How to sell via social media

You want to market your product or service and increase your brand awareness. Social media is essential to do that. How do you use these channels effectively? Put your online marketing strategy into practice by advertising on social media.

From branding to conversion

A good strategy starts with branding. Branding is a way to let your brand or concept 'land' with your target group. You do this by regularly offering valuable content such as videos, atmospheric images, or free webinars. Social media are highly suitable for sharing such content. Start with a very broad target audience. Later you can specifically target the people who have proceeded to order or signed up for your newsletter.

Is there serious interest in your product or service? Then your audience changes to a list of prospects: people who are actually curious to find out more. At this stage, you can also include a small call to action, such as viewing an interesting webpage, tagging friends, or sharing your post.

A small group with genuine interest will remain. You will want these prospects to become your customers. Through campaigns that refer directly to your web page, you stimulate these prospects to actually buy your product.

Community management

In addition to branding, you should also focus on community management: strengthening interaction and engagement around your company page or account. Regularly add new content on your page and respond to the loyalty of your customer with fun promotions. Engage your customer, ask questions, and respond to comments.

Posting regularly improves your visibility. For example, the algorithm behind Facebook, EdgeRank, shows you more often to people if they have responded to your messages several times. This chance increases when you post more often.

Advertising through social media

With social advertising, you practically create a need among potential customers. This is because you spark interest in your product among your target group at moments of your choosing. On the other hand, advertising can come across as intrusive. Therefore, it is important to determine the right target group. In other words, visitors who actually enjoy your content. Adapt your advertising image and text to your target group as effectively as possible.

The relevance score shows you how well your advertisement (ad) has performed. This score is determined based on the expected positive and negative response. The score also determines the reach that is generated and thus the final costs of your ad. A negative response (hiding your ads, negative comments, or a low average video viewing time) lowers your relevance score and increases your costs. It also causes your reach to be lower in the future.

Measuring results

Of course, you want to see how your ad is performing and you want to control costs. To do so, look at the metrics that are important for your objective. For example, the average CPC (cost per click) says something about the performance of your website traffic campaign. If you know how much you pay per click, you can easily determine how much budget is needed to achieve the desired number of conversions.

Via Google Analytics you can add parameters to the URL, so you can see how your advertisement performed. Use this Google Analytics URL Builder; it will give you great insight.

Do take into account the European privacy legislation. Do you collect data from (potential) customers? Always check in advance whether you comply with the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

This article contains advice from Mercede van de Wiel, social media expert at online marketing agency Afdeling Online.

Entrepreneur David van Tuil talks about what social media meant for his restaurant. 

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