5 Painfully Easy Ways You Can Use Social Media to Drive Sales
All businesses are ready to grow and sell as soon as they enter the market, but it’s easier said than done. Promoting your business may be the toughest challenge you’ll face once you’re market ready because you’ve got zero eyes on your brand. Not only do you need to start grabbing your audience’s attention, you need them to trust you. How can you accomplish this? The answer is simple: Turn to social media.
Social media influence on brand selling
Social media is powerful in so many ways. It connects us to one another. It gives us opportunities to be present in new conversations, to reach people we otherwise would have no way to reach.
It’s true that everyone is trying to come up with strategies to reach their target audience and make sales. The smart brands, however, are doing so much more. The smart brands are creating brand advocates and using the communicative power of social media to expand their circle of influence so that they can continue to reach the right people, at the right time, to deliver the right message.
Social media is a place where you can educate and delight the consumer, turning them into a lead or a prospect. When done correctly, social media can be one of the most powerful tools you have to create sales.
1. Make amazing content
Content sells. Your website is the primary contact point of the customers, and you should ensure that the description of the products and services are up to the mark. But when you promote your business on social media, you need to really sell it―and precisely. No matter what social media platform you use, no matter how visual, remember that your words still count.
This is particularly good news for brands that don’t have products to sell! Smart, enticing, engaging captions can still help you to sell on social.
2. Focus on user-generated content
Short on content ideas? No worries. Some of the best content creators for your brand won’t be your employees―they’ll be your customers. When you post or re-post content created by those you serve, it shows that real people love your brand! User-generated content is not only a way to beef up your content creation, it’s like getting reviews without Google or Yelp.
If you wish to make user-generated content a priority, don’t wait for your customers to start doing it: ask them to. You could start a contest where they need to tag your account or use a specific hashtag to enter, or you could simply send out an email requesting that they do a Story on social sharing their experience. The good news is that there’s lots of options here. Do one or do them all!
Remember, however, that people want to be seen. So if your customers are creating content for you, repost it, share it in a Story, add it to an email blast, put it on your website. Bottom line: don’t forget to reward their loyalty by sharing the love.
3. Utilize the direct message feature
Social media is about being social, after all. And the algorithms love when you keep the conversation going via messages. This is an easy way to reach out to anyone from your biggest fans to your newest followers and make a personal touchpoint. The key here is to start slow. You can simply say hello or offer them a risk-free way to connect like a free download. This offers your follower a quick win and allows you to build a deeper relationship moving forward. This quick contact makes your follower feel seen and sets the stage for more interaction in the future.
4. Hire social media influencers
Influencer marketing has been on the rise for quite some time, and when harnessed, it can be a game changer for your sales. Leveraging the influence of another brand (yes, influencers are a “brand”) can be a quick and easy way to get your company exposure in front of the right kind of consumers. The trust an influencer has already built with their audience will be key in creating not only interest in your brand, but also the kind of trust that impacts sales.
Beware, however! Not all influencers are created equal. You must do your homework first! The larger an influencer gets, the harder it is for them to keep up with engagement. This means that although a person or a brand has a huge following, the vast majority of their following might not see their posts. Depending on your budget and your goals for a campaign, micro influencers are typically a better bet. These influencers still have decent followings but more importantly, they have more attention and engagement from those who follow them.
5. Use paid ads
I know, I know…. Pay to play? Really? The honest truth is that organic reach isn’t what it used to be regardless of what platform you’re using. Posting amazing photos with equally amazing captions may not be enough. Everyone is fighting for attention on social platforms, so if you want to grow faster, you’re going to have to invest into it.
You can have an edge over other companies by leveraging paid media to reach your target audience. Most social media websites are now providing extensive marketing tools that include paid ads to create successful campaigns.
Social media can quickly become one of those things that businesses do because they feel they have to, but struggle to be effective at it because they’re not seeing ROI. Strategy is everything here, and let me tell you, it’s going to be a lot of hard work. Pretty images and tricky engagement tactics will no longer suffice. If you’re going to drive sales on your social media platforms, you can’t simply post, you’ve got to grow and keep engagement high. Everything explained above from paid ads to personalized messages are the kinds of distribution strategies that will help you make your social media accounts into a sales machine.
Meet the Author: Shauna Armitage
Shauna is a Marketing Director or Fractional CMO helping early-stage startups scale with effective strategies, creative solutions, and unparalleled integrity by making the most of small budgets for maximum impact.
As a vocal advocate for women in business, Shauna is on a mission to redefine what it looks like to be a working woman and to support other women doing the same. She spends her free time traveling with her husband and four kids while drinking Coca-Colas. Connect with her on Instagram at @shauna.armitage.