Social Media Engagement: The Fastest Way to Go From Social Media to Sales

By: Sofie De Beule

May 14, 2014

Initiating conversations and relationship building aren’t just random acts on social media. While you’re busy trying to establish better conversations with your customers, anxiously awaiting new sales to come in, your customers aren’t just there waiting for you to sell your products to them. It doesn’t matter who they get it from, but what they want is relevant information from you, a real person, to meet their specific needs and help them out in the best possible way.

In order to get through the stage from social media to sales, businesses need to face the challenges with generating leads to actually closing the deal. Dig deeper to the root and assess the opportunities of today’s successful social media management: social media engagement, or more specifically, customer engagement and continuously improve and evolve this process.

What should businesses do in order to turn their social media efforts into real sales deals?

1. Listen to the Needs of Your Customers – Know Where They Are

In order to generate new leads and bring in new customers, you will have to dig deeper into what people are saying about your company to jump into relevant conversations and proactively engage with the people mentioning keywords related to your business, industry, brand, or competitors. This will give you some unique insights into who your customers, competitors, and industry influencers are.

Customers clearly know what kind of issues they’re dealing with, and are rigorously looking for solutions to solve their problems. According to Harvard Business Review, buyers are doing their own research before contacting companies when it comes to research solutions, benchmarking pricing, etc., and 60% of purchase decisions are being made before having contact with a supplier. So, it’s not simply about jumping into conversations, but about starting your own conversations to build brand awareness.

60% of purchase decision are being made before having contact with a supplier. So don’t just jump into conversations, start conversations and create brand awareness.

2. Connect & Proactively Reach Out

Once you actually understand what people are talking about and know where to go to, you need to connect with your audience to create relevant conversations and contribute to them. Connecting with your audience can go both ways: it isn’t only about proactively reaching out to your leads/customers, but also about offering content that appeals to them, understands their struggles, and answer their questions. Clearly understand the kind of events, trends, or ideas that will drive readers to your content.

Put the customer at the center of everything. The best way for your company and leads to get to know you, or for you to get to know them, is by proactively reaching out with exciting, conversation-starting content. Understand that the online world is about instant gratification, like Yay Bear says, “businesses need to be extremely conscious of what they can offer and how best to accommodate the demands of your industry to be up-to-date”.

3. Build Relationships & Keep Engaging

Social needs to be a long-term commitment. Once you’ve made that all important connection, it’s important to keep the meaningful conversation going and maintain engagement with your socially connected mobile customers. Once you have done so, you’re at the stage of creating more loyal and profitable customers. However, achieving a high level of engagement is pretty challenging.

So, make sure prospects and clients love your product. It’s important to make sure prospects talk with your clients. These clients, who are already in love with your product, can boost word-of-mouth and more importantly, your company’s credibility. So, encourage your clients to give testimonials or write reviews. In a later stage, your Customer Success team and Customer Support team need to be there to keep delivering on the same promise and look after your customers’ wellbeing. That’s the only way to nurture possible brand advocates.

In order for your business to really succeed at social media and customer engagement, listen first, reach out proactively, and keep the conversation going. It’s very easy for your business to be the only one talking, but the real challenge lies in keeping clients and prospects engaged. But in order to make people really want to do business with you, it’s about making a personal and emotional connection.

Do you need some more help in figuring out your social media engagement strategy? Try a free download of our eBook on Social Media Engagement, and get started today!