Social Media has changed the way we communicate, it’s became an indispensable platform for millions of people around the world. For businesses and sales professionals there has never been a better time to interact and engage with potential customers on a worldwide scale.
Some mistakenly believe that social networking is for “the younger generations” however a recent study highlighted that 72% of all Internet users are now active on social media. Within the 18-29-year-old category 89% use social media, 30-49 bracket has 72% usage and in the over 65 age group 43% of people use social media.
If you’re serious about making money then effectively marketing yourself or your business is one of the most important factors you need to do, if you’re already using social media and your strategy isn’t working for you then it’s time you ‘shook’ things up.
Currently the most popular social media platforms are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google and Pinterest, it can be a great idea for you to analyse which platform your target audience is using and adapt your marketing plan accordingly.
I’m going to explain how you can positively improve your chances of increasing sales across all of the social media platforms. These tricks and tips will be individually ordered into separate groups so you’re able to understand each part with ease.
Generally the most successful social media campaigns come from building both strong and lasting relationships with your customers, just like ‘in the real world’.
The principles are just the same, you want to build loyal connections with your customers so they share your content ( products or services) with their friends, family and associates. If done correctly, your latest product could be a worldwide hit and items could be flying off the shelves in no time!
Which Social Media Platform To Use?
Sometimes it can be hard to decide which social media platform is for you, each of the big four (Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube) have massive user bases which could be extremely lucrative. However unless you’re a big organisation with near unlimited funds in your bank account and extra resources to back it up you’re going to want to concentrate on one or two when you’re just starting out.
Only you can decide where you want to begin, start today and begin analysing your target audience, are they a ‘niche’ audience or are you aiming for the mainstream market? For the majority of companies and brands Facebook and Twitter are the two they usually gravitate towards, mainly due to their size and influence.
I would always recommend using these two social networks, however it’s important to remember that due to their large user bases it’s going to take a lot of extra work to stand out because every other company and sales professional is also targeting these networks too. If applicable this is where your ‘niche’ targeting comes into play, to some a niche can seem unappealing and small, which in some cases can be true, however on the internet a niche community can literally mean thousands if not millions of people.
As a sales professional who wouldn’t want to tap into a goldmine of thousands and thousands of potential niche customers who are only a click or two away? I know I would!
When starting it’s general a great idea to experiment, what works for some industries may not work for others, invest your time and measure any progress you make, write down what’s worked and what hasn’t so you’re able to build upon your successes. Just like selling face to face, it’s all a steady build up towards your chosen final goal.
It’s really important to remember that when you’re attempting to build your community on social media never over-promote, always attempt to solve any queries and provide VALUE to your target audience.
Unlike Television where an advert may run several times an hour, the vast majority of users on social media are there to interact with their friends and family, they’re not there to be sold products. This is where you must think on your feet and attempt to convince people your brand, company, product or service is just ‘another part’ of their daily lives.
Just like traditional selling techniques, the more emotional and personal you can be, the better response rate you will have and your interactions and engagements with potential customers should increase.
Some of the best social marketing experts always evaluate on a month by month basis, they look at all of the content they have posted within the last calendar month and ask themselves ‘are these posts really of value to my customers’ if the answer is a no, they know how and where they need to improve.
As described slightly earlier on in this page, the best way of building a strong and sustainable presences on social media is to connect with your audience. The best way of connecting is through storytelling which can be aided by extra content such as images and videos, this gives the audience the opportunity to connect with you on a personal level, thus creating an in separable bond.
Unlike traditional marketing such as sales letters, brochures and so on, the message starts and ends on the same piece of literature. With social media, you’re able to tell a story by manipulating and converging different content together, and even in some cases different networks.
That’s why we have seen the growth of video and image content websites such as YouTube, Vine, Pinterest and Instagram, people clearly like these websites as they encourage interaction and engagement which is something you can use to your advantage.
It’s actually a great idea to create a ‘social media calendar’ – this can enable you to plan weeks in advance of any major celebrations or holidays. The idea behind a calendar is to tap into your target audiences thirst for content around holidays such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day and so on. In the weeks leading up to the celebration they will actively be searching for deals, advice, discounts and promotions, so why not be ahead of your competitors and begin to plan well in advance?
It’s important to remember that unlike a traditional shop which closes at night time, social media gives your customers the opportunity to communicate with you, 24 hours, 7 days a week. This is why social networking is truly a ‘balance of power’ neither you, nor the customer has any more power than the other.
With instantaneousness messaging and commenting facilities, people now expect a prompt and timely manner response to any questions or issues they may have, ultimately this can be both great and bad for you. Firstly, you can demonstrate to any potential customers who maybe looking on your page the great customer service and after-sales support you give to your customers.
However, if you don’t keep a constant eye on your page and fail to response to any comments or messages, it could equally damage your reputation and ultimately lose you potential sales. Even if you do get a compliant on social media you can still turn a negative into a positive, as crazy as it may sound, don’t delete a negative comment, when the customer who posted the message finds out you DELETED it – they will be EVEN MORE ANGRY!
This is the stage where their friends and family join their cause and create even more of a headache for you. It’s actually better to respond to the negative comment by promising to rectify the issue (if that’s what you want to do) the customer will be happy with the excellent service they have received and potential customers will be more confident about dealing with you.
That’s why if you’re planning to launch a social media campaign you need to be in it for the haul long, rather than quick short term gains.
Setting Your Goals
Ask yourself what do you want to achieve from social networks, are you looking for more customers? Increase sales, build web traffic, increase brand awareness, strengthen your communications with customers? What is it that you want?
I would recommend that you CLEARLY define all the goals you want to achieve, before you begin. Some people are quite happy with small margins of success, while others want their social networks to be their main marketing channel, no matter what your goal is always remain realistic. You may start with 10 friends or followers but that doesn’t mean you will hit a million within your first month, it’s always better to have some realistic expectations.
For example, let’s stay you sell 50 t-shirts a day, some people will want to sell 100 a day, that’s a 100% increase, depending on your target audience this may be achievable however why not say, ‘for the first six months I want to sell 15 more a day’.
This goal is much more realistic and manageable, within the six-month period you will have gained so much knowledge on how your target audience reacts to your updates it will be much easier to raise the bar of expectation to hit your initial target of 100 overall sales per day.
simply allows you to embed a chosen video or logo across all of the videos in your channel. For Example, you can add your channel avatar (display photo) as an annotation (clickable link) which can drive viewers to your main page. You can also add a video thumbnail annotation into the corner of the video so a user can easily ‘watch’ or ‘skip’ to the next video with ease.
To enable this feature, go to your channel and visit the video manager section, choose ‘InVideo Programming’ from the settings menu. From there, you can upload an image or video to accompany your video.
You also have the option to decide when this feature will appear, whether that’s the beginning, the end or a custom time slot within the video, the choice is yours!