The life of a social media post – and how it ultimately leads to a sale

It can be hard to believe at times, but every social media post has the potential to turn into a sale. Often it takes a few steps, and sometimes the conversion is almost instant. In either case, however, it can be helpful to understand the theoretical life of a social media post. Think about the strategy behind this to make sure every step results in you looking at reviews, checking your website, filling out a form, reading an e-book, contacting your sales rep, making a purchase, and everything in between another step below. Remember, as long as the person is in the funnel, you have a potential sale.

Awareness & Commitment

It’s important to understand the impact social media has on exposure to new products and services that would otherwise go undetected. According to Oberlo, 54% of social browsers use social media to search for products. That’s an incredibly impressive number, and it really speaks for the sheer impression social media makes on consumers. In addition, it not only reaches the audience, it also converts and makes the purchase. 90% of people buy from brands they follow on social media, and half of those purchases are made within a week of contacting the post office.

In other words, it’s clear how engagement can lead to brand awareness and ultimately sales, but the key is making sure you don’t lose people further down the pipeline.

Reviews and product feedback

Once people become interested in the product and brand you represent, the first thing they will look for is reviews and feedback for those in front of them.

Positive online reviews are one of the most important things people need to consider when buying a new product or choosing a new service / business that they have not used before. Video ratings are also intended to be used “at least intermittently” to gather information. However, be aware of the main sources that people collect information from:

  1. The retail websites themselves (i.e., if you sell your product on Amazon, Amazon reviews)
  2. The brand or manufacturer’s website (i.e. your company’s website)
  3. Facebook
  4. Youtube
  5. Brand communities
  6. Blogs
  7. Pinterest
  8. Instagram

This list helps us to identify where feedback is particularly important. Of course, don’t diminish the value of Google reviews or reviews on other websites, but by all means focus on building the positive feedback you can collect in these areas.

Look at your website

Once people see a social media post like your product and do a little research, they are most likely visiting your website. This is where it’s really important to make a positive impression on your audience. Even if they are ordering from a third-party website (especially if they are ordering directly from your ecommerce website), it is important that your website is professional, easy to use, and relevant. Nowadays, when people are not interacting with storefronts directly but are heading to websites through social media posts, your website is your image and determines whether people will choose to do business with you.

If you are a service company or a B2B company, you may not necessarily be selling products, but a service. This makes a website all the more important as your social media post leads it to your website and, ideally, to a landing page that you have optimized.

Inquiry form

Once your social media post leads a user to your website, you want people to fill out your request form. The overall goal is really to get the person’s contact information so that you can keep track of them even if they don’t convert. Inquiry forms should be simple and straightforward, and not ask so many questions that people don’t want to bother answering you.

A simple one: name, e-mail, telephone number (optional) and space to leave a message are sufficient. Some of the best contact forms leave out unnecessary information and focus on getting the customer to give them what you want.

Contacting your sales rep through social media

Social media posts can also lead potential customers to contact your sales team directly. With the “Call Now” CTA option on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, some users are choosing to call the company directly instead of navigating the web steps mentioned earlier. In this case, you want to make sure that the path of social media posts to the sales rep leads directly to a sale. Train your sales team well and help them see the value of this social media traffic by contacting your company over the phone.

Complete purchase

The ultimate goal of a social media post is to get a customer to complete a sale. You can find more tips here. It’s nice to get traffic to your website, inquiries, and people direct to your sales reps. However, if these don’t close the sale, you’re not really seeing the end result you want. Part of the life of a social media post is measuring conversions and seeing what leads to a sale. Which of the above ideas is your company most successful in showing? Are some of your posts more successful than others in getting your visitors to make a purchase? If so, what did you do well? Taking into account what actually makes your audience respond the way you want them to and measuring your success is an important part of repeating the social media campaign cycle.

What do you think is the most important aspect of getting a social media post to sell? Let us know in the comments below!

Amanda DiSilvestro is the Editor-in-Chief for Plan, Write, GO. She has been writing about everything to do with digital marketing for over 10 years, both as a ghostwriter and as a guest author and blog manager. Check out their blogging services to find out more!