Using Social Media for Sales

As a business owner, you may already know the marketing benefits of having a strong social media presence: it boosts brand visibility, helps with SEO efforts, and offers a multi-channel approach to creating an online presence. What you may not know, is that you can effectively use social media to find and convert leads and grow your sales revenue.

Using social media for sales isn’t as complicated as it sounds, and it can easily be done – especially if you already have a social media system (like Emphatic) in place. In fact, outsourcing your social media management is a great first step to take as it consistently puts you right in front of your target audience and makes them aware you exist.

Providing relevant, high-quality content with a human touch lays the foundation for using social media for sales. It differentiates you from your competitors and offers your potential and current customers something tangible of value that they can directly connect to your brand. This contributes to higher engagement rates, which in turn can help you network and discover fresh leads.

Want to get started? Follow these steps to start using social media for sales:

Step One – Research

Once you’ve established your voice on social media, it’s pretty easy to re-focus your strategy to focus on sales. The first step is finding which platforms are right for your business. There’s a common misconception that all brands need to be on all platforms at all times. Instead of spreading yourself thin, focus on concentrating efforts on a few platforms. Better yet, outsource your social media management for the Big 3 (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) to ensure that your brand message is consistent, timely and targeted.

To know which platforms are going to yield the best results, think about your ideal customer. Researching and creating buyer personas can help identify those leads that are most likely to convert. Use those personas to cross-reference with the followers on each platform that are already engaging with your posts. The intersection of these stats will give you insight on where to concentrate your efforts.

Step Two – Connect

Now that you have an inside look at who’s most likely to buy your products or services, make them an offer they can’t refuse. Give them content that’s valuable by answering their FAQs or offering solutions to common problems. From there, you can provide strong calls to action (CTAs) that encourage followers to get in touch by calling, visiting your website, or signing up for your weekly newsletter. This will create a rich database of leads to have at your fingertips.

Use visuals like infographics or images with statistics to break down important data in a quickly digestible format. You can also curate and share third-party information as long as it’s relevant to your audience. This has the added benefit of building networking relationships within your industry and highlighting the authenticity of your brand. If you think it will boost engagement, comments, or shares, it’s a good idea to post it.

Step Three – Engage

You’ve chosen your platform, you’ve established your target audience, and you’ve found and shared great content; now it’s time to engage.  However, engaging goes beyond liking the occasional comment or hitting the favorite star on a tweet mentioning your business. When using social media for sales, you have to make sure your content stands out from the rest. You have to be authentic, human, and personalized.

Establishing and maintaining a relationship with your audience gives you the perfect opportunity to then explain (without you having to sound too sales-y) why they should choose your business over the competition. If people don’t like your tone or content on social media, or they feel pressured into buying what you’re selling, there’s a good chance they’ll take their business elsewhere.

Step Four – Measure

You should regularly measure the results of using social media for sales. Talk to the leads you know converted and ask them to provide testimonials or participate in case studies. This will give you a clear understanding of what is working – and what you could be doing better. It can also provide you with persuasive content that shows your audience a proven track record of customer satisfaction.

Armed with this information, consider how you’d like to tweak your social media message to boost sales even more. Compile a list of leads to be used in retweets or strategic mentions, or content from potential customers that can be shared. Doing this creates a network of natural advocates, their word-of-mouth will be the best sales tool you could hope for. If there’s a trade show or conference coming up, use that to connect with leads you know will be attending. Remember: High quality social media content boosts engagement, which paves the way to networking with leads to boost sales.
How do you use social media for sales growth? Share in the comments below!