Social media can be one of the most powerful tools a business can use to sell its products and services. But, when brands use social media for the sole purpose of selling their products and services, they find that they have alienated their followers.
Of course, you’re passionate about your business and eager to show what you sell to your customers. But if your feed becomes an endless procession of promotional posts, it begins to look a lot like spam.
Not only is that an annoyance for your customers, but social media platforms tend to be relatively stringent with these kinds of posts. You certainly won’t be favoured by the algorithms that decide which posts make it to the top of users’ feeds.
Connections come first – selling comes second.
Of course, the primary function of a business is to sell. And this isn’t to say that promotional posts do not have a place on social media – they do. But moderation is essential: it’s all about having a careful balance.
If you’re looking to make sales, as we all are, then increasing engagement rates on your social media profiles is a great way to start. This might feel counterintuitive: how does getting more likes, comments, and shares translate into more sales?
The truth is that, on social media, creating content that evokes a sense of brand loyalty is a much more valuable and effective way to generate a following. You need to be creating authentic and engaging content that builds trust between your brand and your audience.
How to create brand loyalty:
1. Don’t expect anything to happen overnight. A great way to think about social media is to liken it to a long-term relationship. Over time, as users begin to see and engage with your relatable content, your following will grow. Your business will build a reputation, and your brand loyalty will grow as long as it’s a good one.
2. It’s not all about you. Being passionate about your own business is excellent – and you should be – but social media is all about connecting with others. Sharing others’ posts, commenting, and liking is so important. After all, why would you want to talk to someone who doesn’t talk back? In the spirit of sharing others’ ideas, step five of this article provides an in-depth insight into why engaging with others is so essential.
3. Create content that gives value to your target audience. There is a reason why 4.48 billion people use social media. It gives something back and adds value to our lives through content that users can resonate with. By providing your audience with helpful content, you’re showing them that you’re skilled in your industry (this links back to building trust). You could give tips or host a question-and-answer session – Instagram Stories are perfect for this. Some entertaining posts wouldn’t go amiss, either. Sometimes providing value can be as simple as making someone laugh!
4. Use communities tools. As social media becomes more and more vast, finding smaller communities is becoming even more prevalent. Facebook Groups, Twitter Communities and LinkedIn Communities are all useful tools for this. You can share your own posts to these groups (preferably with a personalised caption), but the best way is to create tailored content to post directly. Remember, your business is there to be a part of the community and build a trusted reputation. So, it’s best to aim to give back more than you put out there.
5. Keep an eye on the stats. Every platform has an analytics page where you can keep track of how your content has been performing. Keep an eye on your engagement rate especially. All those shares, comments and likes are the best indicator of how your brand is received online: if users are keen to interact with you, they appreciate your content. And if they appreciate your content, they’re much more likely to purchase from you.
6. Pay for ads. If you really want to go after the hard sell, ads are the only way to make it work in the world of social media algorithms. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy and very effective to boost your posts, and you can tailor your ads depending on your goal – it could be more engagement, driving traffic to your website or building awareness. Our advice is to create your posts organically first, see which gets the best engagement, and use that to decide what content you will be boosting.
Brand loyalty leads to sales.
So there you have it: now you know that fostering brand loyalty is one of the most valuable ways to utilise social media. All those engagements – likes, comments, shares, votes on polls, direct messages and saves – will add up. Then, one day in the not-so-distant future, they’ll translate into sales.
However, all of this takes time. Creating a social media empire centred around your brand doesn’t happen quickly: it takes a lot of effort, and unless you have a dedicated marketing department, it can be difficult.
A simple way to ensure results is to hand over your account to the experts at Little Media Agency. We’ll take good care of it and ensure your business gets the results you deserve. Book your free social media consultation here to get started.