Sales have ceased to be a one-off act of trust and turned into a long-lasting process of building a lasting relationship with the consumer. And the place to forge such bonds has become social media. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linked In, Snapchat, and – most recently – TikTok are platforms that are at the forefront of soliciting users’ time, so brands simply can’t ignore them in their sales efforts.
Social selling – table of contents:
- What is social selling and what can it do?
- What e-commerce functionality does social media offer?
- Call to Action (or call to action) “Buy” in posts
- Instagram Stories with a shopping feature
- Instagram Checkout, or shopping without leaving the app
- Facebook Marketplace
- The importance of mobile in social selling
Social networks, the aces of advertising, for several years now have been trying to diversify their sources of income by providing features that support sales. How to use them and benefit?
The sales potential of social media was still a hot potato in the marketing industry a few years ago. And at that time, the majority considered social media benevolent to brand awareness, not sales. The tides have changed and so has the behavior of Internet users buying online.
What is social selling and what can it do?
Social selling boils down to conscious activities aimed at building a brand in social media. Activities that include both direct sales with the use of functions provided by social media platforms, as well as the targeted increase of traffic to the store’s website.
Why include social media in your sales strategy? It is simple: because they work. In a recent survey conducted by CSO Insights and Seismic, one in three B2B professionals said social selling tools increased the number of leads they had to work with, and 39% said social tools reduced the time spent researching accounts and contacts.
Social selling, although most talked about in the B2B segment, also works for B2C brands. For everywhere it is about trust between both parties to a transaction, so harnessing LinkedIn as well as on Facebook or Instagram seems a natural choice. Particularily the latter, for “visual” brands, i.e. fashion, interior design, gastronomy, or cosmetic purchase, LinkedIn.
What e-commerce functionality does social media offer?
Call to Action (or call to action) “Buy” in posts
Advertising that enables the addition of a clear CTA encourages consumers to take any action the advertiser cares about, such as making an appointment at a showroom or purchasing a product in a store window.
How to construct an effective CTA ad? First of all – you have to remember that you have a few microseconds to get your users interested. During this time they have to understand your message and follow it. So there is no place for sophisticated metaphors and mysteriousness. Communicate concisely and unambiguously about the values your product will bring.
TIP: Choose the CTA that best fits the goals you want to achieve. Facebook offers, for example:
- CTA: View Offer or Buy Now
- CTA: Make an appointment now
- CTA: Call now, Contact us, Email, Send a message or Sign up
- CTA: Play the game or Use the app
- CTA: Learn more or Watch video
Business purpose: to schedule a visit or make a reservation through your site.
Business purpose: to contact people on Facebook Messenger or through another form of contact (email, phone).
Business objective: to encourage your audience to download your app or play your game.
Business objective: to encourage your audience to watch an informational video or read more about your company on your website.
Business objective: to encourage your audience to shop on your site.
Instagram Stories reveals its new Stickers feature
As one of the most engaging social media in the world, Instagram is a must-have platform for brands, especially those that provide image-based content. Especially, since it has been taking great care of to foster communication of online stores. How? One of the most important functions is tagging products shown in photos.
Instagram Stories Stickers are available in ads broadcasted in a user’s Feed, on Instagram Stories, and in the “Explore” tab. When a customer taps on a product tag, they will be redirected to that product data page, which will include additional product images and data, similar products, and a link to a mobile site where they can make a purchase.
Instagram Checkout, or shopping without leaving the app
By releasing the Instagram Checkout feature at the end of March 2019, Instagram has gone one step further. Indeed, the feature, which for now is being tested in the US market, allows users to purchase without leaving the app. A user interested in a particular product will no longer have to move to a store page to make a purchase. Just go directly to the checkout, select “To Checkout” and enter payment details. Among the companies that are testing how Instagram Checkout works in practice are Oscar de la Renta, Michael Kors, MAC Cosmetics, Adidas, H&M, Nike, or Zara.
The marketplace is a platform that allows users to sell and buy goods locally. It’s connected to Facebook and all you have to do is click the store icon to use it. How it works. On the noticeboard, sales offers available in the user’s immediate vicinity appear, although they can also be sorted by: location, category, or price, among others. Facebook does not mediate in any way the transaction or payment, so the details are always agreed directly between the seller and buyer.
The Marketplace function is targeted at the C2C segment, and using is beautifully simple: to publish an ad, you just need to add a photo, description, price, and location.
The importance of mobile in social selling
The use of social media in sales must be preceded by the optimization of the website for mobile devices. This is an absolute must, considering that more and more social media users access social media via smartphones. According to Statista, in January 2019, about 61 percent of users in North America accessed social media via mobile, while the global social media penetration rate was 42 percent.
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