A 5-Step Framework for Selling on Social Media Social media is great for building awareness and interest but it is also invaluable for building sales.

By Ian Cleary

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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How many of you are frustrated with the time you spend on social media compared to the results you get? Social media is continuing to grow, with more platforms and more users.

But spending all that time on social media channels needs to have a clear impact on revenue.

People are not comfortable buying products on services on channels such as Facebook but there is a process to get those sales.

Related: Boost Sales With These 7 Social Media Steps

In this article, we go through a five-step process called PRISM, which will help you understand a process for generating sales on social media.

1. P for people.

To be successful on social media, you need to build an audience. You work out the right channels for your business and build an audience on a daily basis. You want to make sure your audience is growing consistently and you are attracting the right people.

There are ways to validate whether you are attracting the right audience on every channel. For example, on Twitter, you can use the Twitter analytics tool to analyze your Twitter followers. Twitter will categorize your Twitter followers based on their interests.

2. R for relationships.

When you have a relationship with your audience, they are more likely to take action. Sharing valuable content is a great way of forming a relationship. If you can provide content that helps a person, this will help you to form a relationship.

You also need to consider influencers. A relevant influencer will have access to an audience that you want to get access to. The starting point to building a relationship with influencers is to make a list of who they are and then start to track and interact with them.

3. I for inbound traffic.

You now want to drive inbound traffic because that is where you get sales. You will use specific tactics to try to encourage more traffic to your site. For example, if you have evergreen content (content that doesn't go out of date) on your website, you should share this on social media on a regular basis. This will help increase the traffic from social media to your website.

Related: How Your Small Business Can Use Social Media to Boost Sales

4. S for subscribers and social retargeting.

Even with all this traffic from social media, there may not be many sales. People may not be ready to buy yet. But you don't want them to leave the website without capturing their details first. Use a tool such as Optinmonster to build email subscribers from your visitors. Email marketing is a very important channel for marketing online.

When someone subscribes, you can send a series of automated emails that help nurture this lead.

If they don't subscribe, you should still capture the fact that they visited your website so you can retarget them with an advertisement at a later date. It's expensive driving visitors to your website so you need to maximize the value.

5. M for monetization.

When you have email subscribers and you have captured visitors for retargeting with advertisements, you then need to build out your sales funnels to sell. You build a sequence and you take people down different paths, based on the decisions they make.

Related: Increase Sales Using Social Media in 3 Steps

For example, someone reads your tweet about a blog post and visits your website. They then sign up to your email list and you send an initial set of emails that provide more valuable content. You can then make them an offer for a product or service. If they don't buy that offer (after giving them multiple chances to), you might provide an alternative offer. Based on their decision at this stage, you may take them down a different path.

Social media is great for building awareness and interest but it is also invaluable for building sales. But, you need to understand the full, end-to-end cycle and build out your 'PRISM' to be successful.

Ian Cleary

Marketing Technologist, Founder of Razorsocial

Ian Cleary is founder of RazorSocial who provide online training on content marketing and social media to marketers and business owners.  Ian is considered one of the world's lead social media specialists and speaks regularly at international conferences around the world.

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