How to Drive Your Online Sales with Social Media Marketing
At some point, every store owner will face the challenge of figuring out how to increase their online sales. However, knowing where to start and how to stand out from your competition can be intimidating. E-commerce has grown exponentially over the years, and it has only become more difficult to entice the visitors needed to increase your online sales.
Social media marketing is a great way to bring in some customers. But what is it, and where do you start? In this article, we will go over what social media marketing is, how it can be beneficial, and some strategies that can help you grow your online sales.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms to promote and sell your brand, services, and products. Businesses can use both paid and unpaid social media marketing tactics to generate brand awareness.
Some of the most popular social media sites include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest, but there are lesser-known social media platforms as well that you can utilize. You need to determine what social media channel is right for you based on your brand, goals, and products or services.
Benefits of Social Media Marketing
Social media can be super beneficial to your business if you use it effectively. In fact, over 50% of companies that use social media marketing have found that it’s increased their sales and revenue.
Social media marketing also allows brands to interact with their customers. This opportunity can provide you with valuable feedback about your business, products and services, competitors, and industry as a whole.
Social Media Marketing Tactics to Increase Your Sales
There are a lot of social media marketing strategies you can use to increase your online sales. Here are just a few to get you started:
Post Content on a Regular Basis
If you want to grow your social media following over time (and trust me, you do), then it’s crucial to post content on a regular basis. Audiences tend to respond differently based on how often you post, so you’ll want to do some tests to figure out what the best frequency is for your brand. You can also take a look at your competitors and compare their posting frequency and engagement rates to your own.
While many companies have looked into the optimal number of times to post on each social media platform, and it does make a difference, just having a plan and process in place to create genuinely compelling posts for your audience regularly is even more important.
There are some helpful tools out there that can help you schedule future posts on social media platforms, such as Buffer and Hootsuite. These applications can be integrated with your browser and dozens of other apps, and they can help you cut down on the time you spend executing your social media marketing tactics.
Make it Easy to Share Products
One key element to driving more traffic to your website and boosting online sales is adding social share buttons to your products. Make sure you have easy to find buttons that allow people to share to popular social media channels such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
Use the Right Hashtags
Hashtags have become a major part of the social web, making it easier to join in on conversations and events by posting under ones that are relevant to your business.
Hootsuite is a great social media monitoring tool that can help you find, like, and reply to posts. Hashtagify is great for finding other hashtags that are related to the one you are trying to target. Hashtags are not to be treated the same on every social media channel though. Here are some good general practices for the different platforms:
Facebook: Posts here do better without hashtags.
Instagram: Posts here will see the most engagement when using multiple hashtags (sometimes 10+ in a single post).
Twitter: Posts here do best with a single well-placed hashtag (as opposed to tweets with 3+).
If you know about events that are coming up, make sure you’re ready to jump in on the action. Consider live-tweeting during the event and commenting on what people are doing or wearing (depending on your niche). Most events have hashtags that you can hop on. But rather than hijacking the hashtag, you should aim to contribute to the discussion in a meaningful and natural way.
Keep up with the Trends
Another great way to reach people with social content is by aligning it with the trends that are happening right now. If you are paying attention to hashtags and news, you’ll most likely have the chance to add your voice to the discussion about what’s happening in the world.
Encourage Customer Reviews
Product reviews not only allow you to gain insight into your products and services, but they also create trust and increase online sales.
There are review apps out there, such as Yotpo, that use an automated process to encourage customers to leave reviews after they’ve bought something from you. Since the process is automated, you don’t actually have to reach out to all the customers yourself.
Connect your business’s social media accounts so you can post the reviews directly to your pages. These reviews will provide new content and drive traffic from social media to your website.
Invest in an Infographic
By investing in a professionally designed infographic, you can drive traffic and potentially build backlinks, which are excellent for search engine optimization. The cost tends to range greatly depending on the quality of the infographic, but it can definitely be well worth the investment.
It has become more and more difficult for business pages to show up in the News Feed organically, so paid retargeted ads on social media have become an essential part of many marketing strategies.
When testing out paid retargeting ads, you have more control over who you want to see your content, rather than being limited to your existing audience. You can start this with as little as $50.
