As with much of Internet Marketing, Social Media is getting more and more crowded, making it harder to stand-out from the crowd and drive traffic and sales to your website. However, there are still some well-established and proven strategies for increasing your online sales through the use of Social Media. These 3 tips below are certainly not the ONLY ways to increase sales using Social Media, but they are a great start.
1. Have an Organic & a Paid Facebook Strategy
In their effort to improve “user experience,” Facebook has made it increasingly difficult for businesses to reach their Followers with sales-related posts. Their algorithm specifically targets and devalues language that even remotely sounds “sales-y” or product-focused. That means if you want to show off products, promote a sale, or show off new arrivals, you need to have a Facebook Ad budget to promote those posts.
Organic, or Un-Paid Facebook Strategy
Just because sales posts aren’t effective without paying for them, there is still value in using Facebook to build brand and customer loyalty. If you want to relate to your Followers on a personal or lifestyle level, these kinds of posts – videos, special interest shares, etc. will continue to get great organic (un-paid) reach. What are your customers interested in that intersects with your product? Can you give them an inside look at your company? Interact with your customers and potential customers, and cultivate a brand voice that appeals to your demographic.
Facebook Ads can be a great value; and done right, they can be cheaper with a better ROI than Google PPC. Things to try with your paid ads:
- Be sure to leverage your existing website traffic by installing a Facebook Traffic Pixel. This will allow you to create a target audience for your ads that includes everyone who has visited your website and also has a Facebook account. Even better, you can create a Lookalike Audience of people who are similar to your website visitors!
- You can also leverage email lists to create Custom Audiences for Facebook advertising. (And then, of course, create a Lookalike Audience!)
2. Keep Working Pinterest… Invest Time + Energy Now for Payoff Later
Pinterest is definitely a long-term payoff, and it is all about the numbers. The more Pins you publish, the more people you Follow, the more Followers you earn, the more people will Re-Pin your content, increasing the potential for driving referral traffic and sales conversions on your website. So if your product fits nicely into the Pinterest demographic, spend 5-10 minutes a day at it. If you’re impatient and have the budget, try Promoted Pins for growing you Followers and gaining traffic immediately. Finally, be sure the PinIt button is displayed on your website. This lets your website visitors do some of the work for you, sharing your content and links with their own Followers.
3. Don’t Forget About Keywords and SEO
Just because Social Media is off-site, doesn’t mean you should forget all about search engine optimization! In fact, Social Media is a great opportunity to boost your SEO.
The first reason has to do with engagement and popularity. If you are steadily growing fans and followers, if your social accounts regularly get interaction, if Social Media drives traffic to your website that sticks around and explores, then that affects how Google views your “popularity.” Additionally, publishing new content regularly (don’t let your Social Media go silent!), let’s Google know that you are engaged online and doing new and exciting things that customers should know about.
The second has to do with relevant in-bound links. If you are creating traffic from Social Media that links from text and content that is relevant to your landing page and your website’s main keywords, you are helping your overall search engine ranking. Of course, not all relevant links are equal. Obviously, it is easier to create relevant link text from a blogging or micro-blogging platform, however all social posts are searchable on any given platform, so be sure your content can be found by optimizing and including relevant keywords (and hashtags, if applicable to the platform).
The final way Social Media can help SEO is by saturating the SERPs. Picture this: your customer performs a search for “handy widget.” Google returns 2 Pinterest links, both from your own Pinterest Boards that have keyword-rich descriptions, 1 Google+ Page link from your business, 2 YouTube videos from your channel, and of course a link to your Handy Widget page on your website. Ranking your content on multiple sites floods out the competition! But the only way to make sure that happens is by keeping your keywords in mind whenever you post on Social Media.