Social media for sales
Social media marketing is an excellent medium for brand recognition. Marketers love the impact of social media on the kind of brand building impact they receive after a well strategized and implemented social media plan. But what irks many is its minimal direct impact of sales. The role of social media for generating leads has been discussed over and over again. With my experience with the field, I can vouch that when a sales based strategy is developed and applied to social media, it is a fantastic lead generation platform. Marketers not only need to understand the power of social networks today, but also consider that age old buying processes have been all social in nature.
Since ages, social cultural get-togethers has always been a successful point of sale for both b2b and b2c businesses. And when you look at the social media as an online extension of these socio-cultural get-togethers, and apply similar strategies to sell products or services of interest, it works like a charm.
Social media can be a wonderful means to generate leads. Most people ask me what to do on social media, to generate leads or sales. I always have the same reply – Do not ask what to do. Just do what you do offline. Instead ask – How to do it. The ‘how’ part of social media strategy is where marketers need to think.
Companies and their marketing heads need to understand that social-media marketing is not an IT function. During my consultation meetings with many companies, I find a similar situation. They use their IT or EDP departments for marketing their products or services on the social media. IT or EDP departments are very useful when it comes to implementation, but the strategy has to be thought and planned by someone with a marketing mind.
There is no reason that social media should not generate leads and direct sales. It does. It is more about how the strategy has to be planned and how it is implemented. How is it analyzed and how the analysis result is fed into the strategy to improvise it fast. This is not an IT function. It is a marketing function. Think of how you can influence a social user to buy. It is easier when you plan to sell goods in a local fair. Apply similar strategies.
If you do not have a point of lead generation as a part of your social buzz, then how do you expect to generate leads? I see so many companies making needless posts on social platforms without any leading point. Simply spreading information for PR purpose builds your brand. For leads or sales, you need to connect that information is a fluid manner to the point of lead generation. Think again. Do you have a point of lead generation in your social media strategy? Is the user flow fluid enough without a noticeable interrupt in the step leading from buzz to point-of-lead?
Think, and plan the ‘how’, instead of wondering on ‘what’ to do. Social media, with careful planning and implementation, can bring leads and direct sales.
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