7 Ways Social Media Marketing Channels Can Drive Sales
An absolutely important part of your business’ sales process is getting to know your prospects and establishing lasting relationships with them. And it just so happens that social media can help you to do this, quickly, and relatively easily. Social media can be one of the most powerful tools that sales professionals or social media marketing managers can make use of to gain sales intelligence, connect with and qualify new leads, drive sales, and close deals. It’s also incredibly useful for maintaining customer relationships following the sales cycle.
However, there are also ways to abuse social media. The last thing you want is an accusation of spamming or oversharing from one of your clients on social media. There is a fine line between overdoing it on social media and using it effectively to increase sales and positively influence your bottom line.
Here are 7 tips to help you successfully navigate the various services available and maximize your social media marketing to drive sales.
- Don’t be afraid to hashtag.
Use hashtags—sparingly, of course, so as not to appear too spammy. Hundreds of other brands will be doing the same thing; you want to stand out from them by showing up first in any hashtag searches by your potential client base. Try using a small variety of highly targeted hashtags that include generic options like #sale or #special, along with a distinctive hashtag that describes your business’ core focus. Once you’ve found a happy medium, stick to it. Use that combination of hashtags across all of your social media platforms.
- Offer coupons or redeem codes.
Coupon use has soared recently, as users seek out cheaper prices and bargains, especially during holiday seasons. Try enticing your customers into buying your product or service with a coupon code only available to those who have Liked your page on Facebook or followed you on Twitter or Instagram. This will both increase your number of followers and draw in new customers.
- Invest in mobile.
Does your brand have a mobile site yet? If not, invest in one as soon as possible. A large number of people now access their social media accounts through their phones and mobile devices. In fact, more people use Facebook mobile than Facebook on their desktop. Any sales promotion you put on social media will more than likely be accessed on a phone, and you don’t want to irritate your customers with a slow, non-mobile friendly site where buying items is more hassle than it’s worth. If you don’t have much technical expertise, try a mobile commerce provider who can do it for you, like Shopgate or Shopify.
- Use strong imagery.
You’re more likely to get a response to a post on Facebook when you post an image along with your copy. Encourage your users to Like and Share your content. Facebook’s algorithm will score your content higher each time someone comments on it, which mean even more exposure for your brand. Any extra Likes you attract to your post leads to more potential customers seeing it on their newsfeed, so be sure to include photos of your products with every promotion you post online.
- Integrate social into your other marketing materials.
You probably have buttons linking to your social media accounts at the top of your website, which is a great way to get the word out. But do you have links on your email signature? Or your blog posts? Or your newsletters? All of these are useful for getting people to click through to your social channels, which in turn will keep your brand top of mind for the next time they want to make a purchase.
- Put the focus on free shipping.
Shipping costs when buying online can add up, especially if customers buy from multiple companies. Offer free shipping to those who click on a link from your Facebook or Twitter account. Your brand will benefit from the new Likes and Follows you can get from a promotion like this, not to mention the boost in sales.
- Take full advantage of flash sales.
Flash sales are a great way to boost sales because they create a sense of urgency for the consumer. Offer a special price for only a short period of time. Announce your intention to have a flash sale a few weeks before going live across your social media sites. For maximum return, don’t say when your flash sale will occur. This will ensure that people will continuously check your feeds to see when it’s taking place and when they can get in on the action. A word of caution however: make sure your website is ready for a heavy influx of traffic.