It’s obvious that social media is useful in maintaining communication with customers and creating a solid online voice, but what many companies don’t realize is that it can help generate sales. According to the 2013 State of Inbound Marketing Report, 52 percent of marketers generated a lead through social media in 2013. Just to be clear, “a lead is a person who has in some way, shape or form indicated interest in your company’s product or service by giving you their information.” This is not the same as making a sale, but it’s a step in the right direction and could move the interaction forward just by following these four tactics.
Offer a Call-to-Action
It’s great if you tell your customers about an amazing product that you have for them, but if you aren’t telling them what to do next, nothing will happen. Consumers – whether B2B or B2C – want a quick and easy solution to their problem. If you are proclaiming to have a solution to their promotional marketing problem, let them know how easy it is to solve it by giving a link to your website or an email address.
Consumers today are quick to go to social media to connect with you, rather than through phone or email. They want their voice to be heard, especially if it’s to make a complaint. It’s important for businesses to craft a genuine response to each individual question, praise or complaint. A robotic, general response will not engage a consumer to want to continue business with you or go to you for future projects. Be genuine, and start a conversation.
Stop Talking About Yourself So Much
Share content that matters to your target audience and also shows that you are a credible source of information in your industry. If you constantly share information about your company, what you are doing, what consumers should buy from you, etc. consumers will become annoyed and develop a negative feeling about your brand. They are also less likely to share or retweet the content you are posting. Find and create content that is relevant, interesting and share-able. This will ultimately result in a larger audience reach and the potential for more sales.
Know Your Target Audience
The best way to find your target audience is to use the search features available on various social media platforms. Look for companies and industry professionals who are posting about your competitors and your products. It also wouldn’t hurt to see what your competitors are doing, especially if this social media thing is new to you. Chances are, if your competitors are sound and consistent in what they are doing on social media, they are probably successfully generating sales. Once you have a solid understanding of this, you can go beyond your competitors to be proactive and innovative in your social media sales tactics.
What works for social media today isn’t the same as what worked when professional use of social media first caught on. Our customers are the determinants of whether or not our social media strategy is successful, so awareness of this is a good place to start in your effort to generate sales through social media.