Selling with social media is tough if you don't know what you're doing. This is because social media is primarily used for branding, not selling. However, that doesn't mean that you can't use it to make sales, and generate revenue if you’re smart about it. Let's go over five easy ways you can sell with social media without upsetting your followers.
People don't want to be sold to on social media, that's a fact. But they don't mind getting special deals and offers through it. If you want to sell something on social media, take the approach that you're doing your followers a favor with a special deal or offer to get them to warm up to the idea. If you can make them feel good about the offer, they'll be much more receptive to it.
Ideas for special offers include limited time discounts, "exclusive" discounts that can only be redeemed by social media followers, and free giveaways of branded items featuring your company's logo/message on them. The goal here is to increase customer loyalty in addition to making sales. This way you can create repeat business among your most loyal followers.
Social media is all about branding, and the stronger your brand, the more sales you'll make. This is an indirect approach to increasing sales, but arguably the most effective on social media. If you can turn your followers into fans of your brand, they'll spread the word for you on social media, and by word-of-mouth in real life. This will definitely lead to more revenue, more profit, and speedier growth for your business than ever before.
When working on your brand strategy on social media, it's important to make sure that you're interacting with your base on a more personal level, not just as some faceless business entity. Speak their language, and act as if you're talking to them as you would a close friend. This feeling of familiarity will get your followers to let their guard down, and become more receptive to subtle marketing messages in the future, like the special offers mentioned above.
Who says you can only sell your products on your own social media accounts? Smart businesses will recognize the power of "influencers" within the social media sphere. These individuals have massive followings and a single tweet or post from them can make a company thousands of dollars in an instant.
Contacting these influencers and getting them to do a shout-out for one of your products, or your brand in general, isn't that hard to do in many cases, though keep in mind that the more popular influencers may already have deals with big brands so there will be some competition. In any case, the earlier you connect with an influencer in your niche, the better.
While a shout-out is a one time thing in most cases, that doesn't mean it has to be the end of your relationship with your influencers. In fact, if an influencer helps you to make a lot of sales, or generates a lot of interest in your brand with a shout out, you may consider forming a partnership with them in the form of sponsoring them. This is a bit more formal than a shout-out, and some paperwork and contracts will probably be involved, but in the long run it can definitely be worth it as this strategy can help your brand grow extremely fast.
The key here is to know who to connect with for a sponsorship, you don't want to partner with just anyone. A good idea is to first pay an influencer to do a shout-out, then if that works out for you, you can talk to them about a sponsorship. If all goes well, you will earn back many times your investment using your influencer's star power to your advantage.
The Power of Visuals
When it comes to social media, many people underestimate just how powerful images and video can be. Just showing an image of your product, or a video of how it works can do wonders in generating interest, and getting people to take notice of your brand.
Just remember that when doing this you want to do it in a non-salesy way. If you're obviously doing it as an advertisement, it can turn off your followers. But if you're doing it in a way that's more along the lines of "hey, look how cool this is!" they'll be more likely to be supportive of your efforts. Providing testimonials, or case study results is a great way to make this strategy feel more "real" while at the same time showing just how effective your products really are.
Getting Serious About Social Media
The one thing you want to remember when you want to sell with social media is the fact that "selling" is secondary. Build up your connection to your followers, get them to trust you, and make them fans of your brand. If you can do that, then the profits will come naturally. Social media is about connecting with people, so if you can to that, you'll be sure to make money in the long run.