One challenge that every business faces is the challenge of increasing sales. With so many different methods to market a business in today's environment, it can be difficult to know where to focus your marketing efforts for the maximum return. Online marketing is no exception to that rule, however, there are a number of online marketing methods that are beneficial to all businesses, no matter the industry. One of them being social media!
Believe it or not, the first social media platform was not Facebook. It was actually ‘six degrees’. Six Degrees was created in 1997 and enabled users to upload a profile and make friends with other users. Fairly simple, right? Well, in 2020, social media is a lot more complex than simply adding friends and sending a few messages back and forth. There are a range of social media networks to choose from, all with complex algorithms, and their own positives and negatives.
In this blog post, we are going to share with you 19 social media marketing strategies that will help increase your businesses online sales. But first, let's dive into what social media marketing is and the benefits of it.
What is social media marketing?
Social media marketing is the process of using social media platforms to market and grow your business. There are two forms of marketing on social media- organic and paid.
Organic involves posting content and engaging with the platform without the use of an advertising budget. Much like SEO, you are focusing on creating engaging content with the hopes of it ranking well in the algorithms to capture users attention.
Paid social media marketing takes advantage of advertising on social media platforms. The biggest social media advertising platform is on Facebook. In 2019 alone, $1.5 billion was spent on Facebook Ads!
The most common social media platforms are:
- TikTok (latest trending platform)
What are the benefits of social media marketing?
When used properly, social media has the potential to create massive amounts of value for your business. A study conducted by Smart Insights found that ‘52% of businesses say that social media positively influencers revenue and sales’. Besides the main benefit of revenue increases, social media gives a face to a brand, a way of letting people interact with it. This can in turn provide great feedback on products and services, aiding in a businesses continuous need to innovate and improve.
19 Social Media Marketing Strategies To Increase Online Sales
- Post Social Media Reviews
- Run A Facebook Competition
- Utilise Hashtags To Reach More Of Your Target Customers
- Post Compelling Content Frequently
- Create Quizzes & Other Interactive Content
- Enable Shopping On Instagram
- Run An Influencer Campaign
- Test Retargeting Adverts
- Make It Easy To Share Your Products
- Engage On Instagram On A Daily Basis
- Promote Discounts & Offers To Your Followers
- Create Your Own Pinterest Board
- Post In Facebook Groups As Your Facebook Page
- Provide Your Followers With Discounts For Their Followers
- Show Up Every Day
- Start A Facebook Group
- Open A Facebook Shop
- Hop On The Latest Twitter Trends
- Invest In Paid Social Advertising
1. Post Social Media Reviews
According to data gathered by Qualtrics, ‘93% of consumers say online reviews impact their purchasing decisions’ and ‘97% of people read reviews for local businesses’. This places a huge importance on making sure that the reviews your business receives are shown to customers as much as possible. Social media is a great way to showcase to your audience a non-bias opinion on your business. A potential customer is much more likely to listen to someone who has already purchased your product or service. Whenever you receive a new review, post it to your feed or as a story post. You could even create an instagram story highlight containing lots of customer reviews that social media users can browse through.
2. Run A Facebook Competition
Facebook competitions are a brilliant way to engage with your social media audience and also reach new audiences. People love competitions and they also love to share them! Facebook’s share feature means that every time someone shares your post, you are able to reach a brand new audience of people, all of which could be potential customers! To help you visualize the beneficial scale of facebook competitions, we have done the math for you:
If your facebook page has 1000 likes, with facebook's current algorithm, they will only show your post to 2-5% of your audience, which is only 20-50 people. Crazy!
Now, the average facebook user has 300 friends, and with their posts being shown to 35% of their audience, for every person that shares your post, on average, you are able to reach 105 more people! If your facebook competition gets 100 shares, that is a potential reach of 10,500 people! Imagine how much brand exposure that will get you. Plus, for every user that likes your facebook post, you can invite them to like your page, helping you increase your page likes.
