Every day new social media options are introduced. It has become very challenging for small business owners to keep up with progress and find what channels work best for their business or industry. Once you identify a channel, the challenge then becomes learning how to sell your business using the channel. The good news is… it’s very possible to use social media channels as a sales tool. Below are tactics to help you get started today.
Connect with your target businesses on their social channels.
With business marketing, your social media channels are used to connect with your audience, drive awareness about your products and services, and convert visitors into customers. Your customers are using social media channels for the same reasons, so begin your B2B relationship by connecting with prospects on their channels. Share their information, offer thought-provoking comments, and use the social sites as a means to get to know them.
Begin slow and build the relationship.
The biggest mistake made with social media marketing is using the tool as a sales closing tool. That is no different than walking up to a stranger and shouting at them to buy your product. Unless your business is a convenience store, your customers want to explore their options and take their time making a buying decision. Social media channels are best when used as a door opener and conversation starter. If you want to join conversations that are already in progress, select the channels that offer this functionality. Join a Twitter Chat, LinkedIn Group, Facebook Group or Google Hangout. These forums are perfect because they have a group of people congregating and talking about your topic. Below are tools to help locate conversations.
- Twitter Chat Locator – Use a tool like this TweetChat and keywords to identify Twitter Chats going on today.
- Google Hangout Locator – From your Google Plus dashboard, click the menu bar on the left marked Home and scroll to the hangouts. Click hangouts to find current and scheduled hangouts.
- LinkedIn Group – Search the groups in LinkedIn using keywords for your industry or target audience.
- Facebook Groups – Groups are private and invitation only on Facebook. If you focus your engagement on Facebook and establish relationships with your target audience, you will increase your chances of being invited to a group. You can also start your own group tailored to providing helpful information to your target audience.
Use your channels to share extremely valuable information.
If you want to create value for your name and brand, allocate some of your marketing resources toward identify helpful tools for your audience. This may be in the form of articles, case studies, online tools—the list of possibilities depends on your industry and the target audience. To determine what kind of information to seek, identify the greatest needs for your target audience, then turn your social media channels into the resource center. For example, a clothing retailer could provide information about latest fashions, interviews with designers, how-to tips for choosing the right designs, color trends, and other fashion related information. The goal is to become the go-to person for information about your industry.