The Five Modes of Social Media, part 2: Sales Channel

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Social media is awesome and can do so much for your business, but with so many modes of use that it can provide, how do you prioritize and where do you start? Great questions – let’s start out with listing all 5 modes:

    1. Branding/PR
    2. Sales channel
    3. Promotions
    4. Customer interaction
    5. Reputation management

      This is the second of a 5-part series where I’m going to cover all 5 in detail. Today we’ll dive into your sales channel on your social media platforms and talk about the great and not-so-great strategies out there.

      We talked in the last post about how social media can be used to further your branding and PR efforts. This week, I’d like to talk about how you can use social media to build your sales channel – after all, you wouldn’t have thought about using social media if you didn’t think it would somehow affect your bottom line, right?

      Don’t think of Twitter as a traditional sales channel

      The part where most small businesses screw up the sales channel mode of social media is that they treat their Twitter stream or Facebook update stream as an open advertising vehicle. Sure, you can advertise to your followers and fans, but don’t do it too often. Your sales channel has infinitely larger reach for your promotional updates as more and more followers appear, but overusing your sales channel will cause fewer people to follow you. Followers are fickle enough as it is–they’ll stop following you in a heartbeat if you annoy them. You don’t want to think of social media as just a free advertising channel.

      I personally would limit blatantly promotional content to 1 in every 5-10 messages. Mix the sales channel up with lots of the other channels. This means that tweets like “We just started carrying [brand] – you should come in and buy it today” in too close in succession will harm your strategy.

      Don’t worry when the first wave doesn’t convert

      Keep in mind that social media users are generally “Lookie-Lous”, which means they click your links, take a look at whatever you sent them to, and immediately bounce from your site. This means that to get more sales from your social media campaigns, you need to rely on repeat exposure. Take your time and space your impressions, and don’t set immediate sales goals for your social media campaign.

      Tell your network about new products and services. Tell your audience about outstanding results you’ve provided to your customers. Anything you would want to put in an advertisement, feel free to throw out to your social network – just make sure you are spacing them out with lots of other output. Enjoy building your customer base and leads using this mode now that you know how to use it properly.

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