If you’re anything like the typical brand or small business only just starting to venture onto social media in a serious way, you could be forgiven for feeling confused and overwhelmed about it all.

After all, there are so many social networks around these days, catering to different needs and expectations. And with recent statistics suggesting the number of social media users around the globe is now hovering around the four-billion mark, how can you have much hope of targeting your own organisation’s social media marketing efforts well?

The good news is that it’s not necessarily as daunting a task as you might initially think. So, let’s take you through some actionable tips for how to get the best out of your firm’s social media marketing campaigns, especially with selling – not just generating brand awareness or online traffic – in mind.

Make sure you target your audience where they are

Have you ever found yourself wandering between a given brand’s social media pages, and noticed that while they have a lot of followers and engagement on one platform (say, Twitter), they might not have anything like the same numbers on another platform (such as Instagram)?

Sometimes, this situation might arise because the brand in question only became active on a particular platform much later than the other. But when you’re looking at your industry rivals, it can also be a good clue as to which social platforms your firm would be best-advised to target.

If you want to sell more products or services to your social followers, it makes sense to seek out the social networks where your target audience is likeliest to be present in great numbers. It’s one reason why social media marketing professionals (like our own) often advise their clients to focus their efforts on just a few well-chosen platforms, instead of trying to have a presence ‘everywhere’.

Tap into user-generated content (UGC)

As the term suggests, user-generated content can be understood here as being content – such as text, images or videos – that social media users create in relation to a particular brand, and which helps show that brand in a positive light.

An obvious example of UGC would be someone who bought a vest from your online fitness clothing store showing off their purchase in photos on Instagram, while tagging in your brand. But UGC could also be something like a review of one of your products on Facebook, or simply a video of a customer enjoying your product in their day-to-day lives.

When people browsing online for mentions of your brand on social media see UGC like the above, it helps them to place greater trust in your organisation’s offerings. This, in turn, makes it likelier in many cases that they will go on to buy from you.

So, how can you encourage your social followers to create UGC? There are many ways. You might, for instance, ask your audience to post images of their favourite item they bought from your store in the last month. Naturally, our team at Jumping Spider Media can assist you in creating this kind of ‘social proof’, so that you can bolster awareness, reputability and sales online.

Put on time-limited ‘flash’ sales

You might have wondered when we would start to reference more ‘direct’ ways of selling to your target customers on social media! Not all the content your brand produces on its social profiles should be squarely sales-focused, especially as your followers won’t always be looking to buy from you. But some sales-centred content, when well-timed and judged, can be invaluable.

You may choose, for example, to hold limited-time-only sales that you first publicise through your social profiles. A key thing here is to emphasise that your money-off deals will only be available for a short time, to help instil urgency to buy in your social media followers – a phenomenon known as ‘fear of missing out’ (FOMO).

The above aren’t the only things any small business owner should know if they are serious about selling on social media. However, we will have hopefully provided you with some important inspiration. For further help with getting started on social media or optimising your brand’s current marketing approach in this area, please feel free to reach out to our experts today.