Don’t underestimate the power of social media. The right choice of a social media strategy can help you increase sales. Substantially.
The influence of social media marketing continues to spread. You can see, how much the landscape of social media marketing has changed over the past decade:
Image credit: Statista
Social media platforms have tremendous outreach and are very user-friendly for businesses who want to grow their audience and increase their online presence. And, with the help of selling tools, you can actually have your customers shop without leaving a social media platform.
However, the part of social media that brings the most value is social data. Mined with the help of the built-in Analytics tools, which every social media platform provides, businesses can get up-to-date information on their social media performance.
More on Social Data
So what is social data?
This data includes public information that users share on social media, including shares, likes, as well as demographical and biographical data, etc.
Social data is generated through social networks in real-time and is used to determine:
- brand exposure, etc.
Social data not only helps brands measure their online presence but also helps customer acquisition and retention, which is crucial for sales.
Is Social Data a Cure for All Issues?
It may seem that social data can provide answers to all the questions.
In reality, however, social data has limitations:
- Users don’t always share all the information. So, you should be prepared that social data that you mine from social media will not be 100% accurate.
- It is hard to confirm the identity of many users on social media. Some of them can have fake accounts, and other accounts are used by bots and robots. This may undermine the credibility of social data.
- Because many comments, received from the users, are neutral, it’s quite hard to do sentiment analysis and estimate the real influence of the brand.
Despite all the limitations, however, social data still provides information necessary to identify and implement the strategies that will help your brand increase sales. It helps brands answer the most important questions regarding the effective use of social media to increase sales.
What are these questions?
Let’s take a look.
- Who Are You Selling To?
Just as with a marketing campaign, knowing your audience will help you develop a more elaborate strategy to increase sales. Social data provides brands with extensive information on their audience, which they can use to develop a further sales strategy.
In particular, social data can help you determine, which social channel is the best one to use in order to increase sales. For this, you need to compare your target buyer persona with your general audience on a certain social media platform.
Let’s say, your target buyer persona is an English-speaking male aged 25-34, working in manufacturing and located somewhere in Europe.
Once you determine your target buyer persona, check your Analytics tabs on social media platforms that you’re interested in using to increase sales. For instance, on Facebook your target audience may look like this:
And let’s take Instagram for comparison:
While both social platforms work in terms of age, they are drastically different in terms of gender. Thus, between these two platforms, the best choice would be Facebook.
You can also check the interests of your audience to match more points that you’re looking for in a target buyer persona. For instance, on Twitter, social data provides you with extensive information on what your followers are interested in:
How can it help increase sales?
Choosing the right platform to target a buyer persona will increase your outreach and the chances that your brand will stand out more. Audiences on social media platforms are different, so social channels are not universal in terms of outreach.
Social data, however, can help you find the right social platform to reach the audience you’re looking for.
- What Content Are You Selling With?
Many brands post regularly on social media and expect their sales to go up, but it doesn’t happen that way.
Indeed, content can help bridge the gap between marketing and sales. However, the success of your sales through social media depends on content rather than on regular updates.
Social platforms provide up-to-date social data on the content preferences of your audience, helping you choose the best content type in terms of sales. On Facebook, for instance, you can see the statistics on the best-performing post types as well the how each post performed individually in terms of reach and engagement:
This social data can help find the answer to the question, which content to use to boost engagement and drive sales. Content is one of the main driving forces for customer acquisition and retention through social media, thus, the choice of the right content type has a significant impact on sales.
- How Can You Increase Your Outreach?
Outreach and sales go hand-in-hand. The higher is the outreach, the better are the sales. The outreach depends on how well your brand is in-line with the current social media trends and tools, and how well you can use them.
One of the tools that have a substantial effect on outreach is hashtag. The right choice of a hashtag determines the visibility of your brand, consequently influencing the outreach.
Companies employ hashtags to create hashtag campaigns that go viral. For instance, Flatfy, an international real estate company, did a hashtag campaign with #bootstrap when they were a startup. After several months, they were able to extend to the international market, spreading across Europe, Asia, and Latin America.
Of course, the choice of a hashtag depends on its performance. The performance of a hashtag is measured with social data that’s updated in real-time. For instance, if you take #tbt, you can see its performance and popularity growth within the period of one week and one month:
Image credit: Hashtagify.me
You can also get on board with current hashtag trends by adding some of the most popular hashtags to your hashtag campaign. Of course, the choice of the hashtags will also depend on how relevant they are to your brand and your product.
Ultimately, hashtags will help make your brand more traceable, visible, and more relevant, helping more people find you and learn about your product.
Social data doesn’t have a direct impact on sales, but it can help you determine targeting strategies that will help you reach out to the right audience through the right platform with the right content.
Hopefully, our tips will help you better understand the role of social data in increasing sales and to use it to grow your brand.