Social Media: You’re Overthinking It

How Sales pros can simplify their social strategy.

Social Media isn’t this mystical creature that few people have ever seen.

Anyone can post on social media. Every entrepreneur should post on social media today. 97 percent of Internet users conduct online research on local products and services before committing to a purchase. You can dramatically shape your position in the market solely through your web / social presence.

My post today is going to cover 3 basic steps to improve your sales, through brand awareness & impact on your customers.

  1. Start with your phone.
    1. Usually I'd say the first step is your mind, but in this case you need to start with your phone. The word phone implies that you are having an auditory conversation with your audience. Today this is no longer the case. With social media we have much further reach because we can connect to multiple parties in truly exciting ways.
    2. Social media lowers the barrier to entry. In most cases social media accounts are free to set up, so I’d recommend trying a few different platforms (twitter, instagram, tumblr) to find one that works for you.
    3. Maybe you provide value to your market through the written word. There is a social platform for that. Or perhaps you connect better with people through video, social media has made a lot of developments to cater to this market. Even if you’re just share others’ content, you can still grow your network as long as you’re providing them with value. A great example of this is telecommunications company, Avaya, following up on someone posting “shoretel or avaya?” and closing a deal worth $250,000.
  2. Align your business goals with social goals
    Business Goal Social Goal
    Brand Awareness Reach
    Thought Leadership Consumption
    Word of Mouth Shares
    Leads Action
    Sales Conversion
    1. This will help you understand how social media can contribute to your bottom line.
    2. The best example of this is social media generating leads. For example, someone is interested in your real estate services and checks out your website, but they still have questions for you. They then message you on twitter and you schedule a meeting. This is now an opportunity to sell. If your average deal size is $1,000 and one of every 10 inquiries closes, each lead is worth $100 to your business (minimum).
    3. For social media to work you need to know who you’re talking to. This way you can tailor content to your market in aims to improve this 10%. No need to overthink this one, your market will tell you what they like (you can even ask them)!
  3. Publish!
    1. Write down your ideasThe beauty of this is that it motivates you to stay creative beyond just social media. It’s true that you shouldn’t just publish anything (even though it may be tempting), so get started with a fun brainstorm session. As mentioned, there are plenty of mediums for you to interact with your market. Go out take a bunch of photos, record yourself giving an inspirational talk, or simply start writing. My favourite writing exercise is called a waterfall, you’ve probably heard it before. Set a timer for 10 minutes sit yourself in front of a stack of papers and write anything that comes to mind. Don’t stop writing! Think out loud to get some momentum. Throw this out at the end if it makes you feel better. It’s easier to act yourself into a new way of thinking, than to think your way into a new way of acting. This is a great warmup for any sort of brainstorm session. Quick Tip: Keep a postcard pinned writing side out on your desk. Some people find it easier to pretend to write to someone.
    2. Edit. From this exercise you may come up with some longer form writing, but for starters let’s cut some of your most effective sentences. Posts on social media are generally shorter than that of blog posts, the messaging is most effective when they are saying the same things. Spreadsheet open to copy effective sentences for linkedin, twitter, and facebook. By putting them in this format you can upload them into a social media calendar to keep you on schedule and constantly update.
    3. Post online. You may want to use scheduling tools like buffer or MeetEdgar, but make sure you also set aside time to follow up on replies and comments. You have direct access to your market through social media, don’t ignore them.

Easy as pie right? I told you, you were overthinking it ;)