The number of people using social media in the U.S. and around the world is growing at an extraordinary rate. These new ways to communicate may seem like it creates many great opportunities. But it’s only great if you can get your products in front of the right audience to increase sales. In this article you’ll find four tips to get you started using social media as a sales tool. But before we dive in, it’s important to understand the significance of the word “intent” when it comes to sales and social media.
When a user does a search on Google for a product that you sell, and then visits your website, they have buying intent. Social media is different as the users you encounter do not typically have an immediate intention to buy. They may have buying intent at a later date. But when they first come across you, they are most likely not ready to make a purchase. Instead, they simply want to get a better idea of what you’re about.
Here is where most businesses fail on social media. They create their accounts and then start putting up posts which are essentially “Buy Me, Buy Me, Buy Me”. Frankly it is not surprising that most social media users respond with a metaphorical “bite me” when presented with this sort of message.
If you understand the intent of users on social media you are much more likely to make it a success. Here is how you do it:
- Pick The Right Social Networks
You’re good. But you’re not superwoman or superman; your team is not superhuman; and you probably don’t have Apple-esque reserves of cash at your disposal. In other words you can’t do all social media platforms really well, so you have to pick the ones that will get you the best results.
This is about knowing who your customer is, predicting which social media network they are most likely to use, and then picking one or two of those networks that you think have the best chance of success.
- Create Fantastic Content
The content that you create should match your selected social media platforms. For example a how-to article that works well on LinkedIn won’t be as suitable on Facebook.
Also, make sure the content is engaging. This statement is easy to make, but not easy to put into action. Think of making your content engaging for engaging sake, instead of engaging for the sake of your business. You almost have to forget about promoting your business, at least for the majority of your posts.
Mix up your content to include images, videos, retweets, shares, third-party links etc. You also have to think about frequency – look at what your competitors do, and look at companies who offer similar services in other markets, to get a guide for the right post frequency.
- Build Your Following
This is not an easy part of a social media sales strategy, and in many respects it is getting more challenging each year, but it is crucial to your success. If you work on building your social media following consistently over time, you will see results.
Following other social media accounts, building up relationships with social media influencers, and reaching out to individuals and businesses in your industry, are some of the ways that you can build your following. You should also include your social media profiles on your website and email signature. you should explore running ads to build your following.
- Connect To Your Business
The objective of your social media strategy is to increase sales. One way to bring in business is to better understand your customer’s journey. This means being at the front of their mind when they are ready to buy. Include strategically placed promotional posts in your content strategy. Make sure there is a link back to your website and that your contact details are up-to-date. And immediately respond to any queries you receive through comments or direct messages on social media.
You can even explore the growing trend of completing the sale on the social media network, depending on the platform you use. Wherever the transaction takes place, though, you have to win trust first. The four steps above will help you achieve this.