With 1.8 billion people active on Facebook, Instagram hitting 800 million active users each month, and over 150 million people using Snapchat daily – to name just a few examples – the reach of social platforms is huge. They are also the best places to sell.
This Nielsen study is one of many that proves what retailers have always suspected: people are more likely to trust their friends’ recommendations than anyone else’s. Which is why, in the last ten years, money has flowed into social selling.
Increasingly, the e-commerce buying process is driven by customers purchasing within an experience they’ve already created for themselves, surrounded by people, brands and services selected by them.
For start-ups in particular, who have small marketing budgets to work with, utilising social media is a relatively cheap way to effectively reach huge numbers of primed, eager target customers and maximise ROI.
So, here are some ways brands need to be positioned on social platforms, to win sales and loyalty.
1. Start with the right platform for your target audience
There are a lot of social channels out there. Each one is different and attracts a different audience – Snapchat and Instagram tend to attract a younger crowd. LinkedIn is for business networking, Twitter is for opinion-formers. Figure out where your target buyers are, and position your business there.
There are many free analytics tools online, which provide a breakdown of social media audience demographics to help you choose the right social channel and build your marketing strategy.
For example, Facebook Audience Insights is an analytics tool that will segment your followers by age, gender, lifestyle, relationship status and job title.
It will also give detailed insights into their target behaviours – what time they are most active on the site and how long they are spending there. Once you have all this information, you can schedule your content accordingly and target them when they are most engaged.
Another advantage for social is that most of the platforms are now global. You may be a one-man band selling from your bedroom but a presence on social allows you to access customers in every corner of the world, as swimwear brand Kulani Kinis found when their strong Instagram presence catapulted them, with the help of DHL, to huge worldwide sales. Different social platforms can help you sell to local people or the entire world. It’s up to you.
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