How to Increase Profits Through Social Media Selling
Social media means one thing to the general public and quite another to businesses. People get involved in social media because they enjoy socializing, while businesses look on social media as a tool for generating sales.
It’s important to remember that people in general don’t like to be sold to, especially when the sales message intrudes on their social activities. Social media users primarily follow and share content with friends and family, not impersonal companies. To break through this barrier that social users have erected between themselves and social marketers, your company needs to take a more deliberate and refined approach than that offered by traditional hard-sell advertising methods.
Social media helps your company grow a presence with prospective customers. The initial stage is where they get to know you and your company. The more consumers learn about what your company stands for and how it conducts itself in the marketplace, the greater the likelihood that your audience will accept and like your company and your business ethics. By sharing useful and informative content free of blatant sales pitches, consumers will gradually come to trust your brand as someone who has their best interests at heart.
Before You Can Sell, You Need to Connect
Research your target customer base before you commit to a social media platform to help drive more sales. If your prospects are active in multiple social networks, concentrate your efforts on those networks that will provide the best opportunity for connecting and interacting with your target audience.
- While Facebook is a good choice for driving consumer sales, recent changes to its algorithm are making it extremely difficult for brands with limited advertising funds to attain the necessary visibility.
- LinkedIn is the premiere social network for businesses, and is an excellent choice for engaging with other business owners and senior management.
- Twitter, on the other hand, is well suited for both consumer and business-to-business marketing. The best way to market with Twitter is to spend your time listening rather than broadcasting. When you hear problems and concerns being discussed that your product can help solve, strike up a conversation.
Don’t limit your efforts to the major social media sites. Blogs, forums and online chats that are relevant to your niche are all great places to discover prospects at their point of need and strike up a conversation.
Join Relevant Social Communities
Start off slow, add meaningful comments to conversations whenever you can, and build out your social persona. Forget the hard-sell and focus on being social. The ideal persona that you want to create for yourself is that of a friendly, knowledgeable, and trustworthy resource within your area of expertise.
Make Connections and Build Relationships
Seek out the social users who are talking about your industry or are using industry-related keywords in their conversations. Comment on their posts, ask and answer questions, and share their content when appropriate. After making a connection, make an effort to get to know them and identify their problems and concerns. When you’re ready to approach a prospect, do it with a private message.
Strike Up Meaningful Conversations
Always lead with value, making your case by presenting your product as a solution to a particular problem that your prospect is experiencing. An effective way to get conversations started is by joining the groups that your prospects are involved in. Share quality relevant content and actively participate in any conversation where you can add value and demonstrate your expertise.