If you’re anything like me, social media has become an important point of your day. Plus working in marketing means a portion of my time is spent on it anyway. I’ve always been a social media nut. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram…I’m on them all somewhere. 10 points to the first person to find me on each of them!
But from a business point of view, social media has become one of the most valuable sources of information for your company. Unless you live under a rock, the vast majority of us are on social media in some way or another. It’s become a part of our lives and will only continue to get bigger and bigger.
But can it really help you to sell more? Here are our 7 top tips to using social media for sales!
Join in conversations
The beauty of social media means that you don’t necessarily have to wait for customers and prospects to come to you, you can effectively go straight to them. Monitoring keywords, hashtags and conversations means you can find potential customers that are look for the exact product or service that you are offering, and you can approach them directly. Not only does this approach seem, to me anyway, a bit more personal but you have a better chance of being seen to be a proactive company. And if you’re not talking about yourself on social media, someone else probably is.
Become a thought leader
You don’t just have to join conversations, why not start them? Set the wheels in motion for an active discussion around a subject matter that you know matters to your customers and prospects. By all means, get involved in a conversation and position yourself as a thought leader, show them that you know your stuff and you’re not just another fly on the wall trying to make an easy sale. For example you can set up LinkedIn groups, start new hashtags on Twitter or contribute to a forum.
Offer exclusive deals
If you are going down the ‘let’s get some sales’ route with your social media campaigns, the easy way to generate interest is to organize exclusive offers or deals for your social media networks. With any luck, this will increase your sales in the short term but will also generate interest as your audience shares, retweets, reposts, repins, likes and interacts with you.
The power of social and user generated content is immense and will only continue to get bigger. When Web 2.0 hit, an entirely new word of mouth arrived: User Generated Content. This new generation of web allows users to read and write content through the web, be it through blogs, personal websites or social media. You may not be aware of it but did you know that over 65% of consumers rely heavily on user generated content and the same amount trust word of mouth on the internet more than content produced by marketers? You’re missing a trick if you aren’t encouraging reviews and feedback from your customers.
Social media can come in particularly handy when prospecting. People share a lot more information than you’d think on social media, especially if you are following prospect’s personal accounts rather than work accounts. Use these as your stepping stone in conversations; it makes a cold call turn into a mildly warm one if you can reference their recent trip to Paris that they have tweeted about. Using the likes of Twitter, Facebook and other networks to do your research, you’ll be poised to have a winning conversation with your newfound prospect. Not only does it show a proactive nature, but also you’ll get off on the right foot with any new prospect.
Listen and react quickly
Becoming stellar at social media is often part of your response, your reaction to any questions, queries or problems. Be it from a customer or prospect, you must keep you finger on the pulse and stay on top of any interactions. It may seem like something that just fills your inbox with notifications from across the social media spectrum, but you will come off far better if you respond to your audience quickly, than if you leave them hanging with an unanswered question. Even worse if they aren’t the happiest of customers…
The focal point for any social media effort is to remember that it is not to focus wholly on making sales. It will hurt your efforts in the long term. Being too ‘salesy’ will instantly put people off. The secret behind a successful social media strategy is simple. Just build meaningful relationships with your audience and engage with them. That way, your audience will build itself, traffic will increase and the sales will come naturally.