Social media offers plenty of reasons for businesses, especially those in e-commerce, to leverage for growth. Social media attracts wider audiences and provides customer insights that are useful for improvement.
For an online business, you get a chance to look up a customer who abandoned their cart before checkout to understand their reasons besides having a massive platform on which to mount marketing campaigns.
Social media for business is different from the standard platform as it comes with business-oriented tools and apps that are specific to driving online sales. Analyze your business needs before choosing the best social media management tools that are suited for your digital marketing objectives.
Here are the top 7 ways to use social media for business to boost sales:
#1. Know where your audience is
Before moving to run your social media campaign, take a step back to identify what platform is likely to have your category of the target audience. If looking for a B2B audience, you might want to use Facebook or LinkedIn and not Instagram.
You probably may need an appropriate tool like Keyhole to help filter what platforms to target by tracking commonly used hashtags by the competition.
Using a social media platform preferred by your target audience helps you focus your marketing message without being general, as it will be easily understood.
However, user demographics are getting more dynamic with the millennials and Generation Z found across all social media platforms, according to a recent survey.
Therefore, take time to monitor the industry trends to know exactly where to find the audience you are looking for. Conduct an analysis of the platforms your competitors are using and then start building a unique social media marketing strategy based on that data.
The analysis will help identify the social media usage patterns of the customers you want to see converting on your side. Additionally, it will be a tried and tested method, by the competition, that might save some marketing costs for the business.
#2. Work with a relevant influencer
Nothing beats working with seasoned influencers to turn around your brand fortunes on social media. However, you have to find the right one first and right means relevant to your brand.
Use online platforms to get a suitable influencer that shares brand values and brings on board a good follower count and engagement rate in your business niche. A renowned model or movie star can work wonders promoting clothes or cosmetic line to boost brand loyalty.
The year 2016 was a tough one for Nike, with its worst performance in history losing ground to Adidas in North America with slippage of 19% on Dow 30 stock. However, the advantage of working with a powerful influencer generated $500 million in value, according to the Hookit index on social and digital media value.
Nike had invested in Cristiano Ronaldo, the soccer star, as a social media influencer, and with 200 million strong following and a 5.2 million authentic engagement, he delivered, and the payoff was great when needed most.
You can also use this model to your advantage by collaborating with relevant influencers with the industry you are in. Although smaller businesses than Nike may not have the financial resources to get the most famous influencer onboard, they can use influencers that have lesser followers.
They range from 1,000 followers right up to above 100,000 and charge less than A-list celebrities. By doing so, you will also have access to a larger audience that is brought by these nano and micro-influencers.
#3. Simplify buying by using rich pins and buyable pins
Pinterest is the king of pins on the social media platform for convenient shopping. Through the use of pins, you provide a one-stop experience for the customer, avoiding the need for multiple page visits when processing one transaction. The pins carry all the relevant data the customer may need to purchase on one page.
Using the rich pins, you will include information on your product or service to help customers make choices easily. This comprises price, availability, and shipping information. Buyable pins are then used to complete the purchase conveniently on the same page.
Thus, instead of just window-shopping on Pinterest and procrastinating on buying the product, customers can make a final decision right there and then. Since it relieves the burden of visiting a whole different eCommerce website, it makes the customer journey much shorter.
Customers also won’t fear a long process of checking out at another online shop because every part of the customer journey is unified on one page.
#4. Provide native chat and monitor conversations
Conversational eCommerce opens listening-in posts for business owners to keep pace with their customers. By listening in to conversations on your social media platform, you can know in advance when a storm is brewing around any of your products or service. With this invaluable information, you can move to make amends in time to salvage sticky situations.
Purchase decisions are oftentimes made by researching the products and listening to what other users are saying about them. You definitely do not want a widespread attack on your business’ reputation and to curb these types of conversation, it is important to know what customers are saying timely.
Remember, on social media, one thing leads to another and a single comment can cause a massive uproar. If these comments are addressed early, the storm might die down and prevent catastrophic results.
To get this right, you may require appropriate tools that can also provide analytics designed for social media. This tool will provide performance indicators, conversational themes, and even identify influencers you might need. These many tools create security issues and you might consider the best Linux firewall for protection.
#5. Use loyal customers as brand ambassadors
Using consumers for brand advocacy is a winner that could be more effective than influencer marketing. Customers share experience from the use of your products or services to close associates who trust their word. This, if motivated, it has a high conversion rate at a relatively low cost that could include a cheap freebie.
Students, for example, can study while working on your business as brand ambassadors with a little incentive on discounts or gift items. Students have a wide base of followers on social media that comprises an untapped college population that can easily convert to grow your business.
Another successful method of using brand advocacy is running social media challenges and contests. The positive conversation surrounding your business will draw attention and more people will want to be part of the action.
The revenue spent running those challenges will be gained back with the increased customer base derived from such social media marketing activities. You do not even have to give expensive freebies but ones that will make customers feel special.
#6. Offer limited deals on social media
People love deals and anything that spells bargain on an item they have been eyeing hits the bull’s eye. You may want to tease a little with these offers by not revealing the timeframe immediately. This way, you create curiosity and build up enough traffic for when you release the deal. It is one way of growing your customer base including prospects for later conversion.
A good illustration for free deals was the Shutterfly’s free personalized mugs campaign that targeted mothers with free mugs personalized for them. This not only generated interest but 8000 purchases for Shutterfly.
Businesses can also go about this strategy by marketing the stock as limited or exclusive. That can create the urge that all customers want from a business and that is to feel special. People will all want the exclusive collection or the stock that is running out because it makes them fear losing out and also special.
#7. Increase your social media footprint
Encourage your customers to share and follow your social media profile. This sharing links you to other online networking accounts and further increases your social media presence. Share user-generated content as this influences prospects through what may be referred to as the herd mentality – if another consumer liked, it must be good.
Know why you are on social media and with the right tools, leverage the various platforms for the growth of your business. Through this channel, you will get more leads that you can happily convert without working a sweat.
Do not put all eggs in one basket, rather diversify the channels you have a presence on. It is true, you must analyze which platforms are the best one but try to be present on all of the ones relevant for the business and industry.
Increasing social media footprint in this manner will help increase visibility and chances of reaching a wider audience.
Social media is the driving force for e-commerce and a smart digital marketer needs to embrace it for the growth of the business. Plan your social marketing strategy well with clear objectives to boost your sales.
About the Author!
Becky Holton is a journalist and a blogger at best essay writing service uk. She is interested in education technologies, help with dissertations and is always ready to support informative speaking at top essay writing service. Follow her on Twitter.