How to drive online sales using social media

During the lockdown period, the way we all use the internet and our online shopping habits and behaviour has undoubtedly changed. Many retail businesses have seen an increase in online sales, with non-essential physical stores being closed, but with this, the need to adapt has been essential.

Social media strategy

Whilst social media marketing is comparatively cost effective, customers’ expectations continue to grow. For example, online retail consumers expect faster delivery times than ever before and more convenient ‘click and collect’ routes.


So how does this affect how you utilise your social media?

Any successful social media marketing starts with a strategy and right now your retail social media strategy is more important than ever. With the increase/potential increase in sales; you should be looking at how you can evolve your social media to maximise your retail sales.


What should a social media strategy include?

A social media strategy doesn’t need to be complex, but it helps to have a joined up approach. There are many aspects to digital and social media marketing, from your website to the many social media platforms but by focussing on what you want to achieve, social media can drive traffic, engage your audience and meet your retail targets.


Building a trusted brand through social media

Brand awareness can mean different things to different people, but when it comes down to it, it’s all about people remembering and recognising your brand.

Social media is particularly good for raising brand awareness, for the simple reason, that social media is NOT about the hard sell.

What social media does do is drive users to make decisions between you and your competition. Raising brand awareness puts you in front of potential customers and encourages repeat purchases from existing customers.

You can also boost your social brand presence with paid social ads, but again avoid the hard sell, think about how your products or service can solve a problem for users.


Engaging social media content

Creating engaging and consistent content on your social platforms is one of the best ways to spread the word about your business and also strengthens your brand.

Think about the different types of social content available to you; blogs, video, infographics and podcasts. Use these formats to demonstrate your expertise by answering questions or show how your products can solve a problem.

Product comparisons, consumer reviews, case studies and product guides can help users associate your business with being a benefit to them and build trust.

Once a person is aware of your brand, has built trust around it, they like your products and services, the next time that customer needs what you offer, they’ll be ready to buy from you.

In addition to attracting new customers, you can use your social media content to connect with existing customers and introduce new products, create offers and build loyalty to inspire them to stay connected and buy again of course.


Why and how should you measure social media performance?

It’s crucial to measure your social media efforts and this should be part of your retail social media strategy. If you don’t measure the effectiveness of your social media you don’t know whether the time, costs and efforts are working, and you can’t adapt accordingly.

When measuring social media results don’t think just about the numbers of followers you may have, it’s much more about quality over quantity and the engagement your posts and content achieve.

Google Analytics is a free tool and can measure social media stats, along with the social media platforms’ own measuring tools such as Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics.

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Is your social media working hard to drive targeted traffic to your retail business?

If you’re struggling to dedicate time to your social media, or need some help taking your retail social media strategy to the next level, our small business digital consultancy is flexible and affordable, tailored specifically to your requirements.

As a digital marketing agency, SocialB provides social media and digital marketing online training courses covering the latest trends and best practices. Their free digital webinars are a great option too and cover a range of digital marketing subjects.