Since the pandemic struck 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 to our local communities. But how can Welsh businesses make the most of a captive audience and create opportunities to sell?
Social media has been a key player for Welsh firms looking to reach a new market amid restrictions on opening.
KD’s Bake House turned to Facebook during the initial lockdown, which helped generate 20% more sales when they re-opened.
And on the back of a #WashYourHands social media campaign, The GoodWash Co. saw orders spike by 500% as customers moved online.
So, how can you do the same for your business?
Here are Superfast Business Wales’ top 4 tips for selling on social media.
Understand your audience
Before spending time, effort or especially money on social media campaigns, you need to fully understand who you’re selling to: what makes them tick? What makes them engage? And, most importantly, what makes them buy?
Picture your ideal customer. This customer will be different depending on your business’ product or service, but put yourself in their shoes: what would make you buy from a business? Do your customers want to know the benefits of your product? Or is it the technical specification that they’re interested in? Perhaps they’re just interested in cost?
Building a customer profile will help you not only understand what they want, it’ll help you communicate better online. Whenever writing social media copy, ask yourself “What am I trying to say?” This is a great way of simplifying things and making it easier for your customers to understand why they need to do business with you.
Sell directly on social media with Instagram Shopping
Anything you can do to make your customer’s lives easier when buying from you will help you draw in more sales. One thing you can do is set up Instagram Shopping.
Instagram Shopping lets you tag your products in posts and stories, making it easier for you to sell online. No more ‘Link in bio’ or closing the app to buy something: Instagram Shopping guides your audience directly to your product, so they can buy it in just a few clicks. Here’s how it looks on The GoodWash Co.’s profile:
If you want to set up Instagram Shopping, you first need to make sure you have a business profile on Instagram and that your profile is connected to a Facebook page. Once that’s out the way, you can create a product catalogue on Facebook, similar to how you would set up product pages on your website (speaking of which, you can integrate Instagram Shopping with Shopify to better target and advertise!). Instagram will need to approve your shop before you can launch it, but once that’s happened, you’re ready to sell!
p.s. setting up Instagram Shopping will also make it easier setting up a Facebook Shop, as it follows a very similar process. No need to double your efforts!
Make sure your paid-for ads are effective
If Instagram Shopping takes care of things when customers find your page, how do you get them to find your page in the first place?
Social media advertising is key in attracting the right customer. Facebook and Instagram ads can be set up through Ad Manager, which allows you to target potential customers using a wide range of criteria, such as age, location, interests and more.
But remember our first point: understand your customers. Just think: who do you want to see your ads? It might be several different types of people: a labourer and beautician might both need hand cream but think about how each one would describe the product. Differently, right?
So perhaps consider making one ad for each type of customer so you’re not mixing messaging and potentially missing out both customers.
Your ad copy needs to be compelling and concise. It needs to be on brand and, most importantly, it needs to have a clear call to action: “Buy now” or “Sign up” or something similar.
And your ad image needs to be just compelling. It needs to stop scrollers in their tracks, but it also needs to relate to your ad copy, so people get what they expect: this is key to an ad’s performance.
It is worth taking your time setting up a social ad and getting it right: you want a return on your investment after all.
Measure. Measure. And then measure again.
If you’re spending time or money on social media campaigns, you need to measure your return on investment.
First step: define what success looks like.
Do you want to use social media to drive people to your website where they can buy a product or get in touch with you? Maybe, you want to net sales from your Instagram Shopping page. Or perhaps you want to increase your social media engagement to help brand recognition.
Once you know what you want your social media strategy to deliver, now you can decide what to measure.
If you’re using ‘organic’ social media (i.e. free), you might measure views or reach (the number of people who’ve seen your post), engagement (the people who click, react or comment), or something similar. Each social media platform has their own native analytics portal to show you just how people respond to your posts, so be sure to check them out.
These analytics gives you more insight into the type of people who engage with your content too. Facebook and Instagram’s Pages show you information such as the location, age, and interests of the people who interact with your page. You can use this information to tweak your content to better increase the likelihood of your customers taking action.
Social media advertising gives you even more data to play with. Similar to PPC (Pay Per Click) ads, social media advertising reports show you how much you’re spending on each ‘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 social media posts to your business. It also helps you see where you can make changes to improve conversion and get more bang for your buck.