Social media is here to stay.
And thank goodness because used well it’s an incredibly powerful micro business sales tool.
To use social media properly you cannot lose sight of what social media is primarily about. If you omit the engagement and the interaction from your approach, you are doomed to failure. No one wants to listen to constant broadcasts and so your results will suffer – and you’ll end up looking stupid 🙂
But if you are helpful, engaging, personable, interact, initiate conversations and build relationships – in time your sales funnel will start to fill up.
So if you want to use social media to direct prospects into your sales funnel, try these eight top tips. Now I’m sure I’ve missed loads so please help me improve the list and add your own in the comments.
1. Link to your blog posts
As well as helping to establish your expert authority, blogs provide fantastic material to share on social media. So tweet the link, post onto Facebook or use your blog to start a discussion in a LinkedIn or Facebook group.
2. Answer questions in social media forums
Check out this post by Robert Peters which explains in detail how to sell through forums.
3. Share snippets
Hub Contributor Julia Bramble does this really well. Each day she tweets a #socialmediasecret on Twitter and by doing so helps to establish her authority as well as providing content which can be shared and retweeted.
4. Take advantage of Facebook ads
Because you can target Facebook ads to a specific demographic and type of person, you could find they are more cost-effective at converting prospects than other alternatives. Perry Marshall is a great resource for all things Facebook.
5. Look for leads
Each day social search goes into overdrive with people asking for recommendations for different business services. What’s more, these people are typically looking to buy either now or the near future and so these leads can be hot. You can use Twitter searches to help you pinpoint leads that fall outside of your follower base, try things such as:
- Can anyone recommend a plumber
- I’m looking for an SEO consultant
- Copywriter needed etc.
What’s more, if your business operates within a specific geographical area, you could add your town or region into the mix as well.
And if you don’t have the time to hunt out these leads yourself, Twitter expert @MarkShaw has just launched an interesting new business idea. For a small monthly subscription, the My Secret Business group is a lead generation service that texts subscribers categorised leads.
6. Reach out
Often a micro business doesn’t need a huge amount of hot leads to transform their business. Now obviously this depends on the type of operation that you run but if you are service based, an additional 6 clients a month could totally transform your bottom line. Once you’ve identified your customer avatar, you can start to hunt these people down. You may already have some names in your head of who you would love to work with and social media can help you start to build that tentative relationship.
The message is don’t be afraid to reach out.
7. Be helpful
The sales landscape has changed and content marketing is picking up pace at the expense of traditional interruption marketing. So if you want to sell through social media, make sure you give. And there are lots of opportunities. Attend tweetchats and answer questions, play a role in the private Facebook and LinkedIn groups that you belong too and embrace the opportunities that arise to share your knowledge and expertise.
8. Be yourself
Business is all about people and social media offers an excellent way to allow people to get to know, like and trust you. For sure if it’s a business account you need to be careful that you don’t overstep the boundaries, but it’s a good idea to include content from your personal life too if it helps your audience to get to know who you are as a person.
Social media by itself is not enough
You’re unlikely to be able to make lots of sales directly with social media – instead see the likes of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest etc. as a means to get people into your sales funnel. Through social media you can:
- Direct prospects to your website (where you could encourage them to join your email list)
- Encourage a LinkedIn connection to engage via email
- Use a Facebook Ad to send a prospect to a squeeze page etc.
But what do you think?
How what are your top tips for selling through social media? Please let me know in the comments below.