Social media marketing is essential for many businesses — especially for ecommerce. While social media is all about engagement, the truth is that it can also be a highly effective sales tool— as long as you approach it in the right way.
Here are six simple strategies that you can follow for your business to increase product sales via your social activity.
(While you’re here, check out this post on how to drive more social traffic to your website)
1. Launch a Competition
No matter what you sell or to whom, people love to win prizes. Everyone likes to get something for free, and social media is the perfect place to launch a competition.
Make sure the competition is actually worthwhile by giving away something of value. One of your products is usually the best choice here, but you could offer anything related.
Try and be creative; social media thrives off creativity, so come up with something that will stand out and get your content noticed. Perhaps encourage your customers to send in photos or videos of how they use your products or strange places they have used it.
Something like this is more likely to get shared and generate buzz. This will encourage more people to join your community, so you can convince them to become customers over time.
2. Encourage more UGC
We touched on user-generated content (UGC) in the previous point. This is a great tactic and an effective way to get your customers involved to increase engagement and build relationships. It also helps to spread the word about your business.
When people get involved, they share what they are doing with their own friendship groups so you get your brand in front of more people. This gives you an advantage over other competitors in your niche (it’s always worth keeping an eye on the competition — for example, if you’re running an exclusively online store that’s ready to launch into a new market, then check out other recent online stores in Seattle to see what their strategies are).
So what could you do to encourage UGC? Product reviews are a great starting point, which can be written down, or distributed in image or video format. You could also simply get your followers involved by asking them interesting questions or getting their opinions on a topic.
You could even create your own hashtag and encourage people to upload posts using it. That way, that they are creating content around your brand.
3. Show your Products in Action
If you want to sell more products, you have to show how they will improve the lives of your customers. Rather than just showing what they do, show why they matter. Social media provides you with the perfect platform to do this.
You can create posts around your products using videos and images to showing your products in action. This could involve your products being used by you and your team, or being used by customers.
Post content about problems a specific product solves and use real-life stories.
Ecommerce companies like using Pinterest because it’s easy to display products in photos. But even if your products look great, it’s not enough. You need to show what people can do with them.
For example, say you sell a waterproof jacket. The jacket itself may look great, but you are far more likely to get sales if you show your jacket being worn up a mountain.
4. Grow your Email List
Social media may be important, but so is your email list. Fortunately, the two can work well together.
Email is great for making direct sales. You could launch a 24-hour sale, send word out to your email list and make sure they see your message. On social, they might miss it.
Use your social activity to build your list. Start with your profile page. Encourage sign-ups directly from your page as well as in your social posts and in your ads.
Send prospects to your landing page and give away something of value in return for signing up. Or get signups directly from your Facebook Ads. That way, people can sign up to receive something of value without having to leave Facebook.
5. React to Brand and Product Mentions
You want to engage on social media as much as possible by responding to comments and thanking people for sharing your posts. But while this may be easy to do when people mention you and let you know, what about when you are unaware of what people are saying?
The truth is, they may be talking about your brand and products without you knowing. There may be conversations going on that you are not involved in.
Social monitoring is important for this reason. When you use a brand monitoring tool like SEMrush, you can get instant updates when you or your products are mentioned, and then you can react. Whether that is to thank them for their kind words, correct mistakes or apologize and try to make it right.
6. Reach out to Influencers
Influencer marketing is becoming more important, especially for e-commerce brands. If you have products to sell, influencers can help you.
You can benefit from influencer marketing when influencers in your niche mention your products. Start by finding out who the main influencers are in your niche and following them. Chat with them and spend time getting to know them, respond to their posts and get on their radar.
When the time is right, reach out. Tell them about your products, and ask if they would like to see one. If an influencer uses your product and mentions it, this can be a powerful way to make sales. Their followers trust what they say, and they will be much more likely to check out your products themselves.
This is a big topic, and it can take a while to get traction. But there is actually not too much to it — as long as you take your time and get your approach right.
There are many more ways to go about social media marketing to sell products, and this is just the beginning.
You could even start up a more specific community like a Facebook group for enthusiasts in your niche. For example, if you sell gardening equipment, you could set up a group for gardeners to share tips and advice, and you could build a community around your brand.
Whatever you do, focus on engaging with your customers and getting them to like and trust you.
Don’t just use social to show off your products or to sell directly. Be sociable, be engaging, and show demonstrate how your products can improve people’s lives.
Patrick Foster is a writer and ecommerce expert from Ecommerce Tips — an industry-leading ecommerce blog that offers practical marketing advice so your online store receives the exposure it deserves. Check out the latest posts on Twitter @myecommercetips.