WASHINGTON, September 3, 2013 – Social media has a unique role in marketing. It’s not a direct sales channel. It’s a tool for engaging potential and existing customers, brand advocates and other audiences. However, social media can play a more active role in driving higher sales and revenues.
Sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram should, first and foremost, contain content followers would like to read and share. People will quickly abandon your pages if they turn into nonstop sales tools, though. Keep delivering the great content you always do, but feel free to throw in a few of these sales offers.
Social media sites make it easier to promote company-wide sales and special offers – assuming, of course, each channel has its own unique code. But you might also find it useful to create an exclusive offer for followers only. Depending on your business, some offers are more appropriate than others. If you’re a York injury lawyer, a 25% discount might seem tacky on social media. However, a free consultation wouldn’t, especially among people who haven’t previously hired you.
Most social media users see your page as a way to keep in touch with your business, not to buy things from it. A product announcement is appropriate to post on social media, but it can also spark interest in – and, ultimately, sales of – new and existing products.
Put a note on Facebook or Twitter announcing a new product or line extension, along with a photo of the product and a link to the description on your website. Post photos of new products and existing ones on Instagram. A few companies include coupon codes with these posts, while others offer free sample giveaways or no freebie at all.
You want your followers to interact with your site, while people like the chance to win big. Holding a contest on social media gives everyone what they want. Some companies ask contestants to write stories or take photos of their products in action. One medical practice called for photos of healthy habits. However, you don’t have to tie your contest directly to your offerings. A “Cutest Kitten” photo contest, for example, never fails to generate submissions.
You don’t have to play Farmville to know how popular games are, both online and in real life. A game on your website would increase engagement on social media, but players would get rewards as well. For example, anyone who reaches Level 5 in an adventure game might get 10 percent off their next purchase, while anyone reaching Level 10 might get 25 percent off. Whatever your prizes, they should be compelling enough to keep people playing.
Although social media’s main purpose is to forge and strengthen interaction with customers, it can also help accelerate the sales cycle. The best approach to take, though, is a soft sales approach, such as the examples listed above.
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.