For businesses, social media is a critical channel for connecting with customers. It’s a two-way communication channel that invites customers and potential customers to learn more about brands and products they are interested in and provides a platform for businesses to further define who they are and what they stand for. Thousands of social media accounts are being created every hour according to statistics 2022 and thus business owners and influencers must think about how they can adapt and use social media platforms to their advantage.
But how do businesses take social media strategies to the next level and use them to improve online sales?
Rethink Creative Content
If a company’s social media strategy hasn’t changed in the last few years, it’s past the time to rethink the creative content they share online. The entire world has changed over the past 18 months, and businesses that adjusted strategies are performing better than those who have “stayed the course.”
Do a complete audit of the social media assets, content, imagery, and video from all of the company’s social media channels. Remove visual assets that do not align with today’s environment, such as large group photos of unmasked people, close contact shots, and large-scale events.
Replace this content with new, current images that align with the company’s brand values and positioning. Where possible, emphasize the safety and security of the business’s products and services and how they contribute to the greater good.
It’s also a good time to repurpose content instead of creating something new every day. For example, revisit old blog posts and divide the content into smaller sections, posting one per day in a series of posts. Or, tackle a set of frequently asked questions featured on the company website and share those over a few weeks.
When company’s rethink the creative content they share, online sales often follow. Where possible, work with a social media consultant to gain an outside, fresh perspective, as well.
Experiment With Video
Video consumption is at an all-time high. People search for relief from real life and turn to video for that break. Businesses new to using video can start small with Instagram Reels or explore TikTok if the audience is appropriate.
Getting creative with video to show a product or service in use is a smart strategy to increase online sales. For example, instead of writing a 200-word description of how a product works and provides a benefit, record a demo video instead to share it on social media.
Or, use a software service to gather customer feedback via video and share those clips on social media, too. The more video a company can incorporate into its social media content strategy, the higher chance of success in converting that engagement into sales.
Use Data to Inform Paid Campaigns
Many businesses jump to using social media advertising to boost sales without proper data to justify the expense or a solid strategy. Before a company begins a paid advertising campaign on social media, it should define goals that align with the greater business goals.
These goals may include increasing online sales or leads or growing website traffic to lead pages. Once the goals are in place, companies need to decide which metrics to measure that will help assess progress toward those goals.
Finally, use regular social media reports to review the progress toward your goals. Analyze what went well and what isn’t working weekly and analyze trends monthly. Performance tracking tools like Buffer and Keyhole help businesses stay on track and avoid getting distracted by vanity metrics like follows or likes.
Take Advantage of New Features
Social media is changing rapidly, and platforms introduce new features almost daily. Take time to learn the new options and experiment to see if they help drive online sales. For example, Instagram’s new gift card features and challenge stickers help build awareness and introduce brands to new potential customers.
Facebook’s marketplace and shop has been instrumental in helping eCommerce businesses expand their reach. In addition, social media consultants are an excellent resource for learning these new features and exploring how they can help companies grow.
Make Selling Second
It may sound counterintuitive, but to improve online sales through social media, people should make selling the second priority. Think of the human behind the screen instead of focusing on selling at every turn. Create content for the person and their specific challenges. Focus on connecting with the audience and building trust so that when they are ready to buy, they remember the message.
It’s also important to prioritize quality content over quantity. Posting daily on social media isn’t necessary to increase sales. However, posting consistently with practical, relevant, and timely information is critical. It’s also essential to respond quickly to comments and questions and reinforce that social media is a two-way communication channel.
Social media platforms are evolving as quickly as those who use them, and businesses must continually reassess how the marketing tactics fit within the larger company goals. Social media was once thought to be optional and a bonus method for communicating. It’s now a required tactic for a diversified marketing plan.
When online sales are the ultimate goal, social media can be a valuable mechanism to build and grow an audience, keep a pulse on customer feedback and preferences, and share the story of how a business is changing a particular industry.