How Does Social Media Help with Sales?Michał Skurowski
I often meet entrepreneurs who admit that although their brands are present on social media, they have little influence on their sales results. This is due to the fact that marketers and the people responsible for sales, use social media communities differently. But, usually, the former has the greatest influence on what happens, e.g., on the company’s Facebook profile, and are assessed based on the number of likes and fans. In turn, salespeople need something concrete – bases, leads, real people who could buy a product.
In this post, we will focus primarily on how salespeople should use social media and in our opinion – it should be in a completely different way from that of marketers.
Below we explore some good practices that will make it possible for those responsible for sales to really speak of the benefits resulting from their brand’s presence on social media.
Learn as much as possible about your customer
Find his or her profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Check if they write a blog, maybe he or she is interested in something in particular. Get to know their professional experience and interests. Maybe you have common friends or connections?
Add his or her photo to the customer card in your CRM and transform yet another boring contact into a real person with a story, face, and other human characteristics.
Establish contact at a place that is important to him or her
Meet your customer on social media. If you have an opportunity to do so, take part in a discussion that they are having – let yourself be noticed. Instead of breaking through the front office, contact them directly, e.g., by talking to them about a specific topic on Facebook. The mere fact that you interact at a place where this person contacts their friends, will surely make him or her read the message from you. Adapt your communication style – write informally – this is not formal communication. Send a short message that expresses the point of the matter.
Sell to an influencer, and ask them for a recommendation
Find people who are well-known in the environment that you care about. Then, try to win him or her over, and get them to like your product. Take care of the relationship with them in a special way and make them express a positive opinion about you in their community.
How to meet an influencer? Create an account, for example, at Klout.com, and find out which of your friends is the most influential. Klout.com creates a relevant score on a scale of 0–100 based on several hundred different parameters related to your online presence. It checks, among other things, the number of fans, likes, shares, tweets, followers, articles, comments, Wikipedia entries, it analyzes data from search engines, etc.
Become the Batman of your product
Be wherever your customers talk about your brand or things related to it. Use web monitoring tools such as Brand24 or SentiOne. Regardless of where the discussions about your area of interest take place, you will be able to participate in them almost immediately after they start. This makes a really good impression – you become a person who ‘handles’ the Internet very well and is everywhere at all times. The specific keywords that you monitor are like the Bat-Signal. A moment after they appear, you are there to bring help, solve problems, and, who knows… maybe one day you will even ‘save’ a leaving customer.
Publish interesting content
Try to be an expert in your field. Consider starting a blog or cooperating with an existing industry portal to share knowledge with people in your target group. Write interesting, matter-of-fact comments under the articles that your customers read. Firstly, you will consolidate your knowledge, and, secondly, sooner or later you will be noticed as an expert in the given field.
Take care of your influence
Try to be recognizable, take care of your personal reputation. Be yourself, do not pretend to be someone you are not, but try to develop towards the person you would like to be. Let people associate you with the industry in which you operate, and let them know that you can be counted on. Try to get a decent score on Klout. 40 is the average, but only 5% of the best people get 63 or more.
Include social media in the standard customer acquisition process
As the company owner or sales manager, you can include social media in the sales process. There are several methods to do so. Here are some of them:
- Determine which customer data should be completed in CRM (social media profiles, website addresses, blog addresses, etc.).
- Segment the customers by their activity on social media (take into consideration, e.g., the ‘impact level’ as a hard parameter in the segmentation, in order to single out the contacts that are particularly important).
- Set goals for your team that involve the regular publishing of interesting articles on a blog or on industry portals (e.g. 2 posts on a blog per month). Thanks to this, you will boost the expertness of the brand that they represent, as well as their personal reputation. This will also be a good way to enable them to show off their publications on their profiles.
- After the first successful contact with a customer, add them to your professional profile on LinkedIn.
- Encourage employees to use social media and make sure they do not have to conceal this, feeling that they are doing something wrong or wasting time. Let them treat it as part of their work. If they have clearly defined goals and know how and why to use social media, they can noticeably improve their results.
And what are your experiences with social media in the context of proactive sales? Maybe you have your own, proven recipes for better sales thanks to social media communities? Write in the comments 🙂