How Social Media Influences Your Sales Cycle
SMBs can use social media marketing effectively by following some simple steps:
Seek the attention of potential social customers: Use various social media platforms to target interest groups and promote your products. Use social media tools as a means to map specific interest groups and communities, identify centers of influence and engagement points, and, ultimately, engage in thematic groups/communities to gain the attention of potential buyers. The tools could include Facebook contests, pinning product shots and interesting brochures on Pinterest, initiating discussions around the products in LinkedIn groups and tweeting about sales promotions and campaigns on certain days.
- Increase interest levels: Once potential buyers show their interest, provide useful and informative content in the form of blog posts, white papers and case studies that educate the potential consumers in their decision-making process. SMBs can also use this opportunity to showcase their position of trust among existing customers by sharing client testimonials.
- Fast-track decision making: Supply store locations, offer instant chatting for detailed product information, share side-by-side comparisons to competing products, etc., and you can address buyers' questions quickly and speed up their decisions. An even more compelling tactic is to have independent testing of products by recognized authorities or third parties and publish the results in industry blogs and in SlideShare presentations on LinkedIn and YouTube.
- Maintain the post-sales connection: Marketing does not end with the sales of the product; it goes far beyond that. Initiate discussions with users to get their reviews and opinions about the products, feedback on the brand and experiences during the sales process. A free-flowing interaction between clients and sellers in the form of product reviews and feedback establishes the brand as one that is open and views customer satisfaction as a critical measure of success. The only effort that SMB marketers need to do is to provide interesting platforms and discussion topics.
Are you using social media to propagate your brand and establish your customers as brand ambassadors to influence and build your sales funnel? If so, please share your experience.