Business Advice Blog

4 Ways to Turbocharge Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

Rocket Sketch Against Black

It’s a safe bet that most of your customers are active on social media. Therefore, it stands to reason that your marketing efforts should include reaching out to existing and prospective customers on various social media platforms. But this form of marketing differs from more traditional approaches and if you’re not careful, you risk alienating potential customers who thrive on social media because they don’t want to be subjected to a hard sell.

So how can you leverage the increasingly powerful resource of social media and boost your company’s marketing efforts? Here are four effective strategies to implement:

1. Know where your target audience “lives” on social media. It may be initially tempting to build your company’s presence across the vast spectrum of social media platforms. But the ROI on this approach is minimal, since not everyone wants or needs your product or service. Instead, do the necessary research to determine where your target audience hangs out—be it Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. By concentrating your efforts on one or two channels, you greatly increase the potential for gaining the right kind of followers, in the numbers you’re looking for.

2. Offer content your customers want and need. Social media marketing is a natural extension of your content marketing efforts. By generating informative and useful content, you establish a bond with your customers, which can translate into increased sales and loyalty over the long run. And the best place to promote your content offerings is on your social media platforms.

Just make sure that the content you offer isn’t overtly self-promotional. Focus on producing blog posts, articles, white papers and videos that “provide some key insight in your industry or tell [the audience] something they didn’t know before.”

Then tweet or post a link to this value-rich content and invite your followers to comment on the material and offer insights of their own. Over time, this builds a community of like-minded people that’s a fertile breeding ground for new sales leads.

3. Include a call-to-action (CTA) wherever possible. Yes, we said don’t be self-promotional, but on the other hand, neglecting to include a “next step” for interested consumers amounts to a wasted opportunity. On every social media platform you occupy, there’s a place for your business profile. Always craft a profile that’s enticing to prospective customers, but one that also includes links to your website’s home page and/or other pages with sales offers and giveaways.

The same principle applies to the content you promote on social media. These articles, blog posts and white papers should include a link towards the end that takes users directly where you want them to go. Links going to your home page from a social media post “are wasted clicks,” notes online marketing expert Jonathan Long. “Nobody has time to try to find offers. Send them directly to your offers, and this will greatly increase your conversion rates.”

4. Listen to what customers are saying. Social media marketing isn’t just about strategies to push content on your followers. Social media is first and foremost about community, and your marketing efforts will be doubly effective if you pay close attention to the topics and concerns expressed by others on your chosen platforms. As time passes, users will respond to your content, but they’ll also have things to say about your products or services (good, bad and ugly), and they expect you to be listening.

Whenever possible, respond to comments and reactions to the content you provide. Always be respectful and, at all costs, avoid getting into ugly online squabbles. These achieve nothing except to tarnish your reputation. Instead, thank commenters for offering feedback and—if those comments focus on product shortcomings or issues—promise to do all you can to make future improvements.

Social media marketing is a great way to increase brand awareness, as long as your strategies accommodate the “rules” of this new frontier.

Want more advice on social media marketing? Find out if a TAB Board is right for you!!

 

Leverage Technology to Strengthen Your Sales Culture

Double Exposure Of Professional Businessman Connected Devices Wi

Anyone involved in sales will likely agree that conventional sales processes of the past—even the recent past—are giving way to a new order. The newer approach leverages the use of digital technology to enhance virtually every aspect of the sales process, thus enhancing efficiency and reducing redundancy and other time-consuming aspects of sales.

The question for small business owners is, how quickly can you adopt new technology and leverage it to boost sales and build a strong sales culture? Here are action steps you can take to incorporate advances in technology and get your sales team on board with changes for the best sales culture ROI:

Explore the world of sales apps. There’s a bounty of sales rep and sales enablement apps available out there. Such tools include e-signature apps (for quicker approvals and closing of deals); digital to-do lists to share with fellow sales team members; and apps that offer real-time updates on various accounts. Anything that makes your sales staff more effective is well worth looking into.

Adopt sales automation software. Many sales-related tasks that once had to be performed manually now take dramatically less time and effort due to automation. Email software, for example, automates follow-up messages to prospects, messages that can be personalized and closely tracked for data-collection and other purposes.

Other technology enables sales reps to proactively suggest relevant and informative content that keeps prospects informed about industry news and their company’s offerings.

Create an internal CRM platform. As with apps, there are plenty of generic CRM platforms available for businesses to choose from. A better solution is investing in the creation of an internal sales platform geared to your company’s unique processes and culture. This way, you get a far more insightful compilation of data related to client accounts, user interaction and conversion rates.

Sometimes sales teams are slow to recognize the value of new technology. To move the needle in this area, here are tips to keep in mind:

Act as a “tech champion.” Whether it’s the CIO or another member of your executive team, an individual who actively promotes adoption of new technology can help spur acceptance within the organization. By clearly communicating the reasons behind this approach—and the ways in which the sales team directly benefits—this “tech champion” serves to represents the depth of the organization’s commitment to adopting new technology.

Promote training for the team. Sales reps might more enthusiastically welcome new resources if they have the proper coaching and training.

“Sales coaching should be a proactive practice—not a reactive measure at the end of the quarter,” notes sales strategist Shelley Cernel. By using the right sales technology, you can “provide dynamic sales training content, recommend the most effective training materials and content, and outline best practice next step for sales reps.” Just as importantly, Cernel adds, sales tools “also provide leadership with the insights to identify areas of improvement.”

Technology is revolutionizing both the sales process and the customer experience, making it easier for sellers and buyers to interact in an efficient, mutually beneficial manner. It’s worth investigating how to leverage new sale technology to benefit your customers as well.

Want more advice on improving your sales process? Find out if a TAB Board is right for you!