Social media opens up huge opportunities for businesses to promote their products and services. But simply blasting "Buy Now!" promotional posts won't convince people to become customers.
To truly leverage social media for sales, you need a more nuanced approach focused on value, consistency, trust, and subtle selling.
Follow these four keys to turn social media followers into paying customers:
1. Provide Value That People Want
The first step is determining what your audience actually finds valuable. This takes some research and listening.
Pay attention to the types of content and conversations that get high engagement on your social media marketing. Ask followers directly what their pains and needs are. Study competitor content that performs well.
Look for these signs to identify valued content:
Questions and advice people are seeking
Problems and frustrations commonly voiced
Interests relevant to your industry
Current trends and events on people's minds
Entertainment and humor related to your niche
Curiosity about behind-the-scenes aspects of your business
The goal is to pinpoint the information and entertainment your audience craves. Then cater your content to those valuable topics.
For example, a makeup brand's social media marketing might create value by:
Sharing makeup tutorials and technique tips
Giving product recommendations for different beauty needs
Showcasing creative makeup looks and styles
Spotlighting inspirational customer makeovers
Providing entertainment like brand stories and owner Q&As
Keep watch for shifts in audience interests too. Continually create fresh, high-value content
tailored to what followers want right now.
2. Show Up Every Day With Valuable Content
Once you know what content your audience deems valuable, the next key is being consistent with publishing it.
Sporadic, all-over-the-place posting won’t work. You need a steady drumbeat of valuable content to become part of your audience’s daily social media habits.
Commit to a regular content creation and publishing schedule. For most businesses, that means multiple social media posts per day and a weekly blog or video.
Sticking faithfully to your schedule conditions followers to expect your content at certain times.
For a clothing boutique, for example, posting might involve:
Morning Instagram Reel styling video
Noon “Outfit of the Day” post
Afternoon new arrival product photos
Evening small business spotlights
This steady stream of relevant, high-quality content trains audiences to check your feed regularly.
3. Earn Liking and Trust Over Time
The third piece is developing goodwill and rapport with followers by consistently providing value.
This doesn’t happen with one or two posts. It requires many touchpoints over weeks and months.
Gradually, by seeing you “show up” daily in their feed with helpful, enjoyable content, followers start to:
Remember your brand and associate it with positive feelings
Look to your posts for value instead of just scrolling by
Feel comfortable reaching out to you with questions
Perceive you as an authority they can trust
Share your content with their own networks
In essence, providing value helps convert strangers into fans. You want people to know, like and trust you before they’ll buy from you.
Strategically Mix Some Selling Into Content
The first three principles lay the foundation. You can’t lead hard with sales out of the gate.
But once you build authority and trust, you can strategically blend some promotional content.
This might include:
Sharing new product launches
Highlighting sales and special deals
Advertising availability of high-demand items
Reminders about services offered
Behind-the-scenes looks at your production process
User-generated content and customer success stories
Contest and giveaway announcements
Surveys asking for product feedback
Sneak peeks and pre-orders for upcoming offerings
The key is keeping most posts (80% or more) focused on value, with other promotional content mixed in moderately. Overselling will damage the credibility you worked to build.
Additionally, make sure promotional posts still provide some sort of value related to your audience’s interests. Don’t just randomly announce sales; tie offers to relevant events, styles, or uses.
Lastly, include clear calls-to-action in your promotions: click links, discount codes, comment instructions, etc. Remove any barriers to taking the next step.
Getting the Mix Right: Social Media Marketing Done The RIGHT Way
Mastering this blend of value and promotion takes practice. Track what post types perform best in driving followers to your site or sales pages.
Listen to audience feedback too. If people start complaining you’re too salesy, pull back on promotions for a while.
With time, you’ll find the right cadence where followers don’t feel pressured but sales stay robust.
Remember, the end goal on social media isn't quick profit through pushy sales pitches. It’s nurturing customer relationships by consistently providing value.
Social media is meant for genuine community building and two-way interaction. Do that successfully, and the sales will naturally follow.
Thanks for reading!
- John Dirugeris / Owner of VAW Media