How to use facebook to increase your business sales

How to use facebook to increase your business sales

Marketing, advertising, hiring, logistics, and manufacturing matter, but all efforts are futile without sales. Thankfully, the internet has given small businesses an opportunity to expand their footprint and increase sales volume with thousands of different avenues and strategies.

There is perhaps no more powerful sales tool on the internet than social media. When properly used by businesses and brands, sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest can become effective and profitable sales tools.

Social as a Primary Sales Tool

The challenge with ecommerce selling is that there are so many different angles you can pursue. There’s email marketing, content marketing, paid advertising, guest blogging, landing pages, ecommerce sites, SEO, strategic web design, and a slew of other strategies and individual focuses.

The biggest problem is that businesses and marketers get distracted. Instead of putting the emphasis on sales, the focus is spread across multiple different areas. When this happens, a business can easily be stopped in its tracks–as time is spent on low-yielding tasks. The answer to this costly conundrum is to hone in on the sales tools that actually work and do away with the ones that don’t.

When put like that, it sounds simple. However, as soon as you begin assessing your own sales data and campaigns, you’ll quickly come to the realization that you aren’t sure which tools are your best tools. Well, chances are social media will surface somewhere near the top of the list.

According to a Nielson report on social media, Americans spend three times as much time on social networking sites as they do reading email (7.6 percent of online time is spent reading email, while 23 percent is spent on social). Even more eye opening is the revelation that 70 percent of social users shop online. In other words, your online customers are waiting for you on social networking sites. You simply have to find ways to monetize this reality.

5 of the Best Ways to Use Social Media as a Sales Tool

It would be unwise to assume every business can thrive with the same strategies, but many can find success by applying the following tips and tweaking them to fit their existing campaigns and constraints.

When customers or users are interested in learning more about your business and what you have to offer, the first thing they’ll do is type your name into Google. Whether you like it or not, your Facebook profile will be displayed in one of the first few search results. And because people are familiar with Facebook, that’s one of the links they’re more likely to click on. Keeping this in mind, you should incorporate links to your website and relevant sales pages. You should also verify that your contact information is correct and encourage users to reach out to you with a friendly and visible CTA.

While you’re reviewing your Facebook profile, it’s also a good idea to turn your attention to your Twitter and LinkedIn profiles. While these won’t always attract as much traffic, they will appear in search results and you need to make sure they coordinate with your Facebook page.

You won’t gain many direct sales from your profiles, but they serve as an introduction. A poorly developed profile will turn users away, while a well-structured one will gently push them through to the next phase of the conversion funnel.

Some businesses have great success with driving traffic from social media to landing pages and then to a product listing. However, the large majority of social users aren’t interested in clicking through multiple pages to make a purchase. They’ve been trained to respond to quick and easy sales–not long checkout processes. That’s why you should consider selling directly from your landing pages.

There are a number of tools, such as Spaces, that let you build on-page shopping carts. This makes buying as simple as a couple of clicks and diminishes the likelihood of users losing interest in your product before purchasing. On the social media side of this, you can prepare users for the sale by letting them know how easy it is to purchase. Furthermore, the more payment options you can offer on the landing page (credit card, PayPal, bank transfer, Bitcoin, etc.), the higher your conversion rates will be.

You could argue that Facebook advertising is more effective than Google AdWords–at least from a customization and targeting standpoint. While Facebook may not be able to give you the same amount of impressions Google does, the impressions you do get through Facebook will be much more relevant.

Facebook allows you to target based on anything from age and gender to income and spending habits. You can also choose to display ads based on geographical region, personal interests, behaviors, or occupation. The customization options are virtually limitless, allowing you to maximize every dollar you spend. From a pure-sales point of view, PPC advertising is extremely powerful.

If sales are your focus and you want to sell directly from social media, you may find tools like Shopial or Soldsie helpful. These tools actually turn your profiles into ecommerce-enabled pages where users can make a purchase by leaving a note in a post’s comment section. It then syncs up with PayPal or a major ecommerce platform like Shopify or Amazon to complete the transaction. Much like selling directly on a landing page, this method makes the purchase process quick and easy for customers by reducing the number of clicks it takes to follow through.

Ignore Twitter as a selling tool at your own peril. It’s no longer a platform for mindless blurbs of useless information. It has incredible potential and the biggest brands are successfully unlocking that power. “Twitter gives you a glimpse into what your prospects personal life, likes, and interests are,” writes Julio Viskovich, a highly respected social selling advisor and strategist. It’s your best listening tool and can completely redirect your selling campaigns.

Twitter can also be a powerful visibility-boosting tool if you learn how to appropriately use hashtags. As they become more popular, savvy internet users are using hashtags to search for new products and solutions. Think about what drives customers to your product and incorporate savvy hashtags that naturally fit around that niche.

