivering pure essential oils that are easy to use and incorporate into daily life. They also strive to educate their community about the benefits and safe uses of essential oils, which they achieve through their social channels. 

Natalie says something that has been pivotal in helping ECO. grow through social media is always being transparent with their audience.

“We’re very deliberate with how we communicate with our customers on socials. We’re genuine, we interact and we show that there’s a person behind the screen.” 

This involves having a clean and consistent brand image, relatable and engaging captions, educational content and interacting with their followers through direct messages and comments. The goal is to build a community of brand (or “wellbeing”) advocates. 

When it comes to content creation, ECO. ensures all content has a purpose and is valuable for their audience. They do one shoot every quarter, using the same team each time, so they can learn and improve from shoot-to-shoot. 

ECO.’s content is always dictated by their customers and what they want to see – whether it’s educational videos, product videos, DIY projects or customer reviews. Video is always going to have a bigger impact than static advertising, so all content is created video-first and mobile-first and is then repurposed across multiple channels, including Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. 

Another key piece in ECO.’s social media strategy is their Facebook Family. They refer to this group as their “secret weapon” because it has been crucial in helping them grow their customer lifetime value and compete with the cult following of their competitors. This is where they interact with their customers by posting exclusive giveaways and offers, educational live videos and offering early access to new product launches and sales. 

It’s also a valuable channel for conducting market research and gathering information from their customers about what they like, what content they engage with most and what they want to see from the ECO. brand. Customers are invited to join the ECO. Facebook group at multiple touchpoints during the post-purchase process – at the checkout, via email, in remarketing ads and through print collateral.

You can check out Natalie’s slides from the meetup below: 


Meet Your Audience on Instagram – Lucinda, Client Solutions Manager at Facebook / Instagram 

Next up was Lucinda, who explored the many different ways businesses can use Instagram to gain exposure and boost sales for their online store.  

With 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram is the perfect place to meet your audience. It’s where people go to discover new products, services, businesses and brands and to feel closer to other people and interests. This makes Instagram the perfect acquisition channel for online businesses looking to connect with their prospective customers. 

So, how can you connect with people on Instagram?

One way to build and broaden your Instagram presence is through organic content. This type of content is the foundation for everything, because it allows you to connect and converse with your existing community, grow your brand presence and build social credibility with your audience.

To maximise your Instagram presence, organic content should always go hand-in-hand with paid content. This will allow you to reach new audiences, deliver targeted messages and optimise campaigns for specific objectives. 

Instagram offers a range of paid and unpaid tools that allow you to connect with your audience at different stages of the customer journey. If your goal is to build brand awareness, Stories ads and branded content are a great way to get your business noticed. If executed really well, Stories ads can even look like they’re part of your normal stories reel. You should also think of your Instagram profile as your storefront and the home base for your brand. It’s where people will come to learn more about who you are and what you’re doing. 

When it comes to paid content, there are a range of tools and ad formats you can use to get your message out. If you want to achieve a specific goal (like increasing sales, downloads or store visits) Instagram allows you to optimise your ads for this specific purpose. This is far more effective than simply boosting a post, which is really only useful for increasing exposure.

Instagram Shopping is a great tool to help people learn more about your products in a visual way. It allows shoppers to easily explore products and purchase immediately without having to leave the Instagram app. You can also inspire customers to take other actions across the feed and stories with Direct Response Ads (these are the ones that prompt you to ‘Call Now’, ‘Shop Now’ or ‘Install Now), Dynamic Ads (the ads that follow you around the Internet) and Action Buttons (the buttons that live on your Instagram profile). 

Don’t forget that it’s still important to strengthen your connections with your existing followers, which you can do through Stories, Live videos and IGTV. You can use these tools to reward your followers by sharing special information, deals, new products or product tutorials.

If used holistically, Instagram can be an extremely effective channel for building your brand, connecting with your audience and inspiring action to drive results for your online business.


Focus On People, Not Technology – Scott, Merchant Success Manager at Shopify Plus 

With the tech side of the evening covered, Scott dove into the creative side and looked at how businesses can stand out on the social feed crowd. 

Australians spend an average of 1 hour and 44 minutes on social media every day, but only 9% of all digital ads receive more than a second’s worth of attention. So how can you capture your audience’s attention long enough to deliver your message? 

Here are a few key takeouts from Scott’s presentation to help you achieve this: 

  • As with all great marketing, it’s important to start by knowing your audience and understanding their wants, needs and desires. Only then can you deliver content that is relevant, interesting, provocative and entertaining to them. 
  • Rather than telling your audience how good your product is, try telling them how it will add value to their lives. Focus on the human benefits rather than the technological possibilities.
  • Ask yourself: “What do I want the audience to do with this content?”
  • Be unique. If someone else is doing something similar to you, or looks or sounds like you, you’re both in trouble.
  • Make your messaging clear and concise. 


That’s a wrap on another successful Brisbane Shopify Meetup! Thanks to the 247 attendees who braved the rain to join us on the night. To access photos from the meetup and stay in the loop for future events, make sure you join the Brisbane Shopify Meetup group on

Don’t miss our next meetup on Thursday 14th May 2020, featuring Snapchat! CLICK HERE to register and receive updates on who will be there and what we’ll be covering.