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How to Sell on Social Media Sites

Conventional thinking says that social media is designed for long-term engagement, for marketing and branding rather than for sales. However, a few obvious selling opportunities exist, particularly for business-to-consumer (B2C) companies, that won’t offend followers.

  • Sell CDs and event tickets. SoundCloud and CD Baby, which cater to music and entertainment, are appropriate social media sites for these products.

  • Include a link to your online store on social shopping services. Recommend products — particularly apparel, jewelry, beauty, and decor — as Stylehive does.

  • Offer promotional codes or special deals to followers. Offering codes or deals on particular networks encourages your followers to visit your site to make a purchase. You can also announce sales or events.

  • Place links to online or third-party stores like Etsy.com on your profile pages on various services. You can rarely sell directly from a social media service, but some permit you to place widgets that visually showcase your products and link to your online store, PayPal, or the equivalent to conclude a transaction.

  • Include a sign-up option for your e-newsletter. It offers a bridge to sales.

A 2011 HubSpot survey of both B2B (business-to-business) companies and B2C companies found that many businesses succeed in closing sales initiated through a social media service.

Include sales offers within a stream of information and news to avoid turning your social media site into a series of never-ending advertisements.

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