Can social media increase sales?

You've heard all about social media. At home from your teenage daughter insisting that she needs to find the right filter for her pancake picture before she can eat breakfast …

At work from your website services provider ...

Everyone says social media is valuable, but you’re a practical small business owner. You want to know if you can get a return and increase profits.

So let's cut to the chase. Here are 7 ways you can use social media to improve revenue for your business.

1. Reach out to your local community

Localizing your social media activity in 2018 can help you reach your ideal audience with the content they relate to. This is a good way for you to enter the conversation and fill the need your audience is already voicing.

2. Encourage user-generated content

Your fans are your brand's best salespeople. Highlighting the real people who enjoy your products or services fosters community gives potential customers a reason to trust you. In fact, 93% of consumers find user-generated content helpful when making a purchasing decision.

3. Use calls to action on promotional content

Are you promoting a new product? Trying to get more visitors to a certain store location? You can offer a discount code or special offer only available from a social media post to encourage action. You can even track the success of your call to action using Google Analytics or your social media analytics. 

Expert Tip: Use one call to action per post so customers aren't overwhelmed by too many asks.

4. Highlight products through images

People who see your product without having to search for it are more likely to purchase now or later. Reseach shows that consumers make most of their buying decisions based on visual appearance, which has been proven by the success of visual online ads.

Furthermore, posting an image of your product may remind customers who have abandoned their shopping cart of their interest in your product. 

5. Run Facebook Ads

Ads aren't a revolutionary idea for making more sales. But Facebook and other social media ads are relatively new, and more importantly, they are a cost-effective way to reach a targeted audience.

6. Prioritize customer service

Create a hashtag customers can use to reach you like #YourBusinessNameSupport or #YourBusinessNameAnswers, then dedicate an employee to answering questions. Don’t forget to include this hashtag in your profile descriptions with instructions for use.

7. Present yourself as an expert

If you're selling a more complex product or service, your customers want to be sure you know your stuff before they buy. Share industry-related news, how-to text instructions, infographics, and videos on social media to showcase your expertise for any current and potential clients. 

The benefit of social media isn't instant

Although you can definitely increase sales on social media, it won't happen overnight. Social media is just that: social. The businesses that find the most success in online marketing play the long game, posting content that provides value to their customers.

“There are no magic wands, no hidden tracks, and no secret handshakes that can bring you immediate success, but with time, energy and determination you can get there.”

- Darren Rowse, Professional Blogger

If you join social media hoping to make a quick profit out of the gate, you are going to fail. To make a high return on investment, you will need to devote money, time, and brainpower to get there. Fortunately, an experienced social media manager can help take the load off you and give you a better ROI.

The beauty of social media is that it lets you build authentic and lasting relationships with customers so when they need something, they'll think of you first. Like any relationship, though, maintaining it means considering the quantity and quality of your connections. The more often you post and the more valuable your posts, the stronger the bridge between you and the consumer.

To help you reap the benefits of social media marketing, we've created brand new Online Marketing and Maintenance programs for 2018, complete with à la carte, no-obligation options so you can try out the services before committing to a whole year.

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Commit to Relationships

“There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.” — Thomas Aquinas

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This week, challenge yourself to encourage someone you encounter every day, whether it is your spouse, coworker, or friend. Send them an email or a hand-written note letting them know what you appreciate about them.

What personal goals did you make for 2018? We would love to hear about how you are doing—good or bad—so hit reply to this email, and let's talk!

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