Using social networks the right way can lead to instant sales growth for any business, whether B2B or B2C, big or small. According to a study conducted by media intelligence company Aggregate Knowledge, companies who used Facebook saw a 24% sales boost compared to those who didn’t.
However, because people use social networks with a different mindset and intention than when they visit a mall or shopping center, you must change yours. The traditional sales mentality that works in a marketplace will not work on social media.
So how do you get people to become customers if they’re not in the shopping mentality? Give them a reason to! In fact, give, give give. And you shall receive.
Here are 3 things you can do right away to start selling effectively on social media.
1. Share Exclusive Offers
When people log on to Facebook, Twitter, or Google+, they’re usually looking to find things shared by their friends, colleagues and family, such as funny photos and links to interesting articles. It’s a social network, so be social!
Instead of being seen as a business, try being seen as a friend.
What do friends do? They share.
So share exclusive offers that people can only get through your Facebook or Twitter page, such as a special discount code, early access to new products or services, or a free gift with purchase.
2. Actively Search for Leads
This technique is best used on Twitter.
Instead of blasting out a bunch of tweets with the intention of saturating customers’ feeds, step away from the spotlight and become a detective.
Use the Twitter search tool to look for phrases related to your business. If you are a limousine operator who provides service for special events, such as weddings, birthdays, and anniversaries, you can search for phrases like:
- “Planning my wedding”
- “Birthday party”
- “Celebrate my anniversary”
- “Excited for prom”
If you’re more of a B2B company, you can search for:
- “Going on a business trip”
- “Heading to a trade show”
You can even search for more direct phrases like:
- “Looking for a limo”
- “Looking for a Town Car”
And as many variations on those as you can think of. (In order for this to work, make sure you include quotation marks around the search phrase, as that will find you an exact match for the phrase).
What you will find are people who have tweeted those phrases, making them hot leads who could use your services. See an example here.
But what do you do when you find these people?
No, you don’t say, “Hey I’ve got a limo at X rate per hour, book us now!”
Instead, go back to the top of this article and remind yourself to “give, give, give.”
When you find someone who tweets about an upcoming birthday, wedding, or anniversary, tweet them back offering suggestions on venues, restaurants, and party ideas. Then, after you’ve started a conversation, you can explain that a chauffeured car would be icing on the cake for the special day.
3. Engage With Customers
While this tactic is a little more time consuming, it’s extremely vital to a successful social media selling and marketing strategy. Whenever customers reach out to your company via social media, you cannot ignore them. Whether they have good or bad things to say, you must handle it the way you would handle an in-person visit or phone call. If they have complaints, and you don’t want to have a public conversation on a social network, let them know you will call or email them to resolve the issue.
On the flip side, if they have good things to say, use that to your advantage. Share any positive reviews or comments you receive. Thank them for the business and their kind words, and ask them to refer your services to any friends who could use it.
Like it or not, social media is an extension of your company, just like the telephone and email are, so you can’t ignore it.
If you want to go one step further, which we recommend you do, don’t wait for customers to reach out to you. Go to their pages and wish them a good day, or follow up to see how your product or service is treating them. Ask for feedback and use it to improve your business.
Facebook even has a function that shows whose birthday it is — go and post a happy birthday message on their walls. If you see customers posting photos of special events in their lives, leave them a kind comment or two.
Add value for your customers by using social media to engage with them and provide additional customer service, and watch your sales numbers grow.
Image courtesy of jscreationzs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net