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Sales through social media
5 strategies to help you boost sales
This is a guest post by Tony Robbins’ dear friend and colleague Scott Klososky, former CEO of three successful startups, including Webcasts.com, which he sold for $115 million.
Social technologies provide a powerful collection of marketing tools, and they are inexpensive compared to other forms of marketing. Companies including Starbucks, Nike, Pepsi, Dell, Dirt Devil, IBM and JetBlue have already seen tremendous results from social marketing methods, and they are gaining traction with tools like customer intelligence, email, word-of-mouth campaigns and viral video – all tailor-made to provide huge benefits for businesses. Let’s take a closer look at social media sales techniques that can make an immediate positive impact on your marketing efforts.
1. Driving conversations to increase sales through social media
The goal of social media is to start conversations with your followers. Even though you are trying to get sales through social media, you should not be constantly selling. Your customer’s life is your business’ life and you can learn invaluable information about your customer by getting involved in conversations on social media. Ask what problems they are currently experiencing in their lives, what products or services they wish existed but currently don’t and about their daily schedules. Be interactive and show you are listening to their ideas and taking them to heart.
How to boost sales on social media always starts with increased knowledge of your customer base. When you start these types of conversations on social media, you can stay ahead of the curve when it comes to social shifts and other changes in your target market. This is what prevents you from being disrupted and increases customer loyalty.
2. Boost sales through social media with customer intelligence
Most organizations simply maintain a database with a name, contact information and company. A customer intelligence strategy would increase the data to 20 or 30 fields of information and would include a mix of business and personal data. This data can be gathered by simply asking, or through harvesting the information from online social sites where your customer already belongs (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.).
A powerful way of increasing sales through social media is utilizing automation. Many businesses now automate this process by connecting their CRM systems to services that find every new customer online and harvest social profile information automatically. It is now possible to monitor online actions of customers for keywords that might create alerts at the business so action can be taken. For example, if a customer updates a LinkedIn profile with a job change or promotion, your database could be automatically updated and you could send a congratulatory message.
Other actions that could be monitored include blogs, posts or tweets that customers put online. By using social listening and setting up alerts on keywords that are important to the industry, you can stay aware of what is on customers’ minds or where they are leaning on topics. Acting on this information by engaging customers or promoting what they have written can be invaluable in building tighter relationships and increasing social media sales.
3. Use eWord of Mouth marketing to drive social media sales
Word of mouth has always been the most powerful driver of human behavior. People believe their friends or a trusted expert. They rarely believe advertising. Social sites and tools have created a dynamic in which people now “talk” to thousands of connections with the touch of a button – in some cases many times a day. If you want to learn how to use social media to make sales, consider an eWord of Mouth technique.
An eWord of Mouth strategy involves identifying centers of influence (e.g. bloggers or Tweeters) in your sphere and providing them with content they want to pass on to their audience. This will help you create entirely new distribution paths for industry information that will cost you nothing, and yet expand your reach. With a few simple searches on sites like Twellow.com, Listorious.com and BlogSiteList.com, you can find these people who are centers of influence. There are people connected to thousands of readers in every industry and on every topic. When people read content delivered from these human broadcasters, they have a high degree of trust for it. This new marketing method must become a staple for every organization.
4. Harness the power of viral video
Most people welcome the occasional viral video emailed or sent to them via one of the social sites. These can be cute cat videos, or clever business-to-business videos. They are viral because people like them enough to share them at escalating rates. What is amazing is that many of these videos will get millions of views and cost the video producer ZERO. Distribution is free and completely scalable. Sadly, most organizations are wasting the opportunity to create viral videos that would be popular within their industry or could be used to promote it. When figuring out how to boost sales on social media, look to viral videos for one of your go-to methods.
After studying what makes videos go viral, I believe it is not magic or luck. There are clear formulas that, when followed, afford a great chance of getting a large audience and high pass-around velocity. The mistake that most organizations make is having an unclear strategy for the development of a video that will actually be intriguing. They compound the problem by not engaging the right specialists to script and create the video. There is a formula for producing winning online videos: they must be funny, clever and somewhat true. This combination provides the best odds for getting a video passed around – in some cases, to millions of people.
Another concept to consider is creating a series of five or six videos, labeled Episode One, Episode Two, etc. In this way, you have multiple properties. If one strikes a chord with viewers, they will come to your website to see the rest.
5. Share user-generated content to increase social media sales
More than anyone else, consumers listen to their peers when it comes to buying products or services. That’s why one of the best tips on how to use social media to make sales is to get your followers to do the selling for you. How? The first step is by encouraging them to review your products or services. You can do this through incentives or many times by just asking. Not only are positive reviews powerful for marketing, but negative reviews are important awareness tools and help you turn potential problems into opportunities.
You can also share blogs, posts and other pieces of content from your followers to show you care about them and are interested in what they are doing. Choose pieces that speak to your company’s values or somehow relate to your company’s culture. Be gracious when thanking the original creator for the content and continue to look for followers who routinely post engaging and thought-provoking content that is a good fit for your brand.
These five marketing strategies have the potential to yield a huge return on investment for the savvy marketing team. And if you’re still wondering how to boost sales on social media, remember that it’s all about using cutting-edge strategies and staying engaged with your followers so your business continues to stand out in a crowded world.