Sales through social | NatWest


 

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Add your signposting title here… Make the most of social media

Social media is a fantastic way of keeping up to date with news, views and opinions, but it also provides savvy entrepreneurs and salespeople a channel through which they find leads, build an audience, market a product, and make money.

Our tips can help you use social media to promote your business.

Tips on using social to help your business

First steps

  • The first thing to do, quite obviously, is to get set up on social media
  • Once your accounts are live, start posting relevant content frequently
  • Piggyback on current trends and hashtags, search for people discussing topics in your sphere, and offer them advice or information
  • Engage in conversation when possible
  • Retweet interesting articles, posts or questions, but also produce bespoke content that speaks to the audience you want to target

Promote yourself (but not too much)

The best way to promote yourself and your company is to be regarded as an expert in your field. It will take time to acquire a reputation on social media, so perseverance is necessary, and determination is key. Offer tips, advice and research results that relate to your business objectives. For example, if you are a milliner, make sure you post about the latest developments that affect hat makers. If you build websites, make sure people understand the importance of a good quality site.

 

However, it’s critical that any self-promotion doesn’t overwhelm your audience. It’s hard to attract followers if all you’re doing is trying to get them to buy something. Initially, it makes sense to focus on posting content that will appeal to people, thereby encouraging them to follow you. Selling can come once you have got a following that believes in what you post, and trusts your opinion. 

Don't be boring

This is vital. Giving out relevant information is all well and good, but if you push it out in a manner that isn’t engaging, you will struggle to build an audience. To keep people absorbed in what you’re saying:
 

  • Tell them why what you’re posting is important
  • Accompany it with an interesting fact or statistic
  • Create content in a variety of formats - videos, infographics, blog posts and images should all be used, but only when