The most vital part of the sales process is getting to know your customers and establishing genuine relationships – in today’s technology, social media is the answer.
Now, not only can we quickly and easily communicate with our clients, but we can see what prospects are saying about our brand and competitors. Social media allows for a completely new way to conduct market research and initiate a conversation that leads to a sale.
Of course using social media to increase sales is possible too. You can strengthen relations with current customers over Twitter and LinkedIn – it is easy to learn. We are going to explain to you how to use social media to make sales…
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1) Which Platform do Your Clients Use?
Social media is a great selling tool if your customers are using it – otherwise it can be a huge waste of your time. So, find where your customers are hiding out first. Facebook? Instagram? Pinterest? Tumblr? Twitter? LinkedIn?
If they are on popular social media websites, join them there as long as you can effectively interact with them there. Many point to Facebook as the best arena for business to consumer sales, but there are reasons for that.
Facebook’s algorithm allows brands to reach the right people directly. However, if you lack an advertising budget, Instagram and Pinterest can do the trick. Just remember, it is not only about posting pretty photos, you need to interact with your audience or they’ll be silent.
LinkedIn is a great professional platform to connect with people at big corporations that might be interested in your product or service. Twitter is the perfect platform to listen for what problems there are to be solved.
Hashtags are a quick way for you to find your prospects. The conversations could be happening somewhere completely different too, so check other online blogs frequently. Don’t feel like you need to limit yourself to a certain number of platforms either – just go where the conversations are.
2) Create a Persona
Before you create an account for your company, create your own personal account. Have some conversations, and get acquainted with the norms and expectations of the community. Wait until you understand how to show your network that you’re friendly and trustworthy, and then you’ll be ready to build up the same network for your company.
Have a meeting with your marketing team to discuss what type of personality you see your company’s social media having. It should be concurrent with the current voice of your marketing messages, but you must figure out how to react to certain types of questions or posts, both good and bad.
You should develop a protocol for certain worst-case situations like a misunderstood comment. However, hopefully you can avoid those dangers. Take the time to read the conversation, write a response and ask an associate to proofread both for spelling and punctuation, but also context.
So now you have an account, but whom should you connect with? Friend, follow and connect with individuals that match your customers. Search for people that are talking about your industry or other related keywords.
Then comment on their posts, retweet them, answer a question, or even share something they say. By contributing to their own conversation, you add value to their network.
This is your entryway into a naturally established connection. When you’re ready to approach them, do it in a private message or email, referencing something that you learned about them through your interactions. You’ll come off as more of a friend offering a solution rather than a pushy salesperson.
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4) Build Relationships
The most important lesson that salespeople need to know is that they need to develop relationships more than they need to develop leads because those good relationships will turn into leads.
People share a lot of information on social media. As long as you listen to what they are saying, you’ll be able to create a meaningful conversation with them. Show them that you care by being one of the first to respond and have something helpful to say.
Become a consistent contributor to conversations and interactions. Prospects will recognize your name when you message them, which we will get into next.
5) Engage in Conversation
If you write them a pitch with a link to your website, they won’t respond. As said above, listen to what problems they have and then message them and offer a solution to their problem. With social media, you will never have to make a cold call again.
Another way that you can do this is by creating a Facebook group that is related to your product, service, or industry and invite prospects to join.
Watch and see which members are more active and choose to send targeted messages to them. Let’s not forget about LinkedIn though. You can engage in conversation there as well by answering questions and showcasing your expertise at problem solving.
Watch for trends in their tweets on Twitter and when the time is right, give them a call and say, “Hey, I noticed a few tweets about this, is there any way that I could help?”
6) Good Content
Last, but certainly not least is the content that you put out there. Make sure that your posts are dynamic with variances in text, video, photos, news articles, surveys, etc. More important on platforms like Pinterest and Instagram is the quality of those photos.
If you wouldn’t like it or follow it, don’t post it. Remember, your posts can go viral too. When your current customers share it, their connections will see it, which is giving you access to new leads to interact with.
Using social media to increase sales is not a science, but it does take thought. Social media is a completely new way to go about sales, but as you get familiar with the networks of each platform, you will understand how it is appropriate to approach your new leads.
Take time before posting something to make sure that it is free of mistakes, that it will not offend anyone, and that it is following your company’s branding. Show your customers that you’re listening and that you care, and they will listen to you. Good luck!