When running retargeted ads, you are sending ads to people who have been to your website, and they can be personalized based on their behavior.
Chat with Your Audience on Twitter
If you want to keep your online community thriving, it is crucial to engage with them. One great way to grow your Twitter following and increase your online sales is by hosting a Twitter chat with your audience every week.
When chatting with your audience, you can either co-host an existing Twitter chat or start your own. If you choose to co-host, you can tap into an existing audience. If you choose to start your own chat, you’ll need to put in some more effort in promoting it. Gradually, others in your niche will start to take part in your discussions, and you’ll begin establishing your brand as an authority in the space.
Pro Tip: Choose a hashtag related to the Twitter chat and ask people to use it in their tweets. Not only will this help with branding, but it will make the practice familiar to people who take part in your discussions, and allows you to search the chat later for content.
Create Interactive Content
Interactive content is a fantastic way to engage with your visitors. While quizzes might have made you groan in school, they’ve made a strong comeback thanks to sites like Buzzfeed. These fun interactive pieces of content do very well on social media – as long as they can entice quiz takers to share their results publicly on their profile.
Create a quiz that will tell people about themselves or determines how much they know, so they are compelled to share it with their friends. If you want to try out building a quiz of your own, check out Plazbuzz. This is a free to use tool that allows you to easily create interactive content.
Influencer marketing has become increasingly popular. Try to identify influencers to engage with audiences that represent your targeted customer and ask them to create a sponsored post that features your business and products.
Some influencers will probably ask for a free product in exchange for posts, while others might require direct payment. It really depends on their outreach and the extent of collaboration. Just remember to reach out to the influencers who have a similar set of values with your brand.
Run a Pinterest Treasure Hunt
Pinterest can be an excellent social media outlet to drive online sales. One fantastic way to use it is to run a “treasure hunt” promotion. Here’s what to do:
- Contact a few of your business partners and ask each of them to post an image on one of their Pinterest boards. Each image will provide clues to the next image in the treasure hunt.
- Publish a blog post about the promotion along with a link to the first image.
- Fans who get to the final image will be redirected to a hidden page where they enter in their information to take part in a raffle.
Make a Complementary Pinterest Board
Another great way to utilize Pinterest is by creating a board for your customers with information and deals on complementary products that you don’t necessarily sell.
For example, if your store sells fishing rods, your Pinterest board could feature related items such as reels, rod components, performance wear, and other fishing related gear. The other brands you’re promoting will likely take notice of the incoming traffic from your Pinterest account, but if they don’t, be sure to reach out to them and let them know. These brands might even reciprocate and send traffic back in your direction as well.
Open a Facebook Shop
You can sell your products right through Facebook by adding a shop section to your Facebook Business Page. This will open up a whole new sales channel where your customers already are.
The Facebook shop section will connect with your online store so that customers can purchase products right from Facebook’s interface.
Enable Shopping on Instagram
One of the biggest hurdles for many businesses on Instagram is linking, especially when the main goal is to increase your sales and traffic. One way to work around this is to add products to your Instagram stories and posts.
Basically, you’ll place virtual product “tags” on your product images which mobile users can then click on and see how much a product costs. They can also tap to learn more information and make a purchase. This is one of the best ways to combine Instagram and e-commerce.
Own or Take Part in a Facebook Group
Facebook groups are online communities, usually based on shared interests that Facebook users can join. It’s best to join and take part in a group that is relevant to your industry and your target customers.
Add value by participating in discussions, don’t just jump in and start trying to sell your products. As time goes on, you can grow your relationships and establish credibility within the group, and other members will start becoming interested in who you are and what you do.
Starting a Facebook group of your own is another good option, as long as you have the time and effort to dedicate to it.
Social media marketing can be effective when scheduling meaningful content-related posts, automating what you can, engaging with your audience, and curating content. It’s more than just broadcasting your brand – you are understanding and reacting to your customers and the world they live in.
Today, there are so many businesses using social media to pitch their products, so it pays to stand out and really make a genuine connection with your audience. What are you waiting for? Start trying out some of those social media marketing strategies to drive your traffic and sales!
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