It’s a word that is often used within social media and, of course, if people are not engaging with you on social media, then what’s the chance of them taking action?
But the value of engagement is difficult to measure. It’s like going to networking meetings and getting to know people. You know there is value but it’s hard to measure it.
But social media can lead to sales and, increasingly, companies want to see results from social media.
In this article, we outline how you can achieve sales from social media.
Build your email subscribers
Hold on a minute, Ian…
You convert fans/followers to email subscribers but you still don’t have sales…
That’s true, but it is 100 times easier to convert an email subscriber into a sale than a Twitter follower.
Here are four different ways of building email subscribers from your social media followers.
1. Tell them about your newsletter on a regular basis
If you build a relevant following on social media channels, it’s likely that some of them will want to take the next step and sign up to your newsletter…
… so why not provide this opportunity?
2. Run a competition
There are many competition providers that allow you to run competitions, particularly on platforms such as Facebook.
3. Direct people to a post with subscribe option
When you are directing people back to content on your website, make sure there is an opt-in form with a good incentive for people to subscribe.
For example, provide a really good lead-generation guide that will encourage people to sign up to your email list.
4. Auto DM people on Twitter
Yes, auto DM (direct message) has a bad name because of all the spam.
If you personalize your direct message and offer something to your list that is valuable, they will subscribe.
You use a tool, such as SocialBro, that allows you to set up direct-message campaigns and personalize your message.
“Hey John, we have a new free guide that will help you become more productive at work, I though you might be interested: http://bit.ly/a2343”
You’ll be surprised at the results.
Sell directly on the channel
Just because social media isn’t where most people buy, that doesn’t mean to say you can’t sell on social media.
There are tools available that allow you to sell directly.
You might have noticed recently that Pinterest has announced they are launching a ‘buy’ button.
But… people don’t buy on social media…
Well… that ‘buy’ button will be extremely popular and you’ll see a ‘buy’ button on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other channels in no time.
These providers need to make more money so selling directly is a way to do it.
Any examples of selling directly on social media?
1. Heyo Cart – Sell directly on Facebook Newsfeed
The guys at Heyo have implemented a neat solution that is currently only available on Facebook.
When you post a product for sale, someone who wants to purchase enters the word ‘buy’ and an automatic link is generated that they can click on, to go and buy the product.
If they enter ‘buy’ for a second time, they don’t have to go to a purchase page because their payment details are saved.
In the example above, Kim Garst ran a promotion and generated over 100 sales of her product within a very short time.
If you want to know details of how Heyo Cart is working for customers, here’s a webinar on seven ways to generate sales using Heyo Cart on a Facebook Page.
You will see Facebook implementing a ‘buy’ button soon, too.
2. Sell on Facebook Through an App
If you don’t want to sell on the newsfeed, you can always use a Facebook App to sell through your Facebook Page.
One app that we recently covered on this blog is Selz. It’s simple to set up and you can have a shop up and running quickly.
Just remember that not many people visit apps on your page. You need to direct them to them and give them a good reason for going there!
Use Paid Advertising
Social media advertising can be a very cost-effective way of generating sales. The targeting options on some of the platform are amazing, so they are well worth considering.
Here are a couple of examples of how you could use paid advertising.
1. Facebook Retargeting
On your website, you have a product-purchase page, an upsell page and a thank-you page.
Your product is $99 and, if they buy, you offer them another product for $199 (i.e. they are brought to this page straight after buying).
A custom audience on Facebook is a list of people that you target.
You can create a custom audience based on people visiting a web page.
You can even create a custom audience based on people who visit one specific page but not another.
You then start retargeting website visitors with Facebook ads.
So… you can set up the following:
If your buyer goes to the $99 page but doesn’t get to the $199 page you know they haven’t bought. Start targeting them with an ad for the $99 product.
If your buyer buys the $99 product and goes to the $199 page but doesn’t end up on the thank-you page, you know they haven’t bought the $199 product so you show a different advertisement to them.
2. Twitter Ads
Twitter has built up a comprehensive platform for ads where you can use targeting and retargeting options.
For example, you could target people with ads for your product based on keywords they have mentioned in their tweets.
Imagine if they mentioned they were going to go out an buy a set of headphones and you sold those headphones… You could display an ad for them.
Form Strategic Partnerships
You don’t form strategic partnerships overnight, but initiating relationships within social media can deliver partnerships, which can deliver sales.
Imagine you woke up one morning and decided that you wanted to find people who target a similar audience but have a much bigger profile online.
You go to ManageFlitter and do an advanced filter search to find the relevant people e.g. those who have a certain number of followers, who tweet about certain things, who are based in a certain country etc.
You then follow them and start monitoring their tweets…
You look for opportunities to interact…
You then follow their blog and comment…
You subscribe to their content and answer any questions they ask in newsletters…
You then connect on LinkedIn…
And now… you ask them to do an interview on your blog and the potential partnership begins!
If you don’t have engagement, you won’t get sales (unless you pay for ads!).
But social media is not all about engagement. There needs to be some measurable results in terms of sales and, as you have seen from this post, there are plenty of opportunities for generating sales.
So my question to you, my friend, is what is your sales funnel? Would you – or do you – use any of the tactics above?
I’d love to hear from you.
Image courtesty of Shutterstock