Putting it All Together

Ultimately, you need to obtain sales any way you can. While social media has many potential uses (including brand building and customer service), it’s maximized when it’s used as a sales tool. With these five tips, you should be able to bring the focus back to direct selling and enhance your overall sales strategy.

December 06, 2013 / by Savannah Marie

It’s the holiday season, and smart retailers aren’t just advertising their Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales on television. They are also coming up with social media strategies to increase online sales throughout the remainder of the year. Social is bigger than ever, and you’re guaranteed to reach thousands, if not millions, of people with a few well-placed posts.

It’s also a lot cheaper to run a social media promotion than it is to invest in offline media. Even a Google Adwords campaign can add up, and social media posts cost only a little bit of your time to pull off. Plus, you can hear the reaction from potential customers in real-time, which can help you tweak it in strategic ways to increase response.

Here are nine smart ideas for using social media to boost your online sales this season.

1. Use the Same Hashtag

If you’re doing a big holiday sale, don’t be afraid to hashtag! Hundreds of other businesses will be doing the same thing, and you want to stand out from them by showing up first in any hashtag searches by your potential customers. Try using a variety of hashtags that include generic options like #holidaysale, along with a distinctive hashtag that describes your business’ focus. Once you’ve found a happy medium, stick to it! Use that combination of hashtags across all of your social media platforms.

2. Flash Sale

Flash sales are a great way to drive sales because they create a sense of urgency. Offer a special price for only a short period of time. Announce your intention to have a flash sale in weeks before across your social media sites, but don’t say when it will occur. This will ensure that people will continuously check your feeds to see when it’s taking place. When you hold the flash sale, be prepared for heavy traffic to your site.

3. Offer Coupons

Coupon use has soared during the recession as people seek out cheaper prices and bargains, especially during the holidays. Entice customers into buying your product with a coupon code only available to those who have “liked” your page on Facebook or followed you on Twitter. This will both increase your number of followers and draw in more customers. MerchNow sent this holiday coupon to all their Twitter followers and used the hashtag #holidaysale to ensure the promotion was seen by a large audience.

4. Pin a Contest on Pinterest

Many small businesses are still trying to figure out how to use Pinterest to their advantage. Whether you’ve had a page for months or years, one great strategy is to run a contest on Pinterest that rewards everyone who enters with a coupon code for ten percent off of one item. The winner should receive a bigger prize like a free item. Ask followers to pin the one item they most desire from your catalog page to one of their boards, and pick a winner at random. This is a huge win: not only do you engage your followers, but you also spread the word about your products to others who see participating contestants’ boards.

You can also use your page to run a promotion. Starbucks post their holiday promotions to their Pinterest page in an effort to gain awareness for launch of their holiday offerings. By using their social platforms, they are making it easy for Starbucks fans to stay informed.

5. Promote Free Shipping

During the holiday season, people purchase the majority of their buys online. Shipping costs when buying online can add up, especially if customers buy from multiple companies. Offer free shipping to those who click on a link from your Facebook or Twitter account. You’ll be tickled with how many new “likes” and followers you can get from this promotion, not to mention the boost in sales.

6. Generate Leads through Giveaways

The holidays are the perfect time to generate new leads for your business. Try a giveaway promotion that requires a sign-up page. Include an option for the user to receive a newsletter as an added incentive. Not only will they have a chance to win a great gift or percentage off a service, they will also be signing themselves up for a chance to hear more about your business. Way Easy Gifts is following this trend with their “12 Days of Giveaways” promotion. The user can choose between three different gifts of the same theme and enter to win the prize. Not only is the promotion generating leads and recognition for the brand, it is also increasing their social platform. Every person who enters the promotion must like the Facebook page to check out the gifts.

7. Go Mobile

Do you have a mobile site yet? If not, get one as soon as possible. A huge number of people now access their social media accounts through their phones; in fact, more people use Facebook mobile than Facebook on their desktop. Any sales promotion you put on social media will most likely be accessed on a phone, and you don’t want to annoy your customers with a slow, non-mobile friendly site where buying items is a hassle. If you don’t have much technical expertise, try a mobile commerce provider who can do it for you, like Shopgate.

8. Post Pictures

Strange but true: you’re more likely to get a response to something on Facebook when you post an image along with your words. Encourage your fans to like and share your stuff! Facebook just implemented a new algorithm that will repost a link each time someone comments on it. This means even more exposure for your brand! Any extra “likes” you can get for a status leads to more people seeing it on their friends’ feeds, so be sure to include photos of your products with every promotion you post.

9. Increase Exposure of Your Social Media Sites

You likely have buttons linking to your social media accounts at the top of your web site, which is a great way to get the word out. But do you have links on your email signature? On your blog posts? In your newsletters? Any way you can gain more followers meanss more people who hear about your social media sales.

