Selling with social media seems like it would be a no brainer. Sales is sales, right? Not quite. Social media is a different animal. And you can’t treat your audience the same, nor can you use all the same tactics you use to get those qualified leads via other channels.
1 – Know how to measure and what to measure…and what those results mean. It’s not about the number of followers or likes. In fact, your follower or fan number, your number of “likes,” should not be an end goal because you need qualified prospects to sell to, not just a horde of followers – so this should not be a metric for social media sales success. You need to determine other ways to measure your social media sales success. Look at the reach of your updates and postings, and inquiries generated.
2 – Learn from your interactions. This isn’t just about engaging your audience. While social media is a great way to connect, it means nothing if you keep doing the same thing and that “thing” isn’t resonating with you audience and generating sales. Pay attention to what’s going on and test, test, and test some more to learn what works and what doesn’t.
3 – Have a content strategy – this is no time to just wing it. You should have an editorial calendar – just as you should with your blog. Mix it up with various media and different pieces of information. Look closely at your content and see what’s missing. Do your blog posts have calls to action? Do your posts that link to your blog have conversion points that create a virtual landing page for the audience? It will take some time to test what clicks with your audience, but taking the time to strategize your content and test what works will help you gain serious traction and make sales via social media easier.
4 – Be consistent with your social media actions. This is important with not only posting content, but also with social media customer support. You have to show your audience you are present and available, and consistency displays this.
5 – Know your customer. This isn’t the time or the place to try and be all things to all people. You are trying to sell to your ideal customers, not everybody in the social media universe.
6 – Invest in training. Social media is constantly evolving and there are so many social media platforms to choose from. But you want to be where your future customers are and connecting with them in a way to get them to trust you and want to work with you.
7 – Be a good “listener.” Don’t always go for the hard sell. Sometimes conversions take time and a soft touch. Soft leads can and will turn into sales if you nurture them appropriately. Present opportunities to convert your interested social media audience members into email subscribers. As you provide relevant and valuable information to these soft leads, you will gain their trust and you can “listen” (by tracking click-thrus and actions) to their needs and wants.
8 – Use tools that help you integrate your efforts and track them. New tools and services pop up all the time. What you want to look for is something that provides analytics, allows you to see your social feed from different networks (Imagine viewing your Facebook and Twitter feed on a single page), and post across various social networks. Some tools offer additional capabilities, such as team management, which is useful when more than one person is managing your social media content.
9 – Manage your time wisely – it’s easy to get sucked into social media and not actually be “effective.” This is where that content strategy can come in handy. With an editorial calendar and a plan you will ensure that your team knows what to do moving forward. But also work in time for team members to cruise other social networks, check out competitors, engage with the audience and research potential ways to exploit (in a good way) your social networks. It’s important to put an emphasis on time management because it’s easy to fall down the proverbial rabbit hole.
10 – Make sure social customer service is given the attention it needs. You can’t look like a schlub on your social media profiles and expect to have stellar sales. And this goes for prospects and current customers. If prospects reach out to you, then you need to have the people in place to respond, quickly and with expert knowledge. And if current customers are lodging a complaint or bringing an issue to light via social networks, you need to address it. It won’t go away and if you don’t handle it with composure, it will leave a bad taste in your customer’s mouth and any other audience members who witness the debacle. So have a social customer service policy in place and empower your team to address issues that pop up via social networks.
11 – Make it easy for your audience members. Many social networks have ways for you to optimize for conversions. For example, does your Facebook page have a tab that allows your fans to convert within Facebook? Or do they have to click through to your website and then track down your products and services from there? Spoon feed your audience. Your audience likes easy. They don’t like to feel as if they have to jump through hoops to get to the point of sale.
At the end of the day, if you start with a plan, you’ll be extremely successful. Need a push? I’d be happy to work with you and your team. Learn more by visiting JohnFoleyJR.com/consulting. I’d love to help you grow!
Don’t know me?
I am the CEO of interlinkONE and Grow Socially. Myself and my team consult with companies on marketing, business transformation, sales techniques, write strategic online marketing plans to get companies on a path to online and social success, and I speak frequently about selling with social media. Just for reading this post, go ahead and download a free white paper on Inbound Marketing at ilink.me/IMP.
Now that we’ve gotten to know each other, let’s make sure we’re connected socially! Here are direct links to my social networks; I look forward to connecting with you.