Since the arrival of the pandemic in early 2020, daily routines have changed dramatically and people are spending more time online: 4 hours in fact, as we try to stay connected with our local communities. However, how can businesses in Wales make the most of a captive audience and create opportunities for sales?
Social media has been a key player for Welsh companies looking to reach a new market amongst all the restrictions around opening businesses.
KD's Bake House went to Facebook during the first lockdown, which helped generate 20% more sales when they reopened.
And a #WashYourHands social media campaign saw The GoodWash Co. orders increase by 500% as customers move online.
So, how can you do the same for your business?
Here are the top four tips from Accelerate Wales for Business for social media sales.
Understanding your audience
Before spending time, effort or money especially on social media campaigns, you'll need to fully understand who you're selling to: How does their thinking work? What attracts their attention? And, most important of all, what makes them buy?
Imagine your ideal customer. This customer will differ depending on your business product or service, but put yourself in their position: what would make you buy from a business? Do your customers want to know about the benefits of your products? Or is it the technical specification that interests them? Maybe it's just the price that appeals to them?
Building the customer profile will not only help you understand what they want, but it will help you communicate better online. Whenever you write copy for social media, ask yourself "What am I trying to say?" This is a great way to simplify things and make it easier for your customers to understand why they need to trade with you.
Sell directly on social media with Instagram Shopping
Anything you can do to facilitate your customer's life when buying from you will help you sell more. One thing you can do is start Instagram Shopping.
Instagram Shopping lets you label your products in posts and stories, making it easier for you to sell online. No more 'Link in the bio' than closing the app to buy something: Instagram Shopping leads your audience directly to your product, so they can buy it in just a few clicks. Here's what The GoodWash Co. profile looks like:
If you want to start Instagram Shopping, you must first ensure that you have a business profile on Instagram and that your profile is linked to a Facebook page. Once you've done that, you can create a catalog of the product on Facebook, just as you would set up the product pages on your website (and speaking of which, you can integrate Instagram Shopping and Shopify for better targeting and advertising!). Instagram will need to approve your store before you launch it, but once this has happened, you're ready to sell!
O.N. Startup Instagram Shopping will also facilitate setting up Facebook Shop, because this is a very similar process. There is no need to do the same thing twice!
Make sure the ads you paid for are effective
If Instagram Shopping takes care of things when customers find your page, how do you make them find your page in the first place?
Social media advertising is key in attracting the right customer. Ads on Facebook and Instagram can be set up through the Ad Manager, which allows you to target potential customers using a wide range of criteria, such as age, location, interests and more.
Remember our first point, though: understand your customers. Think: who do you want your ads to be seen from? There can be many different types of people: a labourer and a beautician may need hand cream, but think about how each would describe the product. Different, isn't it?
So, consider making one ad for each type of customer, so that you don't mix messages and potentially lose both customers.
A copy of your ad needs to be compelling and concise. It needs to be about a brand and, most importantly, it needs to have a clear message to take action: "Buy now" or "Sign up" or something similar.
Your ad's image needs to be just as compelling. Scrolls need to be stopped stonily, but it also needs to do with the copy of your ad, so that people can get what they expect: this is key to the performance of the ad.
It's worth taking your time to set up a social ad and do it correctly: after all, you need to make a return on your investment.
Measure. Measure. And then Measure again.
If you spend time or money on social media campaigns, you're going to need to measure your return on investment.
The first step: define what success is.
Do you want to use social media to guide people to your website where they can buy products or contact you? Perhaps, you wish to net sales from your Instagram Shopping page. Or maybe you're looking to increase your engagement with social media to help the brand become recognized.
Once you know what you want your social media strategy to achieve, you can now decide what to measure.
If you use 'organic' (i.e. free) social media, you may be able to measure hits or scope (the number of people who have seen your post), engagement (the people who click, respond or comment), or something similar. Each individual social media platform has its own native analytics portal to show you how people respond to your posts, and so you should make sure you look at these.
This analytics gives you more insight into the type of people engaging with your content as well. Facebook and Instagram pages show you information such as location, age, and interests of the people interacting with your page. You can use this information to customize your content to better increase the likelihood that your customers are taking action.
Social media advertising gives you even more data. Similar to TFC (Pay Per Click) ads, social media advertising reports show you how much you spend per 'conversion' – i.e. how much did it cost you to get someone to click on your Facebook ad? This will help you better understand the value of paid posts on social media to your business.