10. Try Launchrock

If you haven’t heard of Launchrock, you’re missing out. This site builds hype for soon-to-launch products, web sites and even sales. It integrates with your social media accounts automatically and can bring a whole new level of exposure to any campaign you run.

Author Bio: Savannah Marie is a social media enthusiast and editor for her blog. When she isn’t writing, you can find her walking a trail with her favorite yellow lab, Remington, baking something delicious, or reading a classic.

December 06, 2013 / by Savannah Marie

It’s the holiday season, and smart retailers aren’t just advertising their Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales on television. They are also coming up with social media strategies to increase online sales throughout the remainder of the year. Social is bigger than ever, and you’re guaranteed to reach thousands, if not millions, of people with a few well-placed posts.

It’s also a lot cheaper to run a social media promotion than it is to invest in offline media. Even a Google Adwords campaign can add up, and social media posts cost only a little bit of your time to pull off. Plus, you can hear the reaction from potential customers in real-time, which can help you tweak it in strategic ways to increase response.

Here are nine smart ideas for using social media to boost your online sales this season.

1. Use the Same Hashtag

If you’re doing a big holiday sale, don’t be afraid to hashtag! Hundreds of other businesses will be doing the same thing, and you want to stand out from them by showing up first in any hashtag searches by your potential customers. Try using a variety of hashtags that include generic options like #holidaysale, along with a distinctive hashtag that describes your business’ focus. Once you’ve found a happy medium, stick to it! Use that combination of hashtags across all of your social media platforms.

2. Flash Sale

Flash sales are a great way to drive sales because they create a sense of urgency. Offer a special price for only a short period of time. Announce your intention to have a flash sale in weeks before across your social media sites, but don’t say when it will occur. This will ensure that people will continuously check your feeds to see when it’s taking place. When you hold the flash sale, be prepared for heavy traffic to your site.

3. Offer Coupons

Coupon use has soared during the recession as people seek out cheaper prices and bargains, especially during the holidays. Entice customers into buying your product with a coupon code only available to those who have “liked” your page on Facebook or followed you on Twitter. This will both increase your number of followers and draw in more customers. MerchNow sent this holiday coupon to all their Twitter followers and used the hashtag #holidaysale to ensure the promotion was seen by a large audience.

4. Pin a Contest on Pinterest

Many small businesses are still trying to figure out how to use Pinterest to their advantage. Whether you’ve had a page for months or years, one great strategy is to run a contest on Pinterest that rewards everyone who enters with a coupon code for ten percent off of one item. The winner should receive a bigger prize like a free item. Ask followers to pin the one item they most desire from your catalog page to one of their boards, and pick a winner at random. This is a huge win: not only do you engage your followers, but you also spread the word about your products to others who see participating contestants’ boards.

You can also use your page to run a promotion. Starbucks post their holiday promotions to their Pinterest page in an effort to gain awareness for launch of their holiday offerings. By using their social platforms, they are making it easy for Starbucks fans to stay informed.

5. Promote Free Shipping

During the holiday season, people purchase the majority of their buys online. Shipping costs when buying online can add up, especially if customers buy from multiple companies. Offer free shipping to those who click on a link from your Facebook or Twitter account. You’ll be tickled with how many new “likes” and followers you can get from this promotion, not to mention the boost in sales.

6. Generate Leads through Giveaways

The holidays are the perfect time to generate new leads for your business. Try a giveaway promotion that requires a sign-up page. Include an option for the user to receive a newsletter as an added incentive. Not only will they have a chance to win a great gift or percentage off a service, they will also be signing themselves up for a chance to hear more about your business. Way Easy Gifts is following this trend with their “12 Days of Giveaways” promotion. The user can choose between three different gifts of the same theme and enter to win the prize. Not only is the promotion generating leads and recognition for the brand, it is also increasing their social platform. Every person who enters the promotion must like the Facebook page to check out the gifts.

7. Go Mobile

Do you have a mobile site yet? If not, get one as soon as possible. A huge number of people now access their social media accounts through their phones; in fact, more people use Facebook mobile than Facebook on their desktop. Any sales promotion you put on social media will most likely be accessed on a phone, and you don’t want to annoy your customers with a slow, non-mobile friendly site where buying items is a hassle. If you don’t have much technical expertise, try a mobile commerce provider who can do it for you, like Shopgate.

8. Post Pictures

Strange but true: you’re more likely to get a response to something on Facebook when you post an image along with your words. Encourage your fans to like and share your stuff! Facebook just implemented a new algorithm that will repost a link each time someone comments on it. This means even more exposure for your brand! Any extra “likes” you can get for a status leads to more people seeing it on their friends’ feeds, so be sure to include photos of your products with every promotion you post.

