How Social Media Can Act as a Primary Sales Channel for Your Business
By now, I’m sure you’re sick of hearing how social media can drive conversions and create brand growth. However, your social media accounts can be a fully functional sales channel that drives revenue. Let’s take a look at how you can strategize your social media platforms and examine sales tactics that work on social.
In this blog, I’ll help you turn your social media presence into an engaging sales funnel.
What Channel Is the Best for…?
The short answer: it depends.
Users come to social media platforms for many different reasons, and not every channel is the best channel to approach your potential customer or to engage your current customers. Some social media platforms are better at marketing certain niches than others. For example, if you run a service-based consultancy that deals with providing services to other businesses, then LinkedIn would be the best platform to engage your customers. Instagram is a great place to sell things with visual appeal and can cater better to industries such as wearable goods. However, this doesn’t mean people who sell supplements can’t effectively build a market around Instagram.
Basic Social Media Guidelines
Here are a few simple rules for marketing on social media:
- Aim to establish your brand as an authority in your industry.
- Create content that’s insightful and relevant to your audience.
- Strive to solve problems when you engage with your potential customers.
- Use the proper platform for your needs.
- Automate whenever possible because it streamlines your marketing strategy. Look for a tool that allows you to plan your social media moves and grab relevant statistics when you need them.
For Almost Every Brand: Facebook
Undoubtedly, Facebook is the biggest of the social media giants and the most widely-used social media channel. Most of your current and potential customers are daily Facebook users.
On Facebook, it’s easy to market almost anything, but there are a couple of ways that you can get ahead:
- If you’re selling specialty goods or services, then group-based marketing might be an excellent idea. To do so, you build a following within a Facebook group and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Once you’ve achieved that, your group will look to you for recommendations for products and services that fit their needs.
- Consumer product retailing is the easiest to sell on Facebook because of their Marketplace consumer selling platform, the multiple ways to customize ads, and different methods of building a following such as creating a page or a group.
The downside of Facebook is that it is not the best place to sell for B2B, though it can be instrumental in brand-building for B2B companies.
For B2B: LinkedIn
One of my favorite social media platforms to turn into a sales funnel is LinkedIn because I’ve seen first-hand how effective it can be. LinkedIn works best under the same principle as group-based marketing: you establish yourself as a leader and then position engaging content for your potential customers. The best way to utilize LinkedIn is with B2B service-based businesses and combining it with a remarketing strategy.
Take your posts with the highest engagement and determine what is resonating with your audience. You can then retarget them on other platforms. You could email them immediately, but LinkedIn marketing has to be combined with a soft-selling strategy to perform best. Potential customers are turned off by unresearched, unwanted cold messages from salespeople. Instead, salespeople and marketers alike should focus on building their networks and sharing relevant information for their ideal customer profile.
For Retail and Customer Service: Chatbots
Everyone from the financial industry to retail outlets is getting obsessed with chatbots.
Chatbots work to drive sales. This is especially true for those with a retail front or required to provide information on demand for their customers.
Here’s an example of how clothing retailer H&M uses a chatbot:
In the example given, you can see a major fashion chain interacting with a customer on Facebook, reacting in real time to customer feedback.
Here is why chatbots on social platforms are so useful:
- They engage with the customer, so it’s almost as if you have a “merchandiser” or sales rep that can readily assist your customers at any time.
- A continuous sales plan can be implemented since bots are automated.
- Recording feedback is more straightforward since data can be set to be automatically collected.
If you are an online retail outlet, chatbots are a great option to explore. Currently, it’s possible to integrate these with the top e-commerce platforms available online.
Social Media as a Sales Channel
Spamming your potential customers with multi-channel ads in the wrong place at the wrong time is never the right thing to do. With these tips, you’ll be able to determine what channel, and what sales techniques will be best for your customers and prospects.
How have you used social media to increase your sales? Tell me about it in the comments.