As the year winds down, many business owners and managers are thinking of how to cash in on end-of-year sales. Edem Kodjo is not an exception. An “old school” folk, he used posters, handbills and word-of-mouth to announce his end-of-year sales promotions in his shoe boutique in the last few years.
His success has been largely limited as local government council regulations about cleaner environment have reduced where he can paste his posters or share his handbills. He has also recently noticed that young customers who are his target are increasingly migrating to the social media.
Before launching his sales promotion campaign this year, Edem spoke with a friend, who shared with him an advice he had read in a special publication online:
Social media allows salespeople to see what prospects are saying about their brand and competitors. You can really get to know a customer’s needs through social listening. It’s a great way to research a market and initiate conversation leading to a sale, regular or end-of-year.
Not only can social listening help you generate new leads, but it also allows you to build deeper relationships with existing clients that drives them to purchase again and again.
The biggest sales have come from salespeople using Twitter to find opportunities and LinkedIn to find the names of the true buyers inside organizations.
Facebook and blog platforms have proven to be essential for salespeople, as well.
Someone selling digital scrapbooking software and supplies, for example, can connect with his or her customers on Facebook and through a blog where they can share project ideas and digital photo advice.
So how can you use social media to make sales, especially this end-of-year?
Step No. 1: Determine the best way to connect with prospects
Social media is a smart selling tool only if your clients and prospects are using social media. It’s a huge waste of your time if your clients are spending their time elsewhere.
But if you learn they are indeed using popular sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, you need to determine which space is best for connecting and interacting with them.
Facebook is one of the best arenas for business to consumer sales.
It’s also important for brands to consider tools like Instagram and Pinterest along with their Facebook strategy to increase visibility and sales. LinkedIn is the appropriate platform for sales of business-to-business products or services. LinkedIn is a more professional networking environment, so this is the right place to connect with people at big corporations that might be interested in your product or service.
Step No. 2: Join a community and create a persona
It starts by spending some time with the tool you plan to use. Build up a personal account, have conversations, and become acquainted with the norms and expectations of the community.
Without misrepresenting yourself, create a persona that’s likable and trustworthy within that community. If I think you’re a jerk when I see you on a social media site, I’m not going to do business with you. If you comment a lot to get people to go to your site, I’m not going to listen to you. You can’t abuse or misuse social media.
Show your network that you’re an amiable, trustworthy resource.