9. Increase Exposure of Your Social Media Sites

You likely have buttons linking to your social media accounts at the top of your web site, which is a great way to get the word out. But do you have links on your email signature? On your blog posts? In your newsletters? Any way you can gain more followers meanss more people who hear about your social media sales.

10. Try Launchrock

If you haven’t heard of Launchrock, you’re missing out. This site builds hype for soon-to-launch products, web sites and even sales. It integrates with your social media accounts automatically and can bring a whole new level of exposure to any campaign you run.

Author Bio: Savannah Marie is a social media enthusiast and editor for her blog. When she isn’t writing, you can find her walking a trail with her favorite yellow lab, Remington, baking something delicious, or reading a classic.

You must have definitely heard of the saying that if you are not present online, you have zero existence. However, with changing trends, it is not wrong if we say that if you are not on social media, you have zero existence. And there is no doubt that Facebook is the masters. So, what started as just to connect; today, it is connecting business as well as customers. It has become Facebook for Business.

So, what makes social media, especially Facebook the BFFs for many business owners, especially startups. The answer is simple, it is among the lowest cost marketing strategies. While other marketing strategies might force you to spend in lakhs, with Facebook, you can reach a larger audience in a fraction of cost.

Facebook has a reach of over a billion people. In India alone, it has crossed 100 million. So, when you have a low cost medium like Facebook for Business where you can reach 100 million people easily, nobody would like to miss this chance. Not forgetting the point, that you can easily target specific gender, demography, age group and much more. So, how to start using Facebook for Business and increase your sales, let’s find out.

Learning The Basics Of Facebook For Business

Before you start using Facebook, you should be clear about the main motive behind using Facebook. Are you using Facebook just to drive traffic to your website or as a sales pitch? Facebook for business have elements to serve both the purpose. Therefore, it will help you create a clear Facebook marketing strategy. If you are a beginner, follow these tips:

1) Create Business/Fan Page

Before you start with anything on Facebook for business, it is necessary that you create your identification. For this, you need to create your business page. Make sure you show the real identity of your business because it will also help in brand building and increasing your marketing value. Add basic and correct information about your business, its nature, contact number, email address, link to your website and other information that you feel is important. Get an amazing profile picture. You can put your company’s logo or get creative with it. Don’t forget the cover picture, which is a major marketing tactic and instantly attracts visitors.

2) Reach Maximum People to Like You

The power of your page will be defined by the number of likes. The more is the number of likes, your brand is more popular among the masses and higher is the reach. Therefore, you should start reaching people like your page. You can start by inviting your friends to like your page. Also, include Facebook connect plugin on your website, blogs, newsletters, mailers etc. Initially, you might face problems in getting more likes. To entice more visitors to like your page, follow the next step.

3) Start Engaging Customers

No doubt that your Facebook page is your business identity, but you need to engage your audience and entice them to visit your Facebook page, website or even persuade buy your products or services. You can include the images of your products, a quote, funny image, facts, questions, games. If you find anything interesting on the website, include that link or image on your page. This will drive more fan base and people will start visiting your page, just to look for some exciting content. Make sure you never cheat with the content of your page. Make it as interesting as possible.

4) Create Photo Gallery Of Your Products

Make your Facebook page visually appealing. You can do it by uploading images of your products and link it to that particular category. This will not only help to drive traffic, but also increase sales. If your visitor finds products interesting enough, they will like your page and even buy your products.

5) Upload Video

After photos, the next thing that attract the maximum audience is video. You can upload your corporate video, product portfolio or any other informational videos that you think will attract audiences and drive them to like your page and indirectly, your website and brand.

6) Offer Discounts Or Run A Contest

Who does not love discounts or free stuff? One of the effective social media or Facebook marketing strategy is to offer stuff for free or at discounted price. For example, you can offer 20% off on your products for first 200 users who likes your page or give free stuff to the users for first like on any particular post. Another tool on Facebook for Business has is that you can run an offer (like buy one get one free, etc.) for a limited period. This will surely drive more visitors and likes on your page.

7) Facebook Ads

It is slightly different from the above mentioned points because it is paid. For more visibility of your page, you can run Facebook ads for your company and put it right in front of your targeted audience. Decide the demography, gender, age group, the date and time frame your ad will appear and a budget based on click throughs. You can also boost a specific post on your page by simply click on Boost Post. Choose your target audience & budget and get ready to see some traffic on your page and website.

8) Update and Track

Last but not the least, keep on updating fresh content on your social media so that the customer engagement is always there. Also, keep a track on the visitors, likes, reach, likes, shares and comments so that you can get an idea about which kind of post is working for your site and social media. Facebook Analytics gives you a complete overview of your Facebook page activity.