5 Ways to Increase Your Sales Using Social Media
Engaging with customers on your social media channels is great for building relationships, but customers are browsing and shopping there, too. That's why social media can also play a significant role in increasing your sales. Nearly 60% of consumers said social media directly influences their purchasing decisions.1 And sales via social media platforms are expected to surpass $17 billion in 2019. 2
After you decide which social media channels are right for your business, check out these five ways to use social media to make more sales.
1. Purchase ads
Posting is a good start when it comes to engaging with visitors to your social media platforms, but you can't rely on organic visits alone to generate sales. While creating posts is important for building relationships, they can take time to turn into sales. If you want to boost sales, you also should consider paid ads. Social media advertising gets your products and services in front of the right people, because you are paying the platform to display your ads to your target market. This can help you make sales from day one.
All of the social media platforms offer advertising packages for small businesses, but according to an article in Forbes, some are better than others.3 Facebook ads drive the most traffic, with an average of 13.9% of ads displayed driving visitors to the target website. Next is Snapchat, with 13%, followed by Instagram and Pinterest, with just under 4% each. When it comes to converting visitors to purchasing customers, Facebook wins, too, with 4.7%. Next is Instagram, with a conversion rate of 3.1%, followed by Pinterest at 2.9%, Twitter with 0.9% and Snapchat with 0.6%.
2. Enable commerce
In addition to driving traffic to your site, some platforms allow you enable shopping capabilities right from the site. With Facebook, business owners set up a free Shop page, where you can load products.4 Customers can make a purchase directly on Facebook if you have an account with an approved third-party partner that handles the transaction, or your Shop page can direct a customer to your website.
Instagram offers a free shoppable post feature for retailers.5 You can add clickable tags to photos that display product information and direct shoppers to your website. Sixty percent of Instagram users discover products through the platform.6
Pinterest also allows you to sell on its platform, using the site's Buyable Pins feature.7 In fact, 93% of Pinners use the site to plan for purchases.
3. Partner with influencers
Another way to increase your sales is to partner with a social media influencer in your industry. An influencer is someone with a large and engaged following, often on Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube. Many will offer brands an opportunity to sponsor a post. You can ask them to post about your products in exchange for money or samples. Getting their stamp of approval can drive customers to your site and boost sales.
Influencer marketing is one of the fastest growing channels for customer acquisition.8 That's likely because it has a good return on investment. Businesses earn an average of $6.50 for every dollar spent on influencer marketing.9
4. Encourage user-generated content
Another way to drive sales is to encourage customers to post about your brand. Called “user-generated content," it's a powerful way to sell, with 79% of consumers saying it has a high impact on their purchasing decisions.10
One way to get more user-generated content is to hold a contest. For example, ask customers to share a photo of themselves with your products on their social media platforms. Provide a special hashtag, and then award a prize through a random drawing or to the person who gets the most likes for their post.
Consumers may also post about your brand on their own. In fact, 60% of customers create content about a company and its products simply to get more social media likes—especially from the brand.11
5. Strike the right balance
Customers will be turned off if your channels turn into all ads, so don't be tempted to turn your accounts into blatant marketing campaigns. They'll likely tune out, and you'll risk losing followers. Instead, walk the fine line between engaging and selling by combining valuable, eye-catching content with a subtle way to make a purchase.
A soft sell is the best way to sell on social media.
Important Disclosure Information
This content is general in nature and does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.
- PR Newswire, "SUMO Heavy's Retail Consumer Survey Reveals Shoppers Have Mixed Views On Social Commerce," published September 20, 2018. Accessed September 2, 2019. (Full report available as free but gated content from SUMO Heavy.) Back
- Jacqueline Zote, "65 Social Media Statistics to Bookmark in 2019," Sprout Social, published February 1, 2019. Accessed September 2, 2019. Back
- Priceonomics, "The Advertising Conversion Rates For Every Major Tech Platform," Forbes, published March 9, 2018. Accessed August 31, 2019. Back
- Facebook Business, "Add a Shop to Your Page," accessed September 2, 2019. Back
- Instagram, "About Shops on Instagram" accessed April 19, 2022. Back
- Instagram, "Why Instagram?" Accessed September 2, 2019. Back
- Pinterest Business, "Shop the Look Pins," accessed September 2, 2019. Back
- Emma Knightley, "20 Influencer Marketing Statistics that Will Surprise You," Digital Marketing Institute. Accessed September 2, 2019. Back
- Tomoson Blog, "Influencer Marketing Study," accessed September 2, 2019. Back
- Business Wire, "Stackla Survey Reveals Disconnect Between the Content Consumers Want & What Marketers Deliver," published February 20, 2019. Accessed September 2, 2109. Back
- Business Wire, "Offerpop Survey Identifies Gaps between How Consumers and Marketers Think about User-Generated Content," published May 3, 2016. Accessed September 2, 2019. Back
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