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10 ways social media can boost customer engagement and sales

Seize Digital
Social media is an essential part of marketing any business. A 2018 survey found that 58% of respondents say they were influenced by social media when making their purchasing decisions, up from 45% in 2016.

Companies can connect with customers, create brand awareness and grow a loyal and engaged audience via social media. But, with so many opportunities across numerous different platforms, where should you start? We have 10 suggestions to help you find the right direction for your brand.
 
  1. Facebook ads

The biggest social media platform is particularly effective for B2C sales and engagement with 39% of users following favourite brands in order to receive special offers. The average user clicks on 10 ads/posts per month so, if your most valuable customers hang out there, it’s an ideal place to connect.
 
  1. Photo or video ads on Instagram

Instagram isn’t just for personal use any more, with 80% of users following at least one business. The same research found that 75% of users took action such as visiting a website or making a purchase after viewing an ad on Instagram. Explore click-to-buy ads for product launches or promotions.
 
  1. Impactful strong images and/or video

Articles with images have 94% more views than those without, and it follows that the more appealing the image, the better customer engagement will be. Including a photo and a video in a press release can result in over 45% more views. For ecommerce sites, imagery is particularly important, with 67% saying that photo quality is very important when making their choice. Make sure you use strong images and video when posting.

 

  1. LinkedIn recommendations

Building a great bank of top LinkedIn recommendations doesn’t cost anything, but it’s one of the best ways of creating trust. The site has 590 million professional users, up 18% on the previous year. A US survey has found that 83% of respondents who received a word-of-mouth recommendation from friends of family were more likely to purchase a product or service, where LinkedIn could provide a valuable source of referrals.
 
  1. Create your own targeted LinkedIn content

By creating content tailored to your specific audience and presenting it in an attractive way, you will build trust and authority. This is another area where great graphics or video really make a difference. Hootsuite recorded a 150% increase in impressions when it posted a video compared to its usual image-based campaign and a 130% increase for a post containing a custom graphic when compared to a normal linking post. So, be sure to use multimedia content across all marketing channels.
 
  1. Pinterest content

Although it’s one of the smaller platforms, don’t discount Pinterest. It can be a powerful tool for online stores, with a staggering 98% of users saying they have tried something new they discovered on the site and 93% using the site to research and plan purchases. Explore what kinds of target customers could be reached via both small and large social media platforms.
 
  1. Promoted pins on Pinterest

If Pinterest is the right place for your brand, then promoted pins can be lucrative, and are used by some big names to drive sales. Pinterest says that 50% of users have made a purchase after seeing a promoted pin, with 67% discovering a new brand this way. Consider extending Facebook and Instagram spend to Pinterest too.
 
  1. Top quality, relevant content

Wherever you post, the quality of content is key to engagement. With 90% of people saying they find custom content useful, take the opportunity to provide your potential clients or customers with something relevant and interesting so that your brand becomes a name they’re happy to see.

 

  1. Connect on an emotional level

Seventy percent of people felt closer to a company as a result of content marketing, with 78% perceiving a relationship between themselves and a company using custom content. Even in business, research has found that 50% of a decision is made at an emotional level. Use the right social media platform to find your tribe, then laser-focus your content on the things that matter to them.

 

  1. Know your frequencies

To maximise the effectiveness of any social media marketing, you need to understand users’ habits. Pinners like plenty of new posts, while LinkedIn users don’t want to be overwhelmed. Research has come up with optimal posting frequency for each of the main social media channels as follows: LinkedIn once a day, Instagram three times over two days, Facebook twice a day, Twitter three times a day and Pinterest a whopping five times a day or more. Make sure you scale engagement according to audience as well as platform characteristics. 

In summary, the power of social media is immense. To avoid being overwhelmed by the scale of the opportunity, start by focusing on the platform most favoured by your target audience, rather than a scattergun approach.

High quality, low volume content typically outperforms low quality, high volume content. By keeping every single social media post relevant and interesting you’ll start to build a great reputation and healthy customer engagement for your brand.

Contact Eagle Eye to find out how social media can help your digital performance marketing spend work harder with our Reach & Redeem capabilities.