The great thing about social media marketing is that anyone can do it, even if you have limited resources. According to the LinkedIn and Oracle guide “Getting started with social selling,” it is 75% cheaper to generate leads through social media than any other channel.
Another benefit is that social media allows you to hone in on the right demographic for your product or service. It enables you to express your brand and business values just like you’d express a personality. This can result in your audience personally relating to your business identity. The relationship becomes more about being aligned with a business rather than being ‘sold’ to by a faceless company.
So how do you make the most of this opportunity? First, you need to create a good experience for your audience on social. Once they’re engaged, you can direct them to your products. These are the steps to follow.
- Know your audience
Once you know your demographic, it’s a lot easier to come up with content you know they will find interesting. Marketing on social media is about finding your niche and building a relationship there. Trying to reach a broad audience will not work. Develop a buyer persona to narrow down your target audience. Your product/service isn’t for everyone, so make sure you’re actually speaking to the right people.
- Engage your audience
This is obviously crucial. You need customers on your social accounts if you want to direct them from there to your products. So how do you do it? It’s surprisingly simple. Now you know who your audience is, all you need to do is catch yourself out every day when you have a thought or an idea that your audience would find interesting. Example: You sell fitness apparel. One day you accidentally come up with the best smoothie recipe ever. You’re in love with it. That is information your audience wants to know! Share a post with the recipe and some photos. Voila, your audience has a new healthy lifestyle idea thanks to you. The point is, when you live and breathe a business, you have ideas and thoughts all the time that your specific audience WILL care about. That is what you share.
- Know what to post
As well as cool ideas for your followers, you should also post compelling visuals, promo codes, direct links for purchase and a relevant hashtag, such as #summerdresses and #summerfashion if, for example, you sell dresses. Use free social media sharing tools, such as Hootsuite, to schedule regular posts regarding product deals, holiday campaigns or company storytelling.
4. Add an online store directly onto social media platforms
While directing to shoppers to your website should be your number one goal, you should be doing this too. You can use ‘buy now’ buttons on Facebook and Twitter, and a service like Shopify to add a shopping cart directly to your Facebook page, so your customers can shop without ever leaving Facebook. The great thing is, these tools tend to be mobile-responsive on any device, so you can ensure a seamless shopping experience for customers. Pinterest and Instagram are following suit by allowing you to sell products on there. Selling on social media is only going to grow, so get into it now!
- Align your homepage
By now you’ve created the need or wish for your product or services via social media. Now it’s time to guide the potential buyer via your preferred social media outlets to your website to close the deal. Have a limited special on the landing page. Advertise it on your social media accounts. It’s tempting to tweet about the latest Trump controversy when you are selling jewelry, but those tweets won’t make you money. Tweeting about that new bohemian choker you are selling online starting today could get you (immediate) sales, though. Start early in the process of a new product or offer; “We are releasing a brand new design early next week!” or “Only on sale next week, get yours!” and create scarcity; “We’ll start with a test audience of 250 people.” All the basics of sales go for social media as well. For increased chances of success, you can easily create series and repeat your offer. Try Hootsuite for that.
- Track the success of your campaigns
Lastly, make sure you track your efforts! Why?
- To discover where your efforts and resources are being used most effectively
- It allows you to adjust tactics in areas where efforts and resources aren’t being used effectively
- It identifies gaps in your overall strategy, key messages, and content
- It helps you better understand customer perceptions, preferences, conversations, and motivations
What tools should you use? Here are the best tools for tracking your social media marketing efforts, as recommended by Hootsuite.
Google Analytics: Track website traffic, on-site conversions, and sign-ups originating from social media campaigns.
Hootsuite Impact: Accurately measure the ROI of social media across paid, owned, and earned social channels. Impact connects to your existing analytics systems so you can integrate social data with the rest of your business metrics. It also makes it easy to produce executive reports, and delivers plain-language recommendations to optimize your social media strategy.
Facebook Pixels: A piece of code that placed on your website that allows you to track conversions from Facebook ads—everything from leads to sales. You can use the pixel feature within Facebook’s own ad platform or with social ad optimization and targeting tools like Hootsuite Ads and AdEspresso.
UTM parameters: Add these short text codes to a URL to track important data about website visitors and traffic sources. UTM parameters work with analytics programs like Google Analytics to provide a detailed picture of your social media success, from the very high level (which networks are performing best) down to the granular details (which specific post drove the most traffic to a specific page).
Need more info? Check out the Hootsuite post How to Use UTM Parameters to Track Social Media Success.
Hootsuite Insights: Will help you identify conversations and trends within your industry, reach, brand sentiment, and more. It’s all backed by 100 million data sources, real-time results, and an intuitive interface.
Follow these steps to feel confident that you are covering all bases when it comes to boosting your sales with social media. There are plenty of guides online if you’re unsure of how to do anything listed above. Social media is becoming part of the fabric of everyday life. Its role in allowing customers to make purchases is set to grow significantly. If you get on board now and keep optimising your activities, you’ll be setting yourself up for future success.