5 Ways to Sell With Social Media

social media how toDo you want to convert your fans and followers into paying customers?

Are your social activities working?

In this article I’ll show you 5 simple ways to tweak your social media updates for better sales conversion.

Some social media updates can go further toward bringing in sales than others. And they can do this without detracting from the spirit of social media.

sale sign

Some social media updates can help with sales more than others. Image source: iStockPhoto.

#1: Incorporate a Clear Call to Action

Your customers and fans visit your social media pages for a variety of reasons, but generally speaking, they want to do something or learn something.

Some people are looking for information about your company, some are looking for details about products and services, some want access to special deals and coupons, some want to see if you have any contests or promotions running and some may be looking for expert tips and how-to tricks.

If you don’t give them what they’re after, they won’t return. Use status updates to give them what they want and what you want: a sale.

Post calls to action like “Click here for a Facebook fan exclusive coupon,” or “Enter to win…”

Here you see how Target offers daily deals on Twitter.

target twitter account

Target has a Twitter account where followers can see deals the retailer has in stores.

But remember to stay true to the 70-20-10 rule: 70 percent of your page’s content should be information that’s valuable and relevant to your fans; 20 percent should be content that comes from other people and 10 percent should be promotional.

Once you know why your audience wants to interact with you on social media, be sure to give them the types of information they’re looking for.

#2: Convey a Sense of Urgency

Due to the ticker-tape nature of most social media platforms, you have a very limited amount of time to catch the attention of your customers/fans/followers. If they see an update with verbiage that compels them to “act now,” you win.

Using words like “For a limited time” or “On sale this week” or “Own it first” will catch the eye of your visitors.

You can also offer incentives for booking or buying immediately instead of later. Depending on your business, you could waive shipping fees, offer an extra week of your service or even a buy-one/get-one, etc. Ideally, post different time-sensitive offers on different networks.

For example, “The next 10 people who retweet this will receive 10% off their next purchase.” On Facebook you could use an app to make an offer like, “The first 10 people to share this on Facebook get $25 off a $50 purchase,” and so on.

Here, Chili’s uses their Facebook cover photo to connect and offer a deal.

chili facebook photo

Chili's uses their cover photo to announce a limited-time offer.

This is one way to use the instant nature of social media to your advantage.

#3: Offer Followers and Fans Exclusive Deals

This idea is similar to the previous one, but you want to make sure that your fans know the deals you’re offering are for fans of a particular network only.

To grow your following on a variety of networks and inspire loyalty, offer deals that are exclusive to each network.

Kate Spade New York always has something special cookin’ for their Facebook fans. Periodically offering special deals is a great tactic for a business that wants to keep its fans coming back again and again. And doesn’t every business want that?

kate spade new york

Kate Spade New York offers Facebook fans exclusive deals and coupons on a regular basis. It keeps them coming back again and again.

This is a great way to reach out to specific audiences within your social media strategy.

#4: Encourage Sharing

It never hurts to ask your fans and followers to retweet, repin or share. Ideally you’re offering such a great deal that your fans and followers will want to share it anyway, but a little nudge is okay.

If your update is about a Facebook contest, you can even let your followers know that if they share the news about your contest, they’ll get an extra chance (or chances) to win.

National Builder Supply uses Pinterest to give fans a chance to win a chandelier.

repinning contest

National Builder Supply gives fans a chance to win a new chandelier by repinning their contest image on Pinterest.

When you ask your audience to interact with your content, they’re more likely to do it.

#5: Keep All of Your Social Media Profiles Current

When potential customers land on your various social pages, they should have a clear idea of what your business/brand is all about. At the very least, go through each of your business’s social profiles (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) once a quarter and make sure all of the information is current, because social networks occasionally change dimensions and other details.

For example, earlier this year Facebook relaxed its rules about using calls to action on cover photos, but many companies haven’t yet updated their pages to make the most of this space.

Tip: You can now include price or purchase information on a Facebook cover photo including phrases like “40% off this week only” or “Download our new eBook here,” contact information or other calls to action such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.” The main image should also give customers and prospective customers some insights about you.

In this image, Trunk Club tells you everything about what they do right on their Pinterest page.

trunk club pinterest profile

The men's personal shopping service Trunk Club has a fantastic Pinterest profile that tells you everything you need to know about what the company does.

Never forget to give your social media audience the information they need about your business.

Over to You

These are just a few opportunities for you to connect with potential leads for your business. But together with a strategic plan, they can help convert the quality leads your business is looking for.

What do you think? What kinds of posts and updates have you found are the most effective for making a sale? Leave your questions and comments in the box below.

Images from iStockPhoto.

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About the Author, Jim Belosic

Jim Belosic is the CEO of ShortStack, a self-service custom app design tool used to create Facebook apps for Facebook Pages, websites and mobile. Other posts by »




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