- Posted by Smart Digital
- On August 17, 2020
- 0 Comments
“With the lockdown and closure of retail shops, the company saw Thai online merchants increase their live social sales on Facebook by 216% from February,” said Kimmy Chen, general manager of Shoplus.
Due to the global pandemic, most countries have implemented restrictions on movement.
And even though Thailand’s lock-down has come to an end, the trend of buying online has begun, and it’s here to stay.
But even though consumers are increasingly purchasing products online, many retailers are yet to take advantage of social media marketing and live video sales.
Some B2B businesses assume social media provides no real marketing opportunities for them, but that’s far from the case.
Online sales within almost all industries have been on the rise for over a decade.
Now, with people around the world forced to remain indoors, online sales have soared. And while Thailand is slowly catching onto the fact that social media marketing is a necessity, many companies don’t make effective use of it.
The truth is, in today’s world, you need to put your brand online and maximize your reach by using social media. And if you’re not using live video to market and sell products, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.
Since February, Thailand’s live social sales have risen by more than 200%, according to Shoplus, an artificial intelligence agency based in Taiwan. And it’s not just healthcare products and groceries that are popular with online consumers.
In Thailand, retailers are starting to use live social selling to market products including clothes and even gold.
This year, global ecommerce sales are expected to reach around USD 4 trillion.
By 2023, that figure will be 6.5 trillion. And many of those sales will come from the Asia Pacific region. Last year, ecommerce grew by 25% to USD 2.27 trillion in the Asia Pacific region.
As you can see, now’s the perfect time to develop and execute your social media strategy to maximize your reach and sales.
Developing a Strong Social Strategy
So, now you understand the potential of social media marketing for your business, you might be wondering why so many companies still don’t have a social media presence.
Admittedly, launching a campaign that guarantees results can be tricky. Some of the most common mistakes companies make with social media include:
- Posting lots of content with no reach or engagement – This is a trap a lot of companies find themselves in. Each social media platform is different and while it might be easy to get noticed by posting a lot of content on some platforms (like LinkedIn) other platforms like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube are set up to generate better results only if you spend money to promote your content using their paid platforms. So, having a social media strategy that includes both posting regularly and paid campaigns to promote your content to fans outside of your page/account followers is crucial.
- Using social media channels in the same way as a blog – Blogging is an integral aspect of content marketing, and you should always promote your blogs via social media to drive traffic to your website and convert readers into leads. However, simply sharing or reposting your blog posts on social media isn’t a strategy nor is it effective.Instead, using micro-content to promote your blog post across a week using stories, tweeting snippets from the post, re-purposing sections of the post as topics for discussion in groups or summarizing key takeaways on video and then promoting these through a supplementary paid campaign are smarter ways to promote a single blog post across a week or longer and to larger audiences for maximum exposure from Social media.
- Not having a clear message or any branding in their content“Social” Media works best when you’re social on media – It’s easy and free to set up a social media account and focus entirely on curating content for your account but to truly leverage social media as a tool to grow a large audience of potential customers you need to spend more time promoting, collaborating and engaging in relevant communities outside of your account/page than you do on creating content. Having a supplementary paid social strategy, especially on platforms like Facebook and Instagram ensures that your content is seen by a wider audience who are interested in your products/services but not necessarily aware of your business.
The bottom line is – if you want your social media posts to be seen by as many prospects as possible, you need to promote them, which means paid social media advertising is a must.
What Does a Good Social Strategy Look Like?
All the challenges discussed above can be overcome. You simply need to understand how to leverage social media to your full advantage, and that means looking into
So, what’s the difference? both organic and paid organic strategies.
Organic Social Media Marketing
‘Organic’ marketing usually refers to tactics you can employ for free to reach new and existing customers. Some of the main concepts behind organic social marketing you need to understand include:
We briefly mentioned above that you need to create highly quality, well – researched and helpful targeted posts to maximize your return on investment.
