Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Social Media: From a conversation to a brand new sale in 6 simple steps.

Are you listening effectively?

Many headaches occur when planning social media efforts because companies can’t clearly define a way to turn their facebook fans or social media followers into actual paying customers.

Sometimes, companies invest their time in publishing product related information and status updates, some more promotional than others, a few brands are more focused on their customers, and respond to comments and positive mentions, and time goes by without their efforts bringing in new customers which, after all, is the ultimate goal of any marketing strategy.

Last week I came across an infographic which explains with enviable clarity how companies can turn their social media acquaintances into new business.

I’m taking the opportunity to sharing it with you, completely confident it’ll help you see quite clearly how to leverage your presence on social networks more effectively and get new sales.

For the infographics, they took as a reference a sport shoes company, and on this specific case, special models for marathoners.

From the conversation to the sale in 6 simple steps.

  • Identify relevant conversations and information of interest to your business: In this case, the company remains listening on social networks, and identifies people who are talking about their upcoming participation in a marathon, which is clearly a nice business opportunity. The formula is very simple: If you are going to participate in a marathon, you become a potential buyer for a new pair of running shoes.
  • The company gathers information about the event and sets up a “timeline" between the start of the conversation and the event itself, (in this case there are still nine months to go).
  • The company starts to follow the threads of ongoing conversations being held around the event and users involved in them.
  • The company puts together an event-driven content strategy: The company begins publishing information with tips and suggestions about marathon training programs. Runners, as they are already planning their participation in the race, start searching for relevant content and find company’s posts, find it interesting and connected with the company through social networks.
  • The company invites this new audience to join their newsletter to receive tips and suggestions on how to train for the marathon, how to increase their performance, avoid injuries and, ultimately, offers information relevant to the potential customer, adding value to the relationship and engaging emotionally with the future prospect. Through the newsletter, the company gets fresh leads of potential new customers.
  • Specials and Incentives: Just when runners begin to prepare for their training, the company sends coupons with incentives and discounts for the purchase of their special new shoes, and new business is driven in
  • The company stays on their customer side, monitoring their experience with the product both during the realization of the marathon and after. In this case, it’s simply done to bring the relationship a step further and develop customer loyalty.
This last step is what I added and will vary based on the type of product or service you're offering.

Although social networks are not specifically designed for selling, they should open up business opportunities.

Basically the idea of ​​bringing in the last step is to strengthen customer loyalty, showing the company's intention wasn’t only to get the sale done, but to ensure complete customer satisfaction.

And if your customer’s experience with the product is good, there you have a great opportunity to invite them to share their feedback with your audience through social networks. Everything would then be great.

It is important that your marketing strategy in social media, you make an effort to identify these path to bring new business in, so you don’t waste time unnecessarily and can really take advantage of all your efforts and digital presence.

Below I leave the link to the original article and infographics: How to Effectively Listen on the Social Web
Related post: Relationships Value: What can you expect from Social Media?

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