The following is a guest blog post by John Allen, Global SEO of RingCentral.
Who doesn’t love a good social media break? It’s a great chance to catch up with friends and watch funny videos, not forgetting that it’s also an excellent source of world news.
But as a business, have you ever considered using social media to close more sales?
You may have already caught onto the idea of selling using SMS marketing tools. Or even using VoIP and business call forwarding to really get in-depth with a product and sell that way. But, chances are, you may not have thought about using social media to create leads or to show the world your wonderful products or services.
If you think about it, the main part of selling is the social aspect. Talking to clients and up-selling products or services takes real skill. And what better place to take business communication into the modern world than on social media?
Let’s look at a few ways that businesses can use social media to create more sales.
When bringing social media into your sales practices, the first thing you should do is make a social media strategy. This is to make sure that you are thinking about your audience and that you understand how to use social media to close the most sales.
It can be tempting to jump straight in but, it’s crucial you take your time when designing your social media strategy as it helps to develop your social selling skills.
To create your social media strategy, consider how you want to use social media to talk to customers. Will you be posting content and advertisements? Will you be setting up a live chat? How quickly do you hope to respond to any comments? Which social platforms do you want to use? What will your tone of voice be?
Knowing the answers to these questions ensures you will be in line with your audience. Making a connection with your demographic will mean more sales.
For example, if you are selling fashionable clothes aimed at Gen X, an advert on Instagram will be your best bet. If you provide phone systems for small businesses, connecting with CEOs on LinkedIn is better. Your social media strategy should help you understand who your target audience is and how to best reach them.
Creating a solid social media strategy could easily turn your company into a global, multi-location business so. it’s important not to underestimate this step.
One of the best features of social media is its live chat coverage. You could be in Portland, U.S., and be talking live to somebody in Glasgow, U.K., over Facebook Messenger.
It’s similar to using good old fashioned local phone numbers, when you could call up your friends and talk to them for hours about anything and everything.
Social media platforms are now the perfect place to easily connect with customers and make sales.
Making yourself available 24/7 on social media using live chat agents enables people to ask questions whenever they want, wherever they’re located, without troubling you with interruptions.
And best of all, they can get instant answers to their queries, rather than waiting on hold for 45 minutes to ask a question.
The more detail a person can get about a product or service, the more likely they are to buy it.
When a person has an answer to their problem, a link to the product in question can also be sent and a sale can be made straight away. This also provides an ideal opportunity to up-sell.
There are two ways to provide customer support and sales 24/7 through social media.
The first is to hire human staff to work around-the-clock utilizing virtual office phone services. You may decide to do this by working with a global team. Using human staff allows for your staff to create a person-to-person connection and ensure that customers are receiving a human touch, an aspect over 80% of consumers prefer.
Alternatively, you can invest in a chatbot. These smart pieces of AI are all the rage in the world of marketing right now. And for good reason. When programmed well, chatbots have all the answers to customer problems.
Want to get the best of both worlds at a lower cost? Try a live chat service that is backed by an AI-programmed chatbot. Either of these options allow you around-the-clock answering. It doesn’t matter what time-zone a customer is in — they can get the help they need.
Whichever option you choose, you’ll be able to connect with customers, answer questions, and provide quick and easy support, 24/7, enabling you to make more sales than ever before. It’s important to note that if people decide to contact you on social media, you’ll have the opportunity to grab their attention and get a follow. This can either be done by giving them amazing customer service or by making your social media page(s) really stand out.
There is a difference between posting things on social media for gain and doing it for customer rapport. Building up a community is important because it creates trust and understanding.
People know when a company cares. Growing ethical concerns mean that people now want businesses to go the extra mile.
This may mean ensuring there is no discrimination when it comes to new-hire on-boarding or that data is being kept secure on your call recording system. It may also mean that businesses are consistently responding to customers through social media. And they are responding nicely.
Say, for example, you post a video about an all-in-one desktop app and a user comments underneath saying, “I bought this, and it didn’t work”.
If that comment gets ignored, customers will only have that bad review to go off and they likely won’t be interested in buying from your company.
You might choose instead to respond to that negative comment saying, “We are very sorry to hear this. We never like any of our customers being unhappy with our products. If you can contact our 24/7 live team, we can try and get this problem sorted.”
By responding quickly and sympathetically to a bad review, you’ll demonstrate that your business genuinely prioritizes customer satisfaction. People who see this positive interaction instead of nothing at all will more likely correlate your business with one that seeks to make customers happy, opening the door for more business opportunities.
Remember, too, that a huge part of social media selling is the content you post. From sharing long-form blogs to a quick update, what you choose to share on your social media will affect your brand voice and ultimately draw in potential buyers, too.
Because of this, it’s important that you are sharing interesting and relevant content on your pages, even if it’s just a fun meme or a “Good morning” post. Sharing consistently relevant and engaging content is a great way to attract people and start a conversation.
Connecting with more people means more follows and more follows means more people that get to see what you are all about, giving you a higher level of exposure and improving your business’s credibility.
Using social media to build sales is an essential to engage with potential and current clients and get ahead of the competition. Especially in the modern digital age, leveraging social media can make all the difference in your business’s success so make sure you take advantage of the opportunities you’re given to share your business, grow your clientele, and boost your sales.