Is Social Media Good for Business?Anca Nichita
It is a truth universally acknowledged that every sales process has to start with creating a new connection with a potential customer, and this is particularly true for B2B sales. For some years now, social media has created the perfect environment to foster meaningful connections with our target audience.
Good communication starts with listening, so if you want to know what people are saying about your product, brand or service, social media networks are the right place to start “hearing”. It’s a great way to find out your customer’s needs, engage with him and get him on the road to buying.
A great tool to find out where and who is talking about your brand is socialmention. Using specific keywords related to your company or industry, you’ll be able to comment, answer questions or simply say your opinion in a debate.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other platforms have been found to be very useful in creating and maintaining strong relationships with clients. Here are some useful tips on how to use social media in order to increase sales:
1. Find out where your clients are and “join the club”
There are no shortcuts to the top; you’ll have to begin with the base. Do not create accounts on all social media platforms out there thinking that you will find your buyers. It’s a huge waste of time. First of all, make sure you know your target audience (type, size, average age, geographic area, income, occupation, sector, etc as applicable) and then identify which space is best for connecting and engaging with them.
Also know and understand each platform’s specifics, be they obvious or more hidden. For example, according to Shopify, Facebook is dominating as the primary source of social traffic and sales. Due to the recent change in Facebook’s algorithm, the best way to increase your brand’s awareness and sales is to use tools like Pinterest and Instagram along with it.
LinkedIn is the most appropriate social media network if you are in B2B. It’s the right place to connect with potential buyers and present them your offer.
There are plenty of social networking sites (blogs, online forums, communities, live chats), do not waste your time and resources, focus and go to the places your customers use.
REMEMBER: Do not use social media to post information and pictures of your products and services over and over again. Engage with your prospects and present them solutions to their problems and needs.
2. Get personal
Social media it’s about the self, not about the corporate. Creating a company profile is good, but not enough. Personal accounts, personal branding in the industry is the way to go. Everybody in the company, from CEO to interns, should be involved in presenting a polished professional image on the target social networks and among the audience. Share your expertise, take pride in your work, showcase products or services or simply answer questions, all these will advance your brand and your sales.
REMEMBER: Be friendly and help the community with constructive information. Become a trusted voice in that community.
3. Create your own online spaces for interested people to interact
Your target audience needs to know as much as possible about your products and services. Find out how they prefer to consume online content and create a blog, a Facebook group, an YouTube channel or a LinkedIn group accordingly to their preferences, Now there are quite a few people who prefer getting their information from social media and ask questions about your company there instead of going to your website and sending an email.
REMEMBER: Keep your content curated and interesting.
Social media is constantly changing, new platforms will appear and old ones maybe will disappear. What never changes is the need to successfully engage prospects and get them on the buying journey. I believe social media, in whatever form will evolve, will remain a key part of the process and become more and more valuable for businesses. What do you think?