The subject of how to successfully sell on social media is a topic which my social media engagement and blog marketing clients are keen to find out about.
Effective social media engagement isn't about rocking up on Twitter and Facebook and shouting at an invisible audience. Neither is it about spamming endless unknown, new connections with irrelevant content.
So, if you're looking to generate sales from your social media marketing, here's how to sell on social media:
* Blog Marketing
For me, effective blog marketing is the number one way to sell on social media. An effective business blog builds trust, loyalty and delivers sales over time. Posting useful, interesting and unique content regularly via a blog - and then distributing it on social media platforms where your target customers are hanging out - remains a great way to subtly sell on social media.
* Competitions and Contests
Running platform-specific competitions and contests on social media is another positive way to sell on social media. By delivering unique competitions and contests on relevant platforms, engagement is created whilst also enhancing the opportunities to sell products and services. A simple weekly competition can deliver consistent sales, if done well.
* Deals and Discounts
Offering platform-specific deals and discounts on products and services can also stimulate sales from social media, as well as providing specific marketing feedback on which social media sites work best for your social media marketing. Social media engagement offers an incredible diversity in delivering marketing knowledge on which to utilise further future promotions.
* Exclusive sign-ups and teasers
Social media engagement offers the ability to attract customers to sign up to exclusive Newsletter with teaser offers. Once you've got their opt-in, you're building a relationship which can deliver sales to the bottom line over time. But make sure the teaser is effective and worth their time, attention and continued loyalty.
* Giveaways and limited availability
Sometimes, you have to give a little to win new business, and social media selling is no different. This doesn't mean throwing all and any profitability out of the window, but using social media platforms to try and test special giveaways and limited availability offers is a great way of analysing what works and delivers sales, and what doesn't.
* Surveys and questionnaires
Asking your current clients, followers and fans how they'd like your services and products delivered to them is another - and very subtle - way to sell on social media. The amount of marketing information that can be gleaned here is immense. And this also provides future-proof ways to sell more on social media.
* Client case studies and testimonials
Selling on social media can be as simple as just letting your existing clients and customers doing the talking for you. Publishing current customers case studies and testimonials onto social media platforms - to a targeted audience of relevant contacts and connections - is an incredibly effective way of generating interest for future sales via social media. See this powerful example.