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Leveraging Social Media – Making Happy Sales
‘Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell. ’
The quote above was made by one of the gurus in online marketing. Seth Godin is the author of many books on e-marketing and he should know what he is talking about. Marketing, these days, is about convincing clients and customers that whatever you are selling is the ultimate option. The best thing about is that there is no lack of audiences to preach to.
Everyone Who is Anyone
A good salesman will always find a way to get to his clients, just as a good web site owner (or the marketing department of a company) will be able to catch the eyes and ears of millions of people. After all, today there are around 2 billion users online. To really good salesmen these are not simply ‘internet users’ but 2 billion potential customers.
The fact, that this many people are connected and online, makes it redundant to go around and try to hold audience with them. The preferred option is advertising the goods and services in places that they can’t help but notice them – social media sites.
Image Courtesy of the Altimeter Group
It is very rare, especially in metropolitan cities, that a randomly questioned individual wouldn’t have an account for at least one of the most popular social media sites today. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are three of the most popular social media sites that almost everyone has an account on. Realizing this, corporate entities are making use of, and profiting highly from these sites.1
Similarly, any web site owner or administrator needs to learn from these companies. The smallest social circle can be used to drive the necessary traffic which can later be converted to loyal customer traffic and be the basis for a successful business.
Let us start by defining ‘leveraging’ in the online marketing context. The one agreement that can be reached is that when leveraging something it is with the intent of gaining something out of it. When talking of leveraging social media we will need to consider the ways to achieve maximum profit (it could be cash, traffic, etc.) by hooking online users that come to social network sites.
A Happy Customer First
Most people get annoyed when coming face to face with salesmen. Marketing when done physically, door to door or on the phone, requires that the salesman be quite good at putting the targeted customers at ease and smoothing down ruffled feathers. This one factor is the key to making a sales-pitch that will snatch up a customer is that the client is in a relaxed mood before throwing in the actual line. Just like the old adage that says people should not go shopping on a hungry stomach, a pitch shouldn’t be made to customer that isn’t quite happy.
With people on social media that is one less headache. Almost everyone that comes to the like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are there at their leisure time, unless of course they work for Facebook.com, Twitter.com and YouTube.com! They will be at ease to read the ads, messages or other ways of interaction. And not only will they fully digest it, they have a high chance of signing up as they have the time and the conviction.
So, How to Do it?
All right after stepping into the social media network, the first thing to do is create an account. The first step towards building a brand is creating that first account.
- Flaunt It: the basic account is the first notice board. Everything that can point to the user’s website can be used –it is fair game. In the addresses, the ‘likes’, ‘occupation’, ‘hobbies’ and almost any other section that allows a URL should contain at least one link.
- Join Groups: In almost all the media network sites, there are clusters of accounts that have a common interest. Most of them are willing to accept, and in fact encourage new users to join in. A smart marketer would look for that specific group of people that have something in common with his or her site. Once in, the links and URL’s can be shared.
- Socialize: a person on a social network not socializing might as well quit. Just sitting in a group doing nothing will return exactly that – nothing. People appreciate a sales pitch that comes from someone that is an actual person. And if that person should also happen to be a friend it makes it that much easier to nail the deal.
- Never EVER Spam: when people accept a person on a social network, they do so to meet the person and not the salesman. As if receiving spam in emails were not enough getting some from a person considered a friend could feel like a big betrayal. ALL correspondences should be on a one-to-one basis. While this might look like it will take forever to even get the first few clients, it is not. Why? Because:
- Friends Advertize: Once a client is happy with his or her service, he will be more than willing to spread the word. This could be verbal (phone, face-to-face) or literary (online email, ad space). The idea is to get a happy customer who can spread the word. If done correctly, the client size will rise exponentially.
- Address all Senses: Just having a link and waiting for clients to find and click on it, is a pretty futile job. YouTube videos can be made on almost any aspect of any product. Images and logos will be remembered much easily and if well designed might arise curiosity. Therefore, an ad campaign on social networking should include ALL forms of advertising.
- Be Patient: The final trick is that no fortunes, at least not the major part of them, were made overnight. It always takes time. The keywords in the ads will take time to rise to the top of the search result pages, especially those that were written in forums.