Learn to build your brand using social media to help you listen, engage, and sell to your customers online.
Are you in a sales position and leveraging social media to its full potential? If you answered no you’re in the right place.
Social media helps create your personal brand by leveraging the platforms your audience is on most. In doing so, you’re building relationships, warming your leads, and in result increasing your sales. According to a LinkedIn study, you’re 51% more likely to hit your monthly sales quota if you’re actively using social media for your sales process. Social networks alike now gather and share hundreds of thousands of data points about the audience you’re trying to reach. With demographics, firmographics, or other data, you can better understand who your audience is, what their interests are and how they buy.
Who is your audience?
We’ve all been through this before – putting together the ‘persona’ of your target audience(s) to understand how to reach and engage those you find best suited for your product. The problem is, in the past, marketing teams have made these audiences out of hypothetical information. Trying to acquire those individuals for your business that you have no quantifiable information on is simply a waste of time.
With social analytical tools such as Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, or Twitter Analytics, you can dig deeper into who’s engaging with you. While this may lead to surprise you on the type of people engaging with your product or service, it’s a learning curve to adapt to.
For example, Facebook once upon a time built their platform for university and college students to connect through their accredited school login. The goal was to connect these students for sharing information and creating an online community for friendships to blossom. Well that was 2004. In 2017, they now cater to a majority of middle-aged, ma’s and pa’s, and position themselves as one of the largest online social advertising platforms. Two reasons why this hypothetically happened. First is simple; because the individuals they targeted to begin with aged. Secondly is because older generations found their feed as a great news source. Getting updates from family and friends, while at the same time seeing news articles was a healthy mix of what 45-65+ year olds wanted. Thus, Facebook let go of the younger generation they once built their platform for. This is a prime example of pivoting your audience based on progression of your audience’s wants and needs, as well as understanding the bulk of your customer’s interests and metrics.
Drilling down on your audience using social analytics will help you have a data-backed idea of who you should nurture and acquire. In the end, you’ll have less guessing and more selling.
How does your audience buy online?
So you’ve got the data-backed audience at hand, now what? The sad part is that according to B2C Online, only 45% of retailers cite Omni-channel efforts as a top priority for their business. In other terms, your audience may be online, but you’re only hitting them in one spot. Let’s put it this way, if you went for a professional massage and they were only paying attention to your hand, foot, arm, leg, you’d be asking them to switch it up once in a while. This is much like point-of-contact in sales (well not really, but give me some slack).
Understanding how your audience interacts with content and media online is key to building your brand reputation (personal or professional). Finding out where your audience gathers their information based on their interests, age, position, etc. will help you get the engagement and relationships you want. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn all have different audience traits and ways of sharing content, so understand those values and optimize your approach to each.
For example, ever see selfies of CEO’s on LinkedIn? No. But you do see selfies of Richard Branson Kite-Surfing on Facebook. Understanding the fundamentals of each social platform will help you engage your audience across multiple channels. This approach has been coined an Omni-channel marketing strategy. It’s an umbrella strategy designed to create a seamless marketing and brand experience across multiple channels. This is crucial to social selling. Keeping the message consistent, brand images and colors the same, and engaging your audience at the right time on the right channel. The science of how to optimize Omni-channel marketing can be found similar to your audiences - looking into the data.
Lastly, is keeping your marketing material consistent across all devices. It’s said that more than 80% of transactions in 2016 happened on Smartphones. That’s only 20% happening on PC’s, tablets, and other devices. Make sure your format is compatible, messaging fits the screen/responsive, and that you have easy buttons to connect on the appropriate profiles.
Social Selling 101 – engagement and relationship building
Customers who feel overwhelmed with marketing materials are most likely to block you – either out of their minds or off their social network. While social selling can be very effective, it has to be done properly. Here are some tips for successful social selling:
- Keep it short: online users have the average attention span of a goldfish (seriously, check this out). You want to get to the point and make it attention-grabbing. Try crafting your ad copy or messaging in Twitter, where you’re only allowed 140 characters!
- Keep it actionable: don’t just say hi; the audience should leave your ad with a thought crafting in their minds. The really great ads should have them taking action right on the spot!
- Stick with what you know: don’t promise something you can’t live up to, it’s as simple as that.
- Try a 30-second video: Engagement is queen. Like we said, social media is for building a relationship with your audience. Keep your brand and messaging in mind but add your personal twist to ensure people know that you’re human!
The overarching goal of actively keeping a social media presence and online brand is to sell. But before customers are driven to your site or trusted to buy they partake in the relationships, connections and conversations online. In fact, 57% of typical purchase decisions are made before a customer talks to sales. That means that your online reputation is worth more than a conversation.
For more information, check out our whitepaper outlining the Must Have Email Marketing Reports to get more information what companies have done through email inboxes to increase their sales.