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How to Increase Online Sales Through Social Media

10/12/2023
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Social media, once primarily a platform for networking and communication, has now evolved into a powerful tool for businesses to drive online sales. While it initially wasn't inherently designed for sales, the landscape has significantly shifted. Social media platforms are continually developing their features and functionalities to promote social commerce. Today, they offer specialized tools and advertising capabilities that empower businesses to directly connect with their target audience and drive sales efficiently.

In this article, we'll explore eleven effective strategies tailored to leverage the potential of social media for boosting online sales. From utilizing advanced advertising techniques to harnessing the power of influencer collaborations, offering enticing promotions, and optimizing user-generated content, we'll delve into a variety of tactics that answer the question "how to increase online sales through social media".

Table of Contents

How to increase online sales through social media - 11 pro tips

1. Shoppable content

Within the scope of the already mentioned shift of social media towards sales, and the rise of social commerce, we simply have to underline what's probably the most important feature of social commerce - shoppable content. For a long time, businesses could only promote their products on social media, but they couldn't really use it directly for sales.

Shoppable content means that you can tag products you sell to your social media content. When users click on the tag, they will either be redirected to your webshop or to the checkout page within the social media (if that option is available, of course). That way you minimize the steps needed for a customer to make a purchase.

For example, Instagram developed its own shopping feature (with the checkout, for now, available only for companies from the United States). By tagging products in posts and stories, you can provide product details such as price and size. There's also an example of Pinterest and its Product Pins. Similar to Instagram, where you can tag products to posts, carousels, and stories, Product Pins also provide real-time details about products and their availability. They enable a smooth shopping experience for users who can easily discover and engage with products.

Example of a Product Pin

2. Recommend

Recommend is another great way to increase online sales through social media. It's a social shopping platform that combines attractive content with the best shopping recommendations. If you join Recommend, you will be able to showcase your products using shoppable images and videos. Moreover, you'll also enable our talented content creators to tag your products to their content and share them with their followers. It's a simple and straightforward way to boost your online sales!

Example of Trends from Recommend

3. User-generated content

We know that you want to present your product in the best way possible. You want to have beautiful photos and videos that make your product attractive and appealing. However, you shouldn't neglect the power of user-generated content (UGC). UGC brings one very important aspect to your brand image - authenticity. And more authenticity often means more sales. Here are some stats: 62% of consumers are more likely to click on UGC than on a photo created by the brand. Besides that, 53.73% of marketers agree influencer marketing converts higher than brand content.

There are a lot of ways you can exploit to get UGC. Testimonials, contests, challenges, and engaging campaigns are just some of them. If you need further inspiration, check out this article where you can find 24 cool examples.

Don't forget to repost and share UGC on your brand's social media channels. That way you will foster a sense of community, and you will showcase the positive experiences that surround your brand.

Various examples of user generated content

4. Be where your audience is

This might seem like an obvious tip, but it's worth mentioning that you have to be present in the same virtual places as your customers. We'll give some examples. If you have a tech brand, you could post short tech tips on Twitter, eye-catching product visuals on Instagram, and more in-depth and informative articles on LinkedIn. If you're in fashion, do your best to fully exploit the visual possibilities of Pinterest and Instagram.

Here's a short breakdown of demographics for different social media, as well as what industries usually perform the best on these media:

  • Facebook: Facebook has a broad user base with a variety of age groups. However, a quarter of the Facebook population are people between the ages of 25 to 34, which makes them the larger demographic group. Various industries thrive on Facebook, including e-commerce, health, wellness, finance, technology, and entertainment.
  • Instagram: In August 2023, as we can read in this Statista article, 25.1% of users in the United States were aged 18 to 24, and 27.4% were aged between 25 and 34. Instagram is very popular among fashion, beauty, travel, food, and fitness brands.
  • Pinterest: Pinterest has a predominantly female user base, and it's very popular among users who look for ideas and inspiration. DIY crafts, travel, and food and recipes are some of the top industries for Pinterest.
  • TikTok: TikTok is known for its younger audience, being particularly popular among Gen Z and millennials. It's great for creative and engaging content and industries such as beauty, entertainment, food, and consumer goods.
  • Twitter: Twitter has a diverse user base, but it's mostly popular among adults, especially those aged 18-49. News, technology, sports, and entertainment are the best-performing industries when it comes to Twitter.

5. Post consistently and pay attention to timing

If you want to increase online sales through social media, it would be a good idea to post consistently, as well as to pay attention to timing. Your goal is to establish a predictable brand presence. If you post regularly and consistently, it will create a routine for your followers. In other words, they will know when to expect your posts. The routine will reinforce your message and value proposition, which can ultimately influence their purchase decisions.

