Although social media is a relatively new marketing channel, there is fairly strong consensus that it can help with business growth.
According to a recent survey of some 3,000 consumers conducted by Bain & Company, customers who interact with brands via social media spend 20-40% more money with those companies than other customers. In addition, customers who engage with brands over social media show a deeper loyalty to those companies.
What few people realize, though, is that you can actually drive direct sales from social media—provided you have the right strategy in place. This article, then, is an overview of how to deploy a social media sales mechanism in your company.
In practical terms, using social media to drive direct sales for your product or service can be broken down into two areas of focus:
- Social broadcasting—for attraction, retention, up-selling, and cross-selling.
- Social listening—to identify new sales opportunities.
Many people get the wrong idea when they hear the word "broadcast," assuming it to be a technique used by old-school, "interruptive" marketers.
The truth is that consumers crave valuable information. By developing a social presence, igniting conversations with your (suitably) frequent broadcasts, and sharing the useful content that you are producing, you are making the most of the direct sales opportunities that social media presents.
You can earn the trust and attention of current and new customers, thus ensuring that any who already buy will continue to do so, and any who don't buy will consider becoming a patron. Similarly, you have the opportunity to upsell and cross-sell (in a tasteful manner) to your social media audience by highlighting your latest offers and discussing other products and services that your company offers.