Is It Possible to Sell Through Social Media?

November 6th 2012       Sally Ormond       selling through social media, social media engagement, social media for business

Yes.Selling through social media

OK, leaving it there would make this the shortest blog in history, so let’s expand on that a bit.

The belief that you can’t sell through social media holds many businesses back. They are under the impression that it’s full of people talking about what they had for lunch or what they’re up to at the weekend. Granted, there are those that do that, but there’s a lot more to social media than that.

You see, social media is all about building relationships and that’s another thing companies can’t get their heads round. They tend to set up accounts, dabble for a week or two (usually sending a constant stream of sales messages out that turn people off faster than the fastest thing you can think of on roller skates), and then wonder why nothing has happened. Selling through social media is possible, but it takes stamina. patience and time.

It’s not a place people hang out who are ready to buy. You are more likely to find people in the research phase, looking to gather information or inspiration – and that’s the best time to find them; when they need help and advice and you can be their knight in shining armour.

Getting results

You have your social media accounts set up, you’re monitoring them for what people are looking for, you find someone who’s looking for a product that you just happen to sell – now’s your time to engage with them.

But, if you are going to make the most of this golden opportunity, you need to have a strategy in place.

1. Test

The only way you are going to find the right approach is by testing.

Which method produces the most engagement?

Once you’ve discovered what works for you, stick to it, but continue to monitor your results.

2. Target

If you want to use social media you have to ensure you are targeting the right people. Use keywords within your tweets and updates and hash tags.

3. Trust

People will only buy from you once they trust you. To nurture trust give away great information, offer advice and talk to them.

4. Engage

Social media isn’t a one way street. If you want people to like you and trust you, you have to engage with them. Ask them questions, post a poll on your Facebook page, do a question and answer session and ask for feedback.

All of these activities will make you more accessible to them. And if you’re accessible, you’ll be seen as approachable – a business they would want to buy from.

5. Call to action

Of course, once you have their trust and engagement you have to ask them to do something – don’t assume they will automatically buy.

Direct them to your website, make them aware of your offers, or ask them to sign up for your newsletter. Whatever it is, make sure it’s clear.

So, can you really sell anything through social media?

Yes, you can if you get your approach right.

Tags: selling through social media, social media engagement, social media for business
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