Keep in mind that there are some specific timings optimal for different social media platforms. Consider posting on Instagram during weekdays, preferably from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Twitter sees higher engagement from Monday to Thursday, with ideal posting times around 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM. On Facebook, mid-week (Wednesday) and weekends (Saturday and Sunday) work the best, particularly around 9:00 AM. When it comes to LinkedIn, focus on posting during professional work hours, especially between 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM and 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM on weekdays. And for Pinterest, engagement tends to peak on Saturday and Sunday, particularly in the evening from 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM.

6. Free shipping

Free shipping is another way that might help you to drive more sales through social media. You could grab some more attention if you promote free shipping as a limited-time offer or a special deal on social media. Besides that, you could also highlight the savings in shipping costs, which could motivate users to complete the transactions. If you would like to motivate your customers to buy more products, you can condition free shipping with a minimum value of purchase.

If you think that shipping isn't really a relevant factor when it comes to online shopping, you should know that 61% of online shoppers abandoned their carts just before the checkout because there were some unexpected shipping costs.

Free shipping display on a website

7. Discounts, coupons, and flash sales

Shoppers like discounts. That being said, discounts are an additional natural idea on how to increase online sales through social media. As is the case with free shipping, on social media you can promote limited-time discounts, which will create a sense of urgency and excitement. Sharing these offers on social media will catch the attention of your customers, who will be motivated to make a purchase when they perceive a significant reduction in the price of a desired item.

Besides regular discounts, you can also use coupons to incentivize people to make a purchase. There are a couple of discount options you can choose from: percentage discount, fixed discount amount, buy-one-get-one offer… If you provide influencers with unique coupon codes, they can share them with their communities and social media. It's a win-win situation, but we'll talk more about it a bit later.

And in this part of our article titled "How to increase online sales through social media", we'd also like to mention flash sales. Flash sales include significant discounts on a limited selection of products for a short period of time. As we already said, people like discounts. And the only thing that shoppers like more than discounts are really big discounts. Or, in other words, flash sales. They can be effectively advertised through visually appealing and attention-grabbing posts on social media.

8. Giveaways

Giveaways are a great idea if you want to capture your customers' attention and encourage them to participate. It's usual that giveaways require participants to do certain things. For example, you can ask them to provide their contact information or to follow your social media profiles. This will allow you to build a valuable email list or increase your social media following.

9. Collaborate with influencers and content creators

Partnering with influencers relevant to your industry or target audience allows you to tap into their established follower base. Influencers can create authentic and engaging content showcasing your products or services. Collaboration with influencers on platforms like Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok can introduce your brand to a wider audience, drive traffic to your online store, and lead to a boost in sales.

Collaborating with bloggers or content creators who specialize in your industry or niche can be equally impactful. Bloggers often have a dedicated readership interested in their opinions and recommendations. Guest blog posts, sponsored content, or product reviews on their blogs can introduce your brand to a targeted and engaged audience. Their endorsement and detailed insights can motivate their readers to explore your offerings, leading to increased website visits and potentially driving sales.

Trae Young promoting Sprite on Instagram

10. Find what content works best for you

If you have an ambition to find the most effective content types, you have to figure out what type of content (videos, photos, carousels…) works best for your brand. There are two main steps in the process: experimentation and analysis. Try different content types, analyze their results, and make a conclusion.

Moreover, you can use A/B testing, but you can also take a look at what your competitors have been doing.

11. Ads

Finally, the question "How to increase online sales through social media?" could have another interesting answer - by optimizing social media ads. Here's how you can do it:

  • define objective
  • know your audience
  • choose platforms wisely
  • create engaging content
  • target effectively
  • test and optimize
  • monitor performance
  • budget and schedule carefully
  • retarget strategically
  • stay updated

Conclusion

From utilizing strategic advertising to fostering collaborations with content creators, offering discounts, and organizing engaging giveaways, businesses have an array of powerful tools at their disposal. The importance of user-generated content, shoppable features, and consistent posting cannot be overstated in online sales through social media. Moreover, the strategic use of free shipping and exclusive promotions tailored for followers adds an extra edge. In this interesting landscape, adapting and embracing trends, staying informed about platform-specific best practices, and analyzing performance metrics are vital. By blending these strategies and tailoring them to their unique brand identity and target audience, businesses can unlock the true potential of social media, boosting online sales, fostering brand loyalty, and securing a prosperous digital future.

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