Social Media, the Untapped Treasure Trove for Supercharging Sales
For brands, social media has evolved from a place to share memes with your customers, to a fully-fledged digital front desk. There are a myriad of functionalities that have developed within the last decade to enhance user experiences beyond an ordinary swipe or tap, with live-streaming and even shopping features coming into play.
And with 2020 necessitating virtually all businesses to shift operations online, social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have become vital channels for enhancing customer experiences, geo-targeting customers with cost-effective ads, and most importantly, driving sales.
Sell Me This Pen...on Social Media
The widespread use of social media has turned it into a viable channel for brands to direct traffic to their online stores, and generate sales through digital means. As the Covid-19 pandemic has forced brick and mortar stores to evolve, and purchase journeys likely to change for good, brands should treat social media networks as a storefront, where they can approach, interact with, and nurture prospective customers virtually.
With social media becoming the go-to channel for reaching new prospects and growing market share, it's important for your brand to be active and engaging on social media. However, while your social media page could be the first touchpoint for your consumers, it should not be their last. With 63% of consumers who search for businesses online likely to continue patronizing businesses that have impressionable content, achieving the right kind of social media presence can bode well as it informs consumers that your brand is active.
Social Listening: The Missing Puzzle to Supercharging Sales in a Virtual World?
In the long term, your social media strategy will benefit greatly by monitoring social conversations and key trends which will help push content that is aligned with your customers’ interests and needs. A social listening tool like Digimind Social provides you access to unbiased, qualitative information, such as reviews and experiences, to guide your social strategy and plug the gaps in your customer journey. With 71% of consumers more likely to make a purchase through social media referrals, social listening can
align your brand with customer success by identifying ‘why’s’. Thus, providing informed insights to your social media performance which will be intuitive to your decision making.
Here are five considerations that can help level up your social selling strategy and build resonance with your consumers.
1. Finding Value in Social Media
Social media networks have certainly evolved rapidly over the past decade, which each channel having its own unique nuances and uses. Let's take a look at some of the major platforms whose apps occupy a space on our smartphones:
- With over 2.7 billion monthly active users worldwide, Facebook is virtually the largest social network to date. For businesses, this spells opportunities to connect with a large pool of potential customers.
- Twitter’s “micro-blogging”, primarily text-based format provides users with the ability to share information rapidly and succinctly.
- Instagram’s image-based functionality enables brands to curate a digital photo album to attract and engage followers.
- LinkedIn's allure lies in its ability to project your brand in a professional setting. Its prominence as a business facing social network would also mean that your competitors are likely on it too – giving you much vital information from product updates to customer service benchmarking, and even key hirings.
While each major social network has its own nuances and uses, one thing remains common among them – their user bases are comprised of everyday people. Consumers who are actively researching and purchasing from brands, and most importantly, sharing qualitative information about their purchasing behavior, decisions, and opinions.
Social media’s ubiquity in an increasingly-interconnected world should also mean that consumer data can be found virtually anywhere in an online space. Posts by consumers can be a vital source of data on customer personas, purchasing behavior, and how much brand recognition you have. Knowing what kind of data you need to mine is essential to detecting key chances, and acting on emerging opportunities.
2. Social Media Engagement is Gold
While often dismissed as "vanity metrics". social media engagements can be a way to assess the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns, if you know where and how to look.
Instagram, for example, provides a free Insights feature for business accounts, that displays information about your consumers’ interactions with your posts, stories, and promotions from up to the past two years. Using these metrics can help you to manage your content creation by analyzing brand performance, giving you a fresh perspective on the hits and misses, audience targeting, and interactions within your social media profile.
3. A Sum of Social Media’s Parts
A social media strategy is not entirely different from the way a business strategy is built. It is conceptualized in tandem with the operations of the brand, its value propositions, and its ideals that it wants to promote. Brands with a huge social media following are dependent on having a clear objective that facilitates a big-picture approach towards fulfilling different business needs, such as:
- Talent acquisition
- Humanizing the workplace environment
- Feedback for product innovation
- Gaining a larger share of voice
Regardless of objective, a strong, engaged relationship with your customers and followers on social media is key to creating consumer advocacy, shortening sales cycles, and even gaining insights that can help you create a product or service that is well received. Having said that, it's important to focus your sales efforts on the networks your audience is most active and engaged with your brand or competitors, to ensure maximum returns.
4. Boosting E-Store Traffic and Sales via Social Media
An online community that is engaged with your brand, can spell potential new customers and advocates. Here are some ways you can leverage social media to drive traffic to your online stores and in return, sales:
- Understand customers’ behaviours on each social media channel
- Find a way to bridge the customer’s journey from social to website
- Optimise social content for converting followers to website visitors
- Leverage influencers
Furthermore, with Instagram recently changing its interface to feature its Shopping tab prominently on the home feed, businesses have another digital storefront that can help diversify their revenue stream.
Bringing Your Consumers Closer to Your Brand via Social Listening
Up to 80% of customers post opinions without tagging your brand directly. Therefore it is important for brands to deploy social listening as. a way to collect honest opinions that would otherwise go undetected. Plugging these gaps in your customer research can go a long way in outpacing competitors when it comes to knowing and delivering what your customers want.
On top of that, social listening can help to conduct extensive research into the types of content consumers are interested in. Having an informative social media will go a long way to preserving customer loyalty and staying top of mind when an opportunity appears. In fact, 89% of top performing sales professionals find Linkedin essential in closing deals and being in tandem with their sales strategy.
A social listening tool like Digimind Social can enable your brand to conduct an effective social media strategy designed to create consumer resonance, identify gaps in your customer journey, and increase overall sales by leveraging real-time insights about your brand health and performance online.
Download this comprehensive guide on How to Use Social Intelligence to Optimize Your Retail Customer’s Journey to understand how insights are gleaned from social listening at each stage of the customer's journey.
Written by Jared Silitonga
Jared is a member of the APAC marketing team at Digimind. Digital marketing is his first foray into the industry and what he really loves is working for tech-driven companies. Catch him in other shenanigans on Instagram @jarrds.