The first rule of fishing is to fish where the fish are. Much the same can be said about successfully using social media to sell. But how do you decide which of the many social channels can help grow your business?
Social media expert Jeff Molander wrote Off the Hook Marketing – How to Make Social Media Sell for You as a guide to help answer this and many other questions.
To the question of which social media channels to use, Jeff suggests three things:
- Identify where your target market is, and is not, on social media platforms.
- Discover what they are doing in those places.
- Decide if there is way your business can help enhance the social media exchange.
Step one: Identify
In identifying opportunity, what’s your target market: B2C or B2B? For Business-to-Consumer organizations, the most versatile social media platforms are Facebook and Twitter. Both platforms allow consumers to share information and extend your marketing efforts to a large base of “like-minded” people who may have an interest in what you have to offer.
For Business-to-Business organizations, industry and professional networks, such as LinkedIn, offer the opportunity for a more in-depth exchange about products or services. B2B companies also benefit from blogs which can be aimed at a market segment with knowledge about an industry. YouTube, once considered only a B2C channel, has emerged as a strong channel for business marketers to provide in-depth content and create buzz.
Step two: Discover
With an understanding of where to approach customers and prospects, what are they doing on social channels? The reasons are numerous, but all come down to one simple point, social media provides a human connection that is often missing from most websites.
Social media channels give people the opportunity to connect, share, and participate with people who have a common interest. As a marketer your job is to find a way to engage in the conversation without overly aggressive selling.
Step three: Decide
That brings us to Jeff’s third point, deciding if there is a way your organization can participate in the social dialogue. In addition to the human element, people turn to social media because if done well, the exchange should be fun. As a marketer this demands a different way of thinking. Simply using social channels to push a web link to your latest glossy product sheet won’t help you gain traction in the social space. It requires more out-of-the-box thinking.
Look for a more creative approach, something fun, add an element of whimsy and your message has the potential to reach a far broader audience than through traditional channels alone.
Learn more by watching this video Q&A with author Jeff Molander. And if you’re interested in learning more about how social media can help your business, join the Twitter conversation with SAS Customer Intelligence @SAS_CI.