The Life of a Social Media Post—And How It Eventually Leads to a Sale
It can be hard to believe sometimes but every social media post has the potential to lead to a sale. Oftentimes it takes a few steps, and sometimes the conversion is almost immediate, but in either case, understanding the theoretical life of a social media post can help. From awareness to looking at reviews, to checking out your website, to filling out a form, to reading an ebook, to contacting your sales rep, to completing a purchase, and everything in between, consider the strategy behind making sure each step leads to another step below. Remember that as long as the person is in the funnel, you have a potential sale.
Awareness & Engagement
It is important to understand the impact that social media has on exposure to new products and services that would otherwise go undiscovered. According to Oberlo, 54% of social browsers use social media to research products. That is an incredibly impressive number and it really speaks to the sheer impression that social media has on consumers. Further, not only are audiences just being reached—they are converting and making the purchase. 90% of people buy from brands they follow on social media, and half of these purchases are made within one week of engaging with the post.
In other words, it is clear how engagement can lead to brand awareness, and ultimately the sale, but the key is making sure that you do not lose people further down the pipeline.
Reviews and Product Feedback
Once people become interested in the product and brand you represent, one of the first things they are going to do is get searching for reviews and feedback for those who have come before them.
Positive reviews online are one of the top things people need to consider purchasing a new product or going with a new service/business that they have not used before. Video reviews are also said to be used “at least some of the time” to gather information. However, take note of the top sources that people gather information from:
- The retail websites themselves (i.e, if you sell your product on Amazon, Amazon reviews)
- The brand or manufacturer website (i.e, your company’s website)
- Brand Communities
This list helps us to see where feedback is especially important. Of course, do not discount the value of Google reviews or reviews on other sites, but definitely start focusing on building up the positive feedback you can gather in these areas.
Looking at Your Website
Once people see a social media post, like your product, and do a little investigating, they are highly likely to visit your website. This is where it is really important to make a positive impression on your audience. Even if they are ordering from a third-party site (but especially if they will be ordering directly from your e-commerce site), it is important that your website is professional, user-friendly, and relevant. Nowadays when people are not interacting directly with storefronts, but rather, lead to websites through social media posts, your website is your image and it determines whether people decide to do business with you.
If you are a service business or a b2b, you may not necessarily be selling products, but a service. This makes a website all the more important, as your social media post will lead them to your website, and ideally a landing page that you have optimized.
Once your social media post leads a user to your website, you want people to fill out your inquiry form. The entire goal is really to get the individual’s contact information so that even if they do not convert, you can follow up with them. Inquiry forms should be simple, straightforward, and not ask so many questions that people do not want to bother answering you.
A simple: name, email, phone number (optional), and space to leave a message will do. Some of the best contact forms leave out unnecessary information and focus on getting the client to give them what you want.
Contacting Your Sales Rep via Social Media
Social media posts can also lead to prospects contacting your sales team directly. Now with the CTA option of “call now” on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, some users are choosing to call the business directly rather than navigating the previous web steps mentioned. If this is the case, you want to make sure that the path of social media posts to the sales representative directly results in a sale. Train your sales team well, and help them to acknowledge the value in this social media traffic by contacting your company over the phone.
Completing a Purchase
The end goal of a social media post is really to get a customer to complete a sale. Learn more tips here. It is nice to get traffic on your website, inquiries, and people contacting your sales reps directly, but if they don’t complete the sale then you are not really seeing the end result you want. Part of the life of a social media post involves measuring conversions and seeing what leads to a sale. Which of the ideas above shows your business the most success? Are some of your posts more successful than others in getting your visitors to complete a purchase? If so, what is it that you did well? Considering what actually gets your audience to react the way you want them to, and measuring your success is a big part in repeating the social media campaign cycle again.
What do you think is the most important aspect of getting a social media post to make a sale? Let us know in the comments section below!
Amanda DiSilvestro is the Editor-in-chief for Plan, Write, GO. She has been writing about all things digital marketing, both as a ghostwriter, guest writer, and blog manager, for over 10 years. Check out her blogging services to learn more!