How to use social media to increase sales? Well, let’s start like that. Over 2.3 billion active users of social media are a number that no self-respecting e-commerce can ignore. The more that there is no shortage of studies confirming that they are the main source of traffic in shop windows. By 2021, the number of social media users is forecast to increase to over 3 billion. While the use of social media appears to be stabilizing in developed countries, developing markets, especially in Asia and Africa, are still discovering their potential. Anyway, the average global internet users still spend almost 2.5 hours a day on social media, and in digital every second of the audience’s attention is worth its weight in gold.
Why is it worth being on social media?
Until a few years ago, companies whose target group did not include adolescents tended to ignore social media. However, today it does not exist. The largest group of users of popular social networks are people up to 34 years of age, i.e. those whose purchasing potential is undeniable.
Unfortunately, social media, the attractiveness of which consists in constantly providing new stimuli, is also an extremely difficult space for brands. They only have a few microseconds to convince users to stop scrolling the feed.
How to use social media to increase sales?
Social media has long advertised as platforms where purchasing intentions are forged. In e-commerce, this can be used in two different ways.
Recently, social media platforms provide tools that enable more or less direct sales. The examples are Facebook Marketplace or – not yet available in Poland – Instagram Checkout, as well as shopping campaigns (e.g. CTA campaigns).
However, they can also be used to build brand awareness and increase traffic on the landing page. Customers who experience positive interactions with the company on social media are more likely to recommend a given brand and take advantage of its offer.
Organic, or natural, presence in social media is essential. Although Facebook algorithms can be capricious and organic reach is increasingly difficult to increase without the support of paid campaigns, it is the natural building of a community around the brand that remains the axis of activity in social media. How do you go about it? First of all – it is worth choosing 2-3 platforms on which our target group spends the most time. While Facebook allows you to publish a lot of formats, Instagram or Twitter, for instance, have some restrictions.
Regardless of the platform, however, it’s crucial to offer your users what suits their needs but to do that, you need to know them first. So there is a need for an in-depth data analysis.
This is where you can check what content is most engaging and build communication in social media on this basis.
However, social media have long age ceased to be a place where you just need to upload nice photos and neat posts to be noticed. Organic presence usually won’t do much for us, because for quite a few years now you have to pay for fan involvement. Advertising formats and campaign optimization are key elements of effective communication on Facebook and other platforms.
Their cost, the billing model in which we pay for the effect, and the relationship for easy administration panel operation, however, still make social media a very attractive place for advertising for small and medium-sized companies. If well planned, they allow for simple and quick implementation of business goals.
The use of influencers (i.e. creators who managed to gather an engaged community of fans around them) to promote our services or products is another way to promote in social media. However, it is worth remembering that the best results can be obtained by placing the brand in a context that is natural for a given influencer. It is not about intrusive product placement, nor – even more so – about unmarked advertising.
Importantly, influencers are not only big players whose subscribers are counted in the millions. A desirable partner for the brand can be both a popular photographer on Instagram, an e-athlete operating on Twitch and YouTube, as well as a blogger specializing in a selected topic or a CEO who writes inspiring posts on LinkedIn. It’s about their status that makes fans reckon with their opinion.
Social media and sales – which platforms to choose?
Social media is an area that changes very dynamically and today there are so many social platforms that the answer to the question of which one should choose cannot be unambiguous.
Although Facebook is still the undisputed leader in terms of reach, the latest data leaves no doubt: it is a platform for slightly older users. For young people, it turns out to be too serious and – instead of it – they choose, for example, Instagram or Snapchat, but… it’s not worth giving it up altogether. For many users, Facebook is still the main platform through which, for example, they communicate with the brand or check opening hours and directions, and the administration panel that it shares with Instagram allows you to easily combine activities on both these platforms. Facebook (the company) is the owner of Instagram.
Facebook allows you to pursue three overarching advertising goals:
- Increase in brand recognition
- Reaching potential customers
- Increasing the sale of products or services
Instagram is the second most popular social networking platform in the United States, behind Facebook, and it offers a lot of possibilities. You can focus on increasing the popularity of your own profile, which – although tedious – is a guarantee of real commitment.
In addition, you can use the ads supported by the Facebook Ads panel and achieve goals such as increasing brand awareness, traffic, sales goals, or acquiring leads.
And of course – influencer marketing, which is booming on Instagram like nowhere else.
Snapchat data show that as many as 39% of users of this app ask their friends for feedback on products, 35% do so while browsing, and the same percentage send information about the products they want to buy. Snapchat seems to be a reliable partner for advertisers, and although in Poland its reach, especially compared to Facebook or Instagram, is not impressive, it is worth checking if our main recipients, i.e. people aged 15-25, spend their time there.
Pinterest seems to be the most underrated medium of all listed here, because little is said about it, while it is the perfect place for clothing, cosmetics, and interior design brands, and all those aimed at women. They account for 70% of Pinterest users. On Pinterest, we primarily look for inspiration. A brand that wants to appear there should take care of the context in which it will present its product. It is the one that attracts attention.
Now you know how to use social media to increase sales. Would you like to find out how to use Pinterest to boost your business? Read our article: Pinterest. How to use it in e-commerce?