You can do this by using content buckets to structure your weekly posts.
Content buckets are unique core topics that your audience is most interested in – essentially, each bucket represents a category or topic. Within each bucket, you should address specific needs within a topic while ensuring they all connect to an overarching brand message.
To get started you need to create 3-5 core content buckets and then organize all post ideas under the “bucket” or category that makes most sense for it to fall in.
Having clear-cut and separate categories of content helps you post fresh and interesting content regularly which means better post engagement from your followers.
Variety of Formats
(image credit: effectiveinboundmarketing.com)
Different people like different forms of content. Some Facebook users will happily read an essay on their feed if it interests them while others prefer to get information from images and infographics.
Do you create content in a variety of formats to address the needs of different customers?
Do you mix up your posts on different social media platforms?
Remember that people use Facebook and Twitter for different reasons.
People often turn to Twitter for quick news updates while people usually use Facebook as more of a community-based platform.
Therefore, even if you’re promoting the same blog or product on Twitter and Facebook, your content should be adjusted accordingly. Also, don’t be afraid to experiment, test long format posts vs. shopt 2 line posts, slideshows, videos, gifs, photo carousels, photo albums. The more you use all the features a platform provides the more you will be rewarded by its algorithm.
Regular LIVE Selling – A zero-cost sales machine
Live selling is an incredibly powerful yet underutilized tool, especially in Thailand, despite the fact that live sales have increased by over 200% since the coronavirus put the world into lockdown.
Live selling on Facebook, Instagram, and even YouTube Live has always been quite effective but it’s only after the current pandemic that businesses have started to realize just how great of a sales tool it can be.
Live selling creates a sense of urgency, which can encourage buyers to make decisions faster.
Apart from being a great sales platform, it’s also a way to show followers and non-followers that you’re a real business and showcase your products or services in a very direct and human way because, at the end of the day, people buy from other people.
So, with Live video selling, you can also create brand awareness and convey your business’s values, which will help personalize your company and make it more appealing to potential customers.
(image credit: alphr.com)
As a Facebook user, you’re probably familiar with the relatively new concept of Facebook Stories – how easy and fun they are to create and how you can move from one story to the next, watching stories of people you’ve never even heard of before – it’s seamless, addictive and keeps you coming back for more – A recipe perfect for smart businesses looking to tap into new audiences on Facebook.
Increasingly, businesses are leveraging this feature to market their products and earn a dedicated following.
If you use stories regularly to create daily stories (almost like creating a movie) you’ll find your audience slowly expanding and your page posts getting more visibility.
You can also link out to specific posts, videos, or pages on your website which make stories incredibly useful for limited time promotions like flash sales or highlighting key business moments, testimonials, launches, etc – helping you maintain a sustainable stream of revenue from social media organically.
You don’t need to be overly complex when developing Facebook Stories. Take Purple, for example, a company that manufactures mattresses. It capitalises on the urgency that live selling and stories create by publishing posts that concisely explain promotions, why they’re being held, and when they’re set to end.
This alone is enough to push many customers into purchasing Purple’s products as soon as they see them.
Messenger and Chatbots
If you run a store, customers expect to be able to walk through your doors and ask you just about any question about your products. Obviously, they’ll also expect an immediate answer online.
Messenger chatbots (on Facebook Messenger) are a great way to set instant replies for commonly asked questions or let customers know when you’re available to chat next if they message you during non-working hours.
Additionally, we’re also seeing many successful businesses use messenger chatbots to educate potential customers and turn them into leads using automated conversations that qualify for leads and pass on data to the sales / onboarding team.
Paid Social Media Marketing
As the title suggests, paid social media marketing requires a cash investment.
However, paying to promote your posts and live video sessions is the best way to maximise your reach.
Here are 3 basic Facebook ad campaigns you should be using to grow your audience, get more engagement, and generate more leads, which will ultimately help you drive more sales.