3. Utilise Hashtags To Reach More Of Your Target Customers
Hashtags are the backbone of social media platforms such as Instagram & Twitter. They provide accounts with the ability to reach other users with similar interests, making them massively valuable when growing your social media presence.
For example, if your business provides web design services, then hashtags related to web design will benefit your business greatly. Why? Because people that are interested in web design services or who are looking for a web design business will look through the content on those hashtags, and if your social media posts are using said hashtags, your post has the chance of showing up for them. If it is eye catching enough and provides value to the user, then they may get in touch with your business and request details about the services you offer.
Be sure to use hashtags appropriately, as their use differs from platform to platform.
For twitter, we recommend 1-5 hashtags per tweet. For Instagram, 25-30 hashtags per post and for Facebook, we recommend not using them at all, as they do not provide much value on that platform.
4. Post Compelling Content Frequently
As with most marketing strategies, content is king! and social media is no exception to that. Content is highly important when it comes to any social media strategy. Social media content can be broken down into two parts- quality and frequency.
Quality concerns the actual content you are posting. Is it compelling enough and providing value to your audience? If the answer is no, then you will need to go back to the drawing board and find out what content your audience and customers want to see. A competitor analysis is a great starting point.
Frequency concerns the amount of content you are posting within a given time period. We recommend to post at least once per day on all your major social media platforms i.e. the ones which have the greatest impact and return for your business.
Content is how your business engages with its current and future customers. It is how you position your brand, how you educate your audience on your products and services and how you reach new audiences. Make sure you post compelling content frequently!
5. Create Quizzes & Other Interactive Content
Now, you may ask how quizzes can have a direct impact on online sales? The truth is, they don't. They have an indirect impact on online sales. The reason being because they help you to interact with your online audience. This interaction gives you the opportunity to really learn about who it is you are selling to, what they like, how they tick! All the major social media platforms allow you to use a range of interactive features to engage with your audience. You could put a poll on Twitter, a quiz on Instagram Stories or a relatable GIF on Facebook. It is up to you how you want to take advantage of this type of content, but make sure that you use it. At the end of the day, the majority of people use social media for entertainment purposes, including your customers!
6. Enable Shopping On Instagram
If your Instagram account is a business account, you will be able to take advantage of something called ‘Instagram Shopping’ which allows you to display a list of your products or services directly on Instagram. Plus, if your business is located in the US, customers can checkout within Instagram!
Having this feature will help to integrate your products and services with your businesses Instagram account in a fluid format, and also make promotion that bit easier.
7. Run An Influencer Campaign
If you are not familiar with what a ‘social media influencer’ is, then we have included a definition for you:
An influencer is someone in your niche or industry that has acquired a large and usually highly engaged social media audience with the addition of having sway over your target audience. Some of the biggest social media influencers include:
- Kylie Jenner (@kyliejenner)
- Huda Katten (@hudabeauty)
- Camera Dallas (@camerondallas)
- Jake Paul (@jakepaul)
- Tai Lopez (@tailopez)
An influencer marketing campaign involves picking either a single influencer or group of influencers to promote your products or services on their social media account(s) in exchange for a fee. One of the biggest benefits of influencer marketing is that you can tap into an audience that is full of your target customers without needing to first grow your own social media audience.
The best way to look at influencer marketing is like this:
If someone came up to you and said “Hey, I have a room full of people who are the exact people that would buy what your business offers! I can let you in the room and you can speak to them for a fee. What do you think?’. Well, you would definitely think about it because not only is it a fantastic opportunity but it is going to save you a lot of time and money than if you were to go out and find those people yourself.
8. Test Retargeting Adverts
Organic reach is becoming increasingly more difficult as the social media algorithms evolve. Platforms are pushing more and more of its users to promote their content via advertising in order to reach their audience. However, if your business is able to dedicate a portion of its marketing budget towards social media advertising, it will have a huge impact on your customer acquisition. Why? Because of the power of retargeting.
