Social media sales are possible if you know how to engage your audience!
Social media is like the cocktail party of ecommerce: ultimately, your job is to be the most entertaining and interesting host possible.
Your friends and fans will enjoy hanging out and engaging in conversation with you if you’re fun to talk to.
They’ll share your stuff with their friends if you offer interesting and relevant new ideas for them to consider.
They may even buy your products if you build a positive and long-lasting relationship with them, too.
In fact, they’re actually more likely to buy from you if the other people at party (social media), are saying great things about you.
In 2016, PricewaterhouseCoopers conducted a poll of nearly 23,000 online shoppers from around the world.
45% of those polled said that reading comments, reviews, and feedback on social media influenced their digital behavior (including online purchases). The study went on to show how 78% of respondents said that social media generally influenced them in some way.
So, how do you run your social media (party) to show people a good time, make them want to say good things about you, and ultimately, buy what you offer?
By following the 5 steps we’ve laid out here for increasing engagement and winning more customers!
Read on to discover how to increase sales by enhancing your social media presence and social selling strategies.
Listen to What Your Followers Say About You (and Your Competition)
Social media is a goldmine for insights about how your potential customers think about your business, brand, customer service, products, etc.
It’s also a way to see what customers say about your competition:
- If they’re complaining about them, you can the opportunity to turn those complaints into new product solutions or even let them know “hey, our product already solves this.”
- If customers are praising your competition, you can use those comments to generate ideas for improving your own product.
If you want a window into how your target market thinks, pay attention to the language your potential customers use to describe their problems and your products so you can craft advertising and brand messaging that speaks directly to them, in their own words.
This will also help you better define your target audience, which will help you craft content and offers they actually want – boosting your brand’s reputation and social media sales.
Create Compelling Promotions
While you can’t always afford to offer deals year-round, you can boost your social media sales with one-off promotions that ignite short-term engagement.
A one-day flash sale, a 25% off coupon, or a “buy one get one free” deal are all forms of compelling promotions that get potential customers excited about and ready to buy from your business on social media.
But, if you want to make a sale while enhancing your social media presence, you should create promotions that require your prospect to do something small but meaningful in order to get the deal.
For example, instead of giving a prospect a coupon for a quick sale, you could require them to like your Facebook page first in order to get the coupon.
Or, say you want to run a contest: you could set rules like “each contestant has to take a picture of themselves doing the silliest thing they can think of with our product, and whichever gets the most votes in our twitter poll wins.” The prize can be whatever you want.
Now, each contestant is going to invite their friends to your page because they want more votes to win the prize. Those new friends may like your page and may even join your contest.
Plus, since fans are referring their friends to your page, you instantly have more credibility because of the power of word of mouth.
Asking for likes, emails, posts, etc. in exchange for your promotion will go a long way in both making more social media sales and making your brand more visible to potential customers.
Engaging your customers isn’t about making a sale right away, it’s actually about creating a stronger relationship with them – which, eventually, can drive more sales on social media and beyond.
Take, for example, 5 chewing gum’s newest marketing campaign: #5truthordare.
On every gum wrapper is a dare you can perform or a truth you can tell.
Customers then post pictures or video of themselves telling the truth or performing the dare on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc.
This is a brilliant campaign because it creates a personal relationship with the people who participate; the participants are doing things a friend would ask of them, making the 5 brand feel like a friend.
They now have a personal memory that wouldn’t have happened without 5, forging a deeper bond with the brand.
Because participation means buying 5 gum, and people are curious to know what dares or truths they might get, this campaign drives sales while increasing engagement – a double win.
Those who don’t buy 5 gum, or did buy it but didn’t participate, now see other people on social media doing interesting things and they’ll feel left out. Even if they don’t participate in the challenge in the future, they will at least think more highly of 5 gum because they can see that so many others are engaging positively with them.
This is a prime example of how creating a hashtag and a challenge or invitation to engage with your product and post evidence of it online can increase your social media sales by virtue of making your brand more interesting and fun.
Promote Success Stories
A success story is any case where someone buys your product and uses it to solve their problem(s).
You can feature these success stories on social media and beyond by interviewing them in some way and asking permission to share their story.
If they agree, you can have them send you some pictures of themselves with/using your product and along with answers to a few pre-selected questions and/or a short story of how your product positively changed their lives.
Then, you can post these to your social media channels with a call to action inviting others to submit their own success stories to be featured.
Customer testimonials are one of the most powerful ways to increase trust in your company in general, but they’re especially great for boosting social media sales since so many people make decisions based on what others are saying about you online.
People want to buy from other people, not faceless businesses.
Regardless of the size of your social media audience, join and start conversations with them.
If you post an advertisement for a new product and people are commenting on it, respond to them.
Of course, be careful about who and how you respond – confrontations need to be dealt with carefully – but try to be helpful and honest when someone asks real questions, or express gratitude when someone says something good about your product.
At the very least, liking someone’s post will make that person feel like you care, you’re attentive, and you’re not too busy to engage with regular people.
Social Media is About People
Just like SEO, social media – like all good business – is ultimately about relationships.
By carving out the extra time to make simple but meaningful interactions with your customers and potential customers alike, you set yourself apart from your competitors and make it easier for people to buy from you.
Remember, social media sales are dependent on the social part above all else. By implementing these steps, you’ll create a social media experience that makes people like you, share your brand, and ultimately buy from you.
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