Having a social media presence is crucial in this day and age. In fact, according to research done by Sprout, consumers are 57.5% more likely to buy from a brand they follow on social media.

Once you’ve worked hard to establish your brand on social media, and you have a following, the main question is: how do you convince your online followers to actually buy your products?

1. Show-off your unique selling point

What may sometime seem extremely obvious, may be the one thing that you could be overlooking: have a distinct and clear differentiation with what your store has to offer.

For example, if you own a pet shop and market yourself online as 'a pet shop that stocks a variety of cat and dog food', people are most likely to not see the benefit of visiting your shop, mostly because all pet shops sell a wide variety of food, even some major retailers.

You need to find what makes your store different: do you offer a doggy bath service at your pet shop? Focus on that. Do you sell medicine at your shop? Focus on that. Are your prices the best, or your level of customer service better than other pet shops? Focus on that. Make sure your unique selling point is the main focus in your online marketing.

2. Create competitions

Another way to increase foot traffic to your store is to make use of competitions that are store-centric, enticing consumers to visit your store with the incentive of winning a prize.

These competitions can go hand-in-hand with your social media marketing strategy. Alternatively, you can create awareness about the competition on your social media platforms, thus reaching a wide audience that you have specifically targeted through your social media platforms.

The other way you can use competitions is to have a competition mechanic that ensures consumers have to interact with your page. A perfect example of this could be that someone has to visit your pet shop and take a picture in-store of a new product and they could win a prize.

A word of caution though: make sure the prize warrants the effort. Social media users prefer simpler mechanics, such as 'comment on this post' — the more complex, the more enticing the prize needs to be.

3. Show-off your promotions

Let’s stick to our pet shop example: when advertising on your page, the chances are good that people know you sell chewy toys or catnip; however, as you and I know, we all love a good deal. Therefore, when posting, focus on the amazing two-for-one special you have on your chewy toys. Maybe even create a deal that’s exclusive to your social media.

We know that one of the major benefits of social media marketing is that it is instant — so take advantage of this in terms of your promotion. For example, you can have a 24-hour flash sale: '50% discount on catnip for one day only — as seen on Facebook'.

In a day and age where online shopping is gaining popularity by the day, it may be a struggle to convert Facebook Likes into foot traffic. But with these tips, you can utilise your social media presence to drive consumers to your store and see a positive ROI on your social media investments.

For more information, visit www.theblueroom.co.za or contact [email protected]. You can also follow The Blue Room on Facebook or on Instagram.