Brand Awareness Campaign
It’s often a good idea to launch a campaign that’s primary purpose is to get your name in front of people. That way, when you update your social media feeds with product information and news, people are more likely to actually pay attention.
One example of an effective brand awareness campaign was recently launched by LIV Watches. The company developed posts and adverts that targeted people who were interested in different watch manufacturers and sports.
Once LIV Watches had created strong relationships with social media users within that audience, it was able to create a direct response campaign aimed at increasing website traffic and generating sales.
Essentially, your brand awareness campaign should be aimed at getting your content in front of as many people as possible for your budget – at the moment, most social media platforms favor video content, so using videos in your brand awareness campaign is a great way to ensure you’re making the getting the most out of your budget.
Post Engagement Campaign
Running a contest or giveaway? Getting your post seen by as many people is important but for these kinds of posts you need to make sure you’re getting enough people to “engage” by leaving comments, sharing or liking your post – this is where engagement campaigns can be useful.
Post engagement campaigns are all about reaching more people with every post and encouraging them to interact with each post in some form or another. This could involve generating more ‘likes’, shares, comments, or clicks.
Engagement adverts can come in the form of text, videos, photos, or a combination. Facebook provides you with a wide range of tools to maximize the effectiveness of your post engagement campaigns.
Conversion campaigns work well when you’ve already built up an audience of engaged followers who regularly participate in your promotional events or have shown a real interest in your products or services.
However, conversion campaigns can also be used to get more of the kind of people who take a particular action on your website – these are called “micro-conversions” and could be something like filling in an application form on your website, subscribing to your mailing list, making a phone call, downloading a brochure or PDF, creating a member account, submitting a pre-order or whatever else you would consider an important action someone would take before buying your product or service.
This is where clear and concise messaging is especially important.
Always remember to include a strong call to action in each of your posts, whether you’re encouraging people to purchase products or take an action that is a micro-conversion – whether it’s on your Facebook page or website.
Social Selling for B2B
There’s a common misconception that social media marketing and live selling is reserved for retailers.
However, B2B businesses stand to gain a lot from social media marketing, too.
You can use a variety of platforms to explain your services to potential clients.
Besides Facebook, you can create YouTube video demonstrations, LinkedIn posts that highlight your industry expertise, and live videos to host Q&A sessions – all of which will work to boost your brand awareness and your bottom line.
You may sell services to other businesses, but you’re ultimately still marketing to people, most likely key decision-makers within other organizations. Use social media to reach these people and transform them into leads.
You might want to take advantage of automation to combine your social media and email marketing strategies much more effectively.
The easiest way to start is to test out a simple lead generation funnel –
Use a video in your reach campaign to drive viewers to a landing page with more information on your offer – on the landing page have a form for them to sign up for a demo or consultation call making sure you ask for their name, email and phone number – send them a friendly automatic confirmation email with a few pointers on what to expect and a little more information about yourself and/or business.
If they don’t show up on call, you can take it a step further and automate an email asking if they would like to reschedule.
Some B2B industries that can significantly benefit from social media marketing include recruitment agencies, SaaS companies, coaches, consultants, and more. Although the nature of business between B2B and B2C companies is very different, we’re essentially selling to other human beings at the end of the day.
Yes, live selling has proven to be very effective for retailers during COVID-19 but it was effective before as well and is effective not just for retailers but for all kinds of businesses
Live selling and Live videos can be a superb zero-cost way to make quick sales but having an overarching organic plus paid strategy is a must for sustainable growth and sales from social media.
Social media, especially LIVE videos work for B2B businesses just as effectively as they do for B2C businesses – they may need different social media strategies but we’re selling to other human beings at the end of the day – all of whom use some social media platform – its your job to figure out which one and go all in!
If you’re looking for a team to help you leverage social media in a smart and cost-effective way, we can help!
Schedule a call with us for a free strategy recommendation, sample reports, and proof of what we’ve been able to achieve for other businesses – we value full transparency and a results-first oriented approach, just like you!