In my experience, groups, organizations, companies, etc., who have been most successful using social media to increase sales are the ones who stick to a few guiding principles:
- Be educational with your message – Consumers who are interested in your products or services will naturally want to learn more about your company, industry, products and services. It’s your job to provide them with the information they want, when they want it, and to serve it up in a way that’s not too promotional, but looked at as educational. This provides educational value to consumers and when they are ready to make a purchase, they will buy products and services from companies that took the time to educate them.
- Make it fun – If you’re going to use education as your way of providing company, industry, product, and service information to your customers, then you must make learning fun. Did you just produce a new product video that you want to get out? Come up with a contest that requires consumers to watch it and weigh in with their thoughts. Then get the community to start talking about everyone’s comments. Using fun ways to get your information out will do wonders for your sales.
- Be available – Customers want to talk with you. Consumers expect to be able to talk to companies. Many times these conversations lead to sales. If you’re not using Social Media to talk with your customers, you’re not using Social Media effectively.
- Mix Selling Messaging In – Don’t confuse the information above with me saying “don’t use Social Media to sell”. You have to use Social Media to sell or you won’t be able to achieve your goals. I’m simply saying, don’t use Social Media to sell the same way a used car salesmen would do so. Mix your selling messages in with your educational messages. Become an expert in the soft sell. These are the strategies that work with Social Media Marketing.