At this point in time, nobody questions the value that social media has brought to our professional and personal lives. The next question is always how can the value of social media translate into increasing revenue. There are many ways.
The answer is yes; however, the way that you go about achieving greater financial success through your social media efforts needs to be well thought out and strategically planned. Social media and sales can work together to locate new prospective clients for your business, speak with those prospective clients, and furnish useful information. The big challenge in this case lies in the idea that the success of social media is based on building, strengthening and maintaining relationships. It does not have the hard sell as its foundation.
With that said, it is also important to be aware that there are many different types of selling, some of which don't mention dollars and cents in any way. Every effort that we make is selling in one form or another.
Social media strengthens your opportunities to increase business by focusing more accurately on your target audience, communicating most effectively on what is important to your target audience, offering large amounts of information that will solve the problems of your audience, and building meaningful relationships that will eventually lead to other people trusting you so much that they will want to buy what you are selling. The concept of building credibility and trust through relationships is the same online and in person. They must always serve as the basis of all meaningful relationships.
It is with great trepidation that you should proceed when it comes to going from establishing relationships that end up with a sale. It is a relationship that must be nurtured and cultivated. It is good to consider the coupling of social media and sales as a partnership that grows steadily and positively only because the two exist side by side. You need both to succeed. As always, when you think from the perspective of the client (WIIFM [What's In It For Me?]), you can understand that you are giving a great deal to them by enriching the relationship with social media and all of the benefits that come from it. There are many ways to successfully combine social media and sales so that you achieve an end that makes everyone happy.
Respond quickly: Let's face it, nobody likes to be ignored. This is definitely true when it comes to your prospective clients. When a person reaches out to you (with a question or comment, etc), make sure that you reach out to them in return right away. Most comments and questions are time sensitive. You want to make sure that you respond to them before someone else beats you to the punch.
Make sure that your focus is on your clients: Your web presence should always be user friendly for those people who want to connect with you. If you make it difficult, the prospective clients won't have to patience to keep trying to connect with you. They will leave quickly. You should make sure that you have a lot of valuable information just waiting for them to click on. The information should be easy to download and to share with others. Your file formats should be the ones that are used by most people and your content should be clear, concise and straightforward. It is very important to listen to what your prospective and existing clients want and to make sure that you give it to them. Another important aspect of relationship building is sharing. You should share as much valuable content as possible with your connections, even if the content was not written by you.
Be pleasant: The expression "You catch more flies with honey than vinegar" is so true. You and your business must always appear helpful and friendly. You should consistently give your clients that feeling that you are there to serve them in some capacity. It is critical that you teach everyone with whom you work to have the same approach. When people think about your business, you want them to immediately connect it to a feeling that they can always come to you to solve their problems in a pleasant and helpful way. This will drive them to return to you over and over again.
Keep the process in mind: As important as the end result is (in other words, making sales), having an effective and strong process is critical to the success of your business. Always keep in mind that the journey is just as important as the end result. If you accomplish one sale but if your approach to getting that sale was not strong and didn't touch your client in some way (on a human level), you may never make another sale with that person. The process has be a real success for your business to ultimately be a success.
Social media and sales are a wonderful and natural match. Make sure that you are well versed at using it to its fullest potential. Of course, that doesn't imply that there is no work to be done along the way, however. You need to work on the social media aspect first (the aspect that involves relationships) before you can get to the crowning jewel, which is the actual sale of your products and/or services. So, go out there and start building those relationships.