For many small business and e-commerce stores, social media is an excellent platform to connect with existing customers and attract the attention of potential customers. Social media marketing is a valuable promotional tool that can help spread your outreach, increase sales, and allow your business to grow; here are several tips to take full advantage of the social media trend to up your revenue:
- Determine the best way to connect with prospective customers.
First, evaluate your current and prospective customer base. Find out where they are spending their time, and go there. If your customers are less likely to be on social media, don’t waste your time. If they are using popular sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.), determine which site will be best for connecting with them.Each social media platform has its place in sales marketing:
- Facebook is the all-around ideal for business/customer sales; however, if your company has limited funds for advertising, you may want to consider using several sites to boost your visibility.
- Twitter is also a great place for many types of e-commerce, and is one of the more popular sites when it comes to customer service.
- LinkedIn has an air of professionalism that is perfect for business-to-business sales – connecting with larger companies who may be interested in your products and services.
- Photo-based sites, such as Instagram or Pinterest, are all about engaging with your customers in a fun, interesting way with a highly visual connection.
- Offer incentives for frequent purchases.
As the saying goes, it costs more to get a new customer than it does to keep your existing ones. Take the time to focus your attention on your current social media followers by rewarding them with offer deals, discounts, coupons, and specials that are based on the frequency of purchases. This strategy not only encourages customers to make purchases more often but also lets them know that you appreciate and notice their support.
- Promote ALL the products and services your business offers.
If you want to increase sales, you have to make sure your customers know what you are selling. You can do this seamlessly by featuring a different product or service weekly and highlighting what they are and why your customers should be interested in them. Don’t neglect to mention any products or services you offer!
- Add a shopping cart.
If Facebook is your site of choice, add an online store directly to your business’ Facebook page so customers have the option of making purchases right then and there (without being directed to another site). Make shopping as easy and hassle-free for your customers as possible.
- Go mobile.
In a recent study, 85% of Americans stated that mobile devices are a central part of their daily lives. This is great news for you – mobile apps for social media sites are the best way to reach your customers on the go, 24/7, wherever they are.
- Create a desire or need for your products or services.
When buyers get the sense that there is excitement surrounding what you offer, they are more likely to want to make a purchase. By updating customers about upcoming releases, flash sales, limited-time offers, or special promotions, the sense of urgency and buzz around your products and services will turn a customer’s interest into desire into need – into sales.
- Incorporate a variety of content.
When it comes to social media, you have countless options for uploading content. Photos, videos, blogs, quotes, articles, use them all! Create an interesting and unique shopping experience for your customers. Even sharing the content of your competitors can be useful, as it will draw the attention of their client base to your business.
Don’t underestimate the power of a hashtag. Using a variety of general and specific hashtags will allow your business to stand out in any hashtag searches your potential customers are doing. Hashtags are especially useful for big events (#holidaysale) or special promotions (#freeshipping).
E-commerce via social media is becoming increasingly popular and is an opportunity small business should not ignore.
Share your tips for boosting online sales below!
Some social media experts advise against promotional content on social media, and suggest that businesses should engage with customers instead in order to be really “social.” They say, save the promotional content for their own websites. What do you think about this?