There is much debate today among local marketing experts about how effective social media is in directly increasing an organization’s sales. Although it can be somewhat difficult to measure as a sole sales channel, social media can be an invaluable tool in boosting sales in ways that truly allow your organization to engage and create a relationship with current and potential customers.
Social media can be used along each step of the sales cycle. That is if the user knows how to properly use each platform to drive desired behavior.
Be found. Let’s face it. Today, when we’re looking for a product or service, the first step we take is to search for possible options and often read through the reviews and comments other consumers have made about the organization. Therefore, in order for a consumer to consider buying your product or using your service, he/she must find your organization first. Therefore, it’s important to leverage platforms and sites that will assist your organization in appearing in web searches related to your product or service. Google+ is one key platform which can assist in this area. With the popularity of Google’s search engine, it is important to ensure your organization’s information and related positive reviews and comments are easily accessible. Therefore, if your organization hasn’t already set up a Google+ account, that is one item to take care of today. Finally, consider asking your regular customers to post feedback on Google+ or other sites such as Yelp.com. These reviews and feedback will ultimately help potential customers locate you.
Create a connection to your brand. As consumers carry out their online research into upcoming purchases, your organization’s presence on social media platforms allows it to create a connection with consumers which may ultimately drive a sale. So much of the purchasing process is emotional. We all want to feel good about the product we’re buying and who we’re buying it from. Social media allows us to see a product in action, read the excited comments from recent purchasers and fans, and gain insight into the organization’s values. Therefore, it is important for your organization to leverage the consumer’s desire for insight into how the company functions and what it stands for on platforms such as Facebook and Pinterest. Look for opportunities to provide consumers an inside view into your products and services.
Develop an ongoing relationship. Social media provides your organization with an easy way to stay connected and on the minds of your organization’s fans. One way to gain momentum with consumers who have recently made a purchase is to provide them special deals and events. Publicizing aspects of these sales or events on social media can help show potential buyers how your organization will also treat them.
Ultimately, local marketing experts often advise organizations not to rely on just one avenue to drive sales; however, in today’s ever-changing market place, social media has earned a place as an essential tool to drive sales.
Chris Marentis is considered an expert in the field of local business online marketing. He is the founder of Surefire Social.