It’s not exactly breaking news that your company should be on social media. It provides direct communication with consumers, and gives your company the opportunity to be more “human.”
However, regularly posting on social media alone isn’t unlocking all of the sales and traffic driving potential that these various platforms hold.
By ramping up the effort in the following four factors of your content strategy on social media, you can contribute to a major boost in sales.
Build Real Relationships
Any social media manager can tell you there are people who consistently show up on their feeds. These people are your top engagers. They like almost every post frequently comment or tag your company/write a review.
Make the extra effort to let these people know you appreciate their support and give them the star treatment (i.e. sneak peeks of new products, exclusive deals, etc.) But you still can’t forget your other fans. Always find new ways to tap into those non-engaging fans.
Camelbak launched a back-to-school contest that not only got their existing fans engaged, but if those fans got three of their friends to sign up for the contest, they would then get entered in to a second drawing for a “top secret prize.” Needless to say engagement went through the roof with existing fans and Camelbak gained a ton of new ones.
Online relationships are very similar to those in real life, if you don’t put in your half, other people will stop trying, and then you’ve lost out on engagement, brand endorsement & awareness, sales and referrals.
Use It as Your Virtual Window Display
As a fan of “window-shopping,” social media browsing is my online shopping equivalent, and apparently I’m not the only one.
According e-commerce platform, Spreadshirt, a company that enables people and brands to create, sell and buy ideas on merchandising, reported that 15 percent of their online sales start with virtual window shopping (browsing on a touch screen) and that the number will rise to 25 percent by the year’s end.
By highlighting a popular product in an intriguing and visually appealing way on social media you’re more likely to have people take a closer look and purchase that product or service.
However, one way to highlight your products in a way that isn’t blatant advertisement is by incorporating your products in to more long-form content, such as blog posts.
Love That Pet uses blog posts as their main form of highlighting and displaying their products while also providing useful information for pet owners. Their blog posts aren’t aimed at selling their products, their goal is to show their knowledge and expertise in the pet care industry, and the tips they offer for products and services just happen to be ones they also offer.
Provide Opportunities for User-Generated Content
As a social media manager, there are days where coming up with fresh content is a struggle. However, by letting your followers doing a little bit of your job for you, you’re not only getting built-in engagement, but you’re also getting insight in to your customers thoughts and perspective.
One way to encourage user-generated content is with a specific hashtag, or hosting a social media contest, which is exactly what both the Girl Scouts and Hot Dog Collars did. Both contests required fans to upload pictures of themselves or their pets, and winning was based off of votes. These kinds of contests don’t just provide a lot of content to pull from, but also garner tons of engagement via likes and shares.
The more likes and shares you have, the more people that are exposed to your products and brand, which can be directly linked to selling power.
Discover What Your Customers Want
If you enable efforts to drive user generated content as well as increased engagement through building relationships, you’ll get great insight on the types of products and services that resonate most with your customer base.
Pay attention to the products customers have the biggest reaction to through shares, comments and likes. Zappos actually took this feedback to the streets during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week with their “Zappos Recharge” station to get the ultimate kind of feedback on the latest fall products from the biggest fashionistas around. This recharge station gave the folks at Zappos great insight on the looks customers are currently trying to achieve.
This type of insight will allow you to zero in during product selection as well as what type of marketing messages and tactics you’ll use on social media when those new products and services are introduced that will connect most to your audience.
By working all these elements in to your overall social media marketing plan, you’ll be able to get better insight in to who’s on the other side of the screen, which helps not just with your social media strategy, but also with your overall contribution to reaching sales goals.