Most sales teams today are improving their engagements with customers and finding new ways to increase revenue by analyzing data captured through social-media use. They are also looking for social Web solutions that can help them launch campaigns, identify and grow audiences, and distribute targeted messages across multiple channels, including Twitter, Facebook, etc. At this point, you may be tempted to think:
- Merely opening a Twitter account will triple your revenue this year
2. You’re only one blog post away from a guest spot on Oprah
3. If you build it (a Facebook/LinkedIn/Tumblr page), they will come (in hordes)
Then you look around at the real world and realize that, sadly, none of this is true. The truth is, social media — when used strategically over time — is the most powerful form of marketing and market research the world has ever seen. But it’s not a magic bean that grows overnight into business success. It’s a platform for real work.
It’s probably obvious that social media (i.e. talking to people) is a great tool for building relationships with fans and customers. You might be a big company, a little company, or an individual. Any of these can use social media platforms to show your customers that you aren’t a fink. That you can be trusted. That you know your stuff. The biggest factor that kills your conversions is lack of trust. Social media gives you an awesomely efficient, cheap, and effective way to build that trust — provided, of course, that you’re a good egg to begin with. (Social media also does a fantastic job of exposing lousy service, nasty business practices, and crappy products.)
Social media demands a huge investment — not of money, typically, but in time, which of course is worth much more than money. So to get the best return on that investment, here’s where you need to put your social media focus:
- Gaining the attention of new potential customers by sharing the very best cookie content.
2. Use external media like Facebook and twitter to bring traffic back to your website.
3. Using social media to put a likable human face on your brand. This is optional, but can be highly effective. Remember, you don’t have to be perfect, but you do need to preserve your authority by acting with a reasonable degree of dignity. Be someone we can respect.
4. Constantly working on conversion — on taking those fans and readers and turning them into customers. Steps 1-3 do you no good until you master step 4.
- Analyzing reports and identifying what’s working for you and what’s going against you in the virtual bubble.
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