Social media is one of the biggest prospecting tools that companies and sales reps have. The days of solely relying on sales calls and follow ups are long gone. Today, there are a plethora of social media outlets to assist with prospecting leads, establishing contacts, and driving sales. When used properly, social media can be an extremely powerful and vital tool that can give companies an advantage over their competition. Below are my top 5 ways to drive sales using social media:
1) Create a Branded Social Media Channel. When visitors look at a company’s Facebook page they are looking to have three questions answered: Who are you? What do you do? How can you help me? If your page can answer those three questions for a visitor, there is a greater chance of generating a lead, identifying a contact, and ultimately closing a sale. In order to answer those three questions, companies must focus on creating a channel that is consistent with their brand, look, and feel and also create content that is relevant to what their target audience is looking for.
2) Have a Social Media Strategy. One mistake that many companies make is diving head first into the social media pool with no clear purpose or strategy. Do this….and you will surely drown! If you are going to use social media as a tool to grow your business, then it is important to have a strategy in place before hand. Companies need to know what they want to accomplish when using social media platforms. Selling is all about attracting leads, qualifying contacts, and building relationships while continuing to nurture the relationships that you already have. If you are engaging in social media just to gain a large number of followers, likes, or connections then you are doing it for the wrong reasons. Focus on the people who fit your business goals and objectives and you will be more successful.
3) Expand Your Reach! Using social media outlets can be a great tool. However, in order to use social media effectively and efficiently, you must know exactly how to use each specific outlet. You should spend time researching all the tools and capabilities that are available with each social media platform you plan to use. For example, Facebook is different from Twitter and LinkedIn is different from YouTube. Therefore, knowing the differences and advantages of each platform is the key to success. Also, it is important to use as many social media platforms as possible. This will expand your reach and visibility, broaden your brand awareness, and drive sales.
4) Remember Social Networking is a Two-Way Street. If someone comments, responds, or wants to connect with you, it is vital to respond back to them. By doing so, you can engage and build upon relationships as well as build new ones. It also puts you back in the driver’s seat and leaves them with the opportunity to keep the dialogue open and ongoing. Also, when you respond back to a tweet or comment it is greatly appreciated and is more likely to create a business opportunity. So, just as you would follow up with calls….follow up with social media!
5) Track Your Results! There is a lot of great technology available to be able to track your social media campaigns. Tracking your social media platforms will help you to gain insights and grow your business. Be sure to keep track of your outreaches, responses, and close rates from social media interaction. By doing this, you will be able to make adjustments, evaluate your content, eliminate processes that aren’t working and embrace those that are.
Social media is a phenomenon that is and will continue to grow for years to come. In order to drive sales and experience the greatest success, it is vital that companies engage with social media platforms. Generation Y and beyond will be constantly involved and entrenched in the social media world. By adhering to the information that I have shared, companies are sure to drive sales. The rise of social media has provided businesses and sales professionals with many tools to attract new business and drive sales. I guess we can thank Mark Zuckerberg for that!