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How Social Media Can Benefit Your Business
What is Social Media Marketing?
SMM is a form of internet marketing that uses various social networks in order to achieve communication and branding goals. SMM involves sharing multimedia content, and distributing them to online communities. SMM is a hybrid of Public Relations and Marketing, and your content not only establishes who you are, but also what you have to offer.
How to Use SMM for Sales
Step 1: How are you going to reach your prospects?
The first step is establishing which Social Networks your client base is using.
Facebook is the best network for Business to Customer sales, but with their ever-changing algorithms they are only useful if you have an advertising budget and utilize their Paid Advertising tools. Otherwise, brands have minimal visibility on the Facebook Platform, but Paid Advertising can generate great sales results.
Instagram and Pinterest have been proving to be great tools for Internet Marketing, but simply posting photos of your products will not increase your reach. Posting visually appealing content that correlates to the lifestyle of your prospects will engage your end-users, and this is what will drive more traffic to your website.
LinkedIn is best for networking with people at larger corporations for Business to Business sales.
Twitter is best for listening, not always broadcasting, about comments and concerns related to your type of service or product, and generating leads from these questions by being social rather than a salesperson.
Forums, blogs, live chats and comment sections are all places where discussion is happening. Knowing where conversations are happening is imperative to generating new leads with the idea of solving a problem or learning more about your product.
Step 2: Join Communities and Create a Personality
This is where you create trust and online friendships with prospects. Upon choosing your network(s) of choice, showcase your true colors and show people that you are likeable, trustworthy, and eager to chat. Who you are and how you portray your brand online greatly affects your traffic and sales.
People will not do business with someone who comes off as a jerk online!
Step 3: Connect and Interact
This is where you build your own networks within Social Media Platforms. Using online tools (such as socialmention.com), search for people and groups who are discussing your type of product, industry, or relatable topics. Add, follow, like, retweet, comment and interact with people who are similar to your clients. Never come off as an immediate salesperson, nourish the friendship before attempting to make a sale.
Step 4: Build Relationships
Following up from Step 3, you must now take these new connections and turn them into online relationships, rather than focussing solely on converting them to leads. Once relationships are established, the leads will happen on their own.
Meaningful conversations and listening to prospects can lead to communicating what your product can do for that person, and this is far more effective than pitching your products at online ‘strangers’.
Step 5: Engage in Meaningful Conversations
Simply forwarding your sales pitch and a link to your website to prospects will not increase sales. Using Social Media Networks to join conversations in groups, live chats, forums or open broadcasts, and interacting with prospects as well as offering expertise and solutions will show them that you care. You must care about your prospects and this must be communicated to them without an immediate sales pitch.
Join in to online conversations, but most importantly, listen to what your prospects have to say and from there you can answer their questions, concerns, or simply add input to stimulate a new connection. It is this crucial element of stimulating conversation to build relationships that will ultimately increase traffic, and from there the sales will follow.
Four ways social media can benefit your business - Capital Ideas