How to earn money from social media content about your brand on Instagram, Twitter and other social networks is not always apparent. But turning social media engagement into actual sales is easier than you might think.
You've worked hard to gain followers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You may even be seeing happy customers organically saying positive things about you to their friends. But it doesn't take too long to discover that likes don't directly pay the bills. You need to do more than sit back and watch tweets go by.
In this post I'll show you how to turn user generated content into sales in three simple steps.
According to Neilsen, 92% of consumers say they trust word of mouth and recommendations from friends and family above all forms of advertising. Cone Inc. states that 85% of consumers are more likely to buy when they can find online recommendations. Octoly found that fan videos get 10 times more views than brand-owned content.
TL;DR: Your customers trust each other more than you.
Reviews are Dead
The only trouble with relying on positive customer feedback is that no one fills out review forms anymore. Even if they do, reviews quickly become outdated and aren't usually associated with a distinct social identity. Reviews submitted to your website (usually through a third party) lack timeliness, authenticity and the social impact required to actually convert customers to buy.
Fan Posts are the New Review
Photos and comments from your customers on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other social networks are the new product reviews. User generated content is real-time, authentic and spans multiple networks (not just your website). Positive on-brand tweets and posts go beyond reinforcing your sale - they actually promote your product outside of your sphere of influence as well. Yay for free advertising!
So people are posting about you on social networks... but how do you find these posts, harness them and then turn them into more sales? How do you track the ROI of organic social media content from fans? How do you know how many sales came from a particular post or influential person?
Enter Shoppable Social Streams.
Real Life Example: Make Social Shoppable
Lush Cosmetics knows organic fan engagement better than anyone. They run a dizzyingly popular, profitable business in a highly competitive market without relying on traditional advertising means - rather, they put their fans in the spotlight by focusing heavily on interacting with their audience.
So how do these social media geniuses monetize their organic social presence without spending a fortune on Instagram ads?
They built a Shoppable Social Stream that turns their best social posts into compelling calls to action.
Lush Cosmetics showcases their best Instagram posts on a dedicated, mobile-friendly page on their website. They associate each beautiful photo with a clickable call to action to buy the products seen in the post, driving sales with social content.
Their Shoppable Social Stream currently highlights their own brand content from Instagram, but they could (and later will) easily add in user-generated content from brand ambassadors as well. They've initially designed it this way so when customers click the link in their Instagram profile to "Shop Social", they see the same feed of photos with buy buttons added.
And setup is easy as 1-2-3!
3 Steps to Shoppable Social
Step 1: Enter a Feed on Tradable Bits Stream to collect content
Step 2: Add your Product Label to the post you want
Step 3: Get your Shoppable Stream link or embed code
TA DA! More sales from social.
Bonus: Link to Shoppable Social from Instagram
As previously mentioned, Lush Cosmetics links to their Shoppable Social Stream on their Instagram profile, so when fans are checking out their Instagram feed they can easily find the buy button for the products they like.