By Felicia Guthrie
In this ultra-connected age, a digital presence is essential. Social media is an incredible tool for big brands, small business owners, and entrepreneurs alike to carve out a space online. Social media gives you the opportunity to not only speak with your audience but also to drive awareness and sales. As a business owner, you’ll likely have several goals that you would like your marketing to help you achieve. As a business, your ultimate goal is to increase revenues so you can build your business long term, but how can social media drive sales? Well, we are going to provide some examples on how you can drive sales, but first, we have to make sure you’ve laid the groundwork and have a good foundation. So, grab a drink and a snack, bookmark this blog, or take down some notes, and let’s get you on the right track.
Where to Start…
If you’re thinking about social media then you likely already have a business and the foundation of your overall marketing strategy. Try to connect these strategies so that they feel consistent. Consistency is key when marketing across platforms (ie, print, digital, television, etc) as it clearly defines your business in terms of brand personality and voice as well as clearly defining your message.
You’ll also want to set goals for yourself, after all, how do you track and evaluate your progress if you haven’t set any goals? We have a few more helpful tips here on how to kick off your social media marketing and we also have this handy social media FAQ.
Pick Your Platform Carefully
Where you choose to be online should be a reflection of where your audience is and it’s not always necessary to be on every platform. Managing social media can be quite daunting for a busy entrepreneur or small business owner, as well as time consuming, so take the time to research where your audience and competitors live online and what platforms may work best for your strategy, brand, and your resources/content (ie. do you have a bank of photos, user generated content, etc.) and just plan for those social media platforms (at least for now!)
We’ve made it a bit easier for those of you trying to figure out which platforms to be on, check out our guide on how to choose the right social media channel for your business.
You’re all set, so how do you drive sales through social media?
While we are going to give you tips, keep in mind that there will be unique ways to drive sales on each social media channel – and we’re going to dig into this topic by breaking it down by the main platforms to give you a few helpful tips to get you on the right path.
If you’re looking to use Facebook (and Instagram as well) to boost sales, you should start by creating consistent content and have a pleasing aesthetic. Along with this, you’ll want to take your time to engage with your followers and boost engagement. Engagement will come with consistent and compelling content. Chances are, if you’re low on engagement (likes, comments, follows, etc), your online sales may reflect that. Sometimes though, people will see your content online and rather than buy online, they’ll pop into your brick and mortar locations. If you need help building your online presence on social media to help build the foundation for more sales, check out our Social Media Starter Kit.
Facebook Advertising is a great tool to help drive sales through social media. Facebook advertising allows you set your audience, budget, and the duration of your campaign. There are also different ad types that you can invest in depending on what your goals are. In this case, if you want to drive sales, you can select the ad types “Promote Your Call to Action Button” (i.e. your “Shop Now” Button) or select “Get More Website Purchases.” These two advertising options will help encourage people to make an online purchase with you.
You can also use Facebook advertising to promote your page, boost your posts, boost an event and more.
Promote your content using Instagram promotions to reach your target audience and new people. You can create sponsored ads that appear in your audience’s regular Instagram feed or in their Stories. If you’re doing this, make sure that you use compelling visuals and engaging copy (captions).
Partner with relevant influencers to reach a broader audience.- Choosing the right influencers for your brand gives you the opportunity to not only reach more of your audience but also feels like there’s an authentic relationship and not just like they’re acting as a sales person. These influencers act as advocates or ambassadors of your brand and have the power to help generate many sales for you. Did you know that 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations and that consumers are 71% more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals?
Tip: We even have an influencer marketing package that may be helpful to you!
If you can, utilize user-generated content – when other people post about your brand. Like influencers, user-generated content feels authentic, it’s natural. People who are already your customers are acting as ambassadors for you for no real reward, simply because they like you, and that speaks volumes.
Just like partnering with influencers can help you drive sales on Instagram, it can also help you on Youtube. Working with influencers is a great way to showcase your product(s) in a way that feels less sale-sy and more like a trusted friend’s recommendation. If you’re in the health and beauty industry, for example, this may be a great place to be seen. Indie brands and big brands alike have amassed huge followings and sales from partnering with Youtubers, their opinion has a lot of weight. This type of relationship is mutually beneficial as well. While working with them you get their audience and cred, while they get free and/or paid PR.
Pinterest now allows you to bid to have your ad shown to your target audience directly in their feed while browsing their curated recommended pins or exploring their search results. This content not only fits with your target, but it looks organic. For example, if you’re a DIY company, you may want to promote your crafting products through a Promoted Pin.
We’ve given you a few tips on how to drive sales via social media, but do you still need a bit of help? Maybe you want to begin building a stronger presence on social media to make the most of your accounts. Don’t worry – check out our Social Media Starter Kit or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.