Is there anything more frustrating that posting a promotion on social media, only to have it disappear into the internet ether, no likes, no shares, just nothing. As if the post never happened.
I call them dead posts.
It’s happened to most business owners at one point or another, leaving you to wonder what went wrong — and, more importantly, what do you need to do to get it right?
Unfortunately, there is no one-size fits all recipe that ensures that every post you make on social media will boost your sales (we wish!).
There are, however, a lot of little things you can do to help boost your social media sales and avoid the dread dead post.
Here, based on trial, error, and research, are 13 of the best tips to increase your sales with social media:
#1 Be As Interactive on Social Media as Possible
You’ve heard this one before. Social media is social, and you can’t do well without engagement. Some take that to mean responding to comments made to you, and that’s very important — but it’s only part of being interactive.
Sometimes, you have to be the initiator. That doesn’t mean sending them promotions directly on social media (please don’t do that!), it means actively participating.
For example, as you scroll through your Twitter feed, you should be on the lookout for two things: Tweets that you can retweet, and tweets that you can comment on.
Seeing as this is part of your marketing strategy, comments should always be positive, friendly, and brand-relevant.
Don’t get into political and ethical debates (save that for your personal accounts) or get too personal. But also don’t be too generic.
If you’re commenting on a peer’s link, don’t just say “great article” — add your own two cents, whether it’s a related tip or an anecdote.
#2 Be Eye Catching
You know you have to put up visually appealing content on Instagram and Pinterest, but don’t overlook the importance of visuals on Twitter and Facebook, too.
Plain text posts can get lost on active dashboards, costing you valuable clicks.
Set a goal where almost every original social media post you make includes an image with your logo on it somewhere.
Don’t refrain from posting at all if you don’t have an image ready, just start building up to posting image-based tweets until it becomes natural.
Not a graphics person? No problem — use the trusty Canva online tool to add logos, text, and design elements to artful backgrounds or stock photography.
It’s seriously simple — once you get the hang of it, you’ll be creating social media graphics that look great in just a couple of minutes.
#3 Exude Professionalism
In the age of renegade internet millionaires, the definition of professionalism can be somewhat subjective when it comes to things like appropriate office wear.
There are some things, however, that will always be important if you want to be professional:
- Clean, grammatically appropriate text free of spelling errors. A typo here and there won’t destroy you, especially on social media, but it’s more embarrassing for a business than for a personal account.
- Clear, professional photos. If your business social media and/or bio pages feature a photo of you — and in many cases they should, as it humanizes your brand — invest in some pro headshots. Even if you look amazing in that snapshot from last summer, even cropped down it won’t look as good as a pro portrait.
- A completed About/bio page that includes contact information, a well-written description of your business, and, if relevant, a map to your location.
#4 Improve Your Bio
As mentioned above, your social media bio should be impeccable. The most important thing in your bio is your business description.
Don’t be dry and generic (I.e: “A candle shop in New Jersey.”) Instead, use your brand to present your business in your distinct voice (i.e: “Put a little light in your life with the handmade creations of Cherry Hill Candles.”) A good real example is Capital One:
Drop a pin in your location, add your website URL, and you’re done.
We’re going to assume you’ve already created your brand — the logo, the colors, the general attitude — now use it.
Everything you post should be consistent with your brand. All images should fit with your color scheme and include your logo and/or URL. (Again, Canva makes this easy to do).
Obviously, when you’re interacting with people, you don’t want to include your logo in your comments, but branding is still at play.
Your brand should have a voice, and that’s the voice you should use when engaging on social media, while still being relatively casual and relatable. You’ll get the hang of it.
#6 Be Different
Virtually every business is one of many in its niche, which is why it can feel impossible to stand out from the crowd on social media. But stand out you must, so focus on what makes you different.
One way to be different is to look at what your competitors are posting on social media and looking for the gaps — the things they aren’t covering and the potential questions they aren’t answering.
By filling the gaps and posting about things others aren’t you’ll stand out.
#7 Offer Value
For many businesses, when they think of offering value on social media they immediately think coupon codes and special promotions.
And these things do work and have value — they’re often the only reason people follow commercial social media accounts.
But perks are just part of the value you should be offering your followers. You should also be offering them your expertise, in the form of content linked from your blog, quick tips and insights, and quick responses to people’s questions.
#8 Always Use Hashtags
On Twitter, especially, hashtags are a quick way to make your posts public. People are constantly searching on Twitter, and while not using hashtags doesn’t make your posts unsearchable, hashtags can make your tweets more targeted.
Learn the commonly-used hashtags in your industry and use them. Scan the trending tags for an opening where you can organically use a popular tag (#TuesdayMotivation, below, is a good one.
#9 Be Relatable
You want to present yourself as an expert on social media, of course, but that doesn’t mean you should come off as superior to everyone else.
A good way to be relatable is to use humor now and then. Reblogging relevant funnies is good. Even better, use your past foibles as humorous anti-advice: (e.g: a screenshot of your embarrassing first website).
#10 Use the Right Tools
If you try and post everything in real time, you’ll never have time to take care of the rest of your business.
A good social media management system like Hootsuite allows you to queue your posts so that they’ll go public at designated times throughout the day (while you’re busy with other things).
#11 Post at Strategic Times
Pay attention to your social media analytics to help tailor your posts to the people who are the most plugged in to you.
In a global marketplace, your morning coffee post is someone else’s late-night review. Because of that, while you may think you know the best times to post, analytics might tell a different story.
Even if your entire market is local, it’s still a good time to see what times your followers are most engaged, and schedule postings around that.
#12 Be on Call
You don’t have to drop everything and run to social media every time someone posts and interaction, but you’ll be much more likely to respond to them in a timely manner if you’re alerted. All of the social media apps have alert options that you can customize.
Not only is it good business to respond to followers quickly, keeping on top of your interactions in more or less real time also prevents important messages from getting lost in the shuffle. It’s not unheard of for potential clients to inquire on social media first while they shop around.
#13 Use Social Media Advertising
Paid social media advertising is effective. In fact, with Facebook’s policies that require followers to opt in to have business pages appear in their feed, it’s virtually mandatory for boosting sales.
Business owners on a budget sometimes resist using paid ads — after all, social media is supposed to be free advertising, right? In reality, that is less and less so.
The good news is, programs like Facebook Ads are economical and allow you lots of customization with low minimums. You can test drive an ad for as little as a day, but to see the real potential of social media advertising, you should start with at least a one week run.
Social media marketing is tough. It takes time and commitment to make it work to boost sales consistently. It might take some time for your perfect recipe to come together, but the payoff will be worth it.
What about you? Do you utilize social media to your businesses fullest potential? Share your feedback in the comments!
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