Social media is not only changing the way we communicate and live, but social media in sales is changing the way we do our jobs.
Social Media is an ever changing landscape in the twenty first century. Every day new forms of social media are popping up out of seemingly thin air. The vast majority of new social media web sites fail. However, when a social media web site succeeds, you get creations such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
For your average person, social media sites are used as fun recreational activities—they fill a void in your day when you have nothing to do. In terms of sales, however, popular social media websites present a valuable opportunity.
Social Media in Sales:
For the Organization:
If used properly, social media can increase sales astronomically for a business or individual salesperson. Every social media site has one thing in common: its purpose is to share something. That something is usually some form of one’s self. Usually this sharing is done by way of pictures, opinions, and updates on one’s own life.
Now you may ask yourself, “How would any of those three things affect mine or my company’s sales performance?” They won’t. When using social media in sales, the key is incorporating your product into those pictures, opinions, and updates on your social media page.
For the Salesperson:
Social media is effective in driving sales for a salesperson because it gives them a platform that they would never ordinarily have had. Platforms such as Facebook allow a salesperson to reach people that they would have never considered for leads. In many cases you don’t consider the people you reach through Facebook real friends. The vast majority of Facebook “friends” and Twitter “followers” are merely acquaintances. Most of these acquaintances would never have generated leads or been privy to what a salesperson is doing or selling in their life.
However, with social media platforms, a person’s life is right there for anyone and everyone to see. If you can effectively incorporate your product into your social media page in ways such as posting pictures and composing tweets, you can generate leads from many of these acquaintances. Even if no one contacts you directly, you can use your social media outlet of choice to contact them. (Another cool thing about the social media era is that it is no longer taboo to contact someone about business even if you haven’t seen them in years.) You will have already sowed the seed in their mind about your product, now the people who have seen it and are interested won’t mind discussing it.
Businesses have an advantage over salespeople when it comes to social media in that entire profiles can be created and centered around the corporation. The advantage of being able to craft a profile strictly around the business and/or the products it sells is that you get to sell the brand and company culture with the product. Businesses also have the ability to create contests and campaigns that run through their social media pages. By running contests, businesses can generate awareness as well as interest in their products.
Social media in sales is a constantly evolving tool. Social media can generate buzz more so than most other assets within a firm. While social media won’t sell the product by itself, it can create interest in a multitude of ways that face to face communication, TV, and radio cannot. Anyone working in direct or corporate sales should seriously consider taking a class on Social Media Marketing or Social Selling. Otherwise, you are leaving a potentially vast amount of untapped cash on the table.