I had a conversation with a small business owner recently. During our chat, they asked me something I thought would be worth sharing here on the blog. I see so many small businesses struggle with this on social media and it has a direct impact on your sales and bottom line.
"I’m quite active on social media. I post almost every day but I’m not seeing an increase in sales. Why does this happen?"
Let’s unpack this.
Post-frequency isn’t everything.
The frequency at which you post is only one part of what makes your marketing activities on social media platforms successful. It’s one thing to share tons of posts online, but to see a positive impact on your bottom line, you need to make sure that you are sharing content that users want to engage with. Focus on creating content that adds value to the reader and that fits into your brand story.
If you are a boutique accessory brand that sells bracelets, scarves, earrings, etc. online, for example, you need to do more on social media than just sharing pictures of your products with the words ‘Buy Now!’ on the picture and a link to your product page in the copy. Your customer can just as easily buy a mass-produced scarf from a large retailer (and most likely for less than you charge as well). The key here is to give your customer a reason to want to buy from you, and simply telling them to is not good enough. And no, advertising specials and discounts don’t count. You have to give them a story they can relate to or an idea they can buy into.
Why is “Buy Now” not that effective?
Simply stated, not everyone who sees your post is ready to buy. Those customers who have moved through the sales funnel from awareness of your brand to interest in your brand, to the desire to purchase from your brand (and be connected with your brand) are now ready to take action and buy from your brand. Customers at the bottom of the sales funnel (the desire stage) are likely to click on your link and buy your product. However, not everyone who views your content is at that stage of the sales funnel. You have customers from all across the sales funnel viewing your content and only creating content that helps customers at the desire stage take the next step to move to the action stage, won’t help customers at the other stage move down the sales funnel.
As you can see, I’m not saying that Buy Now posts don’t work at all and that you should never encourage customers to go to your website with a link. Buy Now posts can be effective, but you also have to create content for customers who are not ready to buy. This content should also preferably be aimed at helping your customers move from the different stages in the sales funnel to the next.
What would this look like for our brand in the example above?
Well, other than creating content that speaks to the customer problem statement, you could look at creating a story around who you are as the creator of the product; what about you and your values, hopes, dreams, and ideals, can your customer relate to and makes the items you create special? You can also look at utilising user-generated content, or consider sharing ideas on how to use your accessories to style different outfits.
More content doesn’t necessarily mean more sales. The content that you share needs to give your customer a reason to buy. This is achieved by looking at the different stages of the sales funnel and creating a variety of content that caters to all stages of the funnel. Your content should be aimed at helping your customer move from one stage in the funnel to the next until they take that bottom-of-the-funnel step and make a purchase.