You out there with your shingle up in the world of Social Media (SM). So now what. How do you work your brand building, your customer service and your product management side? What about the generating of demand side of business? It makes no difference if you are a newbe are just getting started in SM or a underutilizing “pro” who has been out there for years now if you’re not into demand strategies in your SM plan you are probally letting a lot of sales slip through the cracks.
I have divided the world of Social Media into 4 areas of attack. Planting seeds, Lead generation, Opportunity expansion and Customer growth.
1) Seed Planting. In this stage of SM you work at developing your relationships using SM for interaction. People come and go as they flow though your database as raw leads. You need to invest your time in building relationships with these possible prospects to actually find out if they are or can be customers or not. If you have your online content ready to email, if you have finished your profile page on the SM site with your basic description your ready to go. If not, got to square one and finishing your profile page and type up a couple of sales letters to email. Don’t feel bad if you can’t identify the exact people who will become customers. Just nurture or get to know them at this stage. If you don’t someone might jump in and steal them right from under your nose.
2) Lead Generation. The art of building and keeping new relationships with the people you decide or real prospects (not tire kickers) is a real art in and of itself. It helps if you know the length of your sales cycle to know if they are tire kickers or not but that is food for another blog someday. When you use SM to interact and converse with prospects you can go deep into getting the prospect ready. This is all part of the process. People do buy on their time line not necessarily yours and SM is opening up a whole new look at the classical sales cycle. To put some pop in your attack in this stage of a prospects time line you need to be paying close attention to what your prospects are saying to you and to everyone else in the SM site of choice. By tracking (not stalking) and engaging in conversations you can keep these prospects moving at a time when almost any of your competition could engage them and basically steel them away. Integrate your SM channels with more traditional marketing channels outside of the SM site, things such as email, direct mail and phone.
3) Opportunity expansion. The interaction now shifts from being more Social Media to more salesmanship. As you move into a more formal buying cycle engage the prospect in a more focused way. If you have watched over your SM interactions and conversations you now have a deep enough insight to the readiness and willingness of the buying process. There are a few ways to key in on making SM a deeper part of your sales and marketing. And all this time you need to be constantly monitoring SM behaviors and conversations.
4) Customer heaven. Finally all the stars are aligned and the prospect is now ready to become, a customer! They are now a revenue stream. They are now a real live customer. Use SM to reaffirm the purchase. Use SM to engage the customer. Use SM to shower down all the love you can. They are YOUR customer. Start the cycle over for the resale. By establishing and using the rules of social engagement you will have a long term customer, not a one hit wonder.
Larson Notes & Satire: The point is your networks are full of potential customers waiting for you to engage them. But going though the 4 stages of SM nurturing and grown from the earliest stages to maturity your business can and will grow using Social, Media. You can build a reputation in your SM sites as a valued member, trusted leader and reliable supplier
Larson & Associates
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