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How to Increase Online Sales Using Social Media

Want to use social media to increase online sales? Take a look at our complete guide with strategies, quick tips and examples!

Posted 1 year ago
increase online sales

Written by

Julia Cohen
Posted 1 year ago
Over time, social media has slowly evolved from a space of entertainment to a full blown marketplace, with most platforms adapting and adding features that facilitate transactions. And, it fast became one of the most lucrative opportunities for brands in order to generate concrete sales alongside traditional marketing and advertising activities. Most companies set KPIs based off of sales, with the ultimate goal to increase online sales using social media. Today, we’ll walk you through the best strategies to achieve this, alongside quick actionable tips you can implement ASAP!
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  1. Map out your customers 👩

Map out your customers 👩

If you want to drive traffic and sales on social media, the first thing you’ll need to do is understand where your audience is actually shopping. And, this doesn’t just go for the audience you have, but also the audience you want.
Let’s say most of your audience are Millenials, and their key platform for discovering products is Instagram. But, you want to recruit Gen Z customers too. It’s important you look to both Instagram and TikTok for your sales-driving strategies.
But, how do you understand where your audience is? First, map out who your customer might be. What is their age demographic, and do they have specific interests and hobbies? Once you’ve done this, take a look at your existing social media profiles, and view your demographic insights. See if it lines up with what you’ve projected or guessed for a quick snapshot of who your followers are on each platform.
Next, look at your niche, and what your competitors are doing. What platforms are they leveraging when it comes to driving conversions? This information should all be enough to allow you to make an educated guess on which platforms will be most valuable for you.
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Increase online sales via social media by making it easy for your consumers to buy on the spot 💸

Most platforms offer the ability to create a shop directly in the app. It’s essential that you use this option, as it creates yet another channel for your consumers to explore and convert.
Once you’ve set up your shop, you can add a catalog of items, or services that your consumers can add to their carts. You can also group your products/services by category, and tag them within your posts when you are creating organic or paid content.
increase online sales social media
It also means, that if you host a live shopping experience, like on TikTok, your users will be able to directly checkout as they watch and learn.
💡 REMEMBER: If your product is being featured in a post, make sure to always tag it! That way, if anyone is interested, they have a direct line to explore the product further.

Create a marketing strategy with the goal of driving conversions 🎯

You know who you are trying to reach, and the ways you can facilitate their path to purchase – so next is implementing a marketing strategy that compels them to convert. One of your brand or individual KPIs should relate to conversions if your goal is to increase your online sales through social media.
In order to make sales, you’ll need eyes on your content, and that means increasing your reach, in order to find people who are searching for a product or service like yours. There are a number of ways you can increase discovery and reach.

1. Use the right hashtags.

Implementing a solid hashtag strategy is one of the best always-on methods you can use to increase reach and discovery. As hashtags are Instagram’s way of ‘searching’ and labeling content, if someone is directly searching for your product or service, and you’ve correctly labelled it, they will be able to find it.
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Hashtag Tracking

Finally uncover which of your hashtags are performing best.

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So, it’s important that you use hashtags that fit within your niche, that your consumers might be searching for – or even some of the interests they might have. You should also make sure to use hashtags that are low, medium and high competition, in relation to your account which will increase your chances of ranking and appearing in searches.
increase online sales social media
Lower competition hashtags might be more specific like ‘#productsforcurlyhair’ whereas high competition hashtags might be things that are more generic, such as ‘#curlyhair’. Using Flick, you’ll be able to link your Instagram account and see the specific hashtags that are high or low competition for you, depending on your engagement. You can then save your faves, add them directly to our scheduler, and send your content out there. Later, in the analytics suite, you can check your results and see exactly which hashtags are providing reach.
More on how to develop a hashtag strategy, here.
If you’ve been on Instagram in the past year, you’ll know that Reels have completely taken over in terms of what is performing the best, and reaching the largest audience. So, Reels should always be a large part of your strategy, to increase your discoverability. The type of Reels that perform the best are not ‘ad-like’, and instead are more organic. This could be showing your product in a specific setting, doing an unboxing, creating a day in the life where your product or service is implemented, or a walkthrough of what it’s like.
Using voiceovers, trending audio, transitions, and everything else that is native to successful Instagram Reels is essential if you want it to work for your business or brand. You can get experimental and try different things to find out what works for you, but remember – your Reels don’t have to be (and shouldn’t) be highly produced – they should be relatable, entertaining and shareable. Here’s an article on how to ace your Reels!
Similarly, you should be paying attention to the social landscape and jumping on trends. Look at what sounds or types of videos are trending, what topics you are seeing the most across Instagram and TikTok, and see if there is a way you can utilize this and relate it to your own brand or product. This type of video content has the most potential for virality as you know people are already engaging and interacting with it.
Some examples might be the release of a famous singer’s album:
Or a trending filter and sound:
@ryanair Bestie how else will I make bank i’m sorry🤧 #ryanair #airline #traveleurope #cabincrew ♬ umm.. yeah – andrew
Or something a little more personal…
 
💡 TIP: Want to find out which audio is trending? When you’re scrolling through Reels, look at the audio track – if it has an arrow next to it, it means it’s trending!

