Social Media Archives - TAB Corporate

5 Tips for Leveraging Social Media to Boost Your Sales

 

Like virtually everything else in business, sales activities have been forever altered in the digital era. Use of mobile technology, for example, has dramatically enhanced the ability of sales teams to operate far from their home base, and to connect with prospective customers in ways never before imagined.

The changes don’t stop there. With the advent of social media and “social selling”—the use of social media to locate, identify and engage with new prospects—sales as we know it has been transformed all over again.

People use social media to connect with old friends and family members, to post news and gossip, to follow celebrities, and so on. But as businesses have come to recognize, social media is also an “incubator” for intensified sales efforts, and well worth the effort it takes to cultivate this potentially vast online target audience.

Here are five tips for leveraging social media to boost sales of your products or services:

 

  1. Maintain a vibrant presence on Facebook. The current controversy regarding Facebook and the sharing of user data notwithstanding, experts agree businesses should maintain a strong presence on this vastly popular social media platform. Business leaders spend a significant amount of time on Facebook, so Forbes advises your company to share “a variety of content, including webinars, videos, articles, infographics and such that speak to the business challenges of your prospects.” Provide value-added content, rather than use Facebook “as an exclusive mouthpiece for your product and service demos.”

 

  1. Employ social media as customer touchpoints. It’s vital to have a keen understanding of where your customers “live” on social media. Once you’ve identified the appropriate platforms (such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and other industry-specific sites), then you can pinpoint key influencers on those sites and build a strong relationship with them. It’s also important to monitor social media for any issues or concerns your customers might be having.

 

  1. Watch competitor activity on social media. What are your competitors doing on Facebook and Twitter? What mistakes do they make, in terms of posting the wrong type of content or engaging in too much self-promotion? Study the ways in which prospects engage with their social media sites and leverage that knowledge to custom-tailor what you provide. Customers might want more “how-to” information about products or a better understanding of industry trends. Wherever you can fill in the gaps, you’ll likely attract and retain more followers.

 

  1. Never forget a call-to-action. While avoiding a hard sell, there’s nothing wrong with including a call-to-action at the end of your blog post or video. Find creative ways to get users to visit your business site to learn more about your offerings. Link directly to a product or service page, so prospects aren’t wasting time searching information they want right now.

 

  1. Modify your activities to emphasize engagement. In both the B2B and B2C realms, the purchasing journey doesn’t happen overnight. Social media is best viewed as an engagement tool, wherein a steady flow of helpful content and industry updates keeps prospects coming back for more. It’s a way to progressively boost brand awareness and establish a relationship of trust—the foundation from which sales grow.

Social media isn’t a flashy trend that’s going to be disappear tomorrow. Your business needs to get involved in order to stay relevant to (and in touch with) the growing population of prospects who spend time there.

Want to learn more about social media and your business? Find out if a TAB Board is right for you!

 

 

 

6 Business-Damaging Social Media Mistakes to Avoid

Social Media Mistakes to Avoid

By now, it’s clear social media offers an unprecedented opportunity for businesses to engage with their current customer base, connect with potential new customers and greatly enhance brand awareness. At the same time, those without much experience in social media may encounter a landscape crowded with potential minefields that can—if you’re not careful—inflict significant damage on your brand.

Here are five social media mistakes your business should avoid:

1. Too many postings and too much self-promotion. Bombarding followers with an avalanche of daily postings is a surefire way to turn people off. Generally speaking, one or two posts a day (on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) is sufficient to maintain the interest of your followers.

Also, make sure to keep postings about the great products or services you offer to a strict minimum. Social media for business isn’t about self-promotion or a hard sell. The goal is to connect with and steadily build a community of loyal followers. (For service-oriented businesses like restaurants and the like, it’s OK to post more frequently and alert followers to special deals or limited-time offerings—just don’t overdo it.)

2. A lack of photos or videos. A cursory look at Twitter, Facebook and Instagram will alert you to the popularity of photos and videos designed to draw and hold attention. Don’t rely on text alone to get buzz going. Instead, think about posting “videos of your employees talking about the kind of work they do, customer testimonials, or your business helping out at a local charity or organization.” Just remember—keep these videos short, as in no more than 2-3 minutes.

3. Inconsistent brand messaging. For brand-building to succeed on social media, it’s critically important to ensure consistency in all of your messaging. Whatever brand standard guidelines you adhere to—with respect to logos, colors, imagery, etc.—trying something different on a social media platform will likely lead to confusion among followers and prospective customers. Keep the look and feel of your brand identity the same across different media.

And, while it may seem obvious, restrain yourself and others in the company who post online from sharing either their own political views or retweeting/reposting what others have to say. In these turbulent times, there’s no quicker way to alienate people than by using your social media platform to promote ideological messages.

4. Being all things to all people. All too often, small businesses jump on the bandwagon by attempting to reach out across every platform they can find. A more successful approach involves tailoring your content and messaging to your desired audience. PR and social media expert Kris Ruby advises businesses to “pick the [social platforms] that your target demographic uses” and to intelligently focus your resources in order to “target your customer more effectively.”

5. Wrong use of hashtags. On Twitter, hashtags are a key element in starting a conversation and building buzz around a given topic. The problem, says Kris Ruby, is that the “majority of business owners misuse hashtags” by targeting people within their own industry, rather than new prospects. Consider the words or phrases that would most likely appeal to prospective customers. Also, “hide the hashtags in the comment section instead of including all of them in the caption.” It makes for a stronger aesthetic look.

6. Know what you want your reader to do. Blogs posts can drive traffic to your website for many years. The last thing you want is your blog to attract traffic, have people read it and then disappear without sharing your article on their social channels or submitting an inquiry with your company about your products or services.

It is definitely acceptable to have a short 2–3 sentence pitch at the end of your article. For example, “If you liked this post on X, you might be interested in Y.” Another example might be, “If you enjoyed this post on X, download our whitepaper on Y here.” Blogs have many purposes including helping with your Search Engine Optimization goals, helping position you as an expert on a particular industry or subject, and  helping drive traffic to your site through organic search or social sharing so new visitors look at your company or brand further. But let’s be honest, you spent time writing the blog so you can raise awareness about your brand and to encourage inquiry or even sales from your website.

With the right approach and strategy, social media can dramatically increase brand awareness and spur sales. Here’s advice on how to use Twitter for prospecting and the best way to frame your LinkedIn profile.

Want to learn more about harnessing the power of social media? Find out if a TAB Board is right for you!