The Value in Social Media for Sales
Believe it or not, some businesses are still failing to embrace social media, perhaps seeing it as a fad or something that is not essential to their performance. However, worldwide audiences are seeing things a little bit differently, and for younger audiences in particular, a business not having a presence on Facebook, Twitter and the like seems unthinkable. It’s understandable that some sales teams and managers may be keen to stick with tried-and-tested practices, but in a rapidly-shifting world where old conventions are becoming increasingly obsolete, businesses can afford to ignore social media at their peril.
Some companies are using social media but still refusing to give it the emphasis that it deserves, potentially missing out on vast levels of exposure, conversions and ultimately, sales. For those that have embraced social media and seen results stemming from it, this level of reluctance may seem unbelievable. There are vast swathes of information being shared on social media that businesses can use to find their audiences, from location and age to interests. Once audiences are even vaguely identified, the process of targeting them can begin. The more data is produced and the more experienced marketing professionals become when putting social media campaigns take place, the more instinctive the process of targeting also becomes.
Adopting the Right Mindset
Twitter and Facebook are densely populated by social media and marketing experts posting informative, topical content about Facebook and Twitter marketing, enabling would-be marketers to start thinking in a relevant and appropriate way from the outset. These articles and blogs often contain information about purchasing trends, new analytical tools and the current challenges being faced by marketers. By engaging with these posts, businesses can attain the right mindset to put together a robust social media marketing strategy.
Social media is indispensable for businesses seeking to not only build and sustain relationships with their customers but with other companies too. By forming links with some of the most reputable names in your field, you can benefit from their prestige through association and therefore establish your brand as a leading expert in its field too.
Keeping Abreast of Activity
There are numerous mining tools available that can inform you about search terms that are being used on Twitter and suchlike relating to your business. If someone uses your brand in a Tweet, alerts can be sent to your e-mail account, but you can also ask these tools to alert you whenever any other search terms of your choosing are used in Tweets. This way, even if you miss a relevant Tweet, you still have the chance to interact with it and the person or company that posted it. This is perfect for those scenarios where you may not be able to oversee relevant Twitter activity as it happens.
Knowing who is connected to who can be an incredibly important part of social media marketing, and there are various tools that you can utilise to keep you informed when things change. This can make it easier for you to know who or what is worth connecting to. Tools such as JobChangesAlerts.com enable to you to stay updated when profile changes in your network take place.
Being At the Centre of Relevance
Whilst there has always been a great deal of emphasis placed on sealing deals, it’s never been wise to forget about the relationships that have been made once a deal has reached completion. Today, businesses can sustain relationships and connections by continuing to offer up engaging and interesting content and sharing it. This can mean keeping abreast of various relevant industry-specific news, and there are various tools that you can use to help you to identify relevant content amongst the endless sea of content and news stories that do appear every day. Popular tools for engaging other businesses can include a Feedly reader to deliver relevant stories and Storify to create new stories curated from several different sources, creating conversations and allowing users to be at the epicentre of news as it happens.
LinkedIn: An Essential Sales Platform?
Services such as LinkedIn make it easier for you to see who is connected to whom and why they are connected. LinkedIn enables you to see the bigger picture in terms of who other businesses are connected to and therefore allows you to identify who may or may not be a useful connection, with new opportunities being one of the main targets. In the past, it was arguably more difficult to identify who was associated with whom, but today it’s arguably simpler than ever. It’s also potentially easier to work out who was responsible for a deal falling through by investigating the connections laid out in front of you on LinkedIn. If you’ve ever been in positive talks with a rep only to see the deal come an abrupt end, chances are a stakeholder was involved. Building stakeholder maps can be a very useful move to make, and may enable you to build up a better reputation for your business, leading to a successful deal being sealed next time due to your visibility, level of trust placed in you and the image that you put across on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is often seen as the B2B equivalent of Facebook and is widely seen as an indispensable tool when it comes to lead generation. It is a service for sharing business advice, liasing with other relevant businesses, looking for job opportunities where relevant and even allows you to see who has viewed your profile, making it easier to identify the kind of audiences that you are attracting. Advanced searching features allow you to locate based on specific attributes, whilst the service has also recently lowered its minimum age range to allow students and pupils to start networking with influential figures early, essentially providing them with an early start over others who are not using the service. You can connect with people who are explicitly related to your line of work or connect with those who specialise in other sectors to receive interesting and informative advice when you seek it. Many openings have come to fruition through LinkedIn.