I get asked all the time, how will social media drive sales? What people want is an immediate influx of opening of wallets and swiping of credit cards. Can that happen, does it happen? Sure, consumer based product companies like Dell, Zappos and countless other large brands have had great success selling millions in consumer goods via platforms like Twitter.
The first question I have is, are you invested in this process or are you absent? You must invest, and below is a series of ways you’ll need to expend effort, and in some cases budget in order to have any possibility of driving new sales for your business via social media.
For us at fusedlogic, it’s a different story than those really big household brands I mentioned. We’re not about consumer goods or point of sale items. The sale of our social media related services primarily happens based on relationships, referrals, awareness too and great customer service. If we mailed you a flyer stating that fusedlogic is your answer for social media strategies, would we get any business from you? Maybe, but doubtful since we’re not business to consumer. Having said that, our client Terry Paranych has done a show on fusedlogicTV and spoke about his “flyer program which nets him huge business results. Terry understands the need for an integrated unique approach to marketing to consumers. He understands the value of building relationships in numerous ways, added to things like direct flyer marketing (not really about relationships) is the use of social media – all about relationships and communication.
Social media allows for you to reach out directly to the fusedlogic team, to our clients, and to potentially millions of people in a meaningful way.
Here’s how properly increasing your sphere of influence can increase your sales regardless of what industry you’re in.
1.) Search Engine Optimization – your content if properly positioned will be found by new prospective clients, giving you a shot to start a sales discussion.
2.) Reputation Management – we may have met at a business luncheon, or other networking event, social media allows us to maintain our discussion inbetween face-to-face meetings. Keeping in touch allows for acquaintances to turn into friends and advocates. Big difference. When the time is right, this fact alone will lead to business opportunity. Chris Brogan’s book Trust Agents speaks in many ways about being that trusted source. Good book, you should download it.
3.) Realtime Customer Service – rather than wait for hours on a phone line, many companies can improve customer service through options like Twitter. A great customer service experience here and it’s passed on to multiple networks, screw it up and the same result is true.
4.) Targeting Trends – things happen in a flash in social media, and if you blink you could miss real opportunity. Being timely and relevant is often critical. Many people parachute in to Twitter once a day for 2 minutes to push out a tweet and then leave and wonder why their phone isn’t ringing off the hook.
5.) Not a Silver Bullet – sales comes from credibility, value, trust, awareness, rapport, relevancy, convenience and time investment among other things. Especially, if you’re relatively unknown. If you’re Google, well that’s different. Using social media can provide you an opportunity to do all of this work more efficiently, as long as, you commit to it and have a plan. Be patient!
6.) Content Creation – you know why Terry Paranych will continue to dominate in Real Estate awareness online in his markets? Even more so since he became our live streaming video client? Increased content creation relevant to his target audiences. He’s literally out-gunning his competition. Add to that his commitment, hard work, listening to customer feedback, learning and of course a budget and you’ve got a recipe for a win. The Real Estate market in Edmonton was unprepared for Terry to take this next step, he’s changed the game again! There is no other agent, Re/Max or otherwise certainly in Alberta and possibly beyond with their own series of live weekly streamed shows. When a consumer goes to do research on the Terry Paranych Team Re/Max Elite, they’ll quickly realize that his marketing plan is more advanced than the others for lots of reasons but especially his live shows. Ultimately that will translate into new business. What scares me in a good way is if Terry starts to promote his shows in other areas of his marketing efforts…
7.) Routine – this doesn’t mean “automation” so much as working a plan of what works. I’m guilty as the next person for not always doing this, as life gets in the way sometimes. That said, when I can correct my course and get back on track, we see results. What do I mean by this? Simple, there are lots of examples of suggested daily routines and Chris Brogan has put out some dandy examples.
Be human not a robot! Engage and support one another. Respect others, and for goodness sake, do what you say you’ll do. That is so rare, people will respect you for that alone. All of this is definitely hard work, but worth it in the end.