Tips for Boosting Retail Sales Through Social Media Marketing

It is not news that social media marketing is a tricky tightrope for most adult brands. In fact, it is generally presumed to be impossible. Yet some brands have figured out the right social marketing strategy to maneuver around the hurdles (aka rules and guidelines) in their way as they try to reach out to a worldwide audience.

If social marketing did not work out for you, should you give up on maintaining an active social media presence? Absolutely not. Whether your brand is online or offline, or whether you sell direct to consumers (D2C) or direct to business (B2B), your social media presence is your identity, and in most cases, it is also the face of your brand or business.

A brand is no longer a brand if it doesn’t have a social media presence. There is no easy definition of “presence,” and it does not have to equate to a huge following or having viral videos. It does, however, mean that your brand has a human who is the voice behind the brand, thus engaging other humans in the social media universe. Your following may be small or large, you may post daily, alternate days or weekly. Really, this won’t matter; what will matter is that you are alive and well, your posts come consistently, and you speak to your existing audience and invite new followers to engage.

And yes, do follow the platform’s rules. If you want to reach the most followers you can, keep in mind that you will need to be more careful in managing your content, both visual and text. If you feel you need more room to showcase 18-and-over content, then pick Twitter.

Why do you need to have a healthy social presence? Let me give you four reasons why.

Builds trust:

Ever tried shopping at a big-box store with a name sign at the entrance but nobody inside when you walk in? That’s how your potential client/customer will feel if they stop to check out your social media pages and find not much going on. That would give an impression that you are just a newbie, don’t have much of a visible customer base or may not be a legitimate brand/store. Even for offline stores that depend on walk-in customers, many shoppers check out social media before entering a store’s physical location. Most will first look you up online on maps or Google and, based on your reviews and social presence, will make a decision about whether to drive up to shop at your store.

Assists in conversion:

Never underestimate the power of indirect marketing. The magic that a few good reviews on your social media page can do is much more than a full-size, flashy neon sign that says “Best Adult Brand” outside of your store or on your website home page. Usually a new buyer (which is usually 70-80 percent of our traffic, walk-in or online) will like to know if you are a “good” and a “legitimate” store that has a good reputation. Having an active social channel that talks about products, answers questions, and occasionally puts out deals and specials is a “good sign.” And if you have followers that engage with the brand and have a good thing to say about your store, then that’s golden.

Establishes a brand voice

There are three kinds of people in this world: those who make it happen, those who watch it happen, and those who wonder what happened. Don’t be the third. Take charge of your brand voice. Your social channels will be an extension of your own personality, thinking and acumen. Having a platform to express your brand’s vision, message and your position in the rapidly growing and evolving sex-positive community is not only beneficial, but the crown on your brand. Everybody will look at it.

Expands your user base

Most stores spend anywhere between $10-20 to acquire a new customer. Will you just let them walk away after their first purchase? An average buyer will spend three or four times a year, so when you put all of your energy and effort to give them a fantastic experience in-store, why not keep it going on your brand page? Each time that you post, they’ll be reminded to return to your store. It just takes effort to get the first 1,000 followers. After that, your user base will keep growing as you become more familiar with the kind of posts of yours that they like. I’d say that at least four out of 10 of them will come back and shop again!

To maintain a healthy and active social media presence, the first step is to work towards normalizing sex. Sex sells, you don’t even have to try hard. Don’t try to sexualize your posts whether through captions, titles or images. Seriously, don’t! It will just send the potential buyer away. Avoid using imagery that includes male or female genitalia or products replicating them. This should be easy, as today’s brands have totally changed the visual appeal of products, from packaging to design to shapes and functionality. Don’t forget to give credit for using brands’ images.

Using humor on social media is good, but keep it tasteful. It’s also a good idea to grab your iPhone once in a while and speak to your followers. Record a quick video — or better, go live and answer questions once in a while.

It’s also important to stay consistent with your social media. Yep, if once a week on Saturday is your thing, then that’s cool. If you come everyday and share a new product, new function or some news about the community, that’s even better. Rain or shine, make time. The channels that show consistent content posting, and timely responses to comments, have a better chance to boost followers, engagement and conversions.

Developing a relatable voice on social media is also essential to building a brand online. Speak like a human, not like an automated machine. When you post, it should sound like a person speaking to a person.

In order to flex your brand’s engagement muscles, pick two social media channels. For most adult stores (both offline and online), I would recommend spending your energy on Facebook and Instagram. Facebook will bring you credibility and help you build a following faster (mostly between 30 and 55), while allowing you to showcase products, contests, campaigns and announcements. Plus, most of us have our personal Facebook profiles, so we can always cross-post and bring more followers from our own networks to get the wheel spinning. Instagram is going to be your catalog to showcase your strengths — your store pictures, employee of the week, your latest and greatest product showcase, and short videos about new and exciting launches. They look attractive on Instagram’s layout and you will find a good following among the platform’s audience that’s between 18 and 35 years old. They are often online and will consume good content if you share. If you can’t find original content, you can always ask and get it from your brand account managers, vendors or distributors.

Lastly, if you spend or have been wanting to spend money on SEO marketing for your brand, I would recommend setting up and launching a Youtube channel as soon as possible. Create “how to use” videos of the various toys out there. Upload them, give them relevant titles and descriptions and add links to purchase that product from your store. It will give you a quality back-link and the channel boosts your online store’s SEO.

Let’s get good at this game. Social e-commerce is already huge in various parts of the world. Get your channel alive and thriving, so you can reap the fruits of your labor ahead.

Tips for Boosting Retail Sales Through Social Media Marketing by Raj Armani originally appeared in XBIZ

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