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When marketers think about social media, they mostly regard it as a top-of-the-funnel tool. Specifically, it’s an avenue for communication that’s best used to identify and filter unqualified leads.
This is not an unreasonable characterization; social media is a great tool for starting off the conversion funnel. But who’s to say it can’t also be employed as a bottom-of-the-funnel sales tool as well?
Social media marketing myths, debunked
Many marketing professionals haven’t yet recognized what an effective sales tool social media can be. Part of the reason this is not more generally known is that, everywhere you look, people repeat common myths about selling on social media.
As a result, the average marketer often chooses to underutilize social media, and even skip it altogether and pursue more traditional methods. Today, we’re going to bust these myths wide open.
Here are the most common myths about selling and marketing on social media and why they’re unfounded.
Your customers aren’t on social media
The single biggest myth related to selling on social media is the notion that your customers aren’t there. This is one that’s commonly circulated, but it’s not clear why.
As of last count, the total number of social network users across the globe is more than 2.22-billion. This means global social network penetration is 31 percent. Facebook alone has 1.59-billion active users, and Twitter boasts 310-million.
While it would be ridiculous to believe every single one of your target customers is active on social media, it’s unwise to assume many of them aren’t. The vast majority of your customers are indisputably active on at least one social networking platform.
Your question shouldn’t be: “Are my customers on social media?” A better question is: “Which platform are they on?” Once you figure that out, you are well on your way to success.
You should join every social network
The second most common myth is kind of the opposite: that you need to join every social network to be successful selling on social media. It makes much more sense to be fairly selective about the networks you use. It’s much better to target one or two networks and put out 100 percent effort on those than it is to target four or five and do an average job.
If you’re serious about selling, Facebook should definitely be your biggest priority. Not only is it the biggest network, but it also has a robust advertising platform (which we’ll get to in a moment).
You can sit back and relax
Given all the different social-media automation tools on the market, it can be tempting to put your marketing efforts on cruise control. But it’s not in your best interests to step away from the steering wheel.
The key to social media selling is engaging users. If you’re automating tweets and scheduling posts, you’re surely going to end up missing out on opportunities to interact.
The best social media sellers focus on highly engaging one-on-one interactions. They schedule and automate the menial tasks, but tend to the meaningful conversations that take place with followers and sales leads personally.
Remember, people join social media and follow brands because they’re expecting to have firsthand access to the brand. Remove this access and customers stop following you.
Your social media followers don’t care
There’s so much noise on social media that some marketers are under the impression their followers don’t actually care about them. But in most cases, this is untrue. After all, you have to remember that each and every follower made the conscious decision to click the “follow” button.
You can’t force anyone to do it. They made a decision to follow you. This means that, at least at some point in time, they were interested enough in your brand to forge this virtual relationship. So they cared about what you had to say, and you have an easy connection to keep them interested and caring.
PPC advertising is too complicated
It’s no secret that Google AdWords is steadily deteriorating as a useful tool for small businesses and marketers. Large organizations have been zapping up all the ad inventory and boxing out the “little guys.”
Unfortunately, people assume that, just because AdWords has become less viable, all the other PPC platforms are also slipping by the wayside. This is another myth. Facebook advertising, for one, is more powerful than ever.
People look at Facebook advertising and decide it’s either too complicated or too expensive. Neither is true, if you know what you’re doing. Facebook advertising empowers users to monetize products directly, drive sales, and generate their own leads. If you aren’t using it, you’re missing out on a major opportunity.
Social media: the ultimate sales tool?
You wouldn’t know it from reading certain articles and listening to other digital marketers talk, but social media is actually a powerful and practical tool for selling. When properly employed, it can be used both to attract leads at the top of the conversion funnel and to convert them at the bottom.
If you’ve yet to leverage social media as a sales tool, now’s the time to get started.