Wednesday, 22 July 2015

How to Market Using Social Media

This afternoon I was writing some notes for a client for who I have just developed a new strategy with a flagship product to drive their position within their chosen market, and as I started to explain how to implement their social media it dawned on me that this would be useful to many other businesses owners and leaders as well. 

Social Media 

The problem with social media is that people are always trying to sell on first meeting, like a new toy everyone wants to play with and some that just doing social media is like selling online. This inevitably fails. Why? Well it is like walking up to someone at a networking event shaking their hand, giving them your name and saying do you want to buy my product/service? What is the chance of success? Even for the most successful sales person it is going to be zero, or worse, even a realistic prospect will be turned off by this approach, because the audience does not know you, your products / services and is not tuned into to thinking about their needs or wants at that time.  

Using social media to win customers is about a structured conversion process

Social media is not The Wolf of Wall Street 

You would never just go up to anyone and start selling, this attitude comes close the perception of the 1980's (Think Wolf of Wall Street) which was typified by the ABC (Always Be Closing) approach to selling. It did not work then and it certainly does not work now. Yet in the field of social media where there is no personal handshake people forget that opening with a cheesy sales line is likely to result in someone reacting with an unfriend/disconnect approach or worse a negative review of what you do. 

In the digital world of social media, the rules of engagement have not changed. People are still people, not fools and not mugs, so don't treat them like they are. A poor first impresssion reflects on you as the connector not on them as the recipient, with the added disadvantage that there is an audit trail and an attentive viewing and engaging audience, two things which can be more damaging to a brand than any traditional sales person could achieve on their own.

So here are the key steps I suggest you undertake in using social media to open up new markets and develop your customer base using social media:

7 Steps in Social Media Marketing

  1. Define your target customers and routes to them through researching target customers social media activity 
  2. Connect to them using social media and identify conversations with them and direct them to open conversations on premises.   
  3. Look at who is responding and looking for further information, support them with further information and options.
  4. Invite them to join your online communities (LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest etc) 
  5. Connect with them personally with further information and add them to your existing marketing database, marketing as part of the funnel development.
  6. Listen to their engagement with you to engage with them when they are researching relocation.
  7. Then and only then can you can start selling to them.
These steps provide a good first principles in finding you way into the world of social media for companies looking to understand this new world order of social media.  Look first to understand rather than to sell. Look at how people learn rather than tell them what to buy. Look at what people think and how they value information before you show them your products and services. Do these 7 steps in social media marketing and you will learn what works before entering the online social media world.   

Social Media Marketing

You never sell and then market. Marketing is about identifying and targeting the right prospects who you then move at their pace towards your products and services. Once the customer moves towards you then you can market to them until they are ready to be sold to. By marketing effectively first you can then sell efficiently to customers. So market yourself online first and then sell to buyers really to buy.  

I hope that helps you think about how to deploy a social media strategy and not try to sell at first connection. IF you would like to learn more about social media then click through my blog posts to see more:

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