Increase Profitability

4 Ways Social Media Can Help Drive Sales

Improve your social media presence

4 Ways Social Media Can Help Drive Sales
 

Social media is top-of-mind for business owners looking for new ways to drive sales, foster engagement and generate leads. In fact, 96 percent of small business leaders worldwide employ some form of social media marketing1 and more than half (57 percent) of consumers say they would think more highly of a business after seeing positive feedback online.2 Follow these four steps to optimize your company’s social media presence and potentially boost sales:

1. Find the right platform for your audience

Finding new customers is all about knowing how to socialize. For example, Facebook is a strong platform for B2C sales, but the site’s algorithm can make it difficult for brands without an advertising budget to be seen or heard. LinkedIn has proven successful for sales of B2B services and products, but keep in mind that customers on LinkedIn expect professional and informative content. While Twitter can be leveraged for both B2B and B2C sales, it also provides the opportunity to listen to prospects to identify key trends and pain points. Instagram can serve as an outlet for brands to highlight visual content and reach audiences that are ready to engage. More than half of Instagram users follow a business, and 60 percent of people learn about products or services through the photo-sharing service.2

2. Connect with prospects

Connect with potential customers by using audience-targeted keyword searches within each social platform and listen for discussions, questions and conversations about your product. For example, if your business sells grilling equipment, search for mentions of the brand names you carry, as well as all users who mention barbeque, grilling and cookouts. Search for keywords that relate to your industry and your competition to connect with your target audience. Once you connect, don’t bombard your community with sales pitches. Instead, get to know your audience by reading profiles and identifying your prospects’ needs.

3. Build relationships by engaging

Social media is a powerful way to build your brand at a relatively low cost. Professional services firms, for example, use social media to establish themselves as thought leaders by sharing valuable content, such as case studies and educational videos, with their target audience. And although 36 percent of small businesses with social media pages never respond to customer comments3, customer interaction is critical. Reply to all queries as soon as possible and provide a quick solution or explanation. Once you build relationships, you can tell prospects how your product or service might be of value to them.

4. Drive your social community to your website

Mention your company’s website or product page on all social platforms, regularly create and share relevant content, and use social media advertising. Also, don’t forget the importance of mobile. Roughly 80 percent of all social media engagement happens via mobile devices4, making these channels ideal for reaching a high volume of buyers on the go.

Tips to improve customer engagement

Learn more from our Small Business Best Practices Guide.

1 “12 Social Media Marketing Trends for Small Business,” June 9, 2015, Social Media Examiner.

2 “Hitting 500,000 Advertisers,” September 2016, Instagram for Business blog.

3 “Small Businesses and Consumers Not on the Same (Web)Page,” Aug. 27, 2015, DMN.

4 “Nearly 80 percent of social media time now spent on mobile devices,” April 4, 2016, Marketing Land.

This content does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.

Related

Investment and Insurance Products:

Are Not FDIC or any other Government Agency Insured   Are Not Bank Guaranteed  May Lose Value 

© 2018 SunTrust Banks, Inc

equal housing logoSunTrust Bank is an Equal Housing Lender. Member FDIC

equal housing logoEqual Housing Lender. SunTrust Mortgage, Inc

SunTrust, SunTrust Mortgage, SunTrust PortfolioView, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, SunTrust Premier Program, AMC Pinnacle, AMC Premier, Access 3, Signature Advantage Brokerage, Custom Choice Loan and SunTrust SummitView are federally registered service marks of SunTrust Banks, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Services provided by the following affiliates of SunTrust Banks, Inc.: Banking products and services are provided by SunTrust Bank, Member FDIC. Trust and investment management services are provided by SunTrust Bank, SunTrust Delaware Trust Company and SunTrust Banks Trust Company (Cayman) Limited. Securities, brokerage accounts and insurance (including annuities) are offered by SunTrust Investment Services, Inc., a SEC registered broker-dealer, member FINRA, SIPC, and a licensed insurance agency. Investment advisory services are offered by SunTrust Advisory Services, Inc., a SEC registered adviser. GFO Advisory Services, LLC is a SEC registered investment adviser that provides investment advisory services to a group of private investment funds and other non-investment advisory services to affiliates. Mortgage products and services are provided by SunTrust Mortgage, Inc.

SunTrust Mortgage, Inc. - NMLS #2915, 901 Semmes Avenue, Richmond, VA 23224, 1-800-634-7928. CA: licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act, IL: Illinois Residential Mortgage Licensee #MB-989, Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, 100 W. Randolph, Suite 900, Chicago, IL 60601, 1-888-473-4858, MA: Mortgage Lender license #-ML-2915, NJ: Mortgage Banker License - New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, NY: Licensed Mortgage Banker—NYS Department of Financial Services, and RI: Rhode Island Licensed Lender.

"SunTrust Advisors" may be officers and/or associated persons of the following affiliates of SunTrust Banks, Inc.: SunTrust Bank, our commercial bank, which provides banking, trust and asset management services; SunTrust Investment Services, Inc., a registered broker-dealer, which is a member of FINRA and SIPC, and a licensed insurance agency, and which provides securities, annuities and life insurance products; SunTrust Advisory Services, Inc., a SEC registered investment adviser which provides Investment Advisory services.

SunTrust Private Wealth Management, International Wealth Management, Business Owner Specialty Group, Sports and Entertainment Group, and Legal and Medical Specialty Groups and GenSpring are marketing names used by SunTrust Bank, SunTrust Banks Trust Company (Cayman) Limited, SunTrust Delaware Trust Company, SunTrust Investment Services, Inc., and SunTrust Advisory Services, Inc.

SunTrust Bank and its affiliates do not accept fiduciary responsibility for all banking and investment account types offered. Please consult with your SunTrust representative to determine whether SunTrust and its affiliates have agreed to accept fiduciary responsibility for your account(s) and if you have completed the documentation necessary to establish a fiduciary relationship with SunTrust Bank or an affiliate. Additional information regarding account types and important disclosures may be found at www.suntrust.com/investmentinfo.

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey is the trade name for the corporate and investment banking services of SunTrust Banks, Inc. and its subsidiaries, including SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc., member FINRA and SIPC.