Using Social Media to Get Sales is not an overnight thing. The wrong approach to social media is to always be selling. Social media is relationship selling. Studies show over and over that direct selling on social channels performs very poorly. Take the time to build a relationship with your customers using social media, and you will build a loyal group of followers also known as a tribe who look to you as a resource. So how do you build this loyal group of followers? And how do you translate this into sales using social media? Do this by tailoring your social media posts to your ideal customer, build your audience and fans, add these people to an email list, and then get sales for your ecommerce store using the email list. If you have given enough to your audience and you ask them to do something for you they will respond.

Social Media is like Going to a Party

group of people socializing at a party.

Photo by Schill

Social media is like going to a party, and the same etiquette applies.
Lets tell the story of Tom Rude who is on his way to a social gathering. On the way Tom rehearses his sales pitch over and over in his head, and then double checks to make sure he has a pocket full of business cards. Tom walks into the party and the first thing he does is try to tell everybody about why “You need to join my ABCNetwork Marketing Company”. A few people know Tom and when they see him coming they try to hide because they don’t want to hear his pitch again. Even Tom’s friends have grown tired of him always talking about himself and his company. It’s pretty obvious that Tom’s only concern is selling his product. You don’t want to buy from Tom because you feel like he’s just looking for “the next sale”. Tom leaves the party feeling pretty good that he talked about himself the whole night and handed out a bunch of cards. Later on Tom wonders why nobody calls and wants to join him or buy his product.

Lets contrast that to the story of Bill Rapport. Bill Raport is on his way to a social gathering. On the way he thoughtfully thinks about who is going to be at the party rehearsing their names. He even goes a step further, checks for birthdays, and learns the names of a few people. On his way into the party Bill is thinking about everyone else and how he can help them, not what he can get out of them. Bill already knows the names of some people at the party. Bill is well liked and several of his friends are eager to introduce him to others at the party. Everyone that knows Bill knows he is part of ABCNetwork Marketing Company, but they also know that Bill is a great resource for information, and readily give their contact information to him. Bill’s friends know that if they need help he will be the first one to answer. He always gives more than he takes. Because of this when Bill asks for something people respond to him and are more than willing to help him. When Bill leaves the party he makes sure to take notes about what he learned about others at the party. Later on Bill follows up with some of the people he met at the party and lets them know “I am here to help”.

two people infographic

Building the Relationship using Social Media

In the story Tom Rude wasn’t introduced to anybody at the party. Bill Rapport on the other hand was readily introduced to people because he was known as being a great resource. One of the fastest free ways to build your audience using social media is through shares. People who know you and trust you will want their friends to know you as well. Nurture those relationships with your fans and they will be eager to share your content.

 “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” – Zig Ziglar

Some things you can do to nurture the relationship with your fans and increase engagement and shares on social media:

  • Mention your fans – Learn the names of your fans, the people who frequently respond to your posts, and mention them in a post.
  • Think about your audiences interests – Talk about what they are interested in not just your products. Use complementing products. For example if you sell wine you can talk about cheese.
  • Interact – Like and respond to comments from your fans and followers.
  • Give something away – It doesn’t have to be expensive but people will want to reciprocate, think about the power of free.
  • Ask questions and listen – Learning good conversational techniques is important in any social situation and that includes social media.
  • Learn what your audience likes – Learn what your fans like and post more of it.

Paid Social

Using paid as part of your social strategy is very important.  Paid social allows you to amplify your message and get it to reach well beyond your page audience.

We use paid social all the time to build the relationship with people. This doesn’t have to be expensive. For example as Dennis Yu recommends in his dollar a day strategy. Spending just a small amount to bring people through your companies 3×3, why, how, and what you do story. Facebook ads work great for this!

Adding an Email List to the Social Equation

If you remember Bill Rapport in our story he was known as a great resource, was well liked, and trusted. People were more than willing to give Bill their contact information. Contrast this to Tom who was avoided, and only handed out his contact information. This is a parallel to when you are a great resource on social media, and people like and trust you, they are willing to give you their email address.

“The money is in the list” – Anonymous

There are several ways to capture your audiences email address:

  • Contests – One of my favorite ways is to hold a contest that takes people to a landing page on your site where you can capture the contact details of your audience. You can use facebook apps to do this very easily.
  • Paid Ads – Promote your list using paid ads. Create a post that links people to your list. This way they are sure to see it. Use this in combination with contests for a potent recipe for success.
  • Widgets and Apps – use facebook widgets to have a link to your list on your main facebook page. Take it a step further with custom apps.

Sales After the Email Address

After you have attracted your ideal customers. Grown them into fans who know you, like you, and view you as a trusted resource. Now you are ready to begin using email as an effective way to send actionable offers to your audience, direct them to a website landing page or sales funnel, and send them special offers.

Email automation should be a big part of this step. As Gary Vaynerchuk writes in jab, jab, jab, right hook. It’s now about give, give, give, and then ask.

Delivery value to your audience and then ask them for the sale.

Don’t be like Tom Rude, be like Bill Rapport and you will have success in using social media to get sales.

What has worked best for you to get your fans onto your email list? Tell me about it. Share this post with somebody you know who needs help growing their business online.