It’s no secret in business that there has been a major decline in face-to-face meetings and phone conversations. People don’t like picking up calls from numbers they don’t recognize, and we’re more protective of our time than ever before. Buying behaviours have also changed due to technology and generational preferences.
The way we engage and communicate has been fundamentally altered. Despite these obvious preference shifts, many businesses are still left wondering how social media can play a positive role in the sales process.
Social Media Mindset Key
It’s generally foolish to consider all of social media a fad. Social media is just the latest iteration of how people prefer to communicate with our new technologies. Every business requires communication on some level. Social media is merely a new communication opportunity with the potential to greatly rewards early adopters.
Social media opens new opportunities to meet your potential customers where they want to engage. It doesn’t matter what channels you appear on, so long your potential customers are there too.
Content & Context
Being intentional with your social lead generation efforts can help establish trust with your potential customer, show the company’s human side, establish authority in your specialization and even help keep top of mind for when the time comes that you’re needed.
It also matters in what context you’re showing up. If it’s a leisurely social channel like Instagram or Facebook, the context of your content matters- in this case it’d need to be fun, upbeat, or inspiring. West Jet does a great job with this around Christmas that inspired potential customers, garnered millions of free views and deepened customer loyalty.
Display the human side of your business by highlighting staff, social events and causes you support.
Establishing Thought Leadership Through Social Media
You can post thought leadership content on platforms like Linkedin that are informally peer reviewed. Comments, views likes and other reactions lend social proof to your message and establish credibility. This works beautifully whether you’re a sales team putting out lead magnet content or a CEO that wants to establish herself online as she writes her first book.
Content Ideas For Socials
You can establish trust with leads by sharing relevant case studies and testimonials, slide decks and white papers. Giving away much of your knowledge upfront is an important change in this new information era. It shows you know your stuff and helps differentiate your brand from the pack in a very publicly accountable way.
Measuring Content Success and ROI
With software you can help cut through the noise on social and measure your effectiveness in turning visitors to leads. Softwares such as Buffer, Hubspot and Hootsuite provide an endless feedback loop that helps you gauge which posts are getting the most engagement and clicks to help you refine your messaging within the post scheduler. When the right content gets the right person at the right time, a lead is made and the sales process requires less effort than without.
Social Media Advertising
You can stage content that becomes relevant for each stage of the buyer’s journey and have them consume it on social media. Top of funnel (ToFu) content would address their problem in greater detail. Middle of funnel content educates them on the ways in which the can solve that problem where your solution is more visible. Bottom of funnel content helps them deciding on the final option; here you’ll emphasize customer testimonials that speak to their hesitations.
Social Media Chatbots
Chatbots can help you sales-qualify your leads in advance, saving your time for sales team’s time for high-value tasks. Chatbots also automate frequently asked questions so that your customer gets prompt service for the questions they may have but can’t easily find.
During The Sale
Gauging Lead Responses By Reading Their Digital Body Language
A big challenge has historically been gauging lead responses. If you’re too pushy, you scare them away. If you’re too casual, they go to a competitor. With new social software, we can see what they’re engaging with and other insights that help your sales team build rapport and make the sales process flow naturally.
Most customer relationship management (CRM) software integrates with your social media channels and can tell you what leads engaged or clicked what content. These kinds of digital insights on your leads helps your team get in the buyer’s mind to help speak what they’re thinking but don’t say.
Stay in touch to keep selling
Social media channels are a great way of nurturing your customer once the sale is complete. The average success rate of selling a customer you already have ranges between 60–70% on average and this has the potential to boost bottom line profits. Plus no additional customer acquisition costs which erode the initial profits.
There is the old sales adage that if you haven’t spoke with your customer in 90 days, they aren’t your customer anymore. Social channels are a way to keep the conversation going with your content, create new opportunities to engage with the brand, and stay top of mind and reserve that special place in their mind for when they need to call upon you later.
Opening Up New Networks
Another post-sale benefit of social media is that you can have your promotions and special offers reposted and shared by happy customers who both give a tacit recommendation by liking your page, as well as extend your voice into their networks. After all, birds of a feather fly together and they may know other similar people your business can help within their own networks.
Getting Customer Feedback
Customer feedback is important in any business. But customers don’t always want to give it to us in our preset forms or surveys. But if they’re following us on social channels, they’re more likely to let us know when we’re doing something well or poorly because it’s convenient for them. This is a great monitoring area because it can help you improve services, products and support in your own relentless iterations.
Show How Well Your Brand Treats Its Customers
They say one bad customer can cost a business up to 10 future sales. It’s increasingly common for people to air the grievances with brands on social media and that can be a big turn-off. But the benefit of this double-edged sword is that excellent customer service can be very public too. Opportunities to handle customer service complaints on social can become free advertisements showing how great your brand treats customers.
Interested in a customize social media strategy for your business? Contact us today!