Can Social Media be used to sell? Or is it just for relationship building and lead generation?
Vancouver / Abbotsford lead generation expert Jackie Cooper investigates whether Social Media can be used to sell products or if it’s best used for relationship building.
She says, “One of the things that I’m frequently asked is “Is Social Media only about warm fuzzy communication or can I use it to actually sell stuff?”
My answer is, ‘you bet’. Social Media is a very effective direct selling tool.
While on the surface, Social Media appears to be all about the warm fuzzies, this friendly surface hides a potentially lean, mean selling machine.
Speakers at a recent international Social Media conference I attended in San Diego cited instances of a variety of ways that social media can be used to impact the bottom line. I’ve also seen this born out by my work with clients.
Social Media is in fact one of the easiest ever ways to sell, especially for short term promotions. And one of the most cost-effective. By strategic use of keywords, your promotion will be picked up by people who are watching these keywords – and many of these people are qualified prospects for your product or service.
By combining YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, a promotion can quickly become viral. You are no longer dependent on your customer or prospect list – or on expensive traditional media means to get in front of new, qualified prospects. By seeking out qualified prospects using keywords, you can build the foundation of a fantastic responsive audience – and by doing so, you will find that other, similar qualified people ‘find’ you. It’s this potential that makes Social Media so amazingly powerful.
Of course, as with most things, this sounds very simple. In theory it is. However, the most important thing to remember is that before you begin trying to promote your products and services, you need a specific and well thought out marketing plan. If you simply begin posting and tweeting, you are destined for disappointment. While this approach will produce some results, it will not produce the kinds of results you really want – the kind that massively leverage your exposure producing thousands – even tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales.
The beauty of using Social Media to execute a well designed marketing plan is that is:
- very trackable
This all means that you can set up promotions very scientifically and understand the kinds of results that can be expected with minimal expense upfront. Testing is essential before rolling out a major campaign, but this is true for all kinds of marketing. Social Media makes testing easier and more cost effective as well.
Why does Social Media work so well to sell products and services? The reason is actually quite simple and logical:
We need to remember that a big part of the sales process is about building trust and credibility – a task that Social Media is a master at – but, business Social Media is not only focused on relationship building. While relationship building should be at least 70% to 90% of the Social Media content you post, the other 10% to 30% of your content can be used to ask for the sale via inks to sales pages. Some venues, such as Facebook Pages, can even incorporate shopping carts or PayPal buttons to facilitate sales right there, making sales conversions a lot easier.
Although it often goes against the grain for companies to devote most of their marketing activity to relationship building, this is, in fact, in line with what most successful marketers teach and should be used as the benchmark for all your Social Media activity.
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