Selling through social media has become increasingly popular. Growing your following is a natural goal on social media, but the ability to smoothly position purchasing opportunities at the tip of your follower’s fingers on these platforms is valuable. Making active, swift sales whilst the drive to buy is strong can make all of the difference, but how do you use social media ads to your advantage to drive consistent sales? Here we will outline best practices for this.
Identifying your target audience is crucial to your social media ad strategy. Advertising to the wrong audience is detrimental to any marketing campaign; be sure to apply your efforts to the correct clientele. Define clear attributes or criteria that may make these likely customers. Consider age range, gender, relationship status, hobbies, occupations, and whether you would be targeting high-end customers or if your products are of the more affordable range. There are many factors to take into account, but understanding your potential customer base can be beneficial to making active sales.
Each social media platform has its pros and cons, but choosing the most appropriate for your needs is vital. Understanding your customer base may influence this decision, as you may have more followers pre-established on one social media platform compared to others. How the interfaces are presented may also influence your decision; Twitter is more fast-paced and short caption inclined, whereas Pinterest is largely visual. Facebook and Instagram is a combination of visual and textual. Choose your platform (or platforms) wisely, and take the time to research how your choice of platform will influence the audiences and the content you will therefore be best to display as well.
Quality is key
High-quality images and video content is important for clean, aesthetically pleasing advertisement. Quality visuals establish trust in your products, as they appear more professional and appealing. When delivering video content, be conscious of time; short and snappy will likely be more effective for an advertisement, but that does not mean you cannot use it as a tool to offer your followers more information elsewhere (such as on your website, through a blog or even simply in the product page description). This leads us to the next key advice:
Make information accessible
Optimise your website so that all vital pages, such as the landing page, product pages and key blogs and information pages are the best that they can be. This should be essential regardless of your social media ads, but having key locations to lead customers to will be a huge factor in whether customers may choose to go through with committing to purchasing a product (or multiple products). Tailoring your landing page to the advertisement you are pushing on social media is beneficial as it pushes all of the crucial information about the products you are trying to sell in front of the user in the easiest, clearest and most engaging manner. Further to this, make your website accessible from another perspective; be sure to include Alt-text for images and content where possible such that if a user cannot view your content, they still have an understanding of what the image presented.
Building a sense of anticipation for a new product, discounted sale or returning popular product range can make all the difference in peaking customer interest. Prompts to instil a sense of excitement are ideal to encourage purchases. Having advanced warning for these opportunities gives users a chance to set aside funds ready for the time to purchase and allows your potential customers the opportunity to plan and consider their purchase positively. For example, if a sale is approaching at a similar time to a big holiday, such as Christmas, having time to plan for the discounted-purchasing period advertised for your products may supply your buyers with time to plan for multiple product purchases rather than singular purchases. Be careful not to advertise too early, as there is a fine line between advanced warning and alerting customers so far in advance of the product release date that they forget about it before they reach this date, or they lose interest by the time the date finally comes.
Countdowns are especially interesting content opportunities to consider. Building up fanfare for a certain time and day when products or sales go live inspires a sense of excitement and solidifies potential customers’ commitment to purchase. Suspense is an excellent sales tool not to be disregarded on social media. Create demand through regular, exciting, visually-appealing reminders.
CTA’s (Calls To Action) are excellent drivers to prompting sales. If a product is available on a constant basis, there may be less urgent requirements for users to purchase immediately. Whereas if your products are only available for a limited time, or are in limited stock (or even simply are at a discounted rate for a limited amount of time), the sense of urgency created by this time limit can drive sales.
Experimenting with what does and does not work is key, and following the line of data provided can give you insights that can aid you in making better decisions for your next advert. Use the metrics provided by whatever platform you choose to run your social media ads on, and pay close attention to click levels, views, demographics of users and the many other factors available to you. Drive results through careful observation and adjustment.
Bombarding users constantly with the same ads can have a negative impact on your communication and interactions with users. Seeing the same images, the same advertisements and reading the same phrases may bore users or overwhelm them enough to prompt discontinuation of following your social media profiles in general. Follow the metrics and observe whether your engagement levels are sustaining or degrading, then act accordingly. Adjusting your content through new or varied imagery and ad copy may make all of the difference to refreshing your engagement levels with customers, even if the product that you are advertising is the same.
Apply to local
Although social media is a global platform, targeting local customers can help apply to a niche community, appealing to the “go-local”, “buy-local” mentality often encouraged within physical communities. Focused keywords and location references can pull attention in from local customers, offering a potential rise in local sales for your business. This strategy can also apply to other niche communities online. While a general approach is beneficial, social media ads benefit from variety, as we mentioned in our previous point. Engaging sub-communities may bring richer results if executed strategically and consciously.
Unfortunately, there are no “one size fits all” to social media adverts, but by focusing on these key practices, your business has the opportunity to thrive and significantly increase its sales and its customer network. FreshOnline offers a wide range of social media marketing services which we would be happy to discuss with you in more detail.
Get in touch for more information and a discussion about your goals, needs and how we can help your company be the best that it can be.