Yes and no. While social media is great for interacting with your audience an community, it’s not necessarily the best channel for selling. People are savvy and will tune you out if you are promoting too much, that is why content marketing is so popular.
While it’s difficult to directly attribute a sale to social media, it does play a big role. It’s not often that a person will buy because you posted a link on your Facebook page. But it could lead to them mentioning it to a friend who then buys the product a few weeks later.
If you’re a restaurant, social media is huge. People still love posting pictures of their food and drinks. It’s important to have a place where they can do that and where you’ll engage with them. It takes time to respond to all these images and comments, but people will appreciate it.
What to expect from social media?
While you shouldn’t start trying to attribute direct sales, you should be seeing how much engagement you’re getting. One difficulty in this is that sites like Facebook limit the amount of followers who see any given post.
But if you share a customer’s photo and it receives 15 likes, while posting your menu only receives 1, it may tell you something. These are one off cases, but look at the aggregate of your post history.
- What post types get the most likes, comments, shares?
- When is the best time for you to be posting? Is there a best time?
- Should you be taking more photos or creating graphics?
- Are there certain topics people seem to like more than others?
Collect the data and see. Social media is about interaction and engagement. You won’t do well on social if you just queue up some posts and leave it at that. You need to be constantly checking notifications and monitoring hashtags to respond to people promptly.
If you have a dedicated following, like Buffer, they can engage many people in the community through things like Twitter Chats. Though these chats don’t bring in direct sales, they’re a way for people to grow even more fond of the company and the community they’ve created.
Social media best practices
There is no one way to use social media. Your company is not the same as others, so don’t base what you do off what someone else does.
Try and experiment with different ideas and see what sticks. Maybe you try a Twitter chat but only get 1 person to join. Try it again for a few more weeks and if the same thing persists, then hold off until you have more following.
If you really want some best practices, check out this guide from Moz.