7 Tips for Boosting Your Sales with Social Media

March 4, 2013

If you’re in sales, you’ve probably heard over and over again that social media is critical to your success. That’s true, but only if you’re doing it right. Every day good companies make online gaffes that cost them customers and money. Here is how you can avoid these pitfalls.

1. Start with a Plan

The late Stephen Covey used to say, “Begin with the end in mind.” Take a few moments to decide what you hope to accomplish from getting on the social circuit. Some companies, for instance, want more customers and more money. Others just want greater name recognition. Still others want to dialogue with their customers. What do you want?

2. Start Low, Go Slow

Don’t join five social sites at once; pick one or two. Don’t launch a blog and promise to update it three times a day; start with a few entries a week and see how that goes. When you work in sales, you always hear that you should “Under-promise and over-deliver.” The same is true for social media. Promising too much and burning out before you can deliver it leaves potential customers with the idea that you’re unreliable.

3. Dialogue with Your Customers

Sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google + can be tremendous places for lead generation, but there’s one catch. You have to communicate with potential customers. If someone leaves a question for you, answer it. If someone is critical about your services, respond graciously that you’re sorry they were not happy and offer to speak to them one-on-one to resolve the issue.

4. Brush off the Cobwebs

Once you’re involved in social media, be sure to take part in the community at least a few times each week. An abandoned account may give others the impression that you’ve gone out of business.

5. Make It Interesting

Before you post something, ask yourself if you would find it interesting and informative. If the answer is yes, go ahead and post it. If the answer is no, rework your post until you think it will capture the reader’s mind and the imagination.

6. Engage First, Sell Second

Imagine you are at a brick-and-mortar networking event. All of a sudden, a new attendee bursts into the room, shouts at the top of his lungs, “I am the ABC Company! Do business with me!” and runs away. That’s not a great selling technique, is it? Just because you’re online doesn’t mean you can skip the pleasantries and go directly for lead generation. People will buy from you when they’re comfortable with you and when they trust you to sell them what they really need. In order for that to happen, you have to focus on building relationships. The money will come later.

 

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7. Measure Your Progress

Remember the plan you created during the first step? Now take a hard look at your online social interactions and see if you are accomplishing what you set out to do. Have your online sales gone up? Do you have more “likes” on Facebook than you did before you started posting regularly? If you are not meeting your online goals, it might be worth seeking the advice of a consultant or a social content manager.

Like them or not, sites like Facebook and Twitter appear to be here to stay. Why not take advantage of them to get word out about your company, meet your clients, and stimulate lead generation?
If you’re in sales, you’ve probably heard over and over again that social media is critical to your success. That’s true, but only if you’re doing it right. Every day good companies make online gaffes that cost them customers and money. Here is how you can avoid these pitfalls.

About Troy Wilson