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8 Most Effective Ways to Drive Sales with Social Media

Social selling is a powerful way to boost conversions no matter the industry you’re in or the type of business you lead. In fact, according to the latest 2022 social media trends, social commerce is currently booming on all social platforms, allowing businesses of all sizes to improve customer acquisition, but also retention.

But driving sales through social media is not just about direct social commerce. It’s also about building a powerful social media strategy to generate leads, boost website traffic, and achieve many micro-goals that will lead to conversion. You can also integrate social media with email marketing and other marketing tactics to improve your sales potential across all customer touchpoints.

Along the way, you’ll need tools to help you stay efficient. These include things like team collaboration tools, content calendars, posting schedules, rapid design platforms, and the latest AI writer and copywriting assistant tools. Collectively, they will save you production hours so that you can have more time to focus on driving sales. 

Now, let’s put all of this into perspective and take a closer look at the most effective ways you can drive sales with social media in 2022.

Understand your social media audience

In order to transform your social media accounts into powerful selling and lead gen tools, you need to conduct meticulous audience research. You also need to keep a close eye on your competition, which we’ll get to in a minute.

To understand your social media audience means to understand the online habits of your target demographic, and to identify their values, goals, and motivations. You need to know who your followers are, what moves them, and what they’re trying to achieve professionally and personally by following you on social media.

Needless to say, having this information will prove crucial for your lead nurturing efforts when you’re guiding social leads through the sales funnel. People want to extract value from their favorite brands, so they follow them for educational and transactional purposes.

With that in mind, make sure to:

  • Build detailed buyer personas
  • Ascertain your social media size
  • Segment followers into different tiers based on their engagement levels
  • Research how followers interact with brands in your niche
  • Find out when and where your followers are most active on social

While you're researching your audience, make sure to check out your competition as well. Aim to identify their best practices and what works for your top competitors, and then emulate their approach with your unique twist, brand tone of voice, and social content.

If your competition is having more luck with their social media campaigns going viral than you are, analyze how well their campaign ties to their target market and see what lessons you can take from that. Viral success is usually not just luck, but a combination of understanding customer personas, creative content with a hook or twist, skilled outreach, and good timing.  

customer research

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Identify your social media touchpoints

How, when, and where do people interact with brands on social media, and more importantly, with your brand? It’s important to know the answer to this question if you are to build effective social media sales tactics and capitalize on every opportunity to create a lead or convert on the spot.

This will allow you to build an effective Instagram sales funnel, for example, by identifying all the stages your leads need to go through until they convert to paying customers. To guide your customers through the different stages, you need to optimize every touchpoint.

First, get to know your touchpoints:

  • Comments on your posts
  • Comments on other brands’ posts
  • Comments on user-generated posts
  • Direct messages
  • Social media groups
  • Social media community pages

Analyze these touchpoints and consider the various ways you can interact with your followers. For example, commenting on relevant posts in your community is a great way to get a conversation started, but reaching out via DMs is a good way to approach followers who are ready to buy.

Use video marketing for social media success

Video has overtaken all other forms of content on social media and across the web. This should come as no surprise, of course, as video content opens many creative opportunities for brands to boost engagement, especially on social media.

Now that social media users are consuming short and long-form video content across all social platforms, brands can use video marketing to generate leads, improve traffic, and shorten their sales cycle. The state of video marketing on social media channels right now creates a positive environment for brands to improve customer retention as well.

To achieve this, you need to diversify your videos by creating:

  • Short-form videos for Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok
  • How-to videos and guides for Facebook and LinkedIn
  • Short animated and doodle videos for all social channels
  • Product guides and introductions that vary in length depending on the platform
  • Trailers and announcements to build hype 
video marketing statistics

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Contact followers directly with direct messaging

Every social media platform has a direct messaging feature that allows brands to communicate directly with their followers. This can be a powerful way to take your Instagram marketing to the next level, but also boost your efforts across all social channels. When done right, direct messaging can inspire followers to take action, but it can be a double-edged sword if you don’t have a concrete DM strategy.

Businesses can use social media to interact with followers, but you need to personalize your approach and understand where the prospect is in their buyer journey. When using WhatsApp for business and contacting prospects, for example, you need to adapt your tone of voice and messaging to the customer and their current goals.

To put that into perspective, imagine reaching out to a customer with a limited-time offer, prompting them to visit your site and buy while the product is still on sale. But the customer is at the top of your sales funnel and is just now getting to know your brand - they’re at the awareness stage.

This is a good way to lose that sales opportunity for good, because you need to optimize your messaging for the individual. On the other hand, you also risk losing a sale if you send informational content to a customer who is actively looking to buy.

Build social media quizzes to boost engagement

By far, one of the best and most cost-effective social media marketing ideas for Ecommerce and brands that want to boost website traffic and engagement is to post quizzes on their social feeds. Social media quizzes add some much-needed interactivity to your posts, sprucing up your posting strategy and diversifying your content to keep your brand relevant in a competitive industry.

It’s important to define the rules of the quiz and choose a template, and to think carefully of the type of questions you’re going to ask. Keep the questions short and use an interactive quiz maker to create impactful visuals that will prompt your followers to engage with the quiz instead of scrolling on. 

You can run your quiz directly on your social channels, of course, but you can also post a quiz link that leads to a dedicated landing page if boosting traffic is your goal. Regardless, this is a great way to gather email addresses, generate leads, and identify prospects with a high conversion potential.

Focus on local social media marketing

Whether you’re a small local business or if you have numerous locations, it’s important to focus on local social media marketing. Why? Because boosting your local brand will incentivize your people in your community to reach out.

Your followers will appreciate the fact that you are taking an interest in the local community, and will feel motivated to buy from you instead of a global corporation. This is why investing in local social media marketing is an important step towards winning over the hearts and minds of the local customer base.

It’s also important to note that local SMM allows you to better manage your marketing budget. To achieve a positive social media ROI, you can allocate for local SM accounts and scale your spending for each. This is a good way to minimize financial waste and put money towards achieving concrete goals on a local level.

Consider running social media ads

Advertising on social media is a good way to boost brand visibility and traffic. But that doesn’t mean that you should pour your marketing budget into ads only. Instead, you need to choose the platforms where ads could produce a positive ROI.

When you’re considering Facebook ads vs Instagram ads, for example, you need to consider the budget obligations of running ad campaigns vs the potential for converting followers into customers. Always keep in mind that organically growing your accounts through quality content and messaging is a more affordable way to generate leads and close deals.

social media advertising statistics

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That said, ads can help you bring up stagnating social accounts, so consider running ads occasionally to boost some of your social profiles for a short period of time.

Have clear social media OKRs in mind

Lastly, you always need to have clear marketing OKRs (objectives and key results) in mind when crafting your social media calendars, campaigns, and overarching strategies. This means having a concrete objective for every posting period and every platform, complemented by the desired results that will help achieve it.

In the long run, the OKR approach is what every social media savvy marketer should use to deliver concrete results and generate qualified leads for the sales team. The sales experts should also have clear OKRs to work towards, in order to guide leads through the social sales funnel efficiently and effectively. 

Over to you

Social media has the potential to become one of your most powerful sales channels in 2022 and beyond. Only by staying on top of the latest social media trends and by implementing social commerce and other social media tactics can you make this a powerful sales channel for your brand.

With that in mind, be sure to set clear sales objectives and OKRs for your social media strategy, and start implementing these best practices to achieve better results in the months and years to come.