One of the most common questions that business owners have when it comes to social media, is,
“How do I make money from it?”
You can increase your sales and grow your business using social media, but it won’t happen overnight. Building a loyal customer base takes time, and you will need to use social media to grow and nurture your community of current and potential customers.
As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, you need to start by knowing what it is you want to achieve from using social media. If sales are your primary focus, you need to remember to keep your online communication broad and forget the hard sell.
Increasing sales from your social media efforts should be approached in a similar way to how you would attempt to increase sales offline; with superior customer service, occasional discounts and special offers, product demonstration and information and brand development. Think about what sells in-store and apply it to your online activities – happy and rewarded customers are more likely to be loyal and repeat customers.
When creating social media networks, keep in mind what elements of your business you want to build, what weaknesses you can strengthen and what strengths you can promote.
Below are five types of social media strategy you should be using. It’s up to you to decided whether you focus on one strategy, combine a few or go for the whole hog!
- Brand maintenance – monitor mentions of your brand, respond to comments, queries and complaints. Post updates.
- Community building – build relationships with internal advocates, and external brand ambassadors or groups of similar interest. Join groups to share your business and exchange advice. Nurture your community, be engaging and social.
- Influencer outreach – identify and engage influential people around your passion points or industry. Consider collaborating with like-minded people.
- Reputation management and development – repair a damaged reputation, develop thought leadership. Add recommendations and positive testimonials.
- The big splash – big creative campaigns, which garner a lot of short-term attention, such as competitions, discounts and offers. These campaigns don’t have to cost much, and are great for brand exposure and tapping in to the best part of social media: virality.
Think about your calendar of events, upcoming products, etc. as to how you can combine these strategies to promote your business.
Remember; don’t get discouraged when results aren’t happening quickly. Most people dedicate about 20% of their Facebook use to interacting with brands to learn about products, offers and discounts. Be social, be engaging and find creative ways to keep your fans interested (not just on Facebook).