Sell Unsellable Products From Your Storefront Using Social Media

By on April 30, 2013

Social media has become a very important part of the sales cycle, so much so that a single product can be sold to more people if you include it in a basic social marketing campaign. You have your vibrant storefront, now it’s time to sell, sell, sell. The question is, how do you maximize the sales of individual products on social media networks? Here’s how!

The Social Media Sales Funnel

As a small business owner and online marketer, you probably already know all about the social sales funnel. It can drive traffic to your websites and sales pages, and make those crucial monthly sales that will keep you in the green. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest have a secondary power that you need to learn about.

These social media sites should be used as a supportive tool to promote carefully selected items that will help CLEAR out stock that isn’t selling, or will boost SALES items that aren’t performing as they should be. This is called individual product promotion, and it’s used as a secondary marketing strategy to keep your online sales healthy and growing.

  • Use social media to sell one item in bulk
  • Use it to clear out old stock
  • Use it to sell stock that didn’t perform as well as planned
  • Use it to sell expensive items that move slowly
  • Use it to sell cheap items that move quickly

As a social media manager and business owner, it’s always your goal to make as many sales as possible. This is possible with long-term marketing and social media maintenance, but sometimes you’ll come across opportunities for blow-out sales. This is when you need to use your social media pages to sell in bulk, to everyone!

Identifying Individual Products For Mass Promotion

As you sell online, you’ll begin to notice and track what people want, what they don’t want, and how they behave on your storefront pages. I’ll never forget coming across some strange analytics data that prompted a new social media strategy for me a while back. I had my good sales, my great sales, and my poor performers – as all stores do.

Then I noticed I also had a particular product that was being visited like crazy, but no sales were happening. The bounce rate was even low – people were reading the product descriptions and looking through the images. Demand was there, but sales were not. I decided to give this product more exposure on social media sites.

The result was that by the end of week 3, I had run out of stock. I had also made a ton of extra sales, simply by honing in on a problem, and finding a solution to it. Here’s basically what I did, and how you can do it too!

  • I set a goal for the product: one month to sell-out
  • I dedicated my financial resources to creating content for the promotion of this one individual product
  • I had 10 additional images made, 3 infographics, 2 tutorials, and the rest were product images (some were used in real-world situations)
  • I created a series of 5 blog posts around the product, and 2 guest posts that I used on some of my friend’s blogs
  • Each image was paired with social media content. For Facebook I did high impact updates, for Twitter high converting tweets. Pinterest and Flickr got the images.
  • I let my LinkedIn groups know about this special product sale
  • I used other social media promotional tools like StumbleUpon, Dig, Reddit and Delicious
  • I created a brief talking head video outlining why people should use the product
  • I created 5 sales emails linked to social media pages, and a newsletter dedicated to exposure for this one product

I spent very little money, and the return on investment was large. I think there’s a good reason why this worked so well on my social media pages. For once, my customer base wasn’t being told to go and look at products. They were being told to buy a specific product, which is much more streamlined and efficient.

Secondly, my social media community helped make my images go viral – which meant that I managed to get thousands of viral views on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter because the content I created was credible, interesting and usable by other people or sellers. It reminded me how sometimes we just need to focus on the little things.

Yes, overall sales are important for your storefront – but having micro strategies can often lead to better results than you think. I sold maybe 3 or 4 of those products before this campaign, and moved literally hundreds of products by week 3.

Thanks to my social media infrastructure I got more fans, and even additional sales at my online store from one product promotion. That’s why today I’m giving you some homework to do. If you have an online storefront brimming with products that aren’t selling, try choosing and promoting just one. Have solid reasons for choosing it, via analytics.

Then spend the next month launching a full-scale exposure campaign, focused on this one thing. See how it goes. I bet that the sales and the traffic returns will surprise you.

Adding these micro strategies to your overall marketing strategy will almost always result in a boost in site sales. Plus, you get the added bonus of getting rid of products that aren’t really selling.

The next time around, you can find some products that sell better, and add them to your inventory instead. Analytics is about performing these tests and changes, and utilizing the social media power of exposure to keep your profits rolling in.

I find that these strategies are very useful just after the holidays. Who wants to buy a Christmas tree ornament in January? Quite a few people actually. It’s just about using your social media networks to find them.

Have you ever tried focusing all of your social media power on one product? I’d love to hear about it!

About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.
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