Social media helps you connect with consumers, enhance your brand image, and understand customer needs. It gives you a direct line of communication with the outside world.
But does it have a clear ROI?
As a marketer, you need to answer this question and convince your business decision makers. If you have the right numbers, your job shouldn’t be that hard.
Just look at some of these stats:
- Almost 50 percent of LinkedIn members are likely to make a purchase from companies that engage with them.
- LinkedIn has a 3 times higher visitor to conversion ratio as compared to Facebook and Twitter.
- Pinterest has almost 100 million users, more than 80 percent of them female.
- On average, leads generated from Pinterest spend $80.54 per transaction.
- Leads generated from Facebook spend $71.26 per transaction on average.
The numbers are there for you to strengthen your case.
But before that, you need to make sure that you have a clear understanding of what you’re trying to achieve with social media. Your efforts should be focused and targeted.
This is where you need to think like a conventional salesperson. Here are a few ways you can use a sales mindset to power your social media efforts.
1. Focus on Your Key Activities and Monitor KPIs
Social media can be a real time waster when you don’t have clearly defined activities and key performance indicators (KPIs). Having an objective is not enough. Without a clear activity roadmap, you can easily get sucked into social media.
That is why, just like a conventional salesperson, you need to focus on your activities and bring consistency in them. Define primary and secondary KPIs for your social media marketing efforts, and create an activity roadmap for different roles in your team.
This concept is well illustrated in this small infographic from SalesOutsourcingPros:
Instead of managing your social media performance solely on business results, track the right KPIs and focus on bringing consistency in your activities.
For example, your KPIs could be, the percentage of comments responded, the number of people followed, number of followers gained, number of likes generated per post, the daily/weekly frequency of posts/tweets, number of leads generated etc.
You can even time cap your KPIs, according to different social networks, to optimize your performance. For example, this infographic shows the best times and frequency to post on Pinterest. You can use this information to develop accurate KPIs for your social media team.
This way, not only will you have control over your direction, but you’d also be able to present your efforts in a more tangible way in front of your business decision makers.
2. Build Relationships With a Clear Purpose
Building new relationships and effectively managing the existing ones, is a key personality trait of every successful salesperson. But business relationships are never built without a clear purpose.
As a social media marketer, you’ll have ample opportunity to connect with new people and develop new relationships. This relationship building needs to be in line with the objective you’re trying to achieve. Because developing and nurturing relationships requires time and effort. You need to invest this time in building the right relationships that can benefit your business in the long run.
Don’t build relationships just to boost your Facebook page likes or Twitter follower count. Just like an intelligent salesperson, make every relationship count.
3. Consider Outsourcing Where Suitable
From call center operations to organizing sales conferences, the most successful and effective sales professionals know when to outsource tasks. They keep an eye on their ultimate objective and then use the power of outsourcing to boost their productivity and make the most profitable use of their time.
You can do the same as a social media marketer. Instead of doing everything yourself, look for cheaper and more effective outsourcing options.
For example, instead of creating images, memes and banners for your social media campaigns, you can hire professional designers and crowd source your design needs from specialized freelance design portals like 99Designs.
Spend the same time working directly on relationship building or lead nurturing—tasks that require your own expertise and cannot be outsourced.
4. Seek Referrals and Expand Your Network
Ninety-two percent of US consumers trust word of mouth marketing above all other forms of advertising—this is how powerful referrals are.
And smart sales professionals know this. That is why they leverage their existing network and use different strategies to generate referral clients.
As a social media marketer, you need to do the same. You already have fans and followers, you need to convert them into brand advocates, and generate new business through word of mouth marketing.
With social media, doing this has never been easier. People are more than willing to publicly share their opinions about brands, and are never shy of recommending services to their contacts.
You need to tap into this opportunity and take advantage.
5. Keep a Close Eye on Your Competitors
Competitor analysis is another crucial sales trait. A salesperson can never afford to get his eye off his competitors. He’d always find ways to get inside information of his competitor’s sales meetings, and try different strategies to outmaneuver them.
With a sales mindset, you can use social media to perform comprehensive competitor analysis and keep a close eye on every move your rival makes.
You can use tools like Buffer, Hootsuite and Oktopost to monitor conversations of your competitors, schedule social media updates, track your own mentions online, and take control of your online reputation.
Social media is crucial for modern day business. It’s not an optional marketing and sales channel anymore. However, in order to use it effectively, you need to make focused efforts that are properly tracked and monitored.
With a sales mindset, you can use this powerful medium to aggressively pursue your business objectives and put a value on every activity you perform, without getting sucked into the distractive nature of social media content.