Social selling is nothing new. Successful social selling, well, that’s another story! How many times have you connected to someone on Twitter or LinkedIn only for them to immediately send you a message selling something? That is not social selling! That’s social spam! If you want to use social media to sell your products or services, here are ten tips for doing it right.
It’s hard to believe, but the concepts and technologies behind online shopping and e-commerce have been around longer than some of us have been old enough to use the Internet. Even though connections were painstakingly slow (although we thought 56k speeds through dial-up were “all that”), and web design left a lot to be desired back then, the first e-commerce technologies were being developed – even as far back as the late 1970’s. Now let’s fast forward to the 1990s…you know, when the Internet began to look at least a little more sophisticated: It wasn’t until 1994 that e-commerce (as we know it today) really began to accelerate with the introduction of security protocols and high speed internet connections such as DSL, allowing for much faster connection speeds and faster online transaction capability. Industry “experts” predicted explosive growth in e-commerce related businesses. Source: Spirecast: History of E-Commerce It was in 1995 that Jeffrey Bezos sold his first book from his newly launched online bookstore, Amazon.com. And so, e-commerce – at least as we know it today – was born…although it would be many years further down the road before the first online storefront appeared on the internet.
Without a doubt, content fuels your sales pipeline. At least, it should. Whether it’s snackable content for easy consumption or “heavy” content for persuading peeps to buy from you, your content marketing goals should align with the sales pipeline. Better said, your content should grow (from snackable to a full meal) as the prospect moves through the funnel.
Let’s think about marketing campaigns: TV, radio, print … you can’t really develop a relationship with someone through any of those marketing channels, can you? However, with social media, marketers are presented with a way to have two-way conversations with consumers. You can actually develop deeper relationships online … and it doesn’t matter if you’re B2B, B2C, ginormous, or teeny tiny. The best part? Compared to the traditional marketing channels social media is pretty low cost.
If you were to ask five different people what the fundamentals of social media were, you’d probably get five different answers. In fact, I asked an entire group of SteamFeed authors and got 9 different answers! Most of those answers fit into one of the five categories we’re going to go over in this post: Content, Community, Conversation, Collaboration, and Conversion. Using the 5 Cs together will ensure you’re building the foundation to a solid social strategy.