Social shopping is the action of using social media as a part of the process of discovering, researching, and selecting products to purchase.
How to Increase Online Sales With Social Media (5 Tactics That Work Fast)
Looking for ways to increase online sales through social media? Here’s a breakdown of five easy social selling tactics that any brand can try themselves.
Despite popular belief, it’s never been easier to increase online sales via social media.
But if you’ve struggled with social selling in the past, we totally get it.
Times have changed, though. Modern consumers rely on social media channels like Instagram and TikTok to research and review products.
And if you’ve earned a follow from an engaged customer or prospect, odds are you can successfully sell to ‘em long-term.
5 Low-Hanging Social Marketing Strategies to Increase Online Sales
Fact: 89% percent of consumers will buy from brands they follow on social (and 84% will choose brands they follow over competitors they don’t).
With your social presence serving as such a big piece of the buyer’s journey, you can’t afford to sleep on social selling opportunities. Below we’ve broken down five tactics that are fair game for just about any brand.
1. Promote Social-Only Discounts and Promos
The goal here is simple enough — reward your followers with social-exclusive offers.
For example, it’s common for brands to funnel social traffic to their product pages with:
- Discounts and coupon codes (like 10% off for customers from Instagram)
- Announcements of sales that are currently happening on-site
- Contests and giveaways that require entrants to become followers
Think of social-only discounts as a friendly exchange. You get a follow, they get a deal. Everybody wins! Offers and discounts are a tried-and-tested way to engage followers and are perfect for social photos and captions alike.
If it’s in your budget, you can also create sponsored social media posts and ads featuring an exclusive offer. This attracts consumers to your social accounts and product pages at the same time.
Check out this sponsored post from Dime Beauty that promotes a generous 25% offer code to entice buyers.
Note: keep in mind that offer codes aren’t totally foolproof. You don’t want to annoy or interrupt your customers with expired codes if they do decide to buy. If possible, evergreen or first-time shopper discounts are ideal.
2. Provide Speedier Social Customer Service
It’s no secret that social media has streamlined communication between brands and consumers.
This spells great news for the average shopper but requires brands to step it up when it comes to providing solutions and service.
Doing so is crucial for building relationships and retaining customers. In fact, 57% of consumers are more likely to spend more money with a brand they feel connected with.
Translation? How you respond to social media complaints, questions and interactions can make or break your customer relationships. This includes:
- Responding in a timely manner (within a business day, if not faster). Speed matters. In fact, 47% of U.S. consumers have a more favorable view of brands that respond to customer questions on social media quickly. Time is of the essence as consumers turn to social media as a contact method because they expect a speedy response
- Replying to all forms of social communication. Whether it’s a call-out or a shout-out, make a point to reply. Ignoring messages is a bad look that drives away potential customers. Pay close attention to your @mentions, #hashtag mentions and DMs.
- Letting your brand voice shine through. Avoid templates and canned messages when possible. Personalized, friendly responses to problems and praise alike will go a long way.
Remember: fostering relationships is not only important for increasing online sales but also gaining customer trust and respect as a brand.
3. Hype Your Followers Up with Product Launches and Announcements
Social media announcements provide a unique opportunity to generate buzz for your latest and upcoming products. Announcements are a great way to keep products at the forefront of consumers’ minds before they’re even available.
For example, many brands will share photos and teasers to build momentum for a big announcement. Instagram Stories are an awesome avenue for announcements thanks to the countdown feature that hypes a product’s release down to the second.
Digital-first cosmetic brand Glossier knows exactly how to harness the power of social media buzz to increase online sales. Below is a great example of how to tease a launch and follow through beautifully:
Let’s look at another example. Glossier recently launched the return of an old fan-favorite perfume solid — You Solid. Glossier announced the launch on January 14, 2022 with a release date of January 18, 2022.
There was a flood of You Solid-related posts prior to and after the launch, including a ton of user-generated content. Glossier then created an Instagram Stories highlight reel on the product’s actual release day. This included key product information, selling points and a direct link to the product page on their store.
With plenty of exposure to the product leading up to the launch, followers had plenty of time to do their homework and make a decision to buy. This is a textbook illustration of how integrating UGC into your sales funnel helps with increasing online sales.
4. Integrate Your Online Store with Instagram
For ecommerce brands, the days of being shy about selling products via social are over.
Recent data from Instagram says that 44% of consumers shop on Instagram weekly (and 28% of those shopping activities are pre-planned). It’s clear that social shopping platforms like Instagram Shopping have simplified the buying process big-time.
How? By creating a seamless checkout experience that begins and ends on social.
Instagram Shopping allows you to turn your online inventory into a shoppable feed. This also includes the ability to tag products directly in posts. Doing so empowers consumers to instantly learn more about what you’re selling in just a tap.
For example, Rare Beauty has a killer Instagram feed that features tags on both product shots and user-generated content from current customers.
The good news is that setting up an Instagram Shop is surprisingly straightforward if you’re already integrated with an ecommerce platform like Shopify. On the flip side, you can upload a custom product catalog to Instagram if you prefer.
Either way, social shopping is a brilliant way to increase online sales with the existing products, inventory and creatives you already have on deck.
5. Encourage Customers to Promote Your Products via UGC
User-generated content, specifically photos and honest reviews from satisfied customers, are some of your most valuable marketing assets.
That’s because UGC provides much-needed social proof that signals you’re a legitimate brand. The influence of UGC on buying decisions is well-documented, with 82% of consumers preferring to hear about products via social posts from friends, family and creators.
For example, brands like Urban Decay regularly tap into their creator community to boost sales and word of mouth at the same time.
Translation? Consumers want to see authentic examples of products in the wild.
This speaks to the importance of not only taking resharing and reposting UGC but also building an army of advocates and creators that’ll regularly promote you.
Because creators not only build brand awareness but also a sense of trust. This represents a win-win for brands and consumers alike.
Eager to Increase Online Sales? Creators Can Help.
Modern consumers are looking for brands they can truly connect with.
And social media is key to forming meaningful relationships in B2C.
Although all of the tactics above can drive more people to your storefront, C2C marketing gives you the added bonus of authenticity.
So if you’re trying to figure out how to increase online sales through social media, look no further than creators. Creator relationships provide a measurable channel for sales while also tapping into the social proof that shoppers need to see before they buy.
Interested in partnering with trustworthy creators to build awareness and improve your digital marketing strategy? Reach out to our consumer-to-consumer marketing experts to find out how we can get creators talking about your brand on social media ASAP.