4 Surefire Ways to Generate Sales with Social Media

January 27, 2020

Tony Zipparro

Promoting your business on social media can be a massive headache. There are countless things you can share. 

Do I let people know about my new promotion?

Should I share this picture from behind-the-scenes? 

What about this inspiring quote I just read? 

I totally get this frustration. 

Every social media platform is on 24/7/365, and there’s a constant demand to share something or respond to likes or comments. 

Over the years, I’ve seen businesses poorly respond to this pressure from social media in one of two ways:

  1. Post random stuff
  2. Post nothing at all

Neither one of these responses is ideal.

The first response will confuse your customers, and your social media followers will have no idea what you’re all about. 

As for the second response, if you haven’t shared anything in months or years, people may think you’re out of business. 

Before you grab a brown paper bag to relieve your anxiety or press the panic button, hang tight. In this post, I’m going to share with you four surefire ways you can generate sales with social media. 

#1. Know your audience

Who’s your ideal customer? 

Is it a professional woman between the age of 45–54? 

Then Snapchat, which is dominated by people between the ages of 18 and 34, isn’t the best social media platform for your business. 

Are you trying to sell your high-end software to a healthcare professional, who’s a male, and between the age of 29–35? 

Forget about Pinterest. 

The median age on their platform is 40, and it’s definitely not the place to sell medical software. 

Here’s the deal: 

Figure out who you’re trying to reach, get an idea of what social media platform they use, and spend time on the same social media network. 

This is the first step you must take if you want to boost your sales on social media. It’s the foundation for everything else I’ll share below. Missing this step will cause your social media efforts to stumble and fall flat on their face. 

Think about it. 

Promoting your business to people who will not be interested in buying what you have to offer is a waste of time. This is like selling a ketchup popsicle to a woman wearing white gloves. It’s not going to work. 

For a quick glance at who’s using what social media platform, check out this snapshot from the Pew Research Center:

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Depending on your time and budget for social media, this may be all you need to get started. 

Regardless, take the time to review this chart to ensure you’re spending time on the right social media platform for your business. 

#2. Be social

Social media is about one big idea: 

Being social. 

Over the years, social media has been promoted as an untapped goldmine for business owners, which has led many of them (maybe you?) to run headfirst into the unknown. After spending countless hours and thousands of dollars, they have nothing to show for it. 

What’s the point? 

Advertising on social media isn’t easy. 

From 74 percent of “digital natives” (Millennials and Gen Z) who don’t like being targeted by brands in their social media feed to brands experiencing significant drops in engagement, social media users are putting on blinders to advertisements. 

Before you rush into social media advertising, commit to being social. 

Here’s some practical advice:

  • Follow potential customers
  • Listen to what they’re saying
  • Respond to their comments
  • Like their updates
  • Comment on their posts
  • Share their updates

Regarding the last point, sharing updates from someone not affiliated with your business provides a huge benefit. According to one study, 70 percent of respondents in the United States said they would be more likely to purchase a product after seeing “a positive or relatable consumer-generated image of it online.” 

Is someone on social media sharing positive reviews?

Repost what they said on your accounts. 

This one tactic will help you in the short-term, and it will also serve as a long-term piece of social proof. 

#3. Partner with influencers

You know who influences your customers’ opinion? 

Someone else’s opinion. 

Not just anyone, but an influencer. 

An influencer isn’t a superhero, a family member, friend, or even necessarily a celebrity. 

When it comes to influencer marketing, an influencer is someone who merely influences the buying decision of someone else. Since we’re talking about social media, I have in mind social media influencers. 

For your business, a social media influencer is someone who can influence people on social media to purchase your product or service. 

They can have a small following or a herd of devoted fans. 

They can live in the same town or a different country. 

Regardless of who they are, these influencers can create awareness for your business, boost engagement, and generate sales.

Check out these stats to see what I mean:

To partner with a social media influencer, you don’t have to break the bank. 

If you work with an influencer who has a small following, you might spend a few hundred dollars per post on social media. However, if you work with an influencer who has a large audience, then expect to spend several thousand dollars or more for their help. 

Before you reach out to an influencer, be sure to have a budget in mind. They usually work on a per post, image, or video basis. But you may also be able to work out other payment options, such as an affiliate (commission) opportunity.  

Regardless of the type of influencer you work with, make sure he or she has a following similar to your target market. You’d hate to make a big noise on social media and have your target market completely miss the sound. 

#4. Social media advertising

Social media advertising isn’t going away anytime soon. 

Sure, as I mentioned above, people are turning a blind eye to social media advertising. But these same people are also engaging with social media ads. 

So what gives? 

Simple. 

If you’re just throwing up ads promoting your business, then you’re going about it all wrong. 

Remember, social media is about being social. So, to succeed with social media advertising, you have to begin with this in mind. 

Practically speaking, to improve your results, you have to lead people to like you and engage with your business before you ask for their money. 

One of the best ways to generate sales with social media advertising is to follow a simple system: 

  • Connect
  • Engage
  • Promote

To connect with your target audience, you want to introduce your business to them. To do this, you can promote blog posts, videos, or other free, valuable, or entertaining content through social media advertising. 

The goal at this step isn’t to ask for someone’s email address or to make a purchase. Your primary goal is to create awareness, and lead people to your website so that you can gather information (pixel, cookies) for the next step. 

After you’ve connected with your target market on social media, you’re now ready to engage them. At this point, people are familiar with your business. They’re aware of who you are and what you offer. Now it’s time to lead them to take one step closer to doing business with you. 

To do this, you can promote a lead magnet (e-book, white paper), a demo of your service or product, or a free trial. What you offer at this step depends on your business. 

Here are some recent examples:

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As a reminder, at this step, you’re not making a hard sell. You’re just helping people to get more comfortable with your business, which leads me to the final sell. 

Finally, to generate sales with social media advertising, you’re ready to promote your product or services. By this time, you’ve created awareness and engaged with your target market. Now you’re in a position to sell. 

In this final batch of social media ads, consider offering a discount on whatever you’re offering. By leading someone to do business with you one time, even at a discount, you’ll place yourself in a position to create a repeat customer.

Ready to generate more sales with social media? 

Social media isn’t going away. 

It’s the new water cooler in your community. 

Social media is where most of the people you want to do business with spend their time connecting with friends, sharing their life, and seeing what’s going on in the world. 

To maximize your time and money on social media, follow these four tips. They’ll place you and your business in the best spot to create awareness and generate more sales. 

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