Selling on Social Media

Last week I posted an article on publishing the right content for your social media strategy.  Today, I want to talk about how to use that content to drive sales and increase the bottom line at your company.  Many entrepreneurs I speak with think that getting followers and likes should be their singular focus on social media.  They mistakenly believe that once people choose to follow their company online those followers will naturally turn into clients.  Often times the reverse is true – converting followers into sales can be a lot harder than getting followers in the first place.

If your social media strategy is not generating sales for your company, the problem may not be a lack of followers but rather a lack of engagement with the followers you do have.

So how do you convert your existing followers into paying clients?

1. Actively reach out to your existing followers on a daily basis.  Ask questions in your posts and seek their feedback on new products or trends in your industry.  Try to start conversations.

2. Give people an incentive to be linked with you on social media.  Consider offering special deals just for your friends and followers.  Try announcing new products, upgrades, and sales on your social media pages before you broadcast them to a general audience.  If you want more inspiration check out some of the innovative things other companies are doing on their pages.  One great example is Georgetown Cupcake, which posts a secret “password” on their facebook account each morning.  Customers who come to the shop and say the password are entitled to a free cupcake.

3. Know when to use the hard sell.  When starting out, many people think that a hard sell is a taboo in the social arena.  The reality is that the most savvy companies know how to hard sell in a tasteful and unobtrusive manner.  Tweeting every hour asking people to go to your website and buy your product is a good way to lose followers and annoy people.  On the other hand, tweeting special deals and highlighting unique aspects about your product is acceptable and indeed critical to a good sales strategy. Just make sure to keep things fun and light.  Remember that people are online to be social, not necessarily to go shopping.

4. Use multimedia to make your best posts count.  Does your company sell chocolate? What could advertise it better than a mouth watering picture? Do you sell software? How about uploading a 60 second video with a demo?  Using different types of multimedia will grab people’s attention and keep your content fresh and engaging.

5. Listening can be as important as talking.  Use a product like InboxQ to aggregate tweets of people who are talking about your product.  If you run a construction firm you can easily see if people are asking for recommendations for builders in your area.  Reach out to these people and see if you can be helpful.  You might be just what they were looking for.

As always, if you want help further refining your social media strategy considering talking to an Anant Internet Strategist.  You can find us at anant.us.

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