Social Media Marketing

Top 10 Ways to Use Social Media for Business to Boost Sales in 2020 – MarTech Advisor

Written by admin

Marketers have been using social media to build brand awareness and engage audiences in meaningful conversations for years now. Driving sales is often a fuzzy goal when using social media for business. In this article, we’ll look at why you need social media to promote your business and how to ensure it boosts sales in 2020.

CONTENT THAT CONNECTS: WHY INFLUENCER MARKETING IS THE FUTURE OF GEN Z ENGAGEMENT

Gen Z is a business opportunity you can’t afford to miss. As 40% of the population commanding upwards of $40 billion in spending power, modern marketers need to build compelling strategies to engage with Gen Z.

Download

Social media marketing can help you improve sales drastically, and some of these tips will help you build brand awareness and trust. These activities will ultimately lead to more conversions and sales.

4 Reasons Why You Should Promote Your Business on Social Media

Before we get to the ideas that can grow your business through social media, here are four good key reasons to promote your business on social media:

1. Attract a larger audience segment
 

Existing marketing channels have certain restrictions when it comes to reaching out to your audience. For instance, your email marketing is as powerful as the size of your email list. Social media, on the other hand, drastically increases your reach. Besides organic reach, social media lets you convey your message to the untapped audience through paid ads.

2. Target audiences across the stages of the funnel
 

You can run highly targeted ads using custom audiences (by uploading your customer list, for instance) and remarketing that allows you to craft a message that speaks to the buyer, depending on the stage of the buyer’s journey. By combining these ad campaigns with email campaigns, you have better chances of growing your sales multifold.

3. Drive Specific Actions
 

Using social media ads, you can boost app downloads or reconnect with online buyers who left their shopping cart midway. With such conversion-driven ad types, brands can run focused campaigns with the sole goal of driving user growth, generating leads, or boosting sales.

4. Gain Customer Insights
 

Social media is an effective platform to innovate on your marketing. You can constantly test your creatives and messaging to understand what sits with your audience. The analytics/insights section of social media platforms provides detailed insights on your audience, including the age group, gender, when they’re active, and so on.

You can integrate this data when working on other marketing channels to maximize results.

10 Ways to Use Social Media for Business to Boost Sales

Now that we saw how social media efforts can drive business growth, here are ten ways to go about doing it successfully.

1. Lay the Groundwork
 

Before you consider using social media to generate revenue, lay the groundwork by performing the following three activities:

a. Know the buyer’s journey

The marketing framework for your offerings is built on the knowledge you have of your ideal buyers. Developing buyer personas that represent different types of buyers will help you chart the buyer journey for each persona. When you correlate the buyer journey with the marketing funnel, you’ll get clarity on the role of social media in driving sales.

b. Identify the utility of each social media platform

Blanket/generic statistics are deceiving. Just because Facebook has more than one billion active users, doesn’t mean you have to be on it. Depending on your offerings, different platforms will have different utilities. Let’s call it the product-platform fit. For example, if yours is a B2B organization, Snapchat may not be the right platform, even if millennials constitute a significant chunk of your target audience. You can use it to showcase the company culture, but selling your offerings should be the last thing you’d do on Snapchat. Analyze each channel and find the right fit for each activity your brand will perform online.

c. Follow what works for YOU

The sports apparel brand, Nike, has stopped posting organic content on Facebook since 2018.

Nike’s Last Organic Post Was on 28 January 2018

Nike’s Last Organic Post Was on 28 January 2018

Keep a close tab on the analytics and data side of things. Use the advice provided in this article as a starting point, but if you see something isn’t working for you, feel free to discard it. Research and experimentation are crucial in social media marketing.

2. Establish a Consistent Posting Schedule
 

Social media has become a crowded space, and it is becoming increasingly difficult for brands to pierce through the clutter. Social media has gone back to its earlier primary function of promoting content from friends, peers, or family over brands, to retain its users.

This points to the fact that businesses need to prioritize content preferred by users. Organic content follows the pull marketing approach, and if your users are not engaging with you, social media algorithms will automatically reduce your reach.

Now, there is no dearth of advice when it comes to the frequency and number of posts. While most of it is sound advice, it fails to address the subjectivity of each sector/industry or your business. It’s a process of trial-and-error, and ultimately, you need to follow the posting strategy that works best for you. However, here are two approaches that you can follow to create a posting schedule primed for engagement:

  1. The Pareto Principle: The Pareto principle or the 80:20 rule for social media states that 80% of your social media content should aim to engage (inform, inspire, educate, or entertain) the audience, whereas 20% of the content can be promotional.
  2. The 4-1-1 Rule: This rule by Tippingpoint Labs and Joe Pulizzi (founder of Content Marketing Institute). The rule says that you should post four informative posts aimed towards engagement, followed by one relevant reshare and one promotional post.
     

