Can Social Media Really Replace Sales?
Well, in short - Not entirely; BUT, it can be used as a lead tool, a source of information, or provide extensive credibility! The idea of "traditional" sales overall is changing...Drastically. And we're here to help you understand how to navigate your way through it all.
GOODBYE, HARD SELL. YOU SURELY WON'T BE MISSED.
Have you ever been to a BestBuy, a car dealership, or any other commission based business and had a salesman come rushing up to you to help? Not only can it sometimes be overwhelmingly aggressive, but even when it's not entirely invasive, it almost takes you out of the "buying" mood. Especially given the saturation of businesses on social media, consumers are really beginning to notice and can almost always detect when they're being sold to. With Millennials + Gen Z accumulating more and more purchasing power, the time for the hard sell is officially over.
THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN, AND THEY WANT TO CONNECT... WITH YOU.
With online shopping being so readily available, most people don't necessarily need to walk into a store to make a purchase. Brick & Mortar storefronts have almost become somewhat of a "showroom" where customers can see the product and then go online to find the most affordable price. This can be true for service-based businesses as well, HOWEVER, given the rapid growth + takeover of brands on social media platforms, there is a huge opportunity to showcase your appeal to the appropriate audience.
As consumers, most of the time, we already know what we want. What we’re looking for in a representative is knowledge, trust, and a quality experience. How well do you know the product or service someone is seeking? Can you provide any insight into or information that may not be known? Are you friendly, helpful, and personable? These are the reasons people (especially the younger generation) invest in your business and keep coming back. People are definitely craving an experience that can cater seamlessly to both personal connection + convenience. Not only this, but referrals + recommendations are proving to be one of the most influential ways to produce sales. Read all about it here.
As we mentioned above, social media can be a way to introduce more leads, help bring more foot traffic, and provide more exposure. The question is HOW? Chances are, your circumstances differ from other business owners, and truthfully, there is not one end all be all solution that will definitively work for everyone. It is, however, incredibly important for you to understand the value of data and information you already have on hand. Below are a few prioritized tips we can leave you with to help you navigate your way through social marketing:
DEFINE YOUR GOAL: It's incredibly surprising to find out how many businesses are just arbitrarily posting with no real intention or understanding of their why. Take some time to write down tangible, realistic goals for your social media strategy. (i.e. double website traffic in one month, build a more local audience within a 10 mile radius.)
ASSESS THE DATA: What exactly is data and why is it important? It is pure informational gold for your business, and you may have more access to data than you think. If you don't already use one of the various platforms that can help (Google Analytics, Facebook Analytics, and Google Forms to name a few) simply start with yourself: What are your pain points? Where is the best ROI? What do your clients tell you? This information can assist in defining a more successful marketing goal + strategy.
IDENTIFY YOUR AUDIENCE: If you aren't ready to use Google Analytics or other data driven business tools, another thing you can do is create "profiles" for your existing clientele. Once you assess every possible detail (even down to brands they're invested in or people they follow on social media), you'll probably find many commonalities or a few niches in your market, giving you a more defined perspective on who you should be actively connecting with.
POST WITH INTENTION: Knowing who is invested in your business will help you understand how to talk to your audience, how to seek them out, and what might is most appealing to post. The important thing to remember here is great results take time, patience, and experimentation. Then rinse + repeat.
Bottom line, we have SO MANY incredibly useful resources at our fingertips, and with the right combination of strong brand identity, proper data analysis, concise marketing strategy, and creative content, we all have the ability to absolutely thrive online. If you need more tips in the social media growth department, feel free to refer to our blog post about it here.
If you need more assistance overall, we're here for you!
A NOTE OF ENCOURAGEMENT FROM OUR CO-FOUNDER, DEREK.
My previous employer was a construction company and my role was project consultant (basically just a fancier title for salesperson). It was a very competitive industry where price, knowledge, and comfort were very important to the customer. I'm sure you've heard that contractors (unfortunately) have a reputation for being "scumbags". This is definitely not a fair accusation, but it proved to be a challenge at times. However, understanding this helped direct my focus toward getting to know each customer and genuinely building relationships. The more I adhered to this method, the more willing my clients would be to invest in me. It wasn't necessarily just about the price, it was about the investment. I could draw a straight line through all my winning deals back to earning the customers trust. I won those deals because the customers felt comfortable with me and I made myself available to them.
Too many times I've heard our own clients at Polygon say "they hate selling themselves." Great news! It's not about selling yourself. It's about believing in yourself. You must be well rounded and truly willing to get out there and interact (social media aside). Nobody wants to work with someone they don't truly trust, and who knows the product better than you?! Be knowledgeable, be personable, be helpful, and most of all, be trustworthy. In a day and age where we have so many tools + resources at our fingertips, "sales" really can be fun!
NEED MORE HELP? LET'S DIVE DEEPER INTO YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS.