… and for many good reasons…

OK, but… what’s the point?

“We all have businesses to run and sales to make – wolves to keep from the door… Who has time for all this ‘social’ nonsense?”

I hear this argument all the time from frustrated business owners and then witness their half baked attempts at trying to just sell their products and services AT people through social networks – wrong!

They then conclude it’s all social nonsense and a complete waste of time. Wrong again!

The fact is – times have changed – The question is – have you?

People don’t want to be sold at anymore – if indeed they ever really liked it.

Using social media effectively is about getting and measuring your ROE (Return On Engagement) – the new measure of marketing success – or so it should be…

Many people will see the return in terms of interactions and maybe even new fans from sharing videos, photos, asking good questions and sharing other great content.

But why invest all that time and energy in community building efforts when really – we all want to sell?

Think of the ‘likes’ you get on a Facebook Page as the first step of your sales cycle.

The ultimate goal is to move your fans and followers outside Facebook to a website or specific sales page, but first you need to build trust and get people to engage with you in the social environment. They need to get to know you, like you and trust you.

Consider these three steps when looking to convert Facebook fans into paying customers:

  1. Engage fans with interesting and fun content they can share.They’re on Facebook for fun and human interaction, not sales pitches and spam.That’s why step one is engagement, not sales. The more likes, shares, comments and fans uploading photos and content to your page the better. Include clear calls to action with your posts such as “click here” and “share this,” give fans compelling opportunities to interact with you.
  2. Turn your raving fans into leads.Once you’ve engaged… and not before. Step two of your Facebook sales funnel starts with sharing content that invites fans not to comment, share or like all actions inside Facebook, but instead to visit a page on your website or a Facebook app and have people ‘opt into’ your list, your database.Facebook custom apps are useful lead generation tools because you can collect leads without taking your fans outside of Facebook. Here for example people can visit one of my Facebook Custom apps to download my free ebook – https://www.facebook.com/salesmentor/app_2374336051OK, looks a little strange in print, but there’s a button on my Facebook page with a nice clear graphic.Moving your fans to action takes an extra leap of faith on their part, so when you first take them outside Facebook or to a Facebook app, do so with a valuable offer, such as a contest entry or a free e-book or webinar, not a sales page link.
  3. Introduce sales opportunities via email.Now that you’ve started to build your list on Facebook, you can deploy email marketing to build relationships with your warmest leads.These are people that are willing to move through the process with you. Through offering value and building trust you can gradually introduce great sales opportunities to them.So email marketing is the third part of your sales funnel, and it’s the best place to convert fans into customers. Instead of annoying your Facebook community by broadcasting sales messages, you can market your product to qualified leads right into their inboxes.I was delivering a seminar talking to a packed room at the recent Cambridge B2B expo and was reminded of this process very clearly.

    I’d made a great offer to my email database of good and loyal followers the day before the expo. An on-line video series of How to Thrive Not Just Survive in business today.

    Ca-ching – the virtual cash register started ringing instantly with people that had got to know me, like me, follow me and trust me via social media and then opted into my database.

    They were ready to receive offers from me, many were ready to buy and did.

    I made the mistake of making the same offer to the room full of people in Cambridge.

    But these were people I’d never met before. They didn’t know me, didn’t know if they trusted me yet either – they weren’t ready to buy from me. I gave them an old fashioned sales pitch – albeit well intentioned (the course is good…).

    It was a great offer and a great product… and a very big wake up call for me.

    I made the offer. One of my video products, but now available on-line at a crazy knocked down price… silence, not a taker.

    Well in fact… one, just one single buyer and I decided to give him access to the course for free for breaking the awkward silence.

    Lesson learned, and dare I say, turned around on the spot as a lesson to the audience on how we all need to focus on building relationships first and foremost in the business world today and stop selling at people.

    Focus on creating engaging social content for your email list, just as you would for any other marketing channel. The key is to balance appealing content with sales messages. One approach is to send out emails to encourage your audience to check out your latest blog post, sign up for your webinar or download your latest report–all free, valuable content. Once they consume that great content, you can use email marketing to encourage them to take the next step and do business with you.

    If you nurture your opted-in leads with giveaways on Facebook and use the “help now, sell later” approach to email marketing to close sales, your converted Facebook fans will likely be happy to open their wallets.

Steve Clarke – Business Mentor, Motivational Speaker, Author…



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