Increasing your sales revenue using social media marketing
It has been 24 years since the first social media platform, Andrew Weinreich’s Six Degrees, came into our lives. There are now at least 20 platforms, individually boasting of over 300m active users every month. According to a recent report by Statista, a German-based company that specialises in global data analysis, there are over 4.2 billion active social media users. That is more than half of the world’s population.
The report states further that an average user spends almost 3 hours every day on social media. Contrasting that fact to traditional marketing, where individuals are often interrupted for advertisement. With social media marketing, you have “willing individuals”, particularly if you have built large followership. It is interesting to note that only about 1% of social media users create content. 99% are simply consuming, with just under 10% engaging. The pragmatic thing for Sales Directors to do, therefore, is to play where the people are willing consumers.
Driving sales revenue using social media marketing appears obvious, therefore, businesses – multinationals or sole proprietorships – can use also use it to launch recruitment campaigns, provide customer service, engage customers, generate leads, guide followers to the website & gain valuable insights.
“Traditional marketing usually interrupts an enjoyable activity. With social media, however, consumers love to be interrupted. Therefore, the pragmatic Commercial Director should play hard where there are willing accomplices.”
There are, of course, challenges with using social media for driving sales, as you may attract trolls, who consistently point out flaws, real or imaginary, to others. Wrong handling of the account could result in corporate embarrassment or damaging the brand you are trying to build. Social media marketing also takes time; you have to sign up for the long haul to have a meaningful impact if using social media for branding or marketing.
However, when compared to traditional marketing, I believe that the benefits of social media marketing outweigh the top challenges I have highlighted above:
- Social media offers a fantastic reach. A business associate found out that buying a piece of promotional equipment she saw on her Instagram feed from far away Turkey is cheaper (including door to door logistics cost) than buying an exact product (same specification) from her favourite supplier, 30 minutes away, on Sam Houston Parkway Texas US.
Compared to traditional marketing, social media posts by businesses can be seen by followers across geography within seconds. This offers a somewhat level playing field as you can then have a global approach to your business.
I may choose to locate my business in the most remote location, but with social media marketing, I can compete with companies on the high streets of New York, London, or Tokyo.
- The cost outlay is more manageable. It is more cost-effective. Signing up, creating a profile, organic contents/advertisement are all free. There is no restriction to the number of adverts you run in a day. Printed expensive brochures, flyers or handbills are not required.
You can avoid costly prime time slots on TV or bidding for billboards in strategic locations within the city, newspaper advertorials or expensive media agencies to increase your sales revenue.
Suppose you use an agency for social media, which I suggest you do. In which case, the service usually comes at a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing support, with generally more benefits. It is inexpensive to run promotions or advertise on social media platforms, unlike conventional marketing platforms.
Social media advertising may get expensive when you begin to use influencers to drive traffic. Still, the impact on sales is usually more significant when compared to the same amount spent on traditional marketing platforms.
- Your marketing investment performance and other key performance metrics are more transparently tracked and reported. You can track how your content is performing by review metrics such as Impression, Click & Conversion rates and likes. Social media platforms offer you insights that can be deep dived to understand the consuming public’s behaviour and adjust accordingly. You can track your return on investment (ROI) based on your goals which should be agreed upon before the campaign. You can match that with growth in sales figures to be sure that the investment is worth it.
Businesses can also track the pipeline their customers flowed in from easier than when an advert is on the billboard, for example.
Based on each platform’s performance, or advertisement or content, businesses can improve their strategy to reinforce such pipelines or content, thereby improving sales figures and profitability.
More than 80% of developed economies adult population are active on social media. The number of users from developing nations, though lagged, is rising daily. Over 90% of millennials globally routinely use social media. You are most likely reading this article, not from the traditional newspaper but from a mobile device or a desktop. Therefore, businesses that ignore this easily accessible platform lack the strategic view needed to be relevant in today’s business world – not even tomorrow’s!
The series on Social Media Marketing continues on Thursday 13th May 2021 with the topic, Developing your business’ social media strategy
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