Take Facebook Advertising as an example. If you install a Facebook Pixel on your website, this will allow you to collect a small amount of data from each website visitor which can then be populated into an audience of people who have visited your website in a given time period. Using Facebook Advertising, you can retarget those people who have visited your website right away and in the exact place where their attention is- social media!
With retargeting, the percentage of users who return and complete the checkout process, increases to 26%! (source)
9. Make It Easy To Share Your Products
Social share buttons are a very important element to increasing the exposure of your website. When implemented effectively, this can drive increased traffic and boost online sales.
You want to make sure that your product pages include share buttons for all the major social networking sites. The reason being, because different people use different social media platforms, so by giving them the ability to share the product on whichever platform they choose, it will increase the likelihood of them sharing it.
10. Engage On Instagram On A Daily Basis
This social media marketing strategy takes things back to the roots of what social media is all about, and that is ‘being sociable’. Did you know that the Instagram algorithm actually monitors how long you spend on the platform? The more time you spend and the more you interact with people, the better it will be for your account. This is because Instagram wants people to use its platform and all the features it has to offer.
Spending an extra hour per day to respond to comments, like other users' posts and send DM’s to customers is going to show Instagram that you are an active user on their platform. Not only will this benefit the algorithm and help you achieve greater reach, engagement and follower increases, but it will help build a relationship with your customers.
According to statistics provided by smallbiztrends, ‘80 percent of your future profits will come from just 20 percent of your existing customers’.
11. Promote Discounts & Offers To Your Followers
One of the best ways to increase your online sales through social media is to promote discounts and offers to your audience. People love discounts because they get the same product or service for a lower price. It is a win situation for them!
There are many different discounts and offers you can promote to your audience, but a few highly effective offers include:
- % off such as ‘20% off your entire order’
- Free Delivery (or Free Delivery when the customer spends X amount)
- Money Off such as ‘$50 off your entire order’ or ‘$20 off when you spend over $100’
12. Create Your Own Pinterest Board
Pinterest is a brilliant platform, because not only is it regarded as a social media platform, it is also a search engine, like that of Google or Youtube. The way that Pinterest works is users can search for content either in their news feed or via the search bar and they will be shown a ‘never ending’ display of ‘pins’ which are referred to as posts on other social media networks. These pins can then include a link to a page on a website.
For example, a user may search for ‘breakfast recipes’. They will then be shown pins that are related to their search query and they can then click on these pins to go through to a web page for more information. What the user can also do, is if they like the pin and it provides value to them, they can save the pin to something called a ‘board’, which is a collection of pins that are usually related to each other.
By creating your own Pinterest board for your business, you can create a collection of pins that all follow through to web pages on your website, and other users can come across said pins and click through to your website and also save your pins to their boards. This can create a massive amount of exposure for your business. Think of pins being saved to group boards like a pyramid scheme, except without the scam! One user finds your pin, clicks through to the web page, finds value in the content and saves your pin to their group board. Then, someone else finds that pin because that user also pinned your pin to one of their group boards, and so on and so on.
Pinterest boards are a great way to drive traffic, leading to the potential for increased sales and brand exposure.
13. Post In Facebook Groups As Your Facebook Page
Facebook groups are a collection of facebook users that gather in an online community and share content with each other, ask questions and discuss topics related to what the group is about. Anyone can request to join a facebook group and now can Facebook pages.
The key to Facebook groups is to provide value and share information that others will benefit from. For example, if your business provides Skin Care, you can join Facebook groups that are based around health and beauty and then post content in the group about Skin Care that people will get value from. It could be educational, informational or simply something that is funny and relatable.
The reason you want to post in the group as your Facebook page is due to to a few key reasons:
- It will increase your brand awareness as people will see the name of the business when they look at who published the post.
- If you post as your Facebook page, you can invite those that react to your post to like your page, thus increasing your page likes.
