How to Use Social Media As a Sales Tool?

Because Facebook and Twitter are constantly talked about in the news, it’s natural to wonder whether or not they’re good sales tools. If you’re wondering if social media is a good way to make direct sales, the answer is no. Numerous direct sales studies have been published, and they all show that social media isn’t the right channel. However, before you chalk these channels up as a lost cause, keep in mind that just because they’re not right for a specific activity doesn’t mean that they can’t be utilized at all.

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The Right Way to Use Social Media

Since people don’t respond to direct sales pitches through social media, it’s important to take a different approach to this medium. There are two things that can be done very well through both Facebook and Twitter. The first is to generate awareness. Thanks to the design of these platforms, it gives you a chance to put your company’s message in front of people who may be very interested in it. The best way to utilize social for awareness is to be consistent. You can’t expect to create an account, blast out a few Tweets or posts, and then have a bunch of new followers or fans clamor after you. Even though you’re dealing with technology platforms, what really matters is the people who are using those platforms. As a result, you want to handle things in an organic manner. Sure, slow and steady may not sound as appealing as a quick win, but being able to continue generating results over the long-term is actually very powerful.

Once you start receiving some positive attention, the second thing that social media is great for is building trust. As previously mentioned, social platforms are all about the people that use them. That trait makes them perfect for fostering real relationships that allow trust to be built and ultimately sales to be made. Since people are constantly bombarded with advertisements and disguised spam messages, the easiest way to build trust is by being normal and genuine. By showing people that you’re a real person and not a sales robot, you’ll find that it doesn’t take long for them to begin feeling connected to you.

How Do You Know If Your Social Media Efforts are Working?

Even after they accept that social media isn’t the right platform for closing direct sales, many professionals still wonder how they can gauge the effectiveness of the time they’re spending on Twitter and Facebook. The two big metrics to look at are engagement and referrals. With the first, there are plenty of tools you can use to track things like how many followers you’re gaining and how much they’re interacting with what you post. And for the second, you can not only look at how much traffic social media sources drive to your company’s website, but also how many people ultimately end up becoming viable leads.

Craig Klein

Craig Klein is the president of onine CRM and email marketing company www.SalesNexus.com. Circle Craig Klein on Google+ or follow him on Twitter to learn more.

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