Learn More: What Is Social Media Marketing? Platforms, Strategies, Tools, Benefits and Best Practices

3. Rope in Influencers to Amplify Your Reach
 

Brands use influencer marketing to promote their offerings by collaborating with influential people (celebrities, industry experts, thought leaders, etc.). Influencer marketing is useful to drive brand awareness and generate sales, and marketers are no strangers to it. In fact, a survey from Mediakix on influencer marketing reported the following findings:

  • 80% of respondents find influencer marketing effective
  • 89% found the ROI from influencer marketing equal or better than other marketing channels

Here are some tips for running effective influencer marketing campaigns:

  • Find the right influencers using influencer marketing platforms or tools such as Followerwonk or BuzzSumo. Make sure to check the relevancy, reach, and engagement levels of each influencer.
  • The influencers need to be trustworthy, and their content should resonate with your audience.
  • Check the number of products an influencer endorses on their social media. Too many endorsements coming from a single profile can reduce the effectiveness of your content, like the law of diminishing returns.
  • Know the campaign goals, which is to drive sales in this context.
  • Help influencers with content creation. The content influencers use needs to match their persona’s tone and voice to seem genuine.
  • Use some tracking mechanism such as discount/coupon code or custom URL to measure the results. Here is an example of how Skillshare uses custom links for different influencers:

Skillshare Uses Custom URLs For Each Influencer to Track Conversions

4. Establish a Brand Advocacy Program
 

Before making any purchase decision, people seek opinions of their peers, friends, or family members along with reading product reviews and testimonials. Social media advocacy, like word of mouth marketing, encourages your fans – customers, prospects, or employees to talk about your brand on social channels. Brand advocacy reflects the authenticity of your products or services.

Here are two ways you can use social media advocacy to grow sales:

a. User-Generated Content (UGC)

UGC is the text, social media posts, reviews, videos posted by your users/customers on their social media accounts. For Facebook and Twitter, brands can directly share or retweet the content, whereas, for other platforms, brands may have to seek user permission first.

UGC works primarily for two reasons:

  • Customers appreciate the gesture when companies with a large following promote their content
  • Helps you build a community of brand loyalists
     

b. Create exclusive social media groups

For organizations, retaining customers is more cost-effective than acquiring new ones. Brands can create private social media groups to provide exclusive offers to existing customers. Exclusivity works due to the scarcity principle. The offers could be members-only features, priority access, upgrades, or coupon codes to boost product sales.

Learn More: How To Impact Every Stage Of The Marketing Funnel With Instagram Video

5. Use Social Proof With Social Media
 

Humans survived and evolved by living in tribes. Not conforming to the rules of the tribe meant you’d be excluded to survive on your own, and nobody wanted that in the hunter-gatherer age. Conforming to the societal rules and common behavioral patterns is, therefore ingrained in us. Dr. Robert Cialdini, in his groundbreaking book – Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, coined the term ‘Social Proof’. It’s a phenomenon where people copy the actions and behaviors of fellow humans in a given situation. Aileen Lee (Founder of Cowboy Ventures) has identified five types of social proof:

  1. Expert social proof
  2. Celebrity social proof
  3. User social proof 
  4. Wisdom of the crowds social proof
  5. Wisdom of your friends social proof
     

We have already seen two examples of social proof, i.e., influencer marketing and social media advocacy. Here are some other ways of using social proof on social media:

  • Share media and press mentions of your brand on social media.
  • Create a video series of customer testimonials and use cases for your social media channels.
  • Share achievements, milestones on social media. You can tie-in limited-time discounts or special offers with these events to boost sales.
  • Get your official accounts verified.
  • Highlight important industry certifications in the social media bio.
  • If you have partnered with or are affiliated to an authoritative firm in your domain, mention it in the bio or highlight it in your cover photos.
     

6. Monitor Social Interactions to Find Sales Opportunities
 

Social listening is the act of monitoring what people are saying about your brand on social media. You can use native search tools for social listening, but social media management tools are more effective in tracking conversations surrounding your brand and industry. Social listening still remains to be an underutilized social media tactic to generate sales. 

