More than 50% of small businesses agree that social media increases their sales. Driving sales through social media works. In fact, 73% of people are more likely to buy from a brand that responds on social media. But generating sales through social doesn’t happen overnight.
It takes time. You need to develop a strategy that finds the right prospects, nurtures them and then finally closes sales at the perfect time.
Today, I’m going to show you how to find, nurture and close more sales on social media site and use social with other tactics, like email marketing, to grow your business.
Posting content is one of the most frequently used techniques to prospect potential customers, mostly because it takes the least effort. When you post content, potential customers come to you, read your content and (hopefully) follow you. You don’t have to chase after them for a sale.
And when you consistently post quality content, you will start nurturing your followers. This builds trust and warm up leads.
Make your content a mix of blog posts, videos and images that provide helpful tips to your audience. Asking questions also helps with driving sales through social media because it shows that you care about their ideas and views and starts a conversation.
Once these leads warm up and engagement is high you can post links to your products and convert social media fans to customers.
A company that understands the power of posting helpful content on social media is Cook’s Illustrated. On their Facebook page, they post a lot of free content in the form of links to blog posts and recipe videos.
Here is a screenshot of a link to a recipe they posted.
They also post questions like the above one which show they are interested in what their fans do.
Accompanying all this free content are links to products like the above one. They should be able to generate plenty of sales from these. They’ve spent a lot of time prospecting and nurturing social media followers with free content.
Searching and Answering Specific Questions
The only problem with the above method of posting content publicly is that you will attract a wide variety of followers with diverse interests and they will be in different stages of your social media nurturing funnel.
This is why some of the content you post will not be relevant to all your followers and won’t nurture them. It might actually bother them, and some individuals will unfollow you.
Hence, you should accompany posting to all your followers with reaching out to individuals on social media.
It is quite easy to find individual prospects to nurture on social media as people are constantly posting questions. One of the best platforms for this is Twitter. You can use Twitter’s search box to find tweets with questions. Simply search a keyword related to your industry or product with a question mark.
For example, if you are a company that sells running shoes, all you need to do is type in ‘running shoes’ followed by a ‘?’ like above and tweets with those words will turn up as you can see below.
You can answer these questions and nurture the lead and then recommend your shoes and increase sales.
You can even nurture social media leads by referring them to gated content like ebooks and white papers. This is great for products that can’t be sold directly through a few exchanges via social media.
This will help convert social leads to email leads which are 40 times more valuable.
This technique is commonly seen among businesses with a strong B2B sales strategy. An example is the above landing page optin form from Hubspot. They have several pages like these where they give away free content in exchange for contact information.
Using these details they can implement a B2B sales technique called account based marketing where they reach out and nurture each lead individually and eventually set up a sales call.
Sometimes instead of acquiring them via email you can directly set up a sales call after your one to one conversation on social media. But make sure you have some meaningful conversations on social media before setting up the call. You don’t want to come off as too salesy.
Invest in Social Media Ads
If you want to save time and prospect several highly relevant subscribers at once instead of individually, you should use social media ads. Social media ads work best for lead nurture and sales when used along with content like eBooks, email and other types of content.
Social media helps with the initial prospecting as their ad settings let you target only interested users.
Run ads offering lead magnets like eBooks and white papers to convert users to email subscribers. Then nurture the lead with email marketing and finally make the sale when nurturing hits saturation point.
For most companies, a basic nurturing funnel involving social media, a lead magnet, landing pages, and email will be sufficient. But if you’re selling more expensive and sophisticated products you will require additional techniques like webinars, case studies and account based marketing where you nurture leads one on one.
Social media ads and lead nurturing through content funnels might seem like a time-consuming process, but it can be automated.
If you want to get maximum ROI from your marketing funnel, you should start by investing minimum amounts in ads. Once you are certain that it is generating a profit, you can begin dedicating higher budgets.
All the above techniques should be used together for driving sales through social media. You can get started by posting content on social media. It will attract prospects and begin the nurturing process. Occasionally post links to products to get sales.
While this is being done build a basic funnel that involves free content, lead magnets, optin forms, email autoresponder series, etc. Then reach out to individuals on social media, answer their questions and direct them to your funnel. This will help test your funnel out.
If your funnel brings in results, you can start using with social media ads.
How do you prospect, nurture and close more leads with social media? Which of the above techniques do you use most? Please leave your comments below.