Social Media has always battled the critics. Some say that it doesn’t drive revenue, or that it’s success can’t be measured. In reality, those critics are just peanut butter and jealous because they haven’t figured out how to optimize it. If you try to use a phone to pick a lock, it won’t work. This doesn’t mean the phone doesn’t work, it means your using it wrong. The same goes for SM (Social Media). In order for it to work, you have to utilize it correctly.
SM is much more than a “sales tool”. It provides massive opportunities to truly understand your customers and become a trusted thought leader in their eyes. In this post, you will learn some key ways SM can drive success for your business.
KYA – Know Your Audience
This is one of the most basic principles you learn in marketing. It’s impossible to know how to sell to your customer if you don’t understand them. This is where SM comes into play. Since digital marketing has risen, there has been a ridiculous amount of data piling up. The greatest result of this data monsoon is the customer insights. Platforms like Facebook can provide you information about followers that would be impossible to discover 10 years ago, and it goes way beyond just age and gender. What type of content do my customers like best? What time are they usually online? Do they use desktop or mobile? The list goes on.
Even with all that information, there is still a better way to understand your customers. Engage with them. Many make the mistake of posting and then disappearing. This is an SM no-no. Think of social media like a dinner party. You don’t want to be the person who walks around talking about yourself the whole time. You want to be the person who is asking questions, learning about everyone else and in turn gaining their affection.
How KYA drives sales: SM is hands-down the best way to understand customers, which in turn helps you identify their needs and wants. Ask any salesmen- the more you know about your prospect, the better equipped you are to sell to them.
Customers that you speak with will naturally formulate respect and attraction to your company because you’ve given them a human-to-human interaction. People trust people, not brands. This also gives you an opportunity to listen and discover how you can improve. Lots of customers like to raise their concerns on SM because it’s a public platform. It puts the pressure on the brand to respond. When faced with complaints, the first reaction should be to listen, and make sure they know that they’ve been heard. You can actually get some very helpful tips on what’s broken or what could be better. The absolute worst thing you can do is to have a full-blown argument with customers for everyone to see, no matter how irrational they are being. Own it if you did something wrong, make the promise that you will improve, and take the high-road. Others will see this and admire your composure.
Another way to build trust on SM is to demonstrate your expertise. SM is one of the best vehicles to deliver your content. Prove to all your followers that you really know what you are talking about by distributing your blog posts or case studies. Give them something of value that they find interesting and is tied to your brand. If you can, figure out which social media personalities are influencers for your customers. Reach out to them and build a relationship. A simple share or re-tweet from them can increase your reach astronomically. When your audience sees that the influencer trusts you, they will follow right along.
How Credibility drives sales: When a customer is deciding between brands of a similar product, where will their instinct push them? To the one they are familiar with. When you can establish a presence of trust and credibility in your customers eyes, it becomes an easy decision for them to choose you. SM provides the opportunity to humanize your company and give it an authentic voice. People always prefer to buy from people, not brands.
Understanding your audience and establishing authority are two of many ways that SM can drive sales. When you have in-depth knowledge of your customers, you can anticipate their needs and give them exactly what they are looking for. SM gives you the platform to become a thought-leader in your industry, which gives your brand a voice and gains your customers trust. SM is absolutely a sales driver, you just have to use it right.
Written By: Tim Mehta – Social Media Manager