We can probably formally establish that social media is the most important marketing tool of the incumbent era. Now how do you turn your intangible brand-building efforts into actual profit?
With the 12 ways listed below.
Social media is used for a panoply of reasons by different people. While the initial purpose of these channels was for individuals to connect with their peers, it's proven to have become the most indispensable marketing tool of the decade. Never in history have businesses been able to be in direct contact with consumers, have actual interactions with them, and gain access to multiple segmentations without having to penetrate international markets.
When you put it that way, it makes the ironically cloistered social world seem like the greatest gift branding has ever been bestowed. But in reality, unlocking all of its opportunities to reap all of its benefits isn't as easy as waving a magic wand. Some companies were slow to adopt digital methods because it took a while for social to prove it can indeed drive contributions to a business' profitability.
Still with me?
With the transaction obstacles on all of these platforms, how can companies continue to justify attributing resources to something that hasn't proven to feed directly into their bottom line? Well for one, social media can make you a category leader. It can also affirm a brand's relevance, as well as help it reach cult status at lightning speed.
With all that's said and done, profitability remains at the core of any business' raison d'être. It's with that premise in mind that we decided to tackle the topic of direct earnings through social marketing, also known as channels that provide a ton of intangible value.
Below are 12 ways to increase sales through those platforms.
Tall boots for a tall order.
STEP UP: Spotted on #Rihanna and #KendallJenner, these lustrous #Vetements + #ManoloBlahnik boots are not for the faint-hearted. Debuted on the #SS17 runway, we love these waist-high wonders layered with a wispy dress. Search 875125 (boots) to shop #VETEMENTSxMANOLOBLAHNIK exclusively online at NET-A-PORTER.
1. Tell Your Brand Story
Social media is an amazing tool to create, propagate, and continue to amplify a brand story. That narrative is instrumental in enabling your customers to connect with your brand on an emotional level. Each of your brand's visual touchpoints should take your target market on your journey. When done right, these channels allow you to repeatedly build on that story by virtue of steady exposure.
Since you're likely a great marketer, then you're already plenty familiar with the fact that igniting emotion with your material is the key to hooking customers and making sales. Social media is a hot bed for sentimental triggers. Exploit it.
2. Use Brand Ambassadors
Leveraging influential folks to represent your brand within their own circles is actually a super effective way to gain access to new customers belonging to your target market. Audiences tend to be very receptive to ambassadors since they're emblematic of the brands they rep, making their advocacy come off as genuine.
Whatever they love, their followers love and want to buy. Unlike run-of-the-mill influencers who get paid to post a specific number of images on a label's behalf for promotional purposes, an ambassador —although paid by a company— embodies that brand. They'll constantly be tagging you in a non-#spon manner, which will not only bring your business sustained exposure, but incrementally elevate desirability as well.
Hannah Bronfman, inspirational fitness entrepreneur, reps it for [Adidas](https://www.instagram.com/adidaswomen/) in the most organic of ways.
3. Be Omnipresent + Use a Cross-Platform Strategy
Real talk: it's pretty important to have a presence on every social channel nowadays. And while it's not exactly easy to find the time to tend to all of them, coming up with a cross-platform strategy will make up for your lack of complete dedication, so long as you you prioritize at least one of them (cough, Instagram, cough). It's going to optimize your accounts and enable peak efficacy. And with that comes... wait for it... sales!
4. Only Use Your Best Performing Content
Knowing what your followers love and love less becomes crystal clear when you get deeply familiar with your content performance. The math is pretty simple. Poor performing posts = visuals your followers don't care about that are most likely off-brand. High performing posts = things your audience can't get enough of that will likely convert them to purchase.
How does one figure that out? With Dash Hudson's Boards. This is one of our most beloved tools for a reason. It enables brands to segment their content to analyze what works and what doesn't. You can also turn to computer vision. We've been working hard at our Vision tool for quite some time and we're almost ready to share it with you. It will be all about performance prediction. 🙊
Only posting content that you know resonates: a novel idea to drive sales, ain't it.
5. Leverage User-Generated Content
It's actually been proven that UGC works way better than regular product shots. That means that you should utilize it in 3 different ways:
Repurpose fan content on your social channels. Your Boards content segmentation (see point #4) will indicate that your regrammed UGC actually performs really well. Time to add it as a content pillar if it isn't already.
