It is important to understand the difference between social media helping us to sell compared to directly selling. We all have our marketing channels out there from using local newspapers to our websites, adverts on our company cars to email marketing campaigns, these all drive interest, traffic and enquiries, but how many of us record which avenue of marketing makes us that all important ‘sale’. Just like a business card I say, you give it out to people never expecting to directly sell from it, I mean that comes from the phone call later or the meeting where you shake hands over a deal, but the business card is part of your overall marketing tools that you use to find new clients and conclude sales – Have you ever sold directly from a business card I ask?
Social Media is a great marketing tool, it now needs no real introduction neither does it need a pitch to you the reader on it’s effectiveness in growing brand awareness, but can you say that you have sold directly from social media? Is it even possible to sell directly from a Tweet, an update, a posting of a video?
Let us look at a direct sell from social media being you receive an email / call from someone reacting to an update you have shared and ready to purchase from you or of course via the monetisation of advertising attached to your account such as Youtube adverts running on your uploaded videos.
I spend a lot of time researching and studying social media, especially the activities of audiences I like to reach out to, and I have seen the ways that these communities that I have built act and react and have become more and more responsive to direct sales via social media channels. Yes, I can put my hand up and say that I have gotten sales directly from social media, many emails are received by our office following a Tweet, a Facebook post and especially via our groups on social media with a particular success always with LinkedIn. My business is selling a service, selling marketing space opportunities to other businesses and I would say that around 75% of our sales come directly from social media channels. I am happy that we have gone from just a sniff or two of interest from social media to now where we can say we thank it for bringing in near five figure sums monthly (this will include all sales, promotions we offer as well as commissions via ads running on Youtube).
Are we though limited to what we both can declare as being sold via social media and the type of products / services we can hope to sell? Is it just spontaneous purchases which take place such a $1 for an eBook or £10 for a bottle of wine, or can we also have success with more costly items?
I decided to send out a question on social media asking for other people’s experiences who also say they now sell directly from social media:
Maurice Kilbride, Estate Agency owner, UK:
“Social media has continued to have a huge impact on my business in 2016, from raising the profile of the company and positioning us as experts in our field to a massive audience, to generating new instructions for both sales and rentals, including the dearest house we have ever sold which came directly from Twitter! Our Facebook postings of new listings are attracting literally thousands of views and generating viewings directly now, so I see us using Facebook marketing increasingly in 2017 and I see it as a genuine challenger to the actually property portals in the next year or two”
George Hosegood of Turvec Solutions Limited:
Do you think that you get a ROI on your efforts placed using Social Media?
Alongside directly traceable sales, social media builds our exposure as a new company at a very low level of financial investment. It seems a logical place to invest time when growing exposure for a new brand.
Do you make direct sales thanks solely to social media?
Yes, we have made sales as a direct link of companies discovering us on social media. Our business social accounts only offer a gateway to convert introductions into sales through further interactions. Social media is one of a selection of our lead generating tools.
Dismiss Social Media at your own peril – Do you agree with that statement?
Yes, I do agree with that statement. Particularly in a B2B environment social media can be overlooked, but these channels offer an easy and accessible way to communicate with clients and those engaging with your products.
Alison Edgar of Sales Coaching Solutions:
“In my teachings as a sales trainer, I explain that I think sales and marketing is like golf. Marketing tee up leads, then sales swoop in, closes the deal and put the money in the bank. In the new digital era, it is becoming more frequent for marketing to get a hole in one. An example of this is people who have seen my Easy Peasy Sales course on my social media and have gone on to purchase it. These are people who I have never met, have not been recommended to me or used a search engine to find me. My most effective ways to gain business are via Twitter and LinkedIn.
Another example of the power of social media was a recent enquiry I received via LinkedIn which has lead me to delivering the first event of its kind in the Middle East, teaching entrepreneurs ‘how to sell’.
Social media is here to stay, my top tip is to embrace it and maximise the opportunities it creates.“