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Using Social Media for Sales 101

by Monika Jansen on December 6, 2011

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Social media and sales

The basics of a good sales pitch rest on reaching potential customers where they will see or hear it. While print ads, mailings, and TV and radio commercials still have their place, your customers are using social media—Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, and others—to find companies and build a relationship with them.

Once you jump in the sea of social media, you might find it’s a struggle to stay on top of status updates—while keeping them useful and creative—and conversations with your audience. While success and failure may seem random at first, you’ve got to stick with it and experiment to see what works for you and your customers.

To be sure that your investment is giving you the maximum returns—generating qualified leads that convert to customers—run your strategy through the following quiz:

  • Is my social media outlet attractive to new customers? What kinds of SEO, advertising, and referrals do I generate to earn my traffic?
  • What are my customers interested in? Where do they hang out on the Internet, and what keeps them interested in a company?
  • Do current customers check in periodically with my social media interactions?
  • What draws customers to my business instead of comparable businesses?
  • How can I use social media to make it easy for my customers to build a relationship with my company?
  • How many new hits or leads am I generating per month?
  • How closely am I watching my social media stats to keep track of what’s working?

So, how’d you do? Are you seeing the results that you’re looking for? If not (or if you could stand to see better results), the two most important factors to pay attention to while building your successful social media empire are your brand attraction and your statistics.

Brand Attraction

Be sure that your social media outlets are attractively designed. A poor presentation can drive people away—not to mention the lost opportunities as outlined in Entrepreneur’s “Building Your Brand with Social Media.” So make sure all of your social media accounts are polished—and match your blog and website for brand consistency. This also assures customers of your professionalism and reputation.

Take an honest look at your current social media attempts. Do the experiences jump out at you visually? Is there an attractive nature to the tone, copy, and presentation? If not, you are missing out on a lot that social media has to offer the world of sales.

Statistics

Another key piece of a successful social media sales program is to regularly review your stats—click-throughs, likes, retweets, etc. (If you’re at a loss, check out a few high-profile metrics recommended in Lisa Barone’s “6 Social Media Metrics for SMBs To Track.”)

Not only can this information keep you in the know about your current efforts, it also guides you on what to do in the future. When you see how customers are interacting with your social media accounts and accessing your website as well as what information they find most useful, you can better focus your sales messages.

Image courtesy of creative design agency Arrae.

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