17 May Generating Social Media Sales
You know your business has to be on social media, but you aren’t sure why. Maybe your college age kid told you that every business needs to. Maybe a friend told you that it “works for him.” But, you haven’t seen any return on your efforts and you certainly haven’t generated social media sales.
Most likely, if you tried posting on Facebook, you gave up after a few months. Now you just post every once in awhile. Generating social media sales leads isn’t a quick game. It takes time to build this particular channel up to the point of seeing a return.
When social media marketing is done correctly and as part of your overall Internet marketing strategy, it can help generate leads every month.
Generating social media sales leads
If you’re on social media already or thinking about it, here are a few key strategies to consider:
Knowing Your Channels
Social media is all about being in the right place at the right time. For most businesses that means being on Facebook and one or two other social media channels. The social media channels you are on should depend on the type of business you own.
If you are a custom home builder specializing in luxury homes, then being on Facebook and Instagram are a great way to connect with your target market. Using these platforms you can share photographs and updates on current projects, which gives your audience an inside look into the type of work you do.
Before joining every social media site you’ve ever heard of, consider how you’ll use that channel to generate social media sales leads. Can you be effective on Twitter if you’re a home builder? Spend time getting to know the different channels and how you can use them to your advantage.
If your business is on social media, but isn’t interacting with followers, then you won’t see any leads or return on your investment.
Social media is a place to be social, which means your business needs to be starting and joining conversations. For some businesses, this means leaving replies to comments and reviews on Facebook or commenting on Instagram photos that your business is tagged in. For other businesses, this means starting group discussions on LinkedIn.
The conversations you join in on will be dependent on your business and the channels you use.
Joining a conversation is great, but it’s really just a start when it comes to generating social media sales. To see a return, you have to take the time to build relationships with your followers.
If you notice a follower who frequently checks into your store on Facebook or Instagram, then engage them. Make sure they know you’ve noticed how often they visit. Building relationships, or at least attempting to, goes a long way with consumers.
While you are building relationships with current customers and clients, potential ones will see this effort. When a lead sees how you treat your current customers and how you take the time to get to know them and build relationships, they’ll be more willing to reach out to you or to purchase your products.
A major component of social media sales is about providing proof of your business’s quality, products, and/or services while also building brand awareness. Your current followers and fans are a great way to do this. Through reviews, comments, and check-ins, you can establish your business as credible and reliable.
After determining which social media channels are best for you, it’s important to determine a posting schedule. While you don’t need to be posting 3 times a day, being consistent with your posting will go a long way.
If you post haphazardly on your social accounts, then followers and fans won’t know when to look for your posts, and your messages will be missed.
When you’re consistent about posting on social media, you’ll have a better chance at building the relationships mentioned above because your followers and fans will be expecting your posts.
Using the 80/20 Rule
Not only do you need to be consistent with your social media posts, but you need to be posting the right type of content.
The 80/20 rule basically means that 80% of the time you should post general information and 20% of the time, post promotional information about your business.
Why not post about yourself all the time? Followers and fans don’t want that, especially in the beginning. Your posts need to be general enough to help you build a following. Once you have an established following, then you can start sharing more promotional material, which will drive your social media sales and lead generating traffic.
Varying Your Post Types
Similarly, you don’t want to just post text every time you post on social media. Fans and followers expect to see a variety of content.
With today’s social media channels, this post content can come in several different forms:
- Text updates
- Shared updates
By switching up the type of content you share on social media, you have a better chance of reaching a wider audience and connecting with the right people.
Devoting a Budget
There’s a lot of noise on social media, which is why so many businesses struggle to gain any headway.
In order to break through that noise and reach your target audience, you’ll need a social media budget and an ad campaign. Whether you boost posts on Facebook or sponsor images on Instagram, this is your best bet to reach the right audience.
Your budget doesn’t need to be large in order to reach the right target audience. With most of the platforms you can select specific enough demographics to narrow down your target market and make sure you’re reaching the right people.
Collecting leads from social media
So, how does all of this lead to social media sales?
While you can’t directly make sales on social media, you can drive your social media followers and fans to landing pages on your website, which you can use to nurture leads through your sales funnel.
Generating social media sales should be part of your Internet marketing strategy, not your whole strategy. When it’s done correctly, social media marketing can be a great addition to your digital marketing plan and help you bring in more leads and close more deals.