How Your Business Can Use Social Media to Amplify Your Sales Strategy
Question your current social media strategy. What is it doing for you? Are you randomly putting out content without driving traffic to your site and tracking your results?
Many businesses spread themselves too thin across social media outlets. If you’re a small business, it’s best to allocate your resources to one or two channels. A good social media strategy is about delivering excerpts of, and links to, informational content on a regular basis while engaging customers and key industry influencers.
A good social media strategy is also organic. You should always be adjusting it based on your client’s behavior. The only way to accomplish this task is by measuring your results.
Why Social Media?
Social media can be one of the most effective ways to directly engage customers online. You get good instant feedback based on your audience’s reactions to the content you post and the comments you make. You can adjust your strategy and messaging based on the followers online and really hone into the different segments of your prospective customers.
Options for Social Media
Each social media platform has its own advantages and disadvantages. You need to match your sales goals to the sites that work best for your audience and overall strategy. Determining the right combination of platforms takes trial and error. Don’t be surprised if your first few choices end up being a poor fit for your sales goals. Outside of these major options, you also have many small niche sites to consider. Keep an open mind when you work with each of the sites, and adjust your content to their unique requirements.
This is the largest network of all the social media sites. You have access to the biggest potential audience, but users have to like your page or follow you to see your posts. Connecting with interested prospects may prove difficult due to this limitation.
This site is one of the fastest-growing social networks. If you have strong visual branding and eye-catching photos to promote your business, Instagram offers an excellent platform. You can engage your audience with behind-the-scenes product and service photography.
Twitter is more of an “in the moment” network. Updates come and go quickly at 140 characters each, and users post more frequently to accommodate this environment. You have the opportunity to engage users who don’t already follow you, which works well for organically expanding your audience. Members of this social media site can follow and be followed, so you have two directions to use for engagement. People are more likely to follow brands on Twitter compared to other social networks.
Do you target millennials? Snapchat is one of your best bets for social media sites, as it reaches 41 percent of all people aged 18 to 34 in the United States daily. The atmosphere is more of a personal feel between friends. To fit in, you can share quick, behind-the-scenes videos with users. Authentic, fun and casual is the tone you need to embrace to stand out here.
Since the time to view each message is limited, users are more likely to watch a quick video. You give them in-the-moment access to live events. Like Twitter, you’re operating on a real-time social media site, rather than one where users catch up with their entire feed later. You face many challenges in getting users to follow your Snapchat account, however.
Do you have a strong video creation strategy? YouTube is one of the largest sites in the world, so you have access to a huge audience. However, you must be able to create quality video content consistently. Out of all the content types you can use in your marketing and advertising campaigns, video gets the best engagement. YouTube also makes it easy for users to share its videos across other platforms, increasing your chances to have your content go viral.
When you want to reach a female audience effectively, Pinterest is your best option. This platform has a strong visual focus, with a lot of interest in step-by-step tutorials and other DIY topics. Engage users with images that lead to content to get the click-throughs and conversions you’re expecting. Be prepared to participate heavily on the site by making your own boards related to your company’s content. You can connect with top Pinterest influencers when you help promote their content on the platform.
LinkedIn gives you an excellent social media site for B2B outreach. You can make direct connections with the people you meet offline at conferences, trade shows and other networking events. You have a smaller audience looking at your content, but you’re more likely to reach decision-makers when you’re targeting larger organizations.
Social Media Strategy
First, audit what you’re currently doing if you have a strategy in place. Otherwise, start from scratch. Get an idea of what worked in the past for your company. What kind of posts have you gotten the most engagement out of and why? Are there any common trends in your most popular social media content? Did people click through or just “like” your post? Who follows your profiles? Who are you following?
Not sure what to post? Get inspiration from your target audience. Look at the content they share and the way they phrase their messages. Observe how your prospective customers write tweets. Mimic the client’s writing voice while still maintaining your own distinct style and mission.
Create a content plan and schedule to make sure you’re putting out relevant content on a regular basis. Answer these questions when you’re putting together your content plan:
- What types of content do you intend to post and promote on social media?
- How often will you post content? Consistency is key to building consumer trust.
- What is your target audience for each type of content? Each segment has its own preferences that should be noted.
- Who’s responsible for content production? Keeping up with social media content demands can be a difficult task, so have a strong creation team in place.
- How will you promote and distribute your content?
Social media marketing tools such as Buffer help you automate part of your social media posting. You can schedule your content and post to multiple profiles at the same time. While these apps save you a lot of time, make sure you always keep a human element in your posting strategy. People take notice when you just spam them with low-quality, mass-produced content.
Make sure to get the most out of your older content with your strategy. Repost favorite pieces to get them in front of a new audience, or update them with new information and distribute it around your network. Repurposing your digital assets helps you keep up with your content creation needs.
Measure and Adjust
Go beyond vanity metrics such as retweets and likes. Focus on advanced metrics such as leads generated, web referrals and conversion rates. Adjust landing pages based on these results. Determine what got the most attention on social media and how to replicate that success. Did your audience merely like or retweet your posts, or did they click through to your website or follow another CTA.
If you have a lot of followers and engagement, but no conversions, it’s time to adjust your strategy. How can you turn followers into customers? Start with the obvious point of failure first. Do you have strong calls to action that clearly state what you expect users to do after they reach the landing page? If you aren’t crystal-clear on what you want visitors to do, they may overlook the CTA.
How Does This Help Your Sales Strategy?
Prospects who are active and engage with you frequently on social media can be delivered to your sales team as qualified leads. They want to know more about your solutions and the way you can help them meet their goals. With the right mix of social media content, they already receive a significant amount of presales education that helps them through the research part of their journey.
Social media gives you a versatile testing ground to try out niche demographics and find new audiences for your sales team to reach out to. Customers who talk to your sales team may reach out to you over social media after the interaction. The message that your sales team is putting out there to customers should align with what you’re saying with your social media strategy.
Your sales team can nurture existing customers and drive them to make other purchases by interacting with them on social media. Sometimes, speaking directly to a client on social media is more effective than sending a cold email or call.
Social media platforms empower your sales strategy by giving you direct access to your audience. When you achieve the right combination of content, engagement and outreach, you bring in motivated customers willing to stick around for a long time.