One of the most common questions we get asked from new business owners, eCommerce managers, and beginner marketers interested in social media is its effectiveness and impact on sales.
In a word? Huge. Social platforms have a huge impact on sales.
Long gone are the days when social media accounts were only useful for building brand awareness. With direct links rerouting viewers to landing pages and websites, built-in shop features, and direct ways to connect and engage with viewers to take them from warm leads to paying customers, social media channels are a fantastic way to reach your biggest business goals.
Worried that your target market isn’t on social media? Not to worry–with multiple channels and platforms changing by the day, most consumers and audiences can be found on line. (Whether it be Instagram or LinkedIn!)
Read on to learn more about the direct impact a solid social media presence and social media campaigns can have on your bottom lines and how to leverage both to impact your sales.
How Social Media Users Impact Sales
Looking for additional ways to bring in revenue? You’re in luck. With the number of social media platforms available and selling features accessible through each one, you can leverage your existing social media presence to help find, engage, and convert relevant leads to paying customers with little-to-no involvement. How so?
- Connect a social media page to a landing page.
- Use social media shop features.
- Provide a direct discount code link to social media followers via stories and posts.
- Offer codes, promotions, and special offers to new followers, followers who convert to email list recipients, and social media leads who convert to sales.
The key ingredient of each of the above four features are that they offer brands and businesses a direct way to connect existing and new customers to a sales platform or page. With potential customers more inundated than ever with online marketing messages and businesses competing for their attention, it’s incredibly important that the user experience is a quick, easy, and seamless process to get users from point A to B.
Worried that you’re not on the right social media and professional networking platforms that will align with your audience and offer direct selling features? Fear not. The most commonly used and recommended social media platforms used by both B2B and B2C consumers can take advantage of at least one of the above features. For example:
Which Social Media Sites Offer Selling Features
The popular video and image platform has a ‘Shop’ feature specifically designed for businesses and brands with eCommerce capabilities. Consider uploading your most popular products, services, and packages to your profile ‘Shop’ and organising by category for easy browsing.
Now called Meta, Instagram and Facebook both offer Shop features that allow eCommerce brands to sell directly online. (Prefer to drive your traffic to your website before they convert to a sale? Not to worry! Shop product listings can include a direct link back to your eCommerce site for customers to complete their transaction.)
With LinkedIn a popular social networking choice among B2B marketers and professionals, it makes sense for some businesses to advertise their product and services here. While LinkedIn doesn’t have a direct ‘Shop’ feature like Instagram, you can provide page followers with direct links, discount codes, and promotional offers that drive warm leads right to your eCommerce site.
Much like LinkedIn, Pinterest is without a direct selling or shop feature but every post links to a redirected URL. (Meaning–your brand website and product pages.) Similar to YouTube, Pinterest is most often considered a visual search engine–meaning businesses with great product imagery can entice customers interested in their products with great visuals before leading them through a one-click redirect to a Shop site.
Not exactly a social media platform, however, YouTube is ranked as the second most commonly used search engine in the world (after Google!) so we thought it worth mentioning. With opportunities for Google Ads on targeted YouTube channels and video content, brands can lead viewers directly through to their website, product pages, or promotional offer landing page.
If you haven’t considered making direct sales or promotional offers through social media before–keep reading. The above features and tactics are simple to use and quick to action. Read on to learn how to use each below and how you can minimise the number of steps needed to walk social media viewers down the sales line.
How to Use Social Media Platform Features to Make More Sales
Now that you can see how the most popular social media and professional networking platforms can both advertise and direct customers through to selling and shop platforms, we want to highlight a few ways you can design a sales-boosting campaign today.
- Instagram and Facebook Shop
Using either platform’s Shop feature, brands can upload existing product imagery from their existing eCommerce website or collateral, write product descriptions, and allow users to create wish lists or carts with intended purchases.
Wondering how it works? Here’s an Instagram example:
- Considering which products you want to sell via Instagram. These may be your most popular products, the products that will most resonate with your Instagram target audience, or your whole product collection if you have limited pieces.
