The Internet changed everything, from how we learn to how we work. With social media channels adding the shop feature, it is also changing the way we buy things.
The hallmarks of social commerce (that’s buying or selling on social media) were already there. COVID-19 just accelerated them. In early December, Adam Mosseri tweeted that people could even shop through Reels. At that point, Reels was just a few months old in India.
As of today you can shop with Reels. Creators can tag products in Reels, and, if you're interested, you can find out more about them inline. I'm excited to see how this helps people find and share new things you love. pic.twitter.com/vA26LF6Bpm
— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) December 10, 2020
It is not just Instagram. Even Pinterest got on the shopping bandwagon. They added a Shop tab to their Search and a Shopping Spotlight section to take personal shopping up a notch.
All these steps mean one thing. Creators can monetise their social channels. How? By selling directly and more to their followers.
How can creators use social media to generate sales and earn more?
Any person’s buying journey includes 3 main stages: awareness, consideration, and purchase decision. 67% of this journey is online, which gives creators an influencing edge.
To make it simpler for you to earn more through Instagram, we’ve divided the tricks based on the three stages.
How to increase product discovery in your followers?
The first stage is awareness of a brand. At this phase, a person discovers a new product. The very design of social media makes it a fertile ground for finding new brands. You can leverage it by:
- Something as simple as sharing an organic post (or even a sponsored one) to help your audience find a new brand.
- Creating custom content for brands, which they can use as ads.
- Running a product giveaway or competition is to reach more audience.
- Add relevant hashtags to all your posts. That’s the number one method people use to search for something.
- Use product tags, stickers, shoppable product pins, and even catalogues on your post. They all help more people discover a brand you are promoting when they shop through Instagram.
Word of mouth is still the winner when it comes to sales. As a creator, you are just half step behind word-of-mouth recs.
How do you take that half step? You become a brand advocate, not merely an influencer. What’s the diff? A brand advocate is already a fan of the brand and not just promoting it for some ?.
How to convince your followers to choose a brand you promote?
The second stage of the buying journey is consideration. It is the moment when a person weighs the pros and cons of the brand.
If your follower is considering a brand, they already know what they want. Chances are they have a particular product model in mind. Your goal is to convince them to buy it from the brand you promote by:
- Showcasing the real benefits of the product
- Creating content on how the product works (think: how-to videos)
- Post product reviews to give social proof
You will only convince your followers if your content is authentic. Even a whiff of a purely sponsored post can turn off people. How do you make your content authentic? You genuinely understand the brand and the product inside out.
For that to happen, you need to demonstrate your expertise and provide valuable insight to the viewer.
How to nudge followers into making a purchase decision?
The final stage of the buying journey is the purchase decision. This is when a person hands over the credit card (or does Paytm or Google Pay).
The only way to compel a person into a purchase decision is to make the process frictionless. We are inherently lazy people. We rather not buy something than take even one extra step.
So, make it as convenient as possible for your followers to buy. When people realise that they can buy a product they love in a few clicks and without even changing tabs on the phone, they are more likely to purchase it.
Why should you use Instagram to sell more?
Why are we harping about using Instagram (or other socials) to sell to your followers?
Because brand deliverables are changing. They don’t want one static post, one Reel and one Story. They want customer leads, and those happen when you sell effectively.
More than that, often, brands give you a percentage of every sale they make because of you. That means more earning for you, but only if you can push a follower through every stage of the buying journey!