Making Sales Through Social Selling

For many, e-commerce is a great opportunity to tap into a market that they would not otherwise reach, and social media is a great supplemental resource for your e-commerce business. But in order for social media to be effective, you need to make sales from it – otherwise, it’s a lot of time without a lot of value (unless you do it for fun, in which case it’s personal rather than business).
To help increase your opportunity for social sales, here are a few tips:
1. Announce new product arrivals or any other worthy news and monitor how much your traffic increases to your site as a result of your announcements. This allows you to see sale increases during these times. It’s important to understand the corollary between your sales and social marketing strategies so that your time is spent wisely.
2. Offer incentives to your followers on your social sites that would make them want to shop with you. Give promotional codes for purchases made during a specific time frame, for certain products or just because. These codes generate business but also help you track the purchases made as a result of them.
3. Make sure your design details, check-out options and general user-friendliness of your site is easily understood by your customer. If it’s complicated, messy in appearance, lacks professionalism or doesn’t “wow” your customer quick enough, you’re losing the chance for a social media-generated sale.
4. Know your competition and what they are up to. Online retailers are opening up every day, and as a result, it’s a tough market. Are you making your store stand out from the rest?
5. Allow old-fashioned communication to enter the picture. Social marketing is an extension of socializing, which, when shopping, is part of the fun! People are generally familiar and comfortable with this. Include your phone number and email address as options for customers to connect if Twitter and Facebook isn’t their thing.

You should be open to both the fun and challenges of social marketing if you want to be successful with online retailing. It’s tough, though. Not only does your product need to be great but your website needs to look amazing as well. Don’t lose heart: a balance of both can lead to the wonderful reward of social sales. In the next few SRC posts we’ll touch upon marketing and community-building examples to inspire your use of social media – stay tuned!  — If you have social selling ideas that have worked for you we’d love you to post them in the comments.