Using social media to supplement existing marketing and sales strategies is an excellent way to increase a business’s reach online. Out of the 7.7 billion individuals in existence across the world, 3.5 billion of them use some form of social media. This is, arguably, the fastest and easiest way to get your message out into the world. The reach of social media platforms is vast, impressive, and instant.
Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn can all be used to sell and promote products and services. This makes them an ideal means of marketing for retailers all over the world. From providing insight into their target audience directly through to making sales, social media is a versatile tool.
These are just a few of the many different ways that retailers are using social media:
Boasting their brand’s voice
When retailers create a social media page for their company, they have much more control over what consumers see than they would if consumers found them in a Google search. You want your social media pages to be search engine optimized so that they pop up before anything else with your name in it, and you retain control over the narrative. Retailers’ social media pages are also a great place to give consumers some insight into what the company is all about.
Providing information, insider stories and pictures, and other relevant details can help make a retailer more relatable. Consumers, generally, love to make connections and bond over products, and many large retailers have had great success in using social media to present their brand’s voice, mission, and background. Everything that retailers share on social media should be relevant to the company and not overly personal, political, or ambiguous.
Interacting with current customers/clients and potential ones
When retailers use social media, one of the biggest benefits is the opportunity for two-way interaction. Retailers can not only keep track of customer or client insights, but they can also evaluate the feedback that they’re getting by paying attention to the types of comments, number of likes and shares, and other interactions they’re getting on their pages or products. This helps them increase their online visibility by picking out which individuals appear to be open to interaction and reaching out to them, too.
By making meaningful connections through social media, retailers can create conversations with the people who are already interested in their products and others that are searching for them. They can also encourage happy customers to share their success stories and tell other people about their products. Word of mouth can be an incredibly helpful concept, and social media is a great place to encourage that.
Introducing new products and testing ideas
Social media is all about interaction and inclusivity, so it’s a great place to introduce new products and test out ideas for others. Building the hype around a product is easier on social media than it is anywhere else. With the options to like, share, comment, and save items, customers can not only come back to them later, but they can also quickly and easily introduce their friends and family members to them, too.
This also makes social media an ideal option for drawing attention to existing products. By providing interesting, entertaining, and valuable information about your products (along with some excellent photos), retailers can drastically increase their number of regular customers.
When it comes to testing out new ideas, retailers can create full polls and surveys to get free insight from consumers before they spend the money manufacturing, producing, and distributing a product that isn’t as exciting as they originally thought. Or it may happen the other way around – maybe a retailer was on the fence about a product, but the attention that it drew on social media made them realize that it would be a very valuable asset. Getting consumers involved makes them feel excited and valued, and gives them a connection to the company. This often translates into more sales, especially if the product testing starts with a free sample or trial.
Selling products directly
More than half of consumers prefer to shop online than to travel to a store. Millennials, in particular, do 60% of their shopping online. Whether it’s through direct links to products on their website or affiliate links on related blogs and other websites, there’s clearly a massive market for online purchases. Each social media platform is good for marketing and selling a variety of products, with some being more successful than others.
Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook are typically the most successful because these are the sites that consumers are already using. Social media, in general, is great for getting products out there, and the one that works best will depend on what the products are, the target audience, and the competition, among other factors. But one thing is clear: retailers who aren’t selling their products on social media are missing out on a valuable opportunity.