4 Tricks to Drive Sales Through Social

Using social media to increase sales has been retailers’ great challenge of the 2010s. According to Veronika Sonsev, CEO of InSparq, it’s easier than most people think.

At the Daily Deals Summit East last month, Sonsev presented compelling statistics that showcase the power of social: 15% of’s traffic comes from Facebook and EventBrite generates $2.52 from every Facebook share.

According to InSparq’s research, 23% of shoppers share their purchase more than half the time, and 83% of social shoppers say they want to share what they buy, which Sonsev attributes to the age-old “mall trip with friends” effect.

Even more interesting: 94% of people have bought what a friend recommended, while 64% said they would share more if they had an incentive to do so.

So how does a company get customers pimping their purchases all over the social mediasphere? At the April 18 panel, Sonsev revealed the answer, detailing her “Social Toolbox.”

Tool #1: Sharing Widget and Tell-A-Friend

An incentivized sharing widget—like the “If 3 of your friends buy it it’s free!” widget on Groupon—can be very effective.

For example, with Kembrel, a flash sale site for the college market, InSparq implemented a widget that offered 20% off all future purchases if the shopper shared a purchase. After the share, the shopper was redirected to the Kembrel VIP Club, which thanked them and provided the future discount.

This resulted in a 300% lift in shares, a more than 50% click-through-rate on all shares, and allowed Kembrel to build a database of its top 10% most influential customers, which will allow the company to target those users with social opportunities in the future.

Tool #2: User Reviews

Seventy precent of shoppers say they look at user reviews, and user reviews—at least positive ones—are proven to make shoppers more likely to buy. If a shopper is going to look at reviews, the company wants them to do it on its site, not somewhere else, as leaving the site decreases the chance of getting the sale.

BazaarVoice set up a user review system and rewarded loyal reviewers with the honor of being “Black Book Insiders.” This simple tactic resulted in a 200% increase in conversion among customers who engage in reviews, and a 300% increase in revenue per visitor.

Tool #3: Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs are different than incentivized sharing because rather than a one-time offer, loyalty programs build long-term relationships. Think of the punch card at your old-school neighborhood sandwich shop.

Thwipster decided to create a loyalty program that led to increased traffic, email acquisition and sales. Through the loyalty program, shoppers accrued loyalty currency to trade for discounts, free shopping and special offers.

The results were impressive: a 60% increase in traffic month-over-month for those in the loyalty program and 45% of email subscribers converting to the loyalty program.

Tool #4: Social Media Sweepstakes

Sales site Lautelook decided to hold an instant-win coupon promotion to engage Facebook fans and increase their fan count. The method was simple: fans simply had to like Lautelook on Facebook to redeem the coupon.

The brand saw 21% coupon redemption among fans, and a more than 4,000 fan increase. Better yet, it generated $30K in revenue, meaning Lautelook saw a 250% return on its investment.

Who said there’s no ROI in social?

Image courtesy of Thomas Bethge/shutterstock

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