Facebook and Twitter are planning on integrating purchase technology and both are testing ‘buy’ buttons. Social networks have massive moneymaking potential, so the race is on to convert leads to sales in the shortest time possible.
Direct sales from social media are very rarely instant at the moment, as campaigns tend to influence buying decisions further down the line. But they are already useful for researching sentiment on products – like the iPhone 6 issue of the phone bending in the pockets of consumers. This was trending on Twitter and definitely had a impact on initial sales figures, as people would think twice before purchasing one of the first batches of iPhone 6 launched. This delay in purchasing would have prompted Apple to release a statement and rectify the issue for all subsequent iPhone 6 models.
Big firms like Apple would suffer huge reputational and sales losses if they were to simply disregard the opinion of the public. This is the true power of social media and how if you can harness this power, your firm can grow exponentially.
Even in the absence of ‘buy’ buttons, it is possible to achieve direct sales from social media. They won’t be instant, but you’ll benefit from other advantages in the short term – and yet more in the medium to long term:
Short term wins
- Brand awareness – can be instantly improved, but does take time to build up in advance of key selling periods when competition from other brands peaks (for example, in the run up to Christmas)
- Audience growth – the more followers a brand has, the more popular it appears. Every genuine follower represents a prospect who can be contacted via direct messaging.
- Reach – every new follower has the potential to share your campaign with their friends and family (the average number of Facebook friends is 200)
- Community activation and interactions – engagement is a measure of loyalty and how interested your followers are in your company and activity creates fresh content, which can improve search rankings.
- Sharing (potentially viral) – by sharing your content, not only are your fans increasing its reach, but this social amplification has SEO benefits as well!
- Data capture – encourage users to provide their email address and opt in to receive updates from your mailing list so you can start communicating with them outside of social channels
Medium to long term benefits
- Direct web traffic – correctly targeted campaigns will increase visits from relevant segments via social media. Testing will improve targeting over time and ensure additional traffic is of suitably high quality.
- Organic traffic growth, thanks to social SEO! Use links and keywords to your advantage when posting updates on social channels but give search engine spiders time to take these into account.
- Sales – Google Analytics allows you to track a customer journey for up to 6 months so make sure you’ve got everything set up properly to allow you to do this and gain insights in the process.
- User generated content – this can be reused, reducing the costs involved in future content creation.
If you would like to know how our agency can help your firm grow and develop its online presence through the medium of social media platforms. Please do not hesitate to contact one of our consultants today!