There are conflicting view points on the best way to monetize your social channels. One school of thought believes that ‘selling’ stands to alienate your audiences and consequently lose reach. The other believes that the customers who are following your channels are looking for ways to engage with you and your products, and expect to be able to make purchases.
While the right answer for your brand will likely be found by looking at your overall goals, if you are going to sell on social platforms, be very careful about how you do it. The key is understanding what your social audience is looking for (it’s probably different from your general audience).
6 best practices to follow:
- Use the power of the platform. Get feedback for new products and use that feedback to determine the direction of your new products– then let your fans know how they made a difference.
- Look at the sales metrics from specific channels. Only promote the products on Instagram that your Instagram followers are interested in purchasing. (Since social channel demographics vary, the products will not be the same.)
- Create Value. Make your followers feel like they are getting special treatment. Give them exclusive content, early access to new products and encourage sharing with giveaways and contests.
- Know the rules of the platform you are using. Don’t hurt your reach by using ‘click bait’ behavior or words on Facebook, and don’t include links (that won’t work) on your Instagram posts.
- Drive traffic to the right location. Make sure that if you are asking your fans to take an action, that the action is clear and easy to complete once they get to your website.
- Use imagery that tells a story about the product. Focus on lifestyle, rather than product shots for maximum engagement.
- Follow the rule of thirds approach. Mix in sales oriented content with posts that are crowd sourced and purely engagement driven. Sales content should make up no more than 1/3 of your content.