It’s getting harder and harder to ignore the fact that the most successful businesses are using social media as a key part of their marketing strategy. Not only that, but they are actually selling their products and services directly through their social media activity.
Fact: 46% of web users look to social media when making a purchase (Source)
Fact: 3 in 5 SMBs say they’ve gained new customers by using social media (Source)
So what is their secret and how have they turned social media into a sales tool?
Social media is called that for a reason and it’s a great way to get social with your customers. The most successful brands on social media set out to build relationships with members of their target market. They understand that by building relationships, their fans are much more likely to become paying customers. Making relationships the focus of your social media management strategy is a great way to create know, like, and trust with your customers, even if you never meet them face to face.
A great way to make contact with your target market on social media and begin moving them towards becoming a customer is by using relevant trends and hashtags. This will put your posts, tweets, images, etc…in front of the right people, using a topic that is of interest to them. Capturing their attention this way will encourage them to engage with your brand.
Twitter and Facebook for example, regularly update and publicize what’s trending on their platform. This makes it easy for organizations to jump on current trends and stay relevant with their communications.
Consumers demand that things are made as easy as possible for them. Therefore, the easier you can make it to move from being a social media fan to a paying customer, the more successful your sales strategy will be. This could be including links to your website, products, or services in your profile and occasionally in your posts. Alternatively, you could look to move your social media fans onto your mailing list so that you can make a more direct sale.
The key to selling through social media is not actually selling. The key is to communicate with your fans, post useful information, add value, and give your followers a reason to keep coming back for more. The rule of thumb is that no more than 10% of your social media posts should actively sell your products.
The brands that are experiencing sales improvement through their social media activity are the ones that aim to get to know their customers. They ask questions and encourage two way communication. In short, they don’t just broadcast, they also receive and respond.
Your social media management strategy should have your customers and target market at the centre of it. This is about them and what they want to see and read about.
In order to keep engagement levels high and to keep increasing their fan base, and therefore, the opportunity for sales improvement, monitoring is key. Brands that are successful on social media not only monitor the impact of their own content, they also look at external mentions about their brand. This enables them to identify opportunities for connection and relationship building, as well as damage control should the mention be less than flattering.
Your social media management strategy should be part of your overall marketing and communications strategy. It should feed your email list and your sales funnel, as well as promoting and increasing awareness of your brand.
However, many businesses fail to capitalize on the sales opportunities on offer. They run their social media accounts independent of everything else and this then keeps any opportunities to sell their products and services out of the sales funnel. Successful social media activity should also include a focus on recognizing opportunities to sell your products and services. People on social media are often ready to buy but the company just doesn’t encourage then to take the next step.Lynkos, Business Tips