Can Social Media Really Help You Sell?

Written by Brick Marketing

It’s important to remember that, for the most part, people don’t turn to social media channels with the end-goal of pulling out their credit card. They go to Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest to share photos and updates, check-in with friends, post events, read news, and more. Social media is all about connecting to your online world, not buying a product. They might reach out to their social connections to ask for opinions about restaurants, movies, mechanics, and so forth, and they can certainly click on ads that capture their attention in the moment, but chances are they aren’t opening up Facebook with the intent to buy.

Does this mean that social media can’t be used as a selling tool? Of course not! But you have to remember that selling products is the side effect of social media marketing. Social media marketing is really about engagement and brand building, creating as many touch points as possible with your target audience because the more times you can get your brand and products in front of your audience the better chance you have of hitting them at the right moment and enticing them with the right offer.

Take a look at this graph below, showing the actual dollar value of a B2C’s efforts on Pinterest.

Can Social Media Really Help You Sell?

Pinterest is a visual social media channel, and what they offer (food and gifts) is a very visual product, making Pinterest a great fit for them. This client has created 32 boards, with 783 Pins and (at this point) has 357 followers. Their Pins have been re-pinned hundreds upon hundreds of time and over the last 6 months their activity on Pinterest has generated $1,170. Is that number going to break the bank? No. This company does millions of dollars in sales each year, so $1,170 is nothing to get too excited about. But if you compare that number to the 6 months before they only sold $125.97 worth of product via Pinterest.

What caused the 828% increase in revenue? The simple fact is that they got more involved in Pinterest and their social media marketing campaign overall. They went from 1 or 2 Facebook updates a week to 1 a day. And while that may be small change compared to how heavily the big brands use social media it’s a big step for them. The same thing is happening with Twitter and Instragram. They are creating more and more touch points and reaching more and more people. Our goal is to eventually get them up to 7-10 unique social media updates each day, with different kinds of posts at different times to connect with as many people as possible.

Why do brands need to create so many touch points? First and foremost, the new Facebook algorithm limits how many of your fans see your updates. Even if they have liked your page they might only see 15% of your updates. So if you are only posting once a day you might not even reach your core fans! Secondly, since social media is NOT primarily a selling tool, you have to give people plenty of reasons to come back time and time again. If all you do is post products and sales offers you’re going to lose your fans and followers after a time. Remember that social media marketing is a permission-based form of marketing. I can choose to follow or Like you, giving you my permission to publish updates that I will (or will not based on the algorithm) see. But I can just as easily choose to unlike and unfollow you, cutting the lines of communication. You need to give me a wide variety of posts/updates, including sales and product promotions that keep pulling me in. That way, the next time I am thinking about buying I have your brand firmly rooted in my mind.

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