Executive coach and sales presentation trainer Patricia Fripp once said,
“You don’t close a sale; you open a relationship if you want to build a long-term successful enterprise.”
Developing and maintaining productive relationships with customers is one of the most important ingredients in the recipe for creating a prosperous business. In today’s digital world, these relationships are increasingly conducted online. Organizations large and small which want to survive and indeed thrive know that digital communications are the perfect medium to reach out to customers, engage with them and grow their brand. Social media offers a particularly cost effective and accessible way of connecting with consumers and is therefore the ideal choice for all sizes of organization, from small home based businesses right up to multinational corporations. Understanding how to maximize the impact of social media is critical to success and so here are some tips to tap into that potential.
Choose the right channels
There’s a whole world of social media channels out there beyond the obvious Facebook and Twitter options. With so many channels available, there can be a temptation to try to use as many as possible. Resist that temptation and take a selective approach – based on research of course. Using your sales strategy think about who you want to reach and what social media channels fit that profile. Focus your efforts on those platforms which resonate with the people you want to build a relationship with.
Social media is well, very social! The concept of social media is all about people – people talking, people sharing and for business, people recommending products and services. Harness the power of people within the organization to increase the effectiveness of social media activity. Use the know-how of existing employees to broaden the organization’s reach and increase engagement levels. Find out who is already active in social media and empower them to spread the company word – albeit within agreed guidelines.
Concentrate on content
Having chosen the platforms and assembled the team it is now time to consider what to say across the digital airwaves. One of the most popular approaches right now is content marketing. This is about regularly posting carefully crafted information which takes consumers beyond product awareness and creates the conditions where they engage with a product or brand. Offering advice on a subject or providing an entertaining post are two great ways to do this, but the great thing about content marketing is that the opportunities are virtually limitless.
Social media can also create a multiplier effect when it comes to company advertising, but for maximum impact that advertising needs to be innovative. A popular trend at the moment is for retroactive product placement – retrospectively inserting new products into old video clips. While this may seem like the domain of the big boys only, there is no reason that smaller companies cannot access this digital goldmine. Come up with a concept that works for your company and use social media to spread the word.
According to award winning branding consultant, Simon Mainwaring,
“There is a fundamental shift that social media necessitates in business today – the need to transition from ‘Me First’ to ‘We First’ thinking.”
Now is the time to grab the opportunity associated with the potential of ‘we’ created by social media.
This guest post is courtesy of Gemma Hunt.