- It helps to establish authority within the group and show that the value you are providing comes from a trusted source, as users can click onto your Facebook page and see that this is what your business specializes in.
14. Provide Your Followers With Discounts For Their Friends, Family & Followers
People love to share their positive experiences with businesses, and social media is just the place to share it on. Did you know that loyal customers are five times more likely to purchase again and four times more likely to refer a friend to the company? (source)
By knowing this information, you can make sure that when a customer refers your business to a friend or family member, they are able to take something with them. In the case of this strategy, it can be a discount, and it is as simple as providing the customer with the discount code on the thank you page.
You never know who might purchase and promote your business to their massive social media following! So it is best to be prepared in the event that someone does.
15. Show Up Every Day
Succeeding on social media is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time to build up an engaged, loyal following and convert them into customers. This means that you need to be active on social media every single day. A guaranteed way to not increase your online sales from social media is to try it for a week and then give up. Rome wasn’t built in a day! and the same goes for your social media following.
The benefits of a strong social media audience far outweigh the effort and consistency needed to grow that audience, but once you start gaining traction, things will start to snowball, and your job is to keep the snowball rolling.
The more you put in, the more you will get out.
16. Start A Facebook Group
In strategy number 13, we talked about Facebook groups and the importance of publishing content in them as your Facebook Page. But, how about creating your own Facebook group? Not only is it a fantastic way to keep in contact with customers, but it will provide you with another way to promote your products and services to existing and new customers.
For example, a business that provides landscaping services, may start a Facebook group in order to educate their existing and new customers on how to take better care of their gardens in preparation for Summer. Each month, they could host a competition in the Facebook group, and as we discussed previously, competitions are a brilliant way to get exposure for a business and increase its reach. They could also promote their gardening products if they have their own line of fertilizers or chemicals.
Think of a Facebook group as a social media version of your email list. It is another touchpoint for your customers and a way to massively increase your repeat purchases.
17. Open A Facebook Shop
Did you know that you can sell your products directly from Facebook? By adding the shop section to your Facebook page, this will open up a brand new sales channel. A sales channel that will help you meet your customers where they already are!
The Facebook shop section connects directly with your online store and users can navigate Facebook's interface to view product information, pricing and follow the simplified checkout process.
18. Hop On The Latest Social Media Trends
Social media is an ever-evolving world and trends come and go the same as the morning sun. It is important to make sure you are up to date with what is happening on social media and Twitter is a great place to do just that! Twitter has become the information super highway of social media platforms. A highly trending social media platform right now is Tik Tok. Watch this space!
People discuss everything from politics to world affairs to the latest meme trends. By staying up to date with the current social media trends, you will be able to tap into the vitality of the trend and also fill out your content calendar with relevant content that people currently want to see.
19. Invest In Paid Social Advertising
Social media advertising spend amounted to more than $89billion in 2019 alone! Facebook advertising is number two in the world followed behind Google. If your business is not already utilising the power of social media advertising, now is the time to start. Advertising spend is only going to increase with the reduction of organic social media reach, resulting in higher future advertising costs. The average cost to reach 1000 people with Facebook advertising is $7.19, whereas on Google, that number skyrockers to $116.91. That means Facebook is 16 times cheaper than Google advertising!
With 3.5 billion social media users, or roughly 45% of the global population, the numbers are only going to rise, resulting in more and more of your customers using social media. So, why not advertise to them on the platforms their attention is on most?
We hope you got some valuable information and social media marketing that you can now apply within your business. Effective social media marketing involves using a multitude of strategies, implementing them correctly and providing as much value to your audience as possible.
But remember, social media marketing is about more than simply broadcasting your brand- it's about understanding, engaging and reacting to your audience, relating to them and showing that you can operate in the world they live in.
If you are interested in finding out how VEVS and our team of experts can help your business when it comes to social media marketing, please visit our digital marketing page for more information.