- Organise products by category–much the same as an eCommerce shop, this can help your customers view interesting collections and relevant products that will match their interests and needs.
- Upload product descriptions, retail prices, a summary about your shop, and delivery, returns, and shipping policies (if preferred).
- Decide which direct link will be followed when the customer clicks on the product or ‘View Website’ button. Again, the fewer clicks and steps needed to get from point A to final sale, the better. We recommend direct customers through to the eCommerce website product page they can make a purchase on.
It’s worth knowing that the Instagram shop feature also offers users a way to save products they are interested in, view complementary products from the same brand, and engage directly with the social media customer service rep or account owner (you!) While customers make the final transaction on your eCommerce site, all of the work done prior to the sale( the sales funnel) are completed on Instagram, Facebook, and the like.
Without a direct sales or shop feature, LinkedIn is still a very worthwhile platform to find, connect with, and convert sales for professionals and B2B customers alike.
- We recommend including ‘direct sale’ posts in your regular LinkedIn social media marketing activities. This could be one per week or a series of product-specific posts released intermittently during a new product launch or campaign.
- Posts should include direct links to your eCommerce site where interested viewers can make direct sales. They should also include clear and enticing product imagery (or a product video!) and description–much the same as your website product page.
- Target audience members can be found, and find your brand, by clearly identifying what your business and product offers. Remember to always include hashtags that identify your market ‘category’, tag users or businesses that are relevant to your brand (this can extend your social media engagement and post reach), and shorten the URL, if possible.
(Search for an online URL shortening platform. This makes for much more reader-friendly post copy with a shortened direct URL to your eCommerce page, instead of a lengthy and complicated hyperlink.)
- Pinterest and YouTube
Remember when we said YouTube and Pinterest were both great runner ups in the ‘search engine category’? While you can’t ‘directly’ sell on Pinterest or YouTube, you can offer your products and services as direct solutions that solve your customers’ needs. Whether you opt for regular pins and posts that directly link to your eCommerce website or try your hand at Google Ads and display ads, you can easily target relevant users on both websites and run a digital marketing or social media marketing campaign that connects them to your shop.
With YouTube, you’ll want to leverage display ads and be shown to relevant users through complementary brands unless you’re creating your own business content. (If you are–make sure to take advantage of the video notes section and include direct product links to your website page!)
As for Pinterest, we recommend creating pins and social media posts for each one of your products (or the most popular) and using the pin ‘description’ section to include a product description and direct URL to your eCommerce online store.
How to Find Your Audience on Social Media Platforms
Wondering which social media platform you should be using? This one’s easy! Unless you’re starting at the very beginning and haven’t yet marketed to your target audience before, we always recommend turning back to your existing marketing strategy and collateral to confirm which will best resonate with your audience.
For example, if you’re targeting business owners or service-based professionals, LinkedIn may be an excellent digital platform to start including select product-specific posts. Spent hours on fantastic product imagery for the B2C market? Instagram is a highly-visual platform that allows users to highlight Instagram shop products on their profiles, in their reels, and on stories with direct links back to eCommerce product pages.
If you are just getting started in the digital marketing world, we always recommend scratching out a basic beginner marketing plan and social media strategy to make the best use of limited budgets and time. With any product or service, there should be a clear offer and solution to a targeted market or select markets–by deep diving into these ideal customer personas, you can begin to decide which social media platforms will be worth your marketing time.
Learn More About Social Media Marketing with the Edge Team
Edge Marketing knows the ins and outs of digital marketing and social media campaigns and we can help you build your presence online.
Whether you’re interested in hacking your own search engine optimisation, learning more about the drivers of successful social media campaigns, or which social media efforts will help build brand awareness, follow along with our blog. Our expert team publishes weekly articles and blog posts that examine the world of website development, social media communication, and digital marketing opportunities and we want our community to leverage our hard-learned knowledge to start building their brand with ease.