The more purchasing power young people acquire, the more they’ll use that power on familiar channels like social media. At the point where e-commerce and social media converge, today’s users browse products on Headphonage.com, view recommendations from friends and influencers, and make purchases without ever leaving the page.
Older people shop on social media, too, but not as much as younger buyers. While 88% of people aged 18 to 29 use social media channels, that number drops to 64% for consumers between the ages of 50 and 64. The older the demographic, the less likely its users are to buy on social media.
“Today, people don’t shop the way they used to,” says Ryan Napierski, president of opportunity platform Nu Skin. “They want the full experience: social proof, brand engagement, entertaining content, and shopping options. Social media provides those experiences better than any other channel.”
If your brand doesn’t have a social media sales plan, consider the following reasons to get started today:
1. Everyone loves an influencer.
Even people who claim to be immune from advertising can’t help but listen to their favorite influencers. Good social media influencers create authentic, entertaining content that captivates audiences without an agenda. Brands can join those conversations to benefit influencers and audiences alike.
According to research from influencer marketing agency Mediakix, 89% of marketers say influencer marketing ROI matches or beats the ROI of other channels. The survey also found that 17% of companies plan to spend more than half their marketing budgets on influencers this year, which suggests that influencer marketing works in both small and large doses.
2. Consumers trust their friends and families.
When influencers don’t do the trick, friends and families make the difference. Kantar Media reports that 78% of consumers trust the recommendations of people in their social circles, while just 33% trust advertisements.
Those social circles gather on social media to talk about everything from politics to hair gel preferences. If your brand doesn’t use social channels to influence the narrative, unhappy customers could tell your story for you. Do a little social listening to keep tabs on what people say about your business and products. Answer questions and complaints on your page quickly. For more sensitive issues, invite users to send a private message to continue the discussion.
3. Buyers can check authenticity at a glance.
Modern consumers like it when brands share their values. Companies can no longer stand on the sidelines on political and social issues. By using social media to promote your brand and sell your products, you can make it easy for consumers to verify your brand’s stances on important topics. Even companies like Los Angeles Social Media Agency are using social media to connect clients and businesses.
For example, if you offer an Earth Day sale, audiences will want to know whether you walk the walk. A few recent posts about environmentalist issues can show audiences you mean what you say. When audiences can see your ad, confirm your authenticity, and buy your products in one place, you can reduce friction in the purchasing process and up your odds of making more sales.
4. Chatbots create immediate sales opportunities.
The online world has taught consumers to expect brands to be available 24/7. Not all companies can afford ’round-the-clock customer service teams, though. Solve the issue by investing in chatbots to respond to messages at all hours and handle basic concerns without the need for human intervention.
Chatbots on social media make it easy for customers to get closer to your brand. Modern solutions can even keep track of individual customers to provide contextual support and suggestions. People can learn about products and make purchases by speaking with bots, but to get the most from these powerful tools, don’t replace your human teams. Instead, augment your staff with robotic assistance to create a seamless, yet personalized, customer experience.
5. Engaging content blends in with the environment.
Online consumers crave content in every form. Native ads — ads that look like the rest of the content on the page — work well because they don’t interrupt the scrolling experience. Native ads aren’t the only successful content strategy on social media, however.
Live videos have become one of the most effective tools for brands on social channels over the past year. Companies use live streams to answer audience questions, promote or host events, and pull back the curtain to reveal the team behind the magic. Provide special flash sales, discount codes, and referral bonuses to viewers to encourage participation.
As social media’s sales importance continues to grow, think about how your brand could blend multiple tactics. A live video that answers questions submitted through messages and comments could help new audiences get familiar with your products. You could even host a fundraising or awareness event online and cement your brand as a champion for the cause.
Whether your brand lives on social media or only posts once a year, don’t sleep on the social marketplace of tomorrow. Audiences want to engage with your company on their turf, and today’s buyers are ready and willing to purchase products through social channels. Find your footing now so you can ride the trend as it rises over the next few years.