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Don’t Expect Sales from Social Media Marketing

My company acquired a small social media marketing agency on January 1 of this year. (Thank you, it is pretty great, but my god, it’s been so much work!)

As I’ve talked to all these new clients, I have been fielding the same question over and over: “Why am I not getting sales from social media marketing?”

The answer might surprise you: “Because that’s not what social media marketing is for.”

Does that mean you will never ever get a sale from social media marketing? Of course not. It’s just highly unlikely.

With that said, just because social media marketing doesn’t drive sales doesn’t mean it’s useless! It’s a vital part of any marketing program, because it helps you reach potential customers and build relationships. Together, they drive sales – but this does not happen overnight.

Let me explain.

Social media ads are great for lead generation

Social media ads are a great way to attract potential customers and pull them into your marketing funnel.

Let’s say you offer a discount code towards the first purchase. People will click on the button to get the code. They’ll be taken to a landing page on your website where they can submit their email to get the code.

The email marketing program you use then sends off an email with the discount code. Move the person into your email marketing program, where you can keep in touch with them and help them get to know your company, products, services, etc.

Eventually, they’ll make a purchase. But it won’t happen right away, because they have to get to know you.

Social media marketing is perfect for building relationships

It is important to keep your social media channels active with fun, relevant content. This is not a waste of time!

We all know that content from companies/brands doesn’t show up in our newsfeeds, so people will visit your Instagram account, for example, and see what you’ve been posting. They might interact with a bunch of ‘grams at once and then not visit again for a while.

That’s OK. They’re getting to know you and interact with you. They might click over to your website and sign up for your newsletter. They might browse and buy something. Or they might just hang out and get to know your community better.

Trust drives sales – not social media

Social media doesn’t drive sales any more than email marketing, blogging, giving a TED Talk or going to networking events. These are all tools that help people get to know you, like you and trust you.

If you build trust, they will buy. Eventually.

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

  • Susan M Kim
    Posted at 15:49h, 13 February Reply

    I have found that most clients have no idea about the differences between social media content and social media ads. Social media ads are effective in driving leads and sometimes sales. Social media updates content can be good for awareness and relationships IF the audience is very engaged. That’s hard to do. I think unless you have a crazy engaged audience (once again, hard to build) companies are better off with social media ads.

    • Monika Jansen
      Posted at 17:16h, 13 February Reply

      So true Susan! Engagement is key. We just did a Valentine’s Day themed Facebook ad for a client, and the orders are rolling in. She has both a very engaged audience and a great ecommerce site. Anyway – thanks for your comment!

    Posted at 08:50h, 15 February Reply

    Great point about trust – social media simply makes it easier (and potentially faster) to build that trust than the old print media days. Good stuff, thanks.

    • Monika Jansen
      Posted at 08:55h, 15 February Reply

      Thanks Greg – and yes, you are spot-on!

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