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Consumers are using social media to research brands, redeem offers and validate purchase decisions. Just as consumers are becoming increasingly social, the products they buy will have to be “social” as well. But it’s not just about being present on Twitter or Facebook, it’s about using these social networks to your advantage.

Here are few ways to use social Web to increase your sales:

1.      Use Stunning Visual Content for Facebook Posts

Posts that contain images are likely to attract the attention of visitors. The description of a product may not attract a consumer, but an image has the power to make people click on it and check out the product. After all, an image is said to be worth a thousand words!

As per reports, Facebook posts with photos generate 120% more engagement as compared to the average post. When you want to post an announcement or promote a piece of content, use high quality images. The addition of an image can make a text-only Facebook post look compelling and increase the click through significantly. Images make products seem tangible and real to your visitors and act as a powerful sales tool.

2.      Use Twitter Vine

Twitter is the second largest social platform after Facebook. Brands can make use of Twitter to attract consumers using Vine videos.

But the question is: How can one use six seconds of a short-form video to increase their sales?

The answer is: Businesses can come up with their own creative and innovative ways to create magic on Vine.

You can use Vine videos to showcase your product and/or teasers to get the audience excited about a product launch. You can even provide useful tips for your followers through the videos.  If they like them, they will likely share the content with their networks. Businesses can thus start putting Vine into their arsenal of social media tools for effective engagement and increased sales.

3.      Pin a Contest on Pinterest

Contests on Pinterest are an amazing way to connect with your target audience, and to generate tons of repins, likes and shares. They breed excitement, and create interactions, mentions and referrals about your brand. They help market your brand and your product to an enormous audience on Pinterest.

Depending on your goal, whether it is to add more followers or to increase sales, there are many different types of contests you can hold on Pinterest. To increase sales, create a board that allows pinners to upload photos of themselves using your products, or video testimonials of their experience with your products. This establishes instant credibility for your brand, which is crucial for getting new customers.

When you run a contest on Pinterest, make sure you promote it on all of your social networks. Post it to your Facebook page, tweet it through Twitter, and blog about it on your website. This will help you gain customers through these networks as well.

4.      Leverage Social Reviews

Ninety percent of consumers say buying decisions are influenced by online reviews. This shows that user reviews have a huge influence on the purchase decisions of shoppers. Using product reviews to create trust and provide insights into your product is a great way to generate sales.

Reviews can help eliminate any doubts a potential customer may have about a product and can even help in product selection.

There are, however, many businesses that fear negative reviews. But numerous case studies and client anecdotes prove that reviews, regardless of whether they are positive or negative, create a positive impact as they build authenticity and drive sales. As per reports, reviews lead to a 74% increase in conversion rates.

5.      Execute Social Gifting Campaigns

Social gifting is the new trend in eCommerce. It allows consumers to send both free and fee-based digital gift cards to friends via social media and email. Social gifting provides retailers with a unique opportunity to gain brand exposure and acquire new customers. Retailers should thus leverage this option to generate sales.

For instance: The ‘Tweet-a-coffee’ campaign of Starbucks allowed their fans/followers to buy a coffee for a friend via a tweet.  Starbucks says this campaign led to significant bump in sales.

6.      Post Quality Content Consistently

Another way to grow your business through online channels is to post quality content consistently. Great informative content allows you to be a leader in your industry and gain the trust of potential buyers. It actually allows you to ‘sell without selling’.

Post about current developments in your industry, how-to tips regarding your products, or your upcoming products on your blog.

Share your blog articles on different social channels. If your audience enjoys reading your content, they may ‘like’ or ‘favorite’ it. Moreover, if your fans/followers find your articles worth sharing, they will share them within their networks. Engaging articles will generate more comments, thus making your post stay longer in the social stream, thereby giving your brand a higher chance of getting noticed by other consumers.

7.      Include Social Share Buttons

Inclusion of social sharing buttons on your website is one of the best ways to drive traffic to your social profiles.

Incorporate social sharing buttons on every page of your website and blog to help your visitors or readers follow you on social channels. This will help your fans and followers keep up to date with the posts on your website without having to visit it.

Social buttons will also encourage visitors to share your content. The more your content is shared, the higher the number of readers it will reach, and the greater the opportunity for you to gain new customers.

8.      Give Away Free Stuff

One of the most effective techniques to attract new clients is to give them something for free or at a drastically reduced rate. Research has shown that 42% people follow a brand on social channels in order to get coupons or discounts. A brand should therefore offer deals for their fans and followers from time to time.

An ad campaign can at times cost a business more than a giveaway. Giveaways are used as part of promotion to boost sales.

Giveaways will draw greater numbers of consumers to your social pages and create social engagement. Make sure these social pages have a link to your website. This will lead to an increase in your site traffic.

Social selling is a sure-fire way to boost your sales. Use the above mentioned ways to connect with consumers, generate brand awareness, and increase sales.

May 20, 2014

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