As of last October 65 percent of adults in the U.S. use social networking sites, according to the Pew Research Center. With nearly two-thirds of American adults visiting social media websites, it seems like a natural place for businesses to reach their customers. However, that’s not always the case. In fact, a survey done earlier this year by Automatic Merchandiser magazine found that nearly half (45 percent) of vending and micro market operators surveyed did not use social media tools in their business.
Why not? More than 60 percent of respondents noted that the biggest challenge in the social media arena was finding the time to post content and participate in social media dialogue, while others said their largest obstacle was creating new, relevant content.
But through leveraging social media, many of these companies would be able to boost their image, gain leads and ultimately generate revenue, according to some experts. Janet Fouts, social media coach and chief executive of Tatu Digital Media told Forbes.com, “Social media allows salespeople to see what prospects are saying about their brand and competitors. You can really get to know his or her needs through social listening. It’s a great way to research a market and initiate conversation leading to a sale.”
Here are three ways social media can gain recognition and hopefully sales:
Drive prospects to your website
Social media is a great tool to increase overall brand awareness and recognition. It also allows you to drive clients and potential clients to your Website. You can do this in many ways. Try posting content regularly on your company Twitter, LinkedIn and/or Facebook page. This doesn’t have to mean you write a blog every day; it can be as simple as creating a Tweet with a photo of a new micro market and a link to your Website and a catchy phrase.
Personalization is key
With social media, companies can take on a persona. Replying quickly to direct messages or comments, sharing unique content such as blogs and highlighting the happenings around your business can help bring your customers back and create a humanizing factor. It also allows you to be the expert in your field. If you share a blog entitled, “4 Ways Micro Markets Can Increase Employee Productivity”, the customer may be likely to associate you as the ‘expert’ in micro markets.
Build a list of prospects to interact with and connect with them on social media as a place to start.
A blog post, white paper or infographic on your company’s Website (shared through social media posts) is a great lead generating tool. The user simply has to enter their name and email in order to view the content. They get new information and you get the name and email of a prospective client. If you have the resources, it is possible to hire a company to take care of your social media for you, that way you can focus on what you do best: providing stellar service and products to workplaces.
Go where your customers are and follow the stream into social media. It will take time, but will be worth it in the long run.