Here’s something we’ve touched upon before at RoryMartin.com, but which people quite often seem to forget: social media is not the place for sales. Saying this straight can cause businesses to throw up their hands and exclaim “What’s the point?”, but hear us out. Social media is first and foremost a marketing tool – and your social media marketing strategy should reflect that. Even people who use social media to tweet about their breakfast are still thinking about how they’d like the world to think of them – although they probably don’t have plans to become ‘Breakfast Food Consultants’. Social media can be used to build brand awareness and positive customer (read: potential customer!) engagement. Of course, social media can be used to make sales, but if your updates are chock-full of SALE! And OFFER! people will quickly switch off.
One of the reasons why social media is not a sales tool is because people don’t go to check their accounts thinking ‘I’d like to purchase something today, I wonder what that will be?’ Social media catches people far earlier in the buying process than, say, a storefront window. Followers and fans may not even be aware that they need your product or service, let alone want to purchase it right then and there.
However, this doesn’t mean that your followers and fans will never purchase a product or service from you via social media, but the process is a longer one. Social media marketing is a long-term sales strategy. Sending out five tweets in a row about your latest OFFERS and SALES everyday won’t make you any friends, but providing constant and consistent advice and information about your products and services will. Users typically turn to social media for entertainment and information, so give it to them!
A new Follower or Fan may not immediately make a purchase from you, the same way that someone in your internet store or on your shop floor might, but over time they will come to trust and respect your authority in your business niche. Then, when they do decide it’s time to get a glazier in, they’ll turn to a name they remember – yours.
Customers who discovered your services on social media are very high value after the sale as well. They can, and often will, turn to their accounts to praise, or demonise, your business. Make it easy for them to give a positive review, and that will influence their followers, and yours. With people turning to peer reviews before making their purchasing decisions nowadays, this is the true ROI when it comes to social media – positive feedback and an increased sphere of influence.
If you’d like to hear more about how social media can benefit your business, then email Rory Martin today.