Whatever the nature of your business, chances are you maintain corresponding social media accounts. At the very least, most companies maintain Facebook (with the help of Facebook advertising agency)and Twitter pages, with others adding LinkedIn (great for B2B), Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and YouTube. There are many reasons for doing so: to build and nurture an audience, to interact and answer queries, to promote articles and advertise special offers, to share videos and customer reviews, and – of course – to drive sales. After all, 74% of consumers say they depend on social media to help inform future purchases.

Maintaining a social media business account is relatively straightforward – it’s a matter of posting engaging content regularly. Selling online is much trickier since few people scroll through Facebook or Instagram with the intention of spending money. Despite this, social media can be a vital part of the sales funnel when it’s done properly. Here are five ways to harness social channels to boost your conversions.

Use Built-In Social Shopping 

When you add a shop to a Facebook page or a Shop Now button to your Instagram posts, you can feature products in your posts and stories. While you’ll want to do so sparingly, since even devoted customers don’t want to be spammed, direct social selling should definitely be part of your strategy. If you’re an artist selling fine paintings, for example, you might consider adding “Shop Now” to posts as a matter of routine. After all, since posts will invariably be of new canvases, followers are receiving value and won’t be turned off by a “Shop Now” button.

Run Targeted Ads

For businesses, social media has, to a large extent, become a pay-to-play platform: even if you have hundreds of thousands of loyal followers, only a fraction of those will be shown your posts organically in their feed that is why you need to increase social media likes and shares over time. . This fact necessitates spending some money on ads. The critical thing is to get the most out of your social media advertising: to make sure your cost-per-click is justifiable, that you reach a targeted audience, that the time and nature of your posts are determined by intelligent data, and that your site is optimized to convert those who click through.

Share Compelling Content That Promotes Your Products

While Instagram is primarily a visual medium, channels like Facebook and Twitter are good for promoting written content – listicles, how-to guides, newsworthy stories, in-depth blogs. If content marketing is a priority of your business (and it almost certainly should be), it’s likely that you have a blog integrated into your e-commerce site, which you update regularly and which references products available in your online shop.

Whether you have a hundred followers or a million, social channels are great for promoting blogs that subtly tout products, typically in the form of a call-to-action. Just make sure the blog is well-written and authoritative, with a compelling title, meta description and high-quality image. When advertising a blog on social media, use hashtags sparingly (they’re seen as spammy) while deploying occasional emojis to catch the eye; if using a desktop browser, these can be copied and pasted from Emojipedia. In time, you’ll notice some of your social followers will visit the blog, read an article and enter the sales funnel by clicking through to your online store or a specific product page.

Post Engaging Videos 

Videos are more eye-catching than text-based posts, and there are so many videos you can create to showcase your product or service and drive sales: from demo and unboxing videos to animated tutorials, Q&As, and promos. Diversify your social media output by combining text-based posts with images (infographics are great) and videos. You can film the latter with a smartphone then add text overlays, sound effects and other nifty effects using an online video maker.

Share Product Reviews

Most online shopping platforms collect customer reviews to establish trust and build their brand, recognizing that 70% of consumers rely on such reviews before making a purchase. There is no reason why positive feedback cannot then be shared on your social media channel, alongside a link to the product or service in question. You can even combine customer feedback with a demo video or offer code. Spread that feel-good factor and let would-be customers know that other people are feeling the benefits of what you’re offering.

There you have it: five effective ways to drive conversions using your social media platforms. Of course, social media is a fun, conversational medium too, so make sure you’re combining sales-focused output with viral, humorous or topical content, the better to keep your audience engaged.