The Dos and Don’ts Of Direct Sales On Social Media Platforms
⏱ Reading Time: 9 minutes
Social media is not taking over every part of our life. It has already done it. People study there, talk to their friends, meet their soulmates, work, get fit, learn how to live, and visit their therapists to figure themselves out. Everything is online.
Since users spend so much time on social media platforms, it is not surprising that they have become such a powerful tool for marketing. And eCommerce keeps on growing every day! In 2019, it was responsible for $3,5 trillion in sales and is expected to be $4.9 trillion by 2021!
People shop online since they can compare all the possibilities, the variety of products is much larger, they can read reviews on the product instantly.
However, it also makes the market more competitive. A customer wants the best he or she can get. It includes brand, quality, visual part, delivery, and service. So it is important to provide the best in order to make a profit out of your business and not to draw in thousands of others.
It is also important to remember that direct sales on social media platforms is quite different and requires different tools.
Direct Sales on Social Media
We surfed the Internet, analyzed various business practices, and are ready to provide you with the do’s and don’ts of direct sales on social media platforms.
Do not Ignore Your Audience
The first thing you should take care of when you move your direct sales to social media platforms is your audience. If you do not have people who can potentially buy your product, what is the purpose of it all?
Try not to picture your audience as a big mass of people. It is easy to lose track of their real needs and pains if you look at them like that. Instead, build, let’s say, ten people. What age is the first one? What is the daily routine of the second one? Where is the third one coming from? What problems may the fourth one encounter? What do they need to make their daily routine easier, brighter, more comfortable? How big their income is? Answer these questions and build your strategy accordingly.
Check Out the Competition
If you are not sure if you are doing your target audience analytics right, it is not a crime to look at your competitors. With a highly popular concept of being unique, we are afraid to look at others. We are afraid that someone will claim that we are just a copy of them. However, there is nothing to be afraid of. Watching your competitors is a way to see what the audience likes and what it does not like. It is something like analyzing your competitor, not copying them. It is the best way to avoid mistakes too. So take a look at what posts got the most engagement and which ones were a flop.
In addition, try to organize feedback sessions sometimes. No one will tell you better what you are doing wrong when trying to feel your audience than your… audience! Give them an opportunity to help you, to tell you what is unsatisfying. Do not forget to say thank you to everyone who participated. It can be a small questionnaire in Google forms or questions in the Instagram story.
These small steps will rock your direct sales world for sure. You will know how to make your audience understand that they really need your product, that it solves their exact problem, that it is a perfect fit for them and for them only.
Picture 1. The first step is getting to know your audience
Set a Proper Tone of Voice
Now that we know what your audience looks like, you have to set a tone of voice. The tone of voice somehow shows the personality of your brand and speaks to your target customer in the language they prefer.
For example, if your customer is a teen, you will not talk in a very official tone, you will watch new trends, include popular memes in your marketing, use slang. If it is a business, you will try to look professional, share content that will help their business grow.
The tone of voice will tell your customer from the first few posts if this page is suitable for them, consequently, if they will find the products that will help them on your page.
The tone of voice is also a great idea to show your values. A brand with purpose is getting more and more popular.
Millennials, in particular, are not likely to buy products from the company that is notoriously famous for air pollution or testing their products on animals. So your page on a social media platform is an opportunity to show that you do not belong to such companies or that you are socially engaged by supporting ecology movements or organizations, for example.
So the tone of voice is a way to speak to your audience, to show what kind of brand you are, and who you are suitable for.
P.S. Do not forget to use the same tone while answering direct messages!
Do Not Underestimate the Platform You Use
This piece of advice contains, in fact, a couple of them.
First of all, it is obvious that every social media platform has its own aesthetics and values. For example, Instagram requires high-quality visual content. The first thing your customer will notice is how your profile looks. If it looks bad, they will not even look at descriptions and they will never find out that this product could actually be extremely useful for them. On Facebook, people are likely to read the post so you’d better put something useful and interesting in there.
Secondly, different social media platforms have different audiences. Older generations, such as boomers and silent generation prefer Facebook. Instagram and Twitter are mostly popular among Millennials and Gen X.
If your brand is for every age group, then you should consider using different strategies for different platforms. However, if your target customers are people of exact age, you should find out what social media platform they use and be the most active there.
Different Platform, Different Algorithm
Thirdly, social media platforms use different algorithms. For instance, Instagram looks for engagement rank (likes and comments), relevancy, relationships (if a user interacts with the page more, it appears higher in the timeline), profile searches, and direct shares.
Facebook values friends and family, engagement, images and demotes baits (posts that bait for likes and comments aggressively) and promotional posts. According to these factors, your marketing strategy should be built differently. Algorithms are important for your business since they decide, whether you are going to be at the top or drawn among thousands of other profiles.
So while considering the social media platform, look at what type of content it values the most, what is its audience, and what algorithms it uses.
Picture 2. Every social media platform has a different algorithm
We have mentioned analyzing your competitors and your audience, however, do not forget to analyze your activity as well. It can happen that the form of content that is popular among your target audience is not really popular on your page. Try to look for reasons why. Should you change the content, change its form, or try something new entirely.
If you see that content that is considered to be unpopular among your target audience is flying high, do not be afraid to create more of that. After all, we are not trying to just follow the trends here. We are trying to create things that your audience is interested in.
How do I know that the audience likes my content though?
Compare a couple of your posts. The ones that got more likes, comments, shares are the type of posts you want to create more.
Picture 3. Analysis is an important step in the sales process
Start a Blog
People are less likely to follow the pages that only sell. It is not interesting or engaging to look at new products, sales, and reviews all the time. A visitor can visit your page twice a month and forget all about it, they are unlikely to subscribe.
You can change it with a blog!
In the blog, you can highlight a problem that your customer has never thought about before. At the same time, you show that your product is one of the ultimate for this issue. If we put it simply, it is a way to subtly advertise your product by explaining the problem it solves. You can also explain better how and where to use your product.
It also may happen that people will know about your blog before they know about your products. We all search the web to find a solution to our problems or to simply keep ourselves entertained and updated. That is how your blog can help you drive much more traffic and grow the audience that was not a target before.
Do Not Make Your Customer Wait Years for a Response
As they say, if I wanted to get a response in one or two business days, I would have sent a letter.
People have got used to getting the answers straight away. We get annoyed easily if we have to wait. Just remember how angry people can get if they see a long queue in the supermarket. If they see it through the window, they can even decide against entering the shop. Our patience is in really bad shape nowadays.
Thus, if a customer waits too long for a response, he or she is likely to go find this product elsewhere. They may also leave an angry comment or review. If you answer the day after the message was sent, a customer will probably ignore it. It is one of the situations where time is money. So be ready to spend a lot of time online.
Social media platforms made it easier, though, to reply to all the DMs. For example, there is a feature of automatically sent messages. On Instagram, there is a possibility of quick replies so you do not have to type the same message over and over again. It requires some time to put all the possible answers in there but it is a life-saver in the long run.
So these were the do’s and don’ts of direct sales on social media platforms. We have covered the topics of the target audience and how to find it, setting the proper tone of voice and how it can attract more customers, choosing the right social media platform, the importance of constant analysis, perks of a blog, and how to answer your DMs faster.
With these tips, your direct sales game will definitely change. And if you have any other game changers, feel free to leave them in the comments.
Lilian O’Brien is a passionate journalist who enjoys writing about psychology and human relationships. Over the course of her career, she was a regular contributor to major media publications, and currently, she serves as an editor for onlinechatdatingsites.com.
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