Social media is a versatile and almost free business tool for increasing sales. According to the data of the research agency Data Insight, transactions worth 591 billion rubles were made through social channels in Russia last year. Of these, 42% falls on instant messengers and social networks.
Over the past six years, the share of Russians who use social networks has almost doubled. At the same time, half of them spend up to one hour on Odnoklassniki, VKontakte, Facebook every day. In such a situation, it is logical for sellers to concentrate their efforts where there are many potential customers. For microbusiness, such commerce is very profitable. It requires a minimum of expenses for organization and promotion. In addition, every year social networks offer more and more opportunities: Odnoklassniki allows you to create a showcase for online stores, VKontakte has a Products section and its own VK Pay payment system, and Instagram has trade tags and a Store tab.
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In today’s article, we’ll show you how to harness the potential of social media to increase sales.
Read also: 50 ways to increase sales
How to increase sales with social media
You can sell almost anything through social media. They are suitable for both B2C and B2B segment. When choosing a specific site for promotion, it is important to take into account the characteristics and tastes of your target audience. Better to concentrate on two or three channels.
Selling design of your page
The account must be designed so that all of its elements work for the image of the business. A page in social networks can become a worthy alternative to the site, since it can also contain prices, descriptions of goods / services, customer reviews. It is ideal for quick communication with consumers: quick answers to questions and taking orders in private messages.
Let’s consider the principles of selling design using the example of an IKEA profile on Instagram. The company logo is on the avatar – this is a good solution when it comes to a popular brand. You can also add a photo of a key product or service. The description should contain capacious information about the company, ideally a unique selling proposition and your corporate hashtag. You must also indicate reliable communication methods, if necessary, add a link to an online store or landing page.
With the help of actual Stories, it is necessary to create a kind of menu that will simplify navigation for users. Create a separate section for news, promotions, price list, delivery, FAQ.
FB Sales Groups
Facebook groups are suitable for posting private ads. Initially, they were created for communication by interests, but now their functionality is tailored for sales. Since 2015, the social network has launched a separate type of posts with a Sell button instead of Publish. Additional columns have been added: title, description, price and photos. The title is highlighted in bold, and the price is placed in a separate field – without this data, you will not be able to publish your offer. This form makes it easier for buyers to find information. Plus, it’s easier for sellers to find their ads for editing and deleting. An important advantage of groups in FB is the interest of the audience that comes here for a certain product / service.
To find communities that are right for your business, enter keywords in the search bar and press Enter. The system will show all groups in which the desired combination occurs. Select the most popular groups and submit a request to join them. You can then post your ads there and leave comments.
Before submitting your ad to a Facebook group, read its rules. Publications that do not meet the requirements of administrators are deleted without warning. In addition, for breaking the rules, you can get a permanent ban.
Typically the requirements are:
- correspondence of goods or services to the subject of the group;
- inviting your friends to the community (30-100 people);
- indication of basic information about products – names, descriptions, photos and prices;
- links to other groups and sites are prohibited;
- you cannot add an ad more than once a day, sometimes more than once a week.
Online store in VKontakte
It is easier to make a store on social networks than on an engine: you do not need to hire a programmer, pay for hosting and a domain name. It is easier to attract customers to it than to a third-party resource. In addition, social proof works in the form of the number of followers, likes and comments.
To launch the VK online store, select the appropriate type of group, add a description of the page and determine the necessary sections in the settings. After that, start designing your future online store by uploading an avatar and cover.
The next step is to add a showcase. Consider the popular ways:
- Connect the service “Products”… This is done in community management. Go to “Sections”, find the category “Products”. Next to them it will be written “Disabled” – activate the section. After that, you can create products and combine them into thematic collections. Then you need to set up the storefront, specifying the currency, delivery regions, adding product photos and a contact for communication. This block will be displayed on the main page.
- Create store app… In this case, customers will be able to independently place an order and pay for the purchase. In addition, all customer and sales information will be saved. If you already have a website with an online store, launch your application on VKontakte, having previously read the section for developers. If there is no ready-made online store, use a constructor, for example, Ecwid. Install the application, select the page you want to connect it to, enter your details. The service will generate a link – your application will work on it. Copy it to the “Links” section. Then you just have to fill in the fields with the description of the store and the seller, as well as add products and descriptions, methods of payment and delivery.
Online store in Odnoklassniki
The monthly attendance of this social network is 23.4 million Russians. It is quite possible to find your client among them.
Create a page or group that will become your online store. Go to the settings by avatar and select “Products” in the “Management” section. Turn on the showcase by clicking “Show”.
To place an advertisement in a group, click on the “Place item” icon. Add a title, description, photos, price and place of sale. For products of one type, you can create a catalog and select the appropriate cover for it.
Related article: Auto sales – what is it and how it works
For goods: clothes, shoes, handmade
Let’s take a look at some techniques for increasing B2C sales.
USP in product description
Tell us about the product underneath each shot. In the main part of the description, place a universal USP, process the fears of the target audience below and provide an active link to customer reviews. In the first comment on the photo, add a link to the sales manager.
This is another important channel of communication with potential customers. Once a month, you can inform subscribers about promotions, news and interactions in the group.
To achieve high conversion rates for your posts:
- personalize your message;
- create interesting, non-standard content;
- don’t start every letter the same way.
Promotions and discounts
Motivate to make a purchase here and now. To attract customers, add a special offer: a discount on a product, a gift or free shipping at checkout, a prize draw.
It is better to hold promotions regularly, but infrequently, for example, once a month. Otherwise, customers will lose the incentive to buy right now.
It is interesting: 5 main stages of sale
For B2B: services and products
The B2B space is fundamentally different from selling goods to ordinary consumers. There is no place for impulsive purchases, the decision is made carefully. So, first of all, you need to prove your expertise, interest and unobtrusively handle objections without direct sales head-on.
Personal brand of the leader
Not only the company page, but also the manager’s account can work to increase sales. Thus, the creator of the Oy-Li consulting company is actively promoting her business on Facebook. She shares both personal moments and work moments on social networks. She is often signed up for consultations – and this is already the first step towards receiving an order.
Organization of events
Organize regular events where the firm’s experts can share their experience and answer consumer questions. For this, live broadcasts on Instagram or VKontakte are perfect. Some companies create an event page on VK to gather an audience. In this way, you can establish contact with a potential client, get his contact information.
Stories on Instagram are a good tool for communicating with the audience and increasing their loyalty, which means increasing sales. This content is displayed separately, moreover, it only lives for a day, which attracts increased attention to it.
Stories are best used to showcase backstage, announce a new collection, run contests and polls, post life hacks and ratings. Users, including executives and entrepreneurs, love it when the brand speaks to them.
- Social media is an effective and almost free way to increase sales.
- They are suitable for different industries, B2C and B2B areas.
- On Odnoklassniki and VKontakte, you can create a full-fledged online store, and you should use Facebook groups to submit advertisements.
- In the B2B segment, it is better to focus not on direct sales head-on, but on demonstrating expertise, building trusting relationships with the audience.
- All points of contact with the consumer should be used: add product descriptions, publish information and entertainment content, conduct contests, send mailings.