Online social media tools have drastically changed the way many small businesses market. These tools allow small business owners to connect directly with customers and are effective tools that can be used successfully with smaller marketing budgets. They are also effective in the sales process. Recently, popular social media sites like Facebook and Pinterest have added features allowing consumers to purchase items directly from the site rather than having to navigate to another website. If your small business sells merchandise, these features are a quick and easy way to direct customers to products. Social media is also a unique tool for selling services by building a rapport with customers.
Social media allows you to build relationships
One of the ways social media is the most effective is that it offers real time opportunities to build relationships with consumers. Not only do social media tools allow you to effectively convey your message to your customers, they also give customers the opportunity to communicate directly with you and your brand. Duct Tape Marketing, a small business marketing consulting firm based in Kansas City, Missouri, recently posted a blog about using social media in the sales process. Written by company founder, John Jantsch, the article states, “While the process of sales may always involve face-to-face education and persuasion, many elements of prospecting, relationship building and adding value can be greatly aided through the consistent use of social media.”
Social media allows you to meet your clients’ needs
Since social media channels give you direct access to customers, they can also help you learn how to solve customers’ needs. By reading customer reviews about your products and services, or by connecting with your clients via their social media, you can anticipate their needs and retool your product or service to meet these needs via targeted searches. Hootsuite, a popular tool for managing many social media accounts, offers advice on its blog. “Within Hootsuite analytics reports, you can use Facebook Insights. With Facebook Insights, you can monitor and measure your fans, Likes, comments and page activity right from your Hootsuite dashboard. You can also find more in-depth information about your fans, including their demographic, region, language and post source.”
By using social media channels to learn more about prospective clients, small business owners can streamline the prospecting process. These tools also help with client relationship management, which can lead to better customer retention and a higher likelihood of future sales. If your small business is sparse in its social media presence, it may be worth revisiting.
This article was written by Alaina Brandenburger of Examiner.com for CBS Small Business Pulse.