4. Make use of Live shopping

Live shopping has proven to be one of the best ways to increase online sales using social media. You can do this in a few different ways.
The first is using an in-built platform. Currently, TikTok is the best platform that offers this, as the TikTok shop functionality allows shoppers to directly buy products as they watch, without having to click out to a website. By far, this is the most intuitive live shopping functionality on social media, so if your consumers are on this platform, it’s a great choice.
The second is by hosting a Livestream and encouraging users to make purchases via the website. As you cannot currently directly buy products on live streams on platforms like Instagram you’d need to include a CTA to allow users to click out to your website. A great way to incentivize them to do this (and make sure you track those sales) is by offering a discount code, for a limited time, that is only available to live viewers. Pin this at the top of your live as a caption/comment, so users have easy access.
Our tips on how to engage customers in Live shopping experiences:
  1. Theme your live experiences around a certain moment or product. This could be anything from ‘Christmas picks’ to ‘Finding your perfect foundation match’. This gives your Livestream a purpose and specific products/moments to speak to, without getting distracted.
  2. Integrate Q&As. Your customer is much more likely to buy if you answer their specific questions about the product or service, and give them a tailored experience. You can collect questions before the live on a Story frame, to encourage viewers to tune in or enable a Q&A feature during the live. Always leave time to address these questions, with visual demonstrations where possible.
  3. Constantly mention your offer incentive or CTA. Some people tune in halfway through!
  4. Have someone from your brand or business moderate the comment section. This way they will be able to actively respond to any questions that might pop up, as well as FAQs, as viewers tend to ask similar questions as they tune in.
  5. Pin product recommendations as you mention them. If you are using a platform that has shoppable live streams, you can pin products, giving people easy access.
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Leverage key voices within your market to drive online sales with social media 🗣

Social proofing is key, especially on social media. When a brand or business talks about how great they are, it isn’t necessarily as authentic as a third party singing your product’s praises.
Research the influencers that your competitors use, and find out who would be the best match for your brand. You can allocate a budget for paid content, or gift out products, depending on the allocated spend you have. It’s also a good idea to work with the same influencers consistently so that they develop a real brand passion and love.

 

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A post shared by DANIELLE MARCAN (@daniellemarcan)

Another voice you can use is your customers and fans. Notice who engages with your content the most, tags you in posts and shares support and shouts them out. You can share user-generated content, and encourage people to share posts in a hashtag. When people see you are resharing content, they will also be motivated to feature your product or service in their content with the hopes of being tagged.
💡 TIP: Provide incentives to encourage more UGC. You can host a giveaway or competition, with the mechanism requiring entrants to create a post and tag you.
Finally, you can use affiliates. This is a great way of generating sales as affiliates have the incentive to make sales for you. You can provide key affiliates with a link, where they can drive people toward your site. Once a customer makes a purchase, signs up or books, a portion of the sale will go to the affiliate. If you don’t have the budget for influencers, this is also a great alternative, as there is still a monetary incentive involved.

 

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A post shared by Jade (@jades.manis.xo)

Invest in paid social 💰

One marketing tactic that can increase online sales via social media is paid social. Promoting content or creating bespoke ad posts that target a specific audience is a fast and guaranteed way to reach customers.
You can map out your customer targets based on the consumer profiles that you have mapped out, leading to higher conversions and an increased likelihood of online sales.
If you want to learn a little more about how to develop a paid social strategy, just click here.

A few easy tips to drive sales quickly 🏃‍♂️

  • Create social-specific sales and codes for your audience to use. That way you can track the sales and provide incentives.
  • Use CTAs wherever you can, make sure to include them in your captions, bio, links, and Stories.
  • Analyze your performance and use this to inform your future strategy. See which strategies are generating the most conversions, and alter them accordingly. If something isn’t working, change your tactic. We recommend using our analytics software for engagement metrics and Google Analytics for tracking sales.
  • Don’t just stick to one platform. Leverage Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and even LinkedIn, depending on where your current (and future) customers are.
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Content

Map out your customers 👩

Increase online sales via social media by making it easy for your consumers to buy on the spot 💸

Create a marketing strategy with the goal of driving conversions 🎯

Leverage key voices within your market to drive online sales with social media 🗣

Invest in paid social 💰


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