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How to Drive Sales Through Your Business Social Media

Numerous acronyms, metrics and a new buzzword every five minutes, the world of social media can feel overwhelming to anyone, let alone if you’ve got a business to run at the same time.

If you can get ahead (and stay ahead) of the latest trends in social media, you will have an enviable advantage over other businesses. But what are the trends to watch in 2018?

Social media marketing is undeniably moving towards a culture of listening and engaging with consumers for improved brand experience, but it all begins with how brands get the content out there in the first place. So, how and why will marketers be talking to audiences in 2018 and how can you use them drive sales through your business social media?

Instagram live

Instagram stories

Popularised by Snapchat and made even bigger by Instagram, the disappearing content feature has performed particularly well since its launch. Over 300 million people use it daily and Instagram has reported that brands are in on the game too, with over 50% of businesses on the app publishing an Instagram Story in one month. As a channel that marketers are increasingly looking at to drive awareness, influence and ultimately sales, it seems like Stories should be a big part of your content marketing strategy in 2018.

Live streaming

Most top social media apps now have a way of live streaming and it’s on the rise. It has been shown to drive purchaser behaviour and users say it’s down to the authentic feel of live streaming over other forms of digital marketing. Video in general is the biggest thing in social media right now, with Facebook coining the term Video First to highlight the importance of the medium. And with live streaming providing endless opportunities to make fast, to-the-point content for a busy audience, it is the obvious next step for marketers.

Generation Z

Did you know that, according to common thinking, the first of Generation Z are now 22 years old and a real part of your emerging customer base? It won’t happen overnight, but marketers will have to start talking in their language and it isn’t the same as the millennials we’ve all been obsessed with for so long. All the signs point to a generation of privacy with 60% of Gen Zers concerned that social media is too public. Meanwhile, they also demand a genuineness from brands that will mean a big shift in tone of voice and content strategy for many businesses.

 

It’s a wild world and it’s notoriously fast-paced so before you consider any of these new trends in social media, it’s worth having a solid base on which to build a successful campaign.

There are a few key questions every good social media marketer asks themselves before embarking on a new strategy. 

 

1. How can it help?

Where do you want your business to be in 5 years and can social media help?  What challenges are you encountering in your business and could a social media strategy help alleviate those problem areas? Once you identify challenges (may we suggest a good old-fashioned SWOT analysis?), it usually becomes clear exactly how you can utilise social media.

2. Who are you talking to?

Who is your customer? It’s likely that your digital user will be largely representative of the people who already shop/buy with you currently, but how do they act online? Build up the bigger picture; Where do they shop? Do they have children? What do they watch on Netflix? Once you have built a fictional but representative buyer persona, you can start to see where your social media efforts will fit into their lives.

3. Who are your competitors?

You can learn more about your business and your customers by looking outwards to the companies you consider your main competitors. It is not an opportunity to copy any of their activity but a process of education. How are they using channels to grow their reach and sales?

4. How will you measure it?

If you know what you want to solve with social media, what would constitute a successful campaign for you? It’s good to have a KPI when you start your journey, so you can see a real return on investment. If you are an e-commerce site track your sales through Facebook with their new Sales Leads feature. Or for instore purchases create a channel specific discount code that customers can redeem, to track conversions.

5. Where will you find content?

Now you know what you want, how are you going to get it? This is where you need to think about content in the long- and short-term – that is, your planned content calendar and your process for ad hoc posts. What form will it take? Where will it go? Who will provide it? Under preparedness when it comes to content could spell disaster for your social media strategy.

6. How will you manage engagement?

Engagement is incredibly important when it comes to social media. Having the right person at the helm to respond to comments and questions, both positive and negative, will have an overwhelming impact on your success. Think of all possible customer queries and prepare set responses, adding to the list as new questions arise.

7. Do you have a plan for reporting?

There are many tools out there and channels often provide their own insights but before you start, it is vital to understand which metrics are important to you. It all comes back to what you want to achieve from your social media activity. If your goal is pure brand awareness then focus on reach, likes and shares. If your goal is to increase sales, then focus on conversions, cost-per-lead, and cost-per-acquisition.

8. Is there any way you can improve?

Social media can be a real process of trial and error so pay attention to the reporting and you can find infinite ways to improve your content and your sales. A particular blog perform really well? Add more like it in next month’s editorial calendar. Reach increase when content is shared in the evening? Then schedule later social posts. Listen to your audience and they will help you grow.

If you are looking to get social to boost your sales strategy this year, then talk to our Digital Marketing team to see how we can increase your conversions, leads and sales. Call 0115 981 6276 or email renee@blimeycreative.co.uk