Meg Thornley Social Media and Project Manager 10 Steps To Improve Your Online Sales. Step 8: Social Media Hi from Indiespring! I’m Meg, and I’m here to talk about how you can improve your online sales. Today that will be through Social Media. This is part of our “10 ways to improve your online sales” series. Other angles to improve your online sales numbers from are UX, Content and SEO. Most people know what social media is; in fact, if you’ve found this post without knowing of Facebook or Twitter, then I’m almost impressed. But not everyone knows how they can use social media to their advantage when it comes to an online business or eCommerce website- and that’s what we’re here for. So stay tuned! These tips are easy and require no extra training other than what you already have, just a different perspective. Focus on the Social Platforms Where Your Customers Are. Obviously in an ideal world we’d all have time to dedicate to every platform from Facebook to Google Plus to Tumblr. But in reality, we don’t- and sometimes it just isn’t worth it. For some businesses it’s very obvious where you should be sharing based on their product. If you’re having trouble deciding on two or three to really focus on, though, here are some useful tips on choosing where to go. Check where you get the most shares and interactions. Find out what your competitors are most active on, and if that appears to be working for them. Use Social Bakers’ Social Marketing Reports to figure out if your industry is active on your chosen platforms. Ask your customers. Once you’ve figured this out, you can create a strategy around those particular platforms and spend your time with those. Obviously you can still work with the other platforms (it’s always better to have an account, to stop anyone taking your company’s name as their username and potentially even posting on your behalf without your knowledge!) but you should definitely have a hierarchy of primary, secondary and even tertiary social medias. Stay Relevant Any social media user knows that to stay at the top you need to post regularly. We also know that you can’t just post the same article 300 times- that makes you unpopular, and unfollowed. Therefore you need to create new content regularly, and the best way to do this is to use recent and seasonal cues. This is not only a really simple, easy way to give you great new ideas, but it means that your users are more likely to share it, too! Just make sure you give yourself enough time to post it before the date comes around, and for the content to gain traction from shares. An example of seasonal content is our very own eCommerce Valentine’s Day Blog which helped people like you mix up their sites for that lovey-dovey holiday. You might need some tools to help you figure out social trends, so why not check out Google Adwords and Google Trends. Stay Agile This may seem like it means the same thing as staying relevant, but it’s definitely different when it comes to your social media. App and software updates happen regularly, and if you don’t stay up-to-date they can throw off your whole strategy. Therefore you need to keep in the loop with the official accounts of the social medias that you use so that you’re aware of updates and what they mean for you. If it’s a social media platform that you use, find out if that will affect your strategy, and how. You may need to alter what you already do. You may even have an opportunity to market yourselves in an entirely new way! Don’t Get Stuck On Fads While the shiny new piece of software might seem great for a few weeks or months; there’s always an opportunity to fail. Don’t invest your whole time and effort into one new thing, as it may become discontinued. An example of this is Social Media Buy Buttons. In around 2014, it was very popular for all platforms to incorporate a ‘Buy Button’ into their sites- be it Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. This seemed like a great idea at the time. The traditional sales funnel goes: Users find your social media account; users become interested in your posts; they find your website from your posts; users buy from your website. But the ‘Buy Button’ Sales Funnel goes: User finds your social media account, user buys from your social media account. This less hassle approach promised to bring more conversions, as customers wouldn’t have to trawl through the long process to get what they want. However in reality, it seems the traditional process is too ingrained into our minds, and the Buy Button trend is slowly dying out. For companies who used this as a section of their strategy; it shouldn’t have been too big a blow as they still had other potential ways for customers to buy their products or services. But, for companies who invested in the idea completely? They must have struggled to keep their conversion rate stable. The moral of this point is; try out the shiny new tools, but always have another option in case your favourite new idea gets pulled. Make Your Social Media Part Of Your Brand Identity, Not Just An Advertisement The title says it all. Your social media can’t just be a giant digital billboard with ‘Buy From Us!’ written all over it. You have to create compelling social content that your users care about, and want to share, that fits in with ( or creates) your established brand. If your business takes on a flirty and sassy personality, work that into your strategy! But if your product is cool and modern, reflect that in your social posts. If your posts reflect your products personality, they’ll likely resonate with your customers, as they bought your products for a reason and likely identify with your brand. If your posts simply force your checkout page down users’ throats, you’re not making a good impression, and you’re not gaining brand recognition. Share Customer and Employee Journeys If your business is running successfully you should have people that love your brand, whether that’s customers or employees. These people are an asset to you. If the people involved with your brand care about it enough to talk about it- you’re getting free marketing. Use this to your advantage by: sharing the way that employees interact with your brand, and encouraging and sharing customer journeys. This not only makes your employees and previous customers feel valued (and they really are!), but it also gives solid evidence to potential customers that you care about them, too. To Conclude Thanks for reading our blog on Improving Your Online Sales With Social Media. I really hope it helped you to look at your online marketing campaigns differently, and potentially really make a difference to your sales figures. If you have any questions or points about what was written about, please contact us!