SummitUp Social Media Conference Recap (Part 3)

Posted by Faye on November 28, 2010 in Marketing & Social Media |

Kendra Ramirez – Social Media & Sales

Kendra Ramirez (Ripped from her Twitter profile)

Social Media Strategist at Accelerated Business Results

Twitter: @KendraRamirez

Kendra spoke about how to use social media to drive sales. Although the audience was made up primarily of social media marketing folks, she told us that “marketing is sales. We are all in sales!” How true. We are all trying to sell something, whether it’s a product, service, or our expertise.

Where to begin in social media

You need to start by asking a few questions:

  • Who is your target market?
  • Where do they hang out? Are they online? You need to go where they are; don’t create a new site for them to go to.
  • Do you have a specific list of accounts or partners that you are targeting?
  • Have you identified “event triggers” for your products and services? Event triggers are things that would cause prospective customers to want to buy from you.

Define what success looks like for you. What are you going to measure…increase in traffic, increase in conversation, increase in comments/likes, more appointments, increase in revenue, decrease in costs. The important thing to remember is that it’s not how many fans or community members you have, but how much they’re engaging with you and others in the community. In other words, it’s better to have fewer fans but more engagement within the community.

How does social media drive sales?

Kendra mentioned several benefits to using social media for your sales efforts.

  1. SEO (organic results). Your customers are looking for you online. In addition to your website, all of your social media communities will appear in the organic results on the first page.
  2. Brand awareness. Having a presence in the social media world will keep your brand in front of more people.
  3. Warm appointments. Communicating with prospects via social media makes it easier to¬†secure face-to-face “warm” appointments; as opposed to a “cold call.”
  4. Facilitates networking. There are many opportunities to meet people through social networks such as LinkedIn and Twitter.
  5. Precall planning. In preparing for an appointment, use social media to do online research on the prospective company, industry trends, competitor information; even the person you’ll be meeting with.
  6. Product research. Ask customers for their opinions, what are their needs, what would they like to see in your products/services, etc. Find out what’s important to them.
  7. Rewarding frequent customers. Social media can be creatively used in loyalty programs to target your best customers.

The best social media tools for sales

First and foremost, sales is about relationships. What are you doing to connect with your community? Kendra suggests these tools to build relationships with your target audience.

  • LinkedIn –¬† Use it to leverage relationships and build a community. You can join groups, attend and post events, update your status with helpful articles, and advertise to a targeted group of people.
  • Facebook – Building and maintaining a good business page can take up to a year. Provide some value to your community members. Build engagement, use it for product research, and stay top of mind with your members. Facebook also has great targeted advertising opportunities, especially with the use of psychographics to target your typical customers.
  • Twitter – Use Twitter to give your followers information to empower them. Use the chat function to talk to your customers. Use hashtags to find people who are targeting the same audience as you are and partner with them. By the way, Kendra says the Twitter “rush hours” are 7-9am; noon-1pm; and 4-6pm.
  • YouTube – Great for SEO, increasing brand awareness, educating audience, and sharing videos. Use video to interview someone and post snippets of the interview.
  • WordPress (blogging platform) – A blog can not only help with your SEO efforts, but it can also position you as a thought leader in your industry.

Five things that will kill a sales opportunity in social media

  1. Too many posts. I agree with Kendra, it annoys the community members and followers.
  2. Self-promotion, all day, every day. Definitely a deal-breaker.
  3. Not responding to comments and mentions. I’ve experienced this personally on Twitter, and wondered if the person I was talking to knew how to check their @ mentions.
  4. Adding me to your e-newsletter. Just because I connected with you on LinkedIn and Twitter does not mean I want to subscribe to your newsletter. I’ll add another one to this: When I gave you my business card, it was not meant as a free pass for you to send me unsolicited email.
  5. Sending a note to a decision-maker through social media asking to drop off literature. Yep, that request is probably going to get ignored.

In addition to providing us with real-life case studies, Kendra wrapped up her presentation by suggesting some calls-to-action such as, “I’ve helped other businesses like yours – can I get an introduction?”

My take-away: Your behavior towards prospective customers in the social media world should really be no different than in the offline world. Once you’ve engaged in those social media communities, built those relationships, and connected with people on a more personal level, then you’ve earned the right to ask to do business with them. Great breakout session Kendra!

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