Sell ​​on social networks

How to use social media cleverly for sales

Wolfgang Emmer, Lenz Nölkel

With our four clever tips, you can use Facebook, Twitter & Co. successfully for sales. And sell significantly more of your products with little effort.

You are surfing on Facebook and a friend shares an interesting post, maybe even a product. This turns your acquaintance into a brand ambassador and you may become a buyer of the product. And so the selling company sold a product via a social platform - without intermediaries, without additional costs.

Social media is now so present that large companies are building networks into an important pillar. A mainstay that, for example, brings in $ 500,000 in sales for the manufacturer Dell in the sale of PCs - mind you via Twitter alone. A mainstay that puts e-commerce in the shade with an annual turnover of 3.3 billion dollars.
Social media can therefore be described as indispensable for marketing measures. When it comes to sales via social networks, however, many companies are still lagging behind. Marketing and sales often merge here.

Around 80 percent of 18 to 50 year olds use social networks regularly. Reason enough for us to show you four indispensable tips for a successful sale on Facebook and Co.

1. Listen, learn and advise

Nowadays, retailers can expect that every new product, every service and every new store will receive attention, be discussed or even shared in social networks. The biggest fear here is the possible negative criticism. It can come from interested parties, rejecting users, customers or even bloggers. The latter are becoming more and more important in influencing opinion than the printed newspaper.

Social media can thus be described as a 360-degree information channel. Here it is decided whether a company, a product or a service has a future. Negative headlines, on the other hand, can turn into disaster if the company is carelessly handled.

Correct use of Twitter, Facebook and Co. is therefore essential. Fear of direct feedback and 24/7 opinion leaders shouldn't put a company off. On the contrary: companies should first of all listen and learn. Ratings and feedback must be clearly analyzed:

* How do you get honest reviews and criticism?
* Why and how could your product be discussed?
* How do you react to criticism of the “social pillory”?

Many of the potential problems arise for the communications and marketing department. Sales, on the other hand, can take advantage of direct feedback from social network users.

Think of an example from the textile trade. A new collection is coming soon. However, the feedback from the desired target group is not certain. However, it is precisely this target group that can be addressed directly via a social network. For business wear, we assume that Xing and LinkedIn, but also to some extent Facebook and Twitter, are relevant. The business robe is announced in an advertising campaign on social networks - ideally with a restriction for German cities with a high proportion of companies. The response from the campaign ultimately has the advantage that the new collection can be perfectly positioned in retail. The suit with the most “likes” is presented in the shop window, criticized products disappear in the sale of a large department store.

All in all, marketing and sales go hand in hand, with sales ultimately being able to place products suitable for the mass market in the desired stores.

2. Bread and games for the community

Social networks live from the input of private users and companies alike. Seasoned men from the era of the fax machine and the smartphone generation meet here. They exchange information about politics, history and cat pictures. They want to be entertained and entertained.

When it comes to entertainment, companies fit perfectly into social networks. One example is the whiz kid honor, a subsidiary of the Chinese company Huawei, which gained 120,000 fans on Facebook in just one year.

EnlargeThe smartphone provider honor lives the storytelling of its products on social media like few others. Source: Screenshot Facebook

The provider of smartphones and tablets is experimenting on a successful level of fun. Bread and games for new customers is roughly the motto. Current photos from the warehouse, the latest products in exciting video clips and attractive stories about the added value of the products are part of the basis. Important posts are played as sponsored posts in the profiles of the target group.

"Make a friend first, a sale second"

On the other hand, it is baited with countless, sometimes unimportant, voucher campaigns and competitions. Is there a new online shop? 30 percent discount. Is the brand celebrating its one year anniversary? Competition for the party. The manufacturer can hardly save itself from new customers, its own fan club confirms the success.

Of course, this effort has its price. Promotion via social networks costs - in the case of honor, certainly not little. But does entertainment make a profit? Just ask the target group: You are looking for a 13 to 25 year old who has heard of the brand in the last year. If he says yes, then honor has achieved his goal.

61 percent of consumers are currently looking for discounts on social networks. But how do you get their attention? To get started, work with basic rules:

* Build knowledge and confidence
* Avoid clumsy sales
* Respond quickly to comments

3. Take full advantage of social commerce

Social media distribution doesn't end with Facebook. It doesn't work with a single 'social media manager'. And it is not enough to fill as many channels as possible with the wildest possible marketing ideas.

Social commerce takes place on over 5,000 platforms, including social networks, forums and (company) blogs. That means: social commerce requires creativity, new methods and processes. Employees must actively work together on this restructuring - flexible team structures and skills are required. The right platforms with the desired customers must be discovered.

That sounds like a lot of effort at first - and if you compare the new 'social network' platform with the television medium, you can expect a similarly serious effort.

The resulting changes, on the other hand, can easily be measured. Tools such as Google Analytics help to evaluate the first steps.

Evaluate likes, retweets, new followers and hashtags. Ultimately, the goal should be to determine to what extent customer relationships have been built and problems have been resolved through social platforms. If the result is positive, you have a new customer base built on trust.

What does that mean specifically for sales? First experiment with given ideas. Examples would be the subtle shopping platform payvment, which can be integrated into every Facebook page. Or do it like Volkswagen. Here you will find your own configurator for your favorite car in social networks. If the customer has questions about the car of their choice, the manufacturer answers directly. External websites are deliberately avoided - the customer is at home in social networks, you just have to pick them up there.

4. Integrate into the company as a strategy

So that sales can work with social networks, they have to be mapped correctly in the company: with the right strategy and the right IT. And this is exactly where “Social CRM” comes into play. While the classic customer relationship management usually leaves Facebook and Co. out, modern systems today include more and more social media features.

The aim of a social CRM strategy is not only to better maintain customer relationships, but also to actively involve the customer in the marketing of products - as in the example mentioned above. For this purpose, companies should analyze in advance exactly which social channels and associated information will be relevant for future business: "Where do customers give their feedback on products?" Or "How do they make service inquiries?" Are central here.

However, this information is by no means only relevant before the strategy change. After they act as the basis of the new CRM strategy, they should also be continuously monitored for strategic decisions after the changeover.

Conclusion

Social media doesn't stop at Facebook. Even if many medium-sized companies still maintain their social networks in alibi fashion, enough examples on the market show how sales and marketing - which often merge in this sales channel - benefit from social media. We are facing a radical change, especially in this country. Technically, this change is manifesting itself in new cross-channel solutions for customer relationship management. Strategically, the best practices of various corporations show how to filter out new marketing ideas with the help of social channels, raise your service to a new level and actively involve the customer in sales.

You can also find more about social media marketing on Udemy.