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3 Ways to Sell On Social You Aren't Using Yet Most emerging ecommerce brands turn to digital marketing to increase sales

By Marsha Hunt Edited by Dan Bova

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Sofie Delauw | Getty Images

When most emerging e-commerce brands turn to digital marketing to increase sales, many think of SEO, display advertising, and paid search. If you're one of those companies, then not only are you leaving money on the table by not testing less expensive options, but you are missing a wave of new consumers that are not yet ad blind on those next new things.

Here are three ways to sell on social media that you aren't using yet:

1. AI customer support chat bot.

The promise of AI is finally here, at least as far as sales support is concerned. What's worse than a potentially interested customer reaching out to you at 1 am with credit card in hand, only to lose interest when the support team finally gets around to answering questions at 2 pm the following day?

With the emergence of tools like Thezboy, customers can be captured at a higher rate since support is instantaneous and can be designed to carry a prospect from basic question and answering, directly into an order, all within the confines of the Facebook support channel on messenger.

Further, with AI customer support where bots employ machine learning and understand word variance, the support actually gets better over time as it begins to predict next possible questions and provides suggestions to management on everyday items to address that would negate the need to use support at all.

Thus, not only is AI expected to initially augment and then eventually replace the majority of support tickets that occur on the internet, but also the basic ping-pong conversations that take place between prospects and most customer service desk-centric sales departments. The future is very bright here, both from a sales perspective and labor cost savings.

Related: Top 10 Best Chatbot Platform Tools to Build Chatbots for Your Business

2. Peer-level influencer marketing.

When social media first started its ascension into our hearts and minds, as a business community, we were quick to latch on, even though there was little way to relate activity performed on social to sales made offline. In time, however, tracking has become more sophisticated, and it is now possible to equate the slightest activities to downstream outcomes via Google Analytics, UTM tracking, specialized coupon codes, and custom phone numbers.

With those expanded tools, another boom started: word-of-mouth marketing, presently referred to as influencer marketing. When most people think of influencer marketing, they might think of Kim Kardashian, or perhaps me, and Tyra Banks? There's a lot more to it than that.

Peer-level influence as exemplified by services like Intellifluence is specific and more personal. Are you more likely to trust the recommendation of a reality TV show celebrity selling running shoes or your friend that runs a marathon every weekend? Even though your friend almost certainly has a smaller audience, you know her to be authoritative and knowledgeable on that subject, and thus more likely to trust her opinion vs. someone probably being paid millions to endorse the product-of-the-week.

Now that tracking allows brands to very quickly and easily utilize thousands of smaller individuals in the same way that they might have previously employed an untargeted display ad campaign, and iterate faster on which influencers are producing an ROI for the campaign, it is no wonder that this concept is the breakout marketing practice of 2017.

Related: Influencers vs. Ambassadors vs. Advocates: Stop the Confusion!

3. Psychographic ad targeting.

Psychographic segmentation, as a practice, is rapidly becoming a staple both by major brands and political pundits alike. The concept is by segmenting users by their stated or implied activities, interests, and opinions (AIOs), along with values they hold, behaviors they exhibit, and general attitudes, one can develop a significantly more targeted ad campaign. Companies like Aimclear explain how psychographics are expected to eat the traditional display ad budget by showing how much of typical display ad spend is wasted attempting to reach the wrong people and how much less can be spent with Facebook's detailed behavior targeting.

I wanted to mention psychographics last because as a targeting and segmentation practice, it can also be used to define the approach on the AI customer support chat bots. Imagine the power of being able to customize a support bot based on past chat behaviors and sentiment so as to more ideally mirror the prospects' values within the support channel. Reaching common ground is a common sales technique, but has never been automated in such a way before.

Related: The 6 Best Advertising Strategies For Small Business

Finally, psychographics can also play a significant role in peer-level influencer marketing. The more nuanced and better understanding of a buyer persona, the more targeted an influence campaign can be, selecting those individuals that closest match your intended buyers. Now, imagine running such a campaign and using the chat bot to close the sale for you. Wow.

Marsha Hunt

Growth Marketing Expert

Marsha Hunt is a Growth Marketing Expert business advisor and speaker with specialism in international marketing.

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