The way people find information has now become a lot easier. Consumers no longer rely on referrals and expect advice in making decisions as to which product or service solves their problems in the best way. They will first do research and seek an opinion from real users of the products and services. Social media has offered various ways of finding vital information without reference to the seller or service provider.
It is really obvious that how buying is done should influence how selling is done. In the past consumers were generally pulled along by powerful sales executives. Today’s sales strategy is to offer a solution to the consumer who reserves the right to buy or rejects an offer at his own interest. The power of the marketer does not come in at all. Social marketing is all about offering real solutions to the customer knowing very well that they are fully aware of what they are buying. For social marketing to succeed there are some valuable conditions that must exist.
Knowing your customer is no longer a cliché. You must know your customers in a way that relates them to your business. It involves knowing not only the customers but also those who influence them such as peers, partners, colleagues, families and friends. You need to follow such influencers and be present at all the places relevant to them. That means to be present all the various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace.
You need to evaluate what members of your team are doing in the various social media platforms. Some of your team members might be using such platforms like Facebook, blogs, twitter, and others. You must research and find out which of these are succeeding in creating followership that will be beneficial to you.
Listening to your customers
Again this is not the normal “listen to your customer” noise. You must take your own time to listen to your target group, find out who your customers are, know those who speak for them and how they speak. You must find out about their real concerns and needs and determine whether such needs are related to your products and services. Try to help them as best as you can without trying to direct the conversation.
Joining their conversation at the right time
When you have listened enough, you can easily join the conversation by sending a tweet or writing on walls. Read their various posts on social media channels and post your comments. Refer them to people, recommend links. This is not the time to sell.
Whatever information there is about the progress you are making should be shared among the other members of your team. There are tools to keep track of whatever each member of the team is doing. Sharing such information will lead to the creation of solid follow-up strategies.
You need to be committed to this in order to taste success. This is not a quick sales strategy. It takes time and patience to create relationships and so you will not be seeing any results just at the beginning. The result will come after about six months, and this pays off as business will be done on the basis of proven trust.
Social Selling or Social Commerce is on the rise these days as there are a large number of platform for social shopping. One of the best ways of social eCommerce that has been seen is by doing product selling on Facebook by creating a store on Facebook.