Social media is constantly referred to as a relationship building medium more than it is as a sales medium. This is completely true if you think of social media in a vacuum, but if it’s an integral part of a bigger strategy, then it’ll become a crucial element for your sales funnel. The next time you hear someone say that social media doesn’t have an impact on bottom line, you just forgive them, because they probably don’t understand the real impact of this powerful medium. Let me give you an example:
What’s your favorite restaurant? Let us know in the comment section
We usually think that we go to a specific restaurant because the food is great!
That’s completely true, until most restaurants learn to make great food. When product quality becomes a given, small things like smiling to your customers, asking for their opinions, fulfilling some of their wishes/requests, surprising them with unexpected free gifts…etc become the main decision makers for your prospects. These small gestures that were non-existent before because of monopoly are now becoming the main influencers for your prospects (mostly because almost everyone is building great products now). One company that is doing this very well is Starbucks. They constantly take ideas from their customers on social media and apply them to their local shops, and that’s the main reason why there almost isn’t any social media marketing case study post that doesn’t mention this company as a leading example.
That being said, here are 5 effective social media marketing tips that will get you more customers/clients:
1- Avoid Passivity
I always say that if a good robot can do what you’re doing right now on social media, then why on earth would you even waste your time?
I wrote a post a while ago explaining the difference between active and passive social media management. If you’re going to make use of social media, then you better go with both legs. It’s better to post 2 well thought/engaging replies than it is to post 20 almost automated ones. Social media was never about quantity, so don’t let anybody fool you.
How avoiding passivity can get you more customers/clients?
This is pretty simple!
A well thought reply to a RT from one of your followers on Twitter may get you a client that a thousand automated replies can’t. People are still mislead by those vanity metrics that don’t matter anymore. I have come across businesses that have a Twitter following of 3 digits and get way more business than others that have 5 digits in the same industry. You say WHY?
I say because people buy only from people (not businesses) they like and trust, so how are they supposed to like you if all you’re doing on social media is being passive?
Just posting “Interesting” content isn’t going to cut it anymore. It’s better to ask a question and reply to every person who engages with it than to post dozens of links that you “Think” are useful and wait for magic to happen.
2- Be Active Rather Than Reactive
What I mean by this is that you should start conversations. What do we say about a person who doesn’t start meaningful conversions is a given talk?
Yes, you got that right. BORING!!!
Do you want to be boring? Nobody does!
Being just reactive will suck up all of your time without any real return.
How being active can get you more customers/clients?
By being active I don’t mean that you post dozens of times a day on your social profiles. An example of being active could be when someone RTs one of your posts on Twitter. The so-called “Standard” reply for this is to say “Thanks”!
However, some people go the extra mile and check the profile of the person retweeting their content. They may discover that John (the person retweeting) lives in a near county to theirs, likes basketball and has an interest in what they’re selling. Their reply may turn into something like (Did you watch yesterday’s La Lakers game?) OR (How is the weather in……, it’s pretty snowy here at……). These small conversation starters can lead into a serious business deal if you know where you should spend your minutes.
3- The Social Machine Doesn’t Live In a Vacuum
As I stated before, and in a previous post, social media is just few pixels of the whole image. While it is not good for direct sales, it is great in terms of generating interest. You probably can’t make a social connection (a fan or a follower) to buy directly from a link you post, but you can get them to optin so they can receive a very valuable FREE gift that you made for them!
I believe that social media lies in the large base of the purchasing pyramid, and your job is to make use of that social discoverability factor to your advantage so you can drive your prospects down the funnel by allowing them to make small, but noticeable commitments until they decide to buy.
How integrating social media into your overall marketing strategy can get you more customers/clients?
You can create something valuable and offer it for free. Then you can promote it through your social outlets. When people optin, they’ll become a soft lead; your job then becomes nurturing those leads by giving them more value, and occasionally state that you have a product or service that can solve a particular problem they’re facing. Many people may attribute that sale to email, but where those customers heard about you in the first place? Where did they optin? Why they opted in? The answer is simple. Social Media!
4- Don’t Be Afraid to Promote
Do you know what’s the perfect ratio for promoting pure content vs promoting your products and services?
There is NONE!
Some marketers say that you should post 4 useful pieces of content and promote once. Others say that you should rarely promote through social media. However, my rule of thumb is:
“The more creative you are on social media, the more you get to sell” (clicktotweet)
The above statement means that the more creative you are with your social promotions, the more products and services you’re going to sell. It doesn’t matter if you promote often or not, because your fans and followers won’t really consider those as promotions at all. Social traffic doesn’t really react well to cold selling techniques, so you better make your promotions fun to participate in!
How social promotions will get you more customers/clients?
What I mean by social promotions is selling creatively using sweepstakes and contests. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a B2B or B2C business, because as long as your audience are humans, these promotions work like charm if you conduct them correctly.
Many businesses do these promotions whenever they have a new product or service, but why won’t you do them always to promote the same product, but differently. You could just choose a funny theme of your contest and make the whole experience rewarding for participants. Forget about those boring contests where it is pretty obvious that the promotion is just a slight different version of cold selling.
5- Show Proof
My take on this is that your prospects might not like this, BUT only if they’re pretty boring and obvious!
Many small-businesses do that creatively by incorporating their user testimonials into a theme. They might dedicate a specific day (and call it Friday success stories or something like that) to posting those testimonials in a storytelling kind of way. People love to hear about similar businesses that are getting great results from your services, so why would you hold those testimonials off?
Proof doesn’t only work through testimonials and numbers. You can demonstrate your expertise, which is still proof, through webinars or Google hangouts. People enjoy these hangouts, especially when they’re exclusive. You can be creative and combine this one with the previous tip and invite the winners into a private hangout with you where they can ask you all the questions they need answered. This way you’ll make it fun for prospects to participate and probably get more testimonials from those who hung out with you.
“When it comes to social media marketing, there is really no limit to how much you can be creative!” (tweetthis)
How social proof can get you more customers/clients?
This one is the easiest for you. Am I right
Social proof is one of Robert Cialdini’s six principles of persuasion. When prospects see that similar people are benefiting from your products and services, they’ll optin. It’s like when you go to a restaurant and find that the first one is filled with customers while the other is empty. Which one will you choose?
If you choose the first one, then join the “normal people” bandwagon!
If you choose the second, then you might go and find yourself a good shrink (just kidding)
Point is, prospects like to do business with people they trust as we mentioned earlier, and social proof tends to create and solidify that trust.
Now that you hold the keys to getting more clients/customers through social media, how are you going to start your social selling engine?