Shaping and implementing a successful social media advertising strategy is about much more than simply amassing large numbers of likes and followers. Too many businesses try too hard to engage their audience and inadvertently end up sharing far too many overtly salesy posts that alienate rather than appeal.

Long gone are the days of pushing out content to augment vanity metrics so here’s how to successfully replace likes with sales and generate meaningful leads that will have far-reaching benefits for your business.

Modern social media management

Building a social following that stretches into the tens or even hundreds of thousands looks impressive but if your following isn’t also leading to the creation of meaningful leads and successful conversions, your audience-building efforts simply don’t mean much. There is no one formula for effective social media usage but you do need to identify innovative ways to connect with your audience and forge genuinely meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships.

The pursuit of engagement

Effective social media advertising strategies emerge from your response to three distinct elements:

  • A desire to respond in real-time to the needs of your audience
  • Sharing content that appeals directly to your audience
  • Showcasing your brand personality

One of the simplest ways to create a feeling of genuine engagement with your audience is to share user-generated content.

The value of user-generated content

Your audience is already being bombarded with marketing messages and sales pitches, so why would you want to add to that when you don’t need to? In addition to boosting audience interaction, user-generated content can also enhance traffic, leads and sales. So, let’s take a closer look at how sharing user-generated content could help your social strategy to thrive.

Showcase your products in follower-friendly ways

Social media users cite an over-reliance on promotional content as the primary reason for unfollowing brand accounts [1]. While it is true that your followers decided to subscribe to your accounts because they wanted to keep up to date with your content, posting a constant stream of self-promotion will almost certainly drive people away.

As you need to be careful with how you present your products online, sharing user-generated content can be a win-win. As well as eliminating the sales pitch element, user-generated content will also showcase your products when they’re in use, which will increase your trustworthiness and help your audience to recognise the real-world value of what you have to offer.

Increase meaningful interactions with your audience

Social media is egalitarian in nature in the sense that both brands and followers are simply an ‘@’ mention away. Social media can facilitate conversation and meaningful interactions in ways that traditional advertising can’t. Every time you reach out and connect with your followers will help you to build a reputation as being an engaged, responsive and easy to contact brand. So, the next time someone tags you in a positive post or image on Twitter, taking a few seconds to thank them and retweet it to your own following could be more beneficial than you might imagine.

Failing to give your audience a voice is impeding your growth and limiting your ability to transform likes into valuable sales. Say goodbye to struggling for content ideas and create a considered strategy that taps into the power and authenticity of user-generated content.