Monday 17 November, 2014
Many marketers have thrown up their hands when it comes to social media marketing. The problem with social media is that people aren’t there to buy. They’re on social media to connect with friends, entertain themselves, find out what’s going on, and a whole slew of other things that don’t involve shopping.
It’s tough to impossible to sell on social media, but if done right, you can use your business’s social media presence to draw leads into your sales funnel, where they can convert to sales later.
Review Sales Funnel Basics
The sales funnel is a concept from the old days of advertising and marketing but it’s still relevant today. Most businesses have some type of funnel set up where they draw in prospects and qualify them, turning them into buyers.
You should start by looking at your sales funnel and figuring out how social media can be used as part of it. If you already have a sales funnel in place, you understand the basics. But social media leads behave differently so you need to identify what role it will play in your sales funnel, such as awareness or exposure.
Use Social Media for Engagement
Social media isn’t good for direct promotion. If you promote your business on social media, people will tune you out. The best way to interact on sites like Facebook and Twitter is to engage your audience. This means getting them directly involved with your brand.
Engagement means giving your audience things to do, from taking quizzes or surveys to entering contests or sweepstakes. It could be something like a game or activity you give people to do, or something as simple as a thought-provoking post that ends in a question and encourages comments.
Your social media presence should also be used for relationship building. This is the key way that marketing is different now. Through your presence on these networks, you should build a real, authentic relationship with your prospects through commenting, messaging, sharing and any other type of interaction possible. This is a good way to spread awareness of your brand and draw people into your sales funnel.
Opportunities for Qualification
On each social media site you use, look for opportunities to qualify prospects. These could be things like offering exclusive content for those who like or share, or a list they can sign up to in order to receive your newsletter. An opportunity is anything that gives your followers a chance to show that they’re interested in your offer.
Don’t Forget about Ads
Don’t forget that most social media sites have their own ad networks. You can place ads to gain exposure and specifically target your prospects based on their profile information. This allows you to get your brand in front of more people and boost your exposure.
Social media is too big and important to ignore. It’s a given that your target market is there interacting with each other. If you’re there too, you can bring them into your sales funnel and turn them into qualified leads.