Social media has been traditionally known for it's "soft selling" approach, meaning most users are not online for the sole purpose of shopping and, therefore, they must be persuaded in a different way. What does that mean for you? How do you "sell" through social media without causing your followers and friends to get tired of your overly aggressive tactics? The answer is in what you post and how you post it. Learn more below about effective social media sales strategies you can use to increase sales and keep your audience happy.
1. Find the right channel.
The single most productive strategy for becoming a better social seller is finding the right channel. Think about selling the old-fashioned way. If you have a service or product you are interested in marketing, you are more likely to find success if you go where potential customers are. For example, you wouldn't sell computer software to people who don't own computers.
Do some research to determine your target audience. Consider the following:
- Who are they? (i.e. gender, age, background, etc.)
- Where do they live?
- Where do they work?
- What do they do for fun?
- What kind of products or services do they purchase and enjoy?
Take the answers to these questions and use them to choose an outlet to set up camp. Many sellers make the mistake of only choosing the popular markets like Facebook or Twitter. However, if you have a unique audience in a professional arena or are doing B2B sales, you should probably go where professionals are: LinkedIn. Choose the social media outlet where your audience is most prevalent and...
2. Produce and engage.
In order to build trust, authority, and a sufficient online following, you will need to post fresh and quality content often. Whether this content is funneled through a preexisting blog or videos from your YouTube account, it needs to be informative and useful to viewers. Become a regular supplier of great information and resources and potential customers will flock to you.
It's important to regularly produce high-quality content, but it's also central to actually interact with other bloggers, businesses, and the readers. "Like" the comments and posts of others and share other quality content that is relevant to your industry. Ask questions and give your opinion on popular topics so that people feel like they are getting to know you. This strategy is quite similar to the flattery of in-person selling. When people consider you to be invested and interested in the industry (and them), they are much more willing to buy.
3. Show your value.
Although you still aren't quite ready to hard sell your product or service, you can begin to share with your readers the worth of what you are offering. Really push on social media just how your product benefits people. You can do this in a number of ways, through infographics, demos of your services, and free trial offers among others. This is a good method to let potential buyers get a look at what you're selling without making a real commitment.
4. Persuade them to take action.
One last step would be ensuring you have a call-to-action in your posts and in other areas of your profile. This step presses users to make the jump from the information stage to the decision-making stage of buying from you. Connect your posts, ads, and other relevant icons to your website where you can conduct more traditional "hard sell" strategies.
If you are social selling on the right platform and posting fresh and engaging content regularly, then you are probably already viewed as an expert. After you've developed a voice of authority, consumers are more than happy to "test-drive" your services and see if they want to make a purchase. As you can see, none of these tactics are geared at being in their faces or forcing information on them. In the world of social selling, being in the right place with the right message truly count.
This story originally appeared on Salesforce