Social media marketing is one of the most powerful ways to connect with your audience and get more sales. When you consider that over 3.96 billion people use social media, this shouldn’t come as a surprise.
The thing is, there are more marketing options and platforms than ever before. This situation can lead to confusion when business leaders and marketers take their on-site marketing efforts to the social realm.
Today, I hope to clear up some of the confusion and provide you with several actionable ways to get more value from your social media marketing strategy. I believe this advice is applicable to businesses both large and small.
Are you ready to get started? Let’s dive in!
Focus on Networks that Matter to Your Audience
The first thing you need to consider is which platforms you’ll use to reach your audience. Many marketers mistakenly think the best solution is to make social media accounts for every popular social site out there and hope for the best.
While this can be helpful, depending on your industry, it’s rarely the best route. I especially advise against creating a ton of social profiles if your business is still relatively small and unknown.
Here’s the thing; 80% of internet users have at least one social account. So, it’s safe to say that your audience is out there, but so are billions of other people who have no interest in your product or service.
If you want to make your social media marketing strategy work, I suggest starting small. Do your homework and find out where your audience spends their time. Use this information to decide where you’ll spend your time engaging with prospects and turning them into customers.
You can find out if your audience is on a social platform by checking relevant hashtags, looking for groups, and seeing how your competitors perform on similar platforms. Let’s say you notice several of your competitors have 50,000 followers on Facebook and only 500 on Pinterest. You can assume that it would be in your (and your customers) best interest to focus on Facebook and save Pinterest for another day.
Create Entertaining and Engaging Content
Now that you’ve narrowed down where you’ll engage with your audience, it’s time to start sharing and creating content. I suggest thinking about how you can accomplish this task without constantly pushing your product or service. Many people turn to social media for entertainment and consequently make a purchase when they see something they like.
In other words, you have to hook visitors with high-quality content if you want them to eventually buy something from your online store.
You have plenty of options when it comes to how you create content for your brand account. Many marketers (60%, to be exact) choose to repurpose the content from their website 2-5 times.
Your Google Analytics statistics can help you find your most popular blog posts. Find your top posts, and think of clever ways to make them more engaging on social media. For instance, you can take an article and create an infographic that goes over all of the key points. This type of content is highly engaging and shareable, which can help spread brand awareness and boost sales.
Video content is also prominent on all social media platforms. Obviously, some sites, like YouTube and TikTok, operate solely on a video format. But you can see equally powerful results by turning traditional written content into engaging videos for Facebook and Twitter. Research reveals that 88% of marketers say video content results in a positive return on investment (ROI). In other words, it leads to more sales.
Encourage and Share User-Generated Content (UGC)
We’ve talked about how you can create content that drives sales, but did you know your audience can also create content for your brand? It’s true! User-generated content (UGC) is a highly effective way to skyrocket sales and build trust with new visitors.
Essentially, user-generated content is any interaction a user has with a brand that puts it in a positive light. Examples include; social media reviews, mentions with branded hashtags, and pictures or videos that show customers enjoying your product.
If you want to know how powerful sharing UGC can be, consider this; 90% of shoppers say that UGC has directly affected their buying habits. People are more willing to engage with a brand, including buying products, if they see other people having a positive experience with your company.
The best part about this strategy is that you can ask your followers to share UGC in both fun and engaging ways. For instance, an online shoe store might ask its followers to share their favorite pair of shoes. As the post gets more shares and engagement, people who have never heard of this brand may click through and see what got their friends so excited. This type of social proof can help you grow your lead list, generate more sales, and show new visitors that you’re trustworthy.
Host Limited-Time Flash Sales
A more direct way to increase your sales is to host plenty of limited-time sales and events. Shoppers will happily interact with businesses if they can see what’s in it for them.
We like to hold bi-monthly flash sales with exclusive coupon codes for our social media followers. The key to making this strategy work is to emphasize that the deal will only be around for a short time. When your followers see this, they may experience fear of missing out (FOMO).
As the name implies, FOMO is when a shopper is afraid they will miss out on an exceptionally rare or impressive offer if they don’t act quickly. Believe it or not, 60% of shoppers have made an impulse purchase due to FOMO, usually in less than 24 hours from when they see your advertisement.
You can also host events like giveaways and caption contests. While these are not exactly flash sales, you can reward everyone who participates with a discount they can use on your site. The winner will get the big prize, and everyone else will get the opportunity to try your product or service at a discounted rate.
Develop an Influencer Marketing Strategy
The last piece of advice we have today deals with influencers. Influencer marketing has grown exponentially over the years. Simply put, influencer marketing is when a business works with a content creator to promote its product.
You’ll want to spend plenty of time researching creators. The goal is to find people who have a similar target audience. If we go back to the shoe store example, this company would likely partner with a fashion or fitness influencer. The people who follow these channels are generally fashion-conscious and always looking for the latest trends and hottest products.
On Instagram alone, over 130 million people click on shoppable posts each month. Many of these posts are created and shared by influencers who’ve made their home on the social platform.
Once you find an influencer you’d like to work with, you’ll need to decide on your terms. Smaller influencers will likely talk about your business if they get to try your product for free. Prominent influencers may need financial compensation for their time. Both options are effective, so it’s ultimately up to you and how you want to promote your product or service.
You can sweeten the deal, regardless of who promotes your product, by adding an affiliate program. If someone clicks an influencer’s link and buys your product, they get a monetary kickback for each sale. This strategy can lead to influencers actively encouraging their audience to try your product, which will likely lead to a significant boost in sales.
Back to You
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to use social media marketing to secure more sales for your business. You’ll find more helpful tricks as your business grows and more people interact with your channel.
I recommend keeping a close eye on your analytics, regardless of the platforms you decide to use. You can learn a lot about what strategies are working and the needs and pain points of your target audience with this information. If you continuously fine-tune your plan over time, you’ll have no problem skyrocketing your sales using social media.