Social media is now a crucial arm of the digital marketing strategy of just about any business. Beyond being a great platform for distributing content and offering support to customers, it can also be an effective tool for driving sales. Here, we’re going to look at the strengths of each platform, and how they can drive sales differently for different businesses.
There’s no denying that Facebook is still the king when it comes to converting page visitors to customers. For reach, engagement, views, and driving traffic, it is still number one. The ability to share effective multimedia content in a variety of formats is one of the greatest advantages it has to offer. However, as algorithms make it harder for customers to spot your brand organically, the reliance on pay-per-click advertising is now dictating which brands dominate this platform. If you have the budget, getting on Facebook is a no-brainer.
The most social of social media, Twitter is all about using content to drive conversations and less about using it as an advertising arm. PPC ads are still effective, but while Twitter is great at building a community and offering support, it doesn’t excel at driving conversions. Some industries, like catalogs and gift & specialty items find more success on Twitter, but that’s a rather limited scope.
Pinterest and Instagram
Why are we including both these platforms together? Because they perform much the same function. Both Instagram and Pinterest are highly visual, allowing users to follow accounts particularly for the images they share. Instagram might have more users, but it is in fact Pinterest that has the market share when it comes to conversions. Industries that rely on impressive visuals, like décor, fashion, food, and travel businesses, do better on these platforms than even Facebook.
A video hosting website, some don’t count Youtube as a social channel but for the purposes of delivering content and driving sales, we are going to. While the visual mediums of Pinterest and Instagram are great for products that have immediately aesthetic appeal, Youtube is great for product demonstrations. For products that require a little deeper explanation, like digital products, services, and automobiles, Youtube can be invaluable. You just have to invest in high quality productions and perhaps a little ad-clip spend.
The biggest “forum” or social website on the internet, Reddit is becoming a social media platform in its own right. However, while it doesn’t dominate many industries in terms of converting sales besides electronics and other techy goods, it is perhaps the best place for creating a community. Subreddits can gather brand fans and become one of the most effective resource sharing tools for knowledge-intensive products and that community alone can be a fantastic source of new customers.
Regardless of which platform you choose, there’s no denying that social media must become part of your customer conversion strategy. There are too many users out there to keep ignoring it. Once you choose your platform, it’s all about creating the right content in the right format to attract sales as best as possible, find out more about how to get started and making money from social media in our online guide here.