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How to Successfully Use Social Media For Sales

Lily Shanahan
Lily Shanahan

5 November 2012

Recent research has highlighted the fact that consumers are more likely than ever before to opt for the ease of online shopping, over bricks and mortar stores. With social media predicted to bring in high levels of revenue by 2015, it would seem to indicate that sales teams and social media managers need to work closely together in order to engage customers on these channels.

Looking at a company’s followers on Facebook, 79% are “more likely” to make a purchase compared to 41% of non followers. This clearly shows that sales representatives need to maintain visibility and have a rethink of how to “close a deal” with customers on social media channels.

In order to use social media successfully as a sales platform here are a few notable Do’s and Don’ts:

  1. DO ensure that engagement is maintained across teams.

    Social media and sales teams must work together as these roles are interconnected in today’s world. Engaging and collaborating with a brand’s social media members is a key element to both positions, and so are sales reps activities.

  2. DON’T just sell products.

    People don’t join social media networks to become customers, so don’t spam their feeds with direct sales pitches – unless you want to be unfollowed/unliked.

  3. DO be professional.

    It is important for sales representatives to present a professional face for the company. Although it’s advised to have separate, “professional” accounts for sales reps to use, if you’re going to use your own account make sure you say that your views are your own.

  4. DON’T put pressure on potential customers when following them up.

    This means that when checking your prospective clients, carry out these interactions without pressurising the client. Merely ask them for their feedback or if they have any more questions to ask.

  5. DO make sure that you continually build new connections.

    Building relationships with new and relevant people is important. Do so without making them feel like they are just being used in your mission to close sales. Make sure you find people who seem like a good match for your company’s products or services, and also ensure that they’re interested in what you have to say.

    If done properly – this approach can be remarkably successful for brands.

  6. DO focus on customer service.

    Ensure that you offer high standards when interacting with customers, by making sure that you seem genuine and have taken an interest in their needs.

    Excellent customer service can often be what gets you a sale! Whereas poor standards of customer service, can very easily lose you a customer, for life.

As Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms are being used more and more to encourage sales through customer engagement; it will become even more vital to manage how a company uses these platforms. We all know how easy it is to stop engaging with a brand, especially if we don’t *like* what they are doing

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