Build customer relationships and increase sales with social media

If you’re putting any effort at all into social media, you’ve probably asked yourself whether or not it can really help you increase sales.

Well, the answer is yes (Probably. Eventually).

Allow me to explain.

That old cliche about people buying from people they know, like and trust became a cliche for a reason: It’s true.

Social media provides a great way for you to build relationships with people, and it gives them a way to get to know you and your brand. Eventually, if you’re doing it right  – and by that I mean engaging with your audience and getting to know them, while avoiding constant self promotion and sales pitches – they will come to like you. And trust you. And then, one day, in the not-too-distant future, they might realize that they need whatever product or service you offer. If you’ve done your job, you will be the resource that comes to mind, and you will be the one they decide to buy from.

So social media may not immediately contribute to the bottom line. But it certainly can in the long run. To use another cliche: slow and steady wins the race.

Consider this. You meet someone at a party or networking event. You chat for a while. You don’t launch into a sales pitch right away, or start talking about how great you and your company are. Instead, you make an effort to get to know them a little, and find out what they are interested in or what they are looking for. If you hit it off, you exchange contact information, and you continue to build your relationship over time. Eventually, they might become a client.

It helps to approach social media the same way. Treat it like a big, virtual cocktail party. It doesn’t have to be so complicated. It can actually be easy, if you allow yourself to relax and (gasp!) even have fun with it. Mingle. Join the conversation. Share interesting information or insights. Get to know people, and let them get to know you. No pressure, no hype. With all the rules and dos-and-don’ts circulating around out there, we need to remember that it is called social media, after all.

The bottom line is this: If we want to be successful in our businesses, we need to be social. We can’t make meet new prospects or make sales in a vacuum. Getting out there, meeting people and making connections, whether its online or in person, is critical not only to sales, but to many other aspects of your business, like marketing, recruiting, partnerships, etc. So, while there are no guarantees, the effort you make now to create a strong, healthy community or “tribe” around your business will almost certainly pay off down the road.


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