Over the past few months, businesses have realized how important social media has become to their marketing. Companies that previously didn’t have a social media marketing plan have embraced social channels for interacting with clients and offering products. However, social media companies want to go further than that. According to Forbes, Instagram intends to start providing shopping as part of their app experience. Social media is now becoming more than just a marketing channel, but a sales channel in its own right. In this article, we intend to explore how a small business can leverage social media as a sales channel.
Getting a Foothold Through Marketing
As we mentioned before, social media marketing accounts for closing a lot of sales. Ad Week notes that social media has a total conversion rate of 0.71%, a lot smaller than standard search, which converts at near to 2%. Social media poor conversion does make up for it in the number of consumers it reaches, however. Thanks to the ability to filter an ad to a particular demographic, it’s more likely that the people who want a specific item will see the ad. Even so, social media presents a significant barrier to conversion.
Why Aren’t People Buying?
As Mobile Marketer explains, most consumers interact with a brand on social media but need to leave the platform to finalize the transaction. It’s always been a point of contention for users to leave social media’s spaces because of how those companies cultivate their user experiences. Navigating away from the social media platform impacts the user experience significantly. For example, if a user is looking for Elderly Home Care, they’d probably be directed away from the Facebook ad that was delivered to their feed to a website that’s trying to sell them on a service. Most users just click away. However, with social media marketing channels now looking to enter the fray as full-fledged sales platforms, this problem may be resolved.
Is Social Selling Viable?
At the moment, only Instagram is investing in making their social commerce program a reality. A vast majority of users on Instagram already use the app to discover new products and compare them to others. Even so, Instagram isn’t the favored channel for advertisers. Though many like to buy Instagram followers, its sister company Facebook is usually more favored. The simple explanation for this can be attributed to the volume of returns that marketers get on their ad spend on Facebook as compared to other social channels.
The Effectiveness of Social Media for Sales
As a sales channel, social media still has a long way to go. However, there has never been a better time for social media marketing platforms to switch gears into a complete sales frontend. The recent pandemic has made it extremely difficult for individuals to purchase goods easily. With social media already so easily accessible, this economic slowdown allows those networks to leverage everyday usage to provide products for customers. Whether those companies will capitalize on the opportunity remains to be seen.