How many sales can we generate on social media? How many leads were generated from our Facebook page? Any direct sales from YouTube? These are some of the questions that many people are asking when starting with a social media campaign. The problem is that many people on the social web are afraid of direct sales.
Social media is an attractive medium for many, because most people stepping into the social web for marketing purposes believe that they can only post helpful articles, images or videos, and many users will start breaking down their door to get their services or products. ‘Be there and they will come’ doesn’t always work on the social web unless you are a top brand, because then your customers expect it.
But what do you do if one of your main objectives with your social media campaign is to drive sales and leads? It’s possible to generate sales on the social web, but only creating content is not enough. It should be magnetic and be focused on reaching your goals. How do you do this?
1. Magnetic content
Is the content you share and publish on the social web really magnetic? Does it draw attention? Is it the same content everyone has seen and read a million times all over the show? Do you have a USP (unique selling point) that you can use in all of your content ideas? These can be used in content that you create or curate. If you do this, your readers and target audience will focus on your content more. Your unique viewpoint gives something new and fresh that can help you and your brand stand out from the noise and all the competition you have.
2. Grab the attention of your audience
The content you write or curate should always be focused on grabbing the attention of your audience or making them think about how much better off they would be if they used your service or product. How can you demonstrate your products and services to your audience? Have a look at how Apple does their commercials. They are really doing an excellent job of making you believe that you simply can’t live without their products. This is a simple method that can be used in many marketing campaigns to get your message across.
Most of the content that you use with your social media campaign should have some call to action tied to it. Whether you are asking for newsletter registrations, or a simple contact form, it’s important that your audience have something they want to do after they have read or engaged with your content. Instead of using an old blank link to another article or website page, ask your readers to leave a comment or share it with their own networks.
3. Create a sales funnel
Research and figure out the best process and steps your audience needs to take to go from simple readers to customers. This can include download coupons, direct contact or another way that you can use direct sales tactics with your audience. This isn’t an easy task, I know, but you will have to start testing different methods of approaching your audience to get them to buy from you. This is all about creating a sales funnel from the entry point (awareness point) to the final point (sale, lead, download, contact, etc.).
Having a sales funnel tied to your social media can help you get a much higher return on your investment with your campaign.
4. Use a sales pitch now and again
Never start your campaign with the idea of selling your products and services. It takes time, but will eventually happen. Be smart with your campaign and don’t use a sales pitch with every update that you do on the social web. Be smart and find ways that you can integrate your sales message into the content that you share with your audience, and focus on ways that you can use that content to attract more people to your network. Build online network connections, engage with them, and the sales will follow.
Another way you can use this is if you already have a customer base. Start with the ones you already have and don’t focus solely on new ones. Send a message to your Facebook connections, Twitter followers, and LinkedIn connections. Post your new offerings on your blog with call to actions. Test different ways of interacting with your audience, and analyze the data. This will help you build an awesome strategy that works for you.
5. Take your audience offline
Whether it’s through a direct sales call to your offices or coupon your audience had to download for a special promotion, try to get these people offline as soon as possible. In your sales funnel there should be a closing sequence and delaying this process can fail at the end of the day. Offer these people some kind of offline exchange – “can we call you? When can you come and meet us?”. In most cases, engaging with these people offline can strengthen the relationship you have with them. It’s not going to be possible with everyone due to the “worldwide” connectivity nature of the web, but make a point to add this to your closing sales sequence.
Author | Anton Koekemoer
I'm your friendly neighbourhood digital marketing specialist. I specialise in helping brands connect with targeted customers by enhancing their online presence through emerging web-based communication channels. I translate business objectives into comprehensive initiatives that focus on humanising brand identity while maximising measurable business results. More