If you have a social media marketing campaign, you probably know that being over promotional is a big no no. This includes any social media communication that says “buy this”, contains a price or offers any form of discount. Most digital marketers are focusing their social media marketing campaigns on building their brand and business despite the reality that most other marketing campaigns requires the ability to increase profits and decrease expenses.

So how on earth are you going to sell via social media? Online you will find many people stating that the social web is a place to keep up with and engage with family, friends, and colleagues – you are not suppose so market your products directly! While building a buzz regarding your business is a necessity, for many businesses online, investing in any form of marketing that doesn’t yield any tangible results is unacceptable. As social media continues to mature, showing a positive return that impacts your bottom line is becoming more critical.

How are you going to use social media to support your sales process? Find below a couple of tips explaining this.

Research your target audience closely

Don’t just create a new Twitter profile or a Facebook Fan page without knowing and understanding where your target audience interacts on the social web. This means that you should create an extended “buyers persona” for your target market. Where are they online? With whom do they engage with? Do they really want to be associated with businesses and brands? Who influences them? Finding this information is quite easy – just ask them. When you know this, spend time on the social media channel they are using and engage with them. Try to think like a hardcore sales person to better understand your audience.

Target only the channels that your audience is using

Let your research and insights about your audience guide your social media strategy. From a technical perspective, what do these social media channels require? How do other digital marketers sell and engage on these platforms? What supporting promotion is needed?

Creating magnetic content

With digital marketing, your goals are to provide content that will help your audience get the answers that they need. What questions does your audience need answered on the social media channel you are using that is related to your business? What information can you provide them that support your purchase funnel? While being over promotional is a big no on the social web, nothing is stopping you from talking directly about your product and price on your owned channels such as your blog.

Call to actions

The key with including call to actions in your campaign is to “soft sell”. Skip the pushy promotional hard sell at all times. The last thing you want is to be classified as the car salesman to your audience. Stay away from common directives like “buy this now”. Your goal with your SMM campaign is to get people into your purchase funnel. Look for ways that you can embed links without being spammy.

Use optimized landing pages

Send your audience to specific product pages and not directly to your home page. Ensure that your landing pages continue the look and feel that is related to your social media branding efforts. Also facilitate the purchase process by optimizing your landing pages.

Make it easy to buy

Once you have someone that’s interested in buying your product or any other service from you, reduce the number of steps it takes to purchase. Keep the buyer always focused on what you are offering. Understand that this person can leave your website without buying because they might not be ready yet. Streamline your purchase process and make sure that you can track these people from social media channels when they return at a later stage.

Measure social media sales

It is important that you integrate the ability to track any sales from your social media campaign into your analytics. Make sure this works. You can use promotional codes to track sales. Understand that these sales might not be from social media directly and can be generated from more than one form of marketing.

Social media is a great new way you can use to drive sales. It only requires that you do some research and find the audience you are trying to reach and then integrating your offering into your campaign in a way that’s a soft sell. It is as easy as that.

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