7 Tips to Increase Sales by Indirectly Selling on Social Media

Published on Apr 19, 2019

Chris Burns
Business Development Director

Regardless of industry, we are all salespeople and have something to sell. Nonprofits sell to volunteers and donors. Restaurants sell to patrons. Manufacturers sell to other business and like most organizations, we all need to sell prospective employees on why they should work for us.

If you’re a long time supporter of a brand, there is a strong likelihood they possess some of the following traits.  

  • A solid reputation
  • Above average to great customer service
  • High follow-through rate (do what they say)
  • High-quality products or services
  • Easy to work with (quick communication, easy returns/exchanges, fast shipping)
  • Reliable – Services performed/completed on time, pricing as quoted
  • Reputation – The majority of reviews are 4 stars or better

Companies that possess these traits almost always have a great reputation. The residual is that people want to do business with you. Coincidentally, these are the types of messages that perform well on social media and is what I consider indirectly sales content.

Instead of being transactional, here are some tactics to help improve your messaging on social media.  

 

  • Cut back on the coupons, discounts, and promotions

 

Most companies think when they need to drive sales, they run a 30% promotion or a free consultation. Most people see past the free consultation and know it’s more of a sales pitch, followed up with a slew of annoying phone calls and emails. Businesses tend to forget that a pattern of these tactics can cheapen or tarnish your brand. And, a pattern of such tactics will leave consumers or businesses expecting a promotion or not wanting to do business with you.

 

  • Branding first, not selling

 

If your sole focus is sales, your marketing will appear narrow, uninteresting, desperate and add no value to your followers. Most consumers don’t engage with and have a tendency to tune out the brands that publish promotional focused content. Meanwhile, if you’re focused on branding, your content will revolve around things like people, quality of product/service, your unique process, company culture, history, values, etc.

 

  • Leverage creative content

 

Generic, stock photos and memes just aren’t going to cut it these days. These visuals do nothing to help you build a relationship with prospective clients or elevate your brand. Take a minute to think about the type of content that grabs your attention and gets you to stop and consume a post or ad. Chances are, it’s visual, colorful, is accompanied with creative copy, and might come in the form of a video. You don’t need to be a photographer or graphic designer to generate creative content. All you need to do is document all the cool things your company does.

 

  • Focus on adding value to your followers’ news feed

 

The bulk of your content and messaging should revolve around adding value to the newsfeeds of current and prospective followers. People often use Google to learn the definition of a word, some use Pinterest to discover new recipes, and many use YouTube for entertainment or because they want to tackle a DIY project at home. You can do the same for your followers by sharing news, educating, answering questions, being positive, inspiring, or entertaining. If you’re not adding value, you leave no reason for people to follow you.

 

  • Spend (more) money on ads

 

According to HubSpot, organic reach on Facebook is somewhere around 15 percent or less. Meaning, if you have 1,000 followers, it’s likely that only 150 of your followers might see your post and if 10% of those folks engage with that post, you might have 15 likes. Unfortunately, we have seen this number decline year to year. Because Facebook is becoming more of a pay to play game, having an ads budget it’s essential to your social media growth and success.  

Social media is one of the only forms of advertising where you can set the budget, timeline, while also choosing things like gender, age, location, personal interests, place of employment, etc. This makes platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram some of the most effective means of advertising in the world. And by the way, it’s also very inexpensive.  

If you’re looking to push promotions, sales, coupons, downloads, etc, this is the place to do it. However, boosting a couple of posts without a strategy is not likely to provide much return on investment. Success with ads comes from testing, strategy, and creative content.

 

  • What do your customers have to say

 

Almost nothing is more powerful and persuasive than a video testimonial from a happy client. So if you have reviews, leverage them. Facebook, Google, and TripAdvisor reviews not only boost brand equity, but they can also provide a strong boost for your SEO (search engine optimization). While written reviews are extremely helpful, video testimonials are even more powerful. Getting started with reviews can be a bit challenging and it may require you to incentivize consumers. However, the residual effect is well worth it.

 

  • B2Bs should go all in on LinkedIn

 

First off, it’s the only business-centric social media platform, and currently, organic reach on LinkedIn is much greater than it is on Facebook. For example, if you like or comment on a post today, everyone you are connected with on the platform will see that. Think of it this way, if you post something about how your business won an award, and 15 of your colleagues share that post to their personal page, you just magnified the reach of said post by 15.

If you’re anything like me, I send and receive around one hundred emails a day. If your email signature includes a link to your company LinkedIn page, think about the number of clicks these pages would receive if just 20% of those people clicked to connect with you or your business.   

When it comes to social media tactics, we’re just scraping the surface. If these tactics are all new to you and your social media strategy, it may take a few months before your followers notice. Just know that it requires a strategy, an investment of time and patience to start seeing results.