People voice their queries on social media before purchasing something. They might send out a tweet with a relevant hashtag or tag an expert in the niche. By being proactive in finding and responding to such queries, you drastically improve your chances of driving conversions. A few tips to get you started:

  • Invest in a social media management(SMM) tool such as Hootsuite, Agorapulse, or Sprout Social.
  • Identify keywords that denote different intents such as seeking for help, purchase, etc.
  • Create dedicated tabs in the dashboard of the SMM tool for industry-related terms, account mentions, and hashtags.
  • Tune in to competitor interactions and chime in on the right platforms.
  • Keep in touch with your prospects by interacting with them regularly.
     

Learn More: The Marketer’s Guide to Choosing The Right Social Media Tools

7. Utilize Platform-Specific Selling Features
 

Social media has made it easy for people to seek instant gratification. They want things, and they want them now. If you want to use social media to boost sales, reduce the steps required to complete the purchase. The most effective way to do that is to use the native shopping options provided by Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

a. Facebook Shop

You can sell physical products through Facebook’s Shop feature. Brands can add as many products as they want and can integrate their shops with major e-commerce platforms and CMS such as Shopify, BigCommerce, and Squarespace.

b. Instagram Shoppable

Instagram Shoppable allows brands to tag their products in their organic posts. Users are redirected to the brand’s website when they click on the product.

Instagram Shoppable Lets You Highlight Your Products in Organic Posts

Instagram Shoppable Lets You Highlight Your Products in Organic Posts

Instagram branched out on this feature in September 2018. It now lets brands tag products in Instagram Stories as well and collates Shoppable posts in the Explore tab.

c. Pinterest Buyable and Rich Pins

Pinterest’s buyable (Shop the Look) Pins allows businesses to sell their products via Pinterest. The feature works like Instagram Shoppable.

Pinterest also offers Rich Pins that provide more information about the Pin. There are four types of pins viz. product, app, recipe, and article. Product and App Pins are useful in driving sales – Product Pins offer real-time pricing, availability, etc. of the product, and App Pins allow users to download the app with a single click.

8. Experiment With Conversational Commerce
 

Messenger apps have surpassed social media in terms of the number of users. With the help of chatbots, brands are using Facebook Messenger to provide customer support and drive sales.

One of the most prominent examples of this is Ralph – the LEGO Gift Bot. The chatbot helps people choose the right LEGO product based on their budget, age group, interests, and region.

You can set up a similar chatbot that helps buyers purchase right from the Facebook Messenger app. As conversational AI evolves in the future, you will be able to drive sales by guiding them through the entire purchase journey through a single interface.

Learn More: An Effective Social Media Strategy & Online Shopping Experience Is the Key to Millennials & Gen Zers

9. Run Paid Ads
 

Posting content organically on your social media accounts can restrict your reach as your content is visible to a fraction of your followers. If you want to drive ROI from your social media activities, you need to invest in social media ads.

Major social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, offer sophisticated targeting capabilities that enable brands to connect with a specific stratum of their audience.

Social media platforms also offer formats that are geared specifically toward generating revenue. For instance, Facebook lets you run carousel, lead gen, dynamic product ads (DPA), and canvas ads that help you generate leads and drive conversions.

10. Target and Retarget
 

The biggest strength of retargeting is that it lets you deliver ads based on the user intent and the stage of the buyer’s journey. For instance, if a user has visited a blog post, you can assume that they’re at the top of the funnel and run an ad for a gated content piece, whereas you can run ‘Schedule a Demo’ ads for a user who visited the pricing page.

To target users who are really serious about your product, you can tweak the tracking pixel that will show ads to only those users who spent more than a minute on the pricing page.

Besides remarketing ads, most of the social media platforms allow you to create custom audiences by uploading email lists. You can upload the list of leads, prospects, and existing customers and run new customer acquisition and retention campaigns to drive revenue.

You can also expand the reach of your campaigns by exploring the lookalike audience option on Facebook and LinkedIn. This option identifies users that share similar characteristics and behaviors based on your existing audience.

Learn More: 7 Reasons Social Media Should Lead Your Customer Acquisition Strategy

Closing Words

Using social media for business no longer follows the spray-and-pray approach. Analytics has evolved to the degree where you can track every conversion and attribute it to the right platform and campaign.

You need to diversify your options to drive revenue from social media. For example, selecting 2-4 of the most relevant tactics outlined in the article and implementing them will set you up for success. Whether you are a B2B or B2C business, you need to capitalize on social media advocacy, content creation, and paid ads to build the foundation.

Which of these techniques will you apply in your social media strategy? Tell us on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)


Source link

About the author

admin

Leave a Comment