Can social media marketing drive sales? This ecommerce client proves it can - here's how Brafton's social strategy attracts followers, drives traffic & sales.

Industry: ecommerce
Content: Daily Facebook & Twitter posts
Highlights: Increase in social-influenced purchases, more referral traffic

Social media is a crucial ingredient in successful marketing campaigns. It’s how you reach your target audience. It’s also how you nurture interest in your products and services until people are ready to purchase.

When we started managing an ecommerce company’s Facebook and Twitter pages, we saw its purchases from social media channels increase 71 percent. This was the result of  fueling conversations with fresh content every day.

social conversions for ecommerce site

Sales opportunities start – and sometimes end – with social media marketing

The company, which sells merchandising products to retail stores, understood that a social media presence was important to its success.

24% of businesses STILL don’t have a social media presence despite its potential as a marketing channel.

This might seem basic, but there’s a surprising number of businesses (24 percent – to be exact) that continue to ignore social media.

Brandwatch recently reported that nearly one-quarter of companies are completely absent from all social media conversations and a greater portion – 42 percent – don’t have a Twitter presence. Why? Maybe they think it’s not important to their audience. Maybe they think it’s not worth the investment.

Whatever the reason, it’s a mistake to overlook social channels where you audience is active, because even just having an account and regular posting can make an impact on your entire sales funnel.

Here are other businesses that experienced success with social media strategies:

The strategy: Written and visual content keep the prospect pool engaged

Brafton’s social media strategists promoted the custom content our editorial team was creating for the company’s blog through original posts on Twitter and Facebook.

Each of the Facebook posts and about half of the Twitter posts featured pictures in addition to merchandising trends and tips. These images featured the company’s products, graphics our design team produced for the brand and the occasional (highly stylized) stock image. (Our social strategists took into account that It was important to the company that everything on the social feed share the brand’s style and look, since it produces custom products for its clients.)

In addition to engaging text and images, the posts ALSO contained links back to the company’s website. This is essential, because a link is a direct bridge to the website, where readers can click around and make purchases. It connects the dots between casual interest and serious purchase intent.

The results: More referral traffic, last-interaction sales

Since the start of 2015, the client’s content marketing strategists have tracked a 71 percent increase in last-interaction purchases from social content. What this means is that a social media post was the last thing a visitor looked at before buying an item on the company’s ecommerce site.

What marketers need to understand about social media success is that a very small portion of organic engagement is initiated out of an intent to purchase. Most people interact with a brand for one of two reasons:

  • Learn about price and value

  • Ask a customer service question

When brands are available on the channels where customers seek them, and have the answers to both of these questions, they create new opportunities to generate sales.

This company used its content to inspire customers with fresh ideas about merchandising, while also making it clear that it could provide solutions. Once retailers had a clear idea of how they could use some of these ideas in their stores, they knew where they could find products to bring them to life.

While this strategy is generating more sales, it’s also building a following and supporting the entire online marketing strategy.

Ecommerce follower growth

The number of social referral sessions increased 14 percent quarter over quarter, driving qualified visitors to the site where they can learn about products and services.

Are you harnessing the power of social media marketing?

Social media is obviously a powerful tool for this company – and it is for most brands that use it wisely to promote their content online. Marketers are working in a landscape where customers habitually shrug off outright promotions. They’re desensitized to ads, having seen them plastered across channels. Instead, they want information and don’t want to feel like they’re being sold.

Like this ecommerce client, brands that position themselves as the purveyors of information, ideas, tips and entertainment are grabbing up the market share because it’s what customers crave. Social promotion makes these assets accessible to audiences, and it gives prospects a sense of what to expect if they work with you – responsive customer service and consistent value.  

content for social ebook SmallFor more information about building a successful social media strategy for your unique audience, download Brafton’s free eBook: Content for Social Media Marketing

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.