Brand awareness is important. Ultimately, however, businesses are driven by sales. Your presence on social media must eventually lead to actual purchases from customers.
Too often I find brands are far too focused on the “social” part of social media. That is, they don’t even consider how social media can lead to increased sales. But it absolutely can.
Here’s how to use your social media platforms to directly increase sales:
1. Create a Community
Your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms are the absolutely best ways to directly connect with your customers.
You want to create a positive impression. Whenever you’re interacting on social media, you want to be:
Ever heard the famous saying “The Internet Never Forgets?” Try to get every post, reply and comment right the first time. You can never go wrong when your overall attitude is one of customer respect.
2. Be Loose and Informal
Social media encourages a degree of informality. This doesn’t mean you should swear up a storm or be otherwise inappropriate. Instead, you want to post about subjects beyond just the product or service you provide.
People connect with other people, not brands. So let your real personality shine through. Profile your employees and team members. Post “behind the scenes” pics from the office. You can have fun while keeping your brand in the background.
3. Join Social Media Groups
Be active in social media groups. You want to find groups directly related to your industry, as well as groups related to your target audience.
For industry groups, don’t just promote your products. Ask questions, form contacts and generally try to establish yourself as an authority.
Your target audience doesn’t think about your brand all the time. They have other interests, too. If you can find out what those interests are, you can connect with your potential customers in a whole new way.
4. Create Your Own Group
Give interested potential customers a place to learn more by creating your own Facebook group. Promote your channel with Facebook ads as well as mentions on your site and in your blogs.
Creating your own group allows you much more control over the content. To grow your group, offer unique content to new subscribers. This could be an e-book, webinar or whatever else your audience will enjoy.
These same principles apply to creating and maintaining a LinkedIn group as well.
5. Connect with Social Media Influencers
The web is all about making connection, both literally and figuratively. Awareness of your brand isn’t just dependent on how many people you can reach with your message. You also need to reach the right people. These are influencers.
A person is considered influential on social media if they have the ability to impact their followers. This type of person can be a celebrity, expert or even a person known only within your specific industry.
A study be AdWeek reveals people are far more motivated to purchase a product when a recommendation comes from a person instead of a brand. The potential customer doesn’t even have to know the person making a recommendation.
Connecting with influencers is as simple and complex as making any other business connection. You want to reach out, usually with an introductory email. Don’t expect to gain anything from this relationship for a long time. Popular influencers in any industry are often approached for marketing purposes. You’ll need to offer value to their brand before they’ll be willing to return the favor.
6. Invest in Facebook Ads
Facebook ads are a great way to reach potential customers who don’t follow you on social media. The downside is, of course, cost. But that’s alright. I always advise businesses to start small and increase your advertising budget over time based on success.
Start out with about $10 a day. Your ads should be between ten and fifteen cents per click. After a few weeks, check your ROI. If your ads aren’t proving to be effective, you can either change the campaign or stop it entirely.
Unless you really know what you’re doing when it comes to ad buys, I recommend never going over 20 cents per click.
Never forget the importance of using social media to connect with your potential audience. But you can create connections while also driving sales. I’ve had great success using the above tips to generate sales through my social media channels. Even better, they will work for any brand in any industry.