Line Up Followers Before Selling Online - DataDrivenInvestor

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Selling on Social Media Relies on Having Devoted Followers Any business of any size needs relationships to profit Photo by Firmbee.
Com on Unsplash Social media selling starts with marketing.
She talked with digital marketing expert Madalyn Sklar and shared insights on how to sell on social media.
” Boundless Potential Fortunately, size is not a big consideration for social media selling.
“Any business can use social media to sell their products or services whether they sell business-to-consumer or business-to-business,” Emerson said.

Line Up Followers Before Selling Online - DataDrivenInvestor

Selling on Social Media Relies on Having Devoted Followers Any business of any size needs relationships to profit Photo by Firmbee.Com on Unsplash Social media selling starts with marketing. Entrepreneurs need to attract customers to what they offer. From there, the business owners can close sales. That is the simple formula from which “SmallBizLady” Melinda Emerson has earned great success. Called America’s №1 Small Business Expert, she is an internationally renowned keynote speaker on small business development, social selling and online marketing strategy. As chief executive officer of Quintessence Group, her Philadelphia-based marketing consulting firm serves Fortune 500 brands that target the small-business market. Emerson also has an online school, www.smallbizladyuniversity.com, that teaches people online marketing and how to start and grow a successful small business and publishes a blog, SucceedAsYourOwnBoss.com. She talked with digital marketing expert Madalyn Sklar and shared insights on how to sell on social media. “Selling is really about your intention,” Emerson said. “What are your sales goals or followers? It could be both, but one typically comes before the other. “You can’t sell anything until you become a trusted member of the community,” she said. “You must put the time in with consistent, valuable content first.” While not spreading themselves too thin, marketers can take a thoughtful broad approach. “Social media marketing is the practice of promoting your brand and its offerings via various social platforms,” Sklar said. “With social selling, you’re focused on using those platforms to make connections and engage with potential leads.” Boundless Potential Fortunately, size is not a big consideration for social media selling. “Any business can use social media to sell their products or services whether they sell business-to-consumer or business-to-business,” Emerson said. “It starts with knowing where your target customer spends time online,” she said. “You must be there consistently adding value. Eventually you’ll become a trusted member of the community.” Emerson noted that businesses can use branded content or ads for sales. “If your business has any kind of product or service to offer, you’ll want to engage in social selling,” Sklar said. “It’s a powerful way to establish those relationships, build trust and encourage sales.” She recalled when Nick Martin, social listening and engagement strategist at Hootsuite, was on Sklar’s #TwitterSmarter podcast talking about social selling. “Social selling is all about building and maintaining relationships on social media,” he said. “It’s not about the hard sell.“ Building an engaging atmosphere on Twitter in particular starts with mastering tweets. Martin weighed in on the ideal length of a tweet: Should it be the 280-character maximum or keep it short? “Just because you have 280 characters does not mean you need to use them all,” he said. “Even though that doesn’t seem like a lot, data suggests that tweets containing less than 100 characters receive, on average, 17 percent higher engagement. “These days, people have close to a 2.5-second attention span,” Martin said. “With that in mind, it makes sense that shorter tweets stop more thumbs.” Profitable Targets Getting straight to the point pays dividends. “We like having the option to say more, but actively trying to say less is a good call,” Martin said. Hootsuite has a related article, “The Ideal Social Media Post Length: A Guide for Every Platform.” Another advantage of social media is that businesses do not need a large following online to start selling. “To sell successfully online, you need to know what your customers need and want,” Emerson said. “What is their biggest struggle or big picture goal? If you have a solution and a track record of results, you can attract customers to you. “You do not need a large following to start selling online,” she said. “You just need an engaged following. With just 1,000 loyal followers, you could make a fortune.” That is another way to emphasize quality over quantity “You definitely don’t need a large following to start selling,” Sklar said. “It only takes one person to notice the value you have to add. That’s why it’s best to focus on social selling now.” Choosing the best social media channels on which to sell also takes forethought. “It starts with knowing where your target customer spends time online,” Emerson said. “Where is your audience the most engaged with your brand?” She recommends using hashtags and keywords to find groups that match well. “The best social media channels for selling your offerings will depend on where your audience is,” Sklar said. “You need to be on the platforms they use most frequently so they stand a better chance of discovering you.” Warm Up for the Pitch Marketers have to start with social media selling someplace. “You must build a following and then nurture your audience to build trust,” Emerson said. “It’s important to earn the right to pitch to your target customers. Share valuable content consistently. “Lead your follower to your offer not with your offer,” she said. “It’s about looking to serve first.” Relationships will yield repeat and long-term business. “Start by engaging with others,” Sklar said. “Take the time to have genuine conversations with people so you can establish those connections and build trust right off the bat.” Try as they might, people make big mistakes with social media selling. Emerson listed a few missteps: Not testing your marketing messaging and artwork before making a major investment. Hiring the wrong person or firm to help you with your online sales process. Get three small-business references, and check them. Hire folks to help you based on their track record of success. Not having a clear idea of the monthly investment involved to run a successful three-month campaign. “Far too often, people try to pitch early,” Sklar said. “You want to focus on the relationship and providing value first so people are primed and ready to buy.” Those who can create compelling social ads will set themselves apart online. “I like Twitter ads because you pay on performance,” Emerson said. “In setting up your ad, you choose a marketing objective, you only pay when you have achieved that objective.” Hone in on s In terms of developing Twitter ads, she noted five areas to focus on: Keep the copy tight. The shorter you make your copy, the more likely people will stop scrolling and read it. Write your ad copy the same way you would an outdoor billboard. Watch overusing hashtags and emojis. Only use them if they make your copy stronger. Create eye-catching visuals. Stock images look like it. Invest in custom graphics and photos to help your ads stand out. Develop a clear call to action. Your copy and your image are the bait. Your CTA is the hook. Use direct language that clearly explains what you want people to do and why it will benefit them. Tap your Twitter audience for feedback. Test out messaging — copy, images and offers — in organic posts. If your followers react well to a tweet, then potential customers are likely to respond to that copy in an ad. “Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience,” Sklar said. “What will grab their attention? What will make your ad stand out to them? Consider that when writing the copy and choosing graphics. Make sure you focus on the benefits of your offering, too. “In the last year, social audio has become a fantastic way to build know, like and trust with your audience,” she said. “That can easily lead to sales.” Emerson turned to the new kid on the block with a seemingly endless growth spurt. “TikTok is now the fourth largest social media platform,” she said. “Don’t sleep on it. Video ads are continuing to convert better than anything. We’re seeing brands investing in livestream shopping and audio content. “Paid ads have become a necessity as organic traffic has become so much harder to get,” Emerson said. “Small niche online communities are in demand. Influencer marketing is more popular than ever.” About The Author Jim Katzaman is a manager at Largo Financial Services and worked in public affairs for the Air Force and federal government. You can connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
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