In lieu or in addition to product images for e-commerce. Use your brand's earned content to demonstrate how your customers can make your merch their own. UGC shots help provide a context for your items, enabling people to picture themselves in a similar scenario as what's displayed. It's actually been proven that it's way more efficient than your professional stock images, so there's that.
As an on-site gallery. Keep all the Instagram fun going on your website with Dash Hudson's Spirit On-Site galleries. Giving your customers love by showcasing their content doubly encourages them to share their positive journey with your brand. They spread the word, you reap the benefits. Tee hee.
SoulCycle instructors all generate incredible UGC for the fitness cult. They're certainly onto something...
6. Prioritize Quality Over Quantity
This should be an obvious one, but trust us when we say that we come across our fair share of mediocre bombardments of sh*tty content, pardon my french. Sure, consistency is key when keeping up the cadence of your online presence, but it shouldn't come at the detriment of your high standards. Ensuring that you're ONLY posting beautiful, high quality images should be second nature.
This might be the most rudimentary of all our social media marketing tips, but no one will feel compelled to buy what you're selling if your content sucks.
7. Engage With the Community
Creating a community and being engaging will bring your brand a ton of visibility, which will also give it a business boost. In short, creating and harboring a community will help you:
- gain followers
- retain followers
- convert followers to purchase
Find out more in our comprehensive Instagram community guide.
8. Use Your Link in Bio
The proof is in the pudding. 'Nuff said.
Marc Jacobs is making it easy for their customers and increasing their conversions while they're at it.
9. Dedicate a Channel to Customer Support
Some platforms are amazing brand-building tools, like Instagram and Snapchat, while others are used as information conduits, such as Twitter or Facebook. The latter present a great opportunity to connect with customers directly, whether they are assigned to provide support, gather feedback, or relay the lowdown on orders. While being omnipresent is important (see point #3), it's also vital to differentiate each of your channels' purpose.
People feel more confident about making a purchase (or two) when they're aware that these options are at their fingertips.
10. Run Instagram Ads
For obvious reasons.
Just don't forget to bear the following in mind when advertising on Instagram:
- Make sure you use the right visuals (see point #4 about content performance or point #5 about UGC). What resonates with Insta audiences is fundamentally different from traditional marketing.
- Choose the right format for the message you're trying to relay, as well as the right call-to-action.
- Target your audience wisely. Are you choosing the right demographic? Location? Interests? Etc.
It's all made extremely easy with the Dash Hudson ads manager tool. It'll save you time and resources, plus ensure that your ads are the most effective they can be. Boom.💥
11. Capitalize on Content Trends
Now I'm no psychology expert, but hype ignites desire. So whatever's currently trending, like plants, is going to be extremely appealing to people. Jumping on of-the-moment fads that can be incorporated into your content will not only make you appear relevant, it'll also tickle your customer's fancy. Do you hear that? It's the sound of a sale.
12. Create a Gifting Program
If your company allows for it, sending out items to a certain amount of Instagram [micro influencers](http://www.adweek.com/digital/infographic-who-is-the-millennial-female-micro-influencer/ "target"_blank) or content creators (or hybrids!) can:
- help spread your name
- increase product desirability
- produce a bank of content to repurpose
- help grow your community
All those things will infallibly translate to sales. Just make sure you have a killer profile to welcome your potential customers with, otherwise you'll never retain new followers, aka social media-acquired customers, aka dolla dolla bills.💸
Note: obviously, this is something you should do only if your budget allows for it and if it aligns with your business objectives. While the return can be exponential, not every company has the funds to dedicate to giving away freebies. Especially when working at the whim of others can often be frustrating. But don't worry, our influencer marketing guide is there to help with that.
The Daniel Wellington brand is known for its extensive product gifting. Their watches are consistently worn by heaps of Instagram influencers that generate insanely high demand. This has made the DW watch ubiquitous.
Ready to start driving sales through social media like never before? Implement these tactics and never look back.
If you want to learn more about increasing your sales with social media, get in touch today (right after you sign up for our weekly newsletter below 👇).