In this episode of Actionable Marketing In Minutes we discuss selling your products through social media channels.
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What is the main objective behind all your social media marketing efforts? I wouldn’t be surprised if you said, “to close more sales.” It is great if your business already has an active presence on different social media platforms and you can boast of thousands of followers and likes. After all, brand awareness and traffic are great vanity metrics. But, at the end of the day, your business thrives on revenue and profits. That is precisely why you need to employ a social selling strategy to capitalize on audience interactions on social networks. Companies that participate in social selling perform four times better in year-on-year revenue than companies that don’t use it. For your business to get the kind of return that drives bottom-line impact you have to bridge the gaps between cold prospects, social platforms and your sales process. But according to a 2015 survey on social selling by Peoplelinkx, only 1 in 4 sales reps know how to use social media for sales. In this podcast, we have laid out some easy ways to integrate your sales and marketing efforts on social channels in order to help some of your followers convert from ”prospect” to “lead” status and then into being a loyal “customer”.
In a nutshell, social selling is all about gathering information, qualifying leads, refining strategy and retargeting your audience.
1. When integrating social media into your sales strategy, the main intention is to turn your followers into leads. To do that, you must first listen before you engage. Researching prospects, collecting social data and customer insights on social media can help your sales team make informed decisions. To create more sales opportunities, you need to have a better understanding of who your consumers are, what their interests are, what social channels they are most likely to use- from Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, and when they converted. You can use social media analytics to track the clicks, conversions, and other social engagement metrics. This will help you sift the lead generation strategies actually working, from the ones you can abandon.
2. Sales are built on discovering and nurturing strong relationships with current customers and potential prospects. And we all know how cost-effective it is to sell a product or service to an existing customer, than someone new. You can connect and stay in regular touch with your existing customers on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter. Engage with them personally and ask for product reviews, or testimonials. Often sales people are unable to reach a prospect by phone or email, but they can easily follow up with a message on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.
3. Today buyers judge the legitimacy of a business based on their social media presence. A successful selling relationship is about creating a strong personal brand that provides value, and builds trust & credibility with customers. Did you know that nearly 74% of buyers pick the sales rep who first adds value during the buying process? Sales people can provide more value to prospects and buyers by answering questions, responding to comments, sending targeted messages and sharing relevant content.
Businesses today can easily reach out to prospective buyers doing pre-purchase research on social sites, those looking through recommendations, or even the ones putting product inquiries to social networks.
4. Focus on educating your prospects, problem solving, inspiring or offering a fresh perspective, with your posts. This gives them a better incentive to buy into your brand. Whether it is slideshares, whitepapers, product demos, e-books or infographics, promote and share your content through Facebook posts, Twitter updates, Pinterest boards and discussion groups on LinkedIn, Facebook groups or Twitter chats. The trick is not to be a pushy salesperson pitching only self-promotional content but rather to be a friend offering specific solutions that your prospects may want or need. Only then, is it possible to build a long-term meaningful relationship to drive sales.
5. If you want to increase revenues but be smart about your advertising dollar spend, then you really need to target your ideal customer through social media advertising. A paid social strategy allows you to strategically connect with specific personas or target audience by demographic or interest, as well as track the cost and ROI of each click. You can use rich, interactive media and new ad formats to engage with your audience. For instance, new features like Carousel on Facebook and Instagram, can help brands tell more engaging and fuller stories in their ads with multiple copy and visuals. Seeing ads on social channels is one of the best ways for users to learn about new products, brands and services. According to eMarketer, 25% of users who see a social ad end up visiting the store or website while between 14-17% actually convert by making purchases. Start your social media advertising campaign on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter as it is easier, before moving on to Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, You Tube and Reddit. In fact pick whichever platform works best to convey your ad copy, message and content!
It is apparent by now that prospects, buyers and competitors all use social media. So it may be time for you to unleash the power of social media networks and watch your sales grow or ignore them at your own peril. All you have to do is step out of your comfort zone and try one of these effective strategies to engage with your target market and close more sales.
We hope you’ve found this information helpful. Please connect with us on Twitter @DirectiveGroup or on LinkedIn. Let us know what you think and what you’d like to hear about next. And if you like our podcasts please share with your networks using hashtag #actionablemarketing.
Join us for an upcoming episode as we discuss ‘Twitter Marketing Tips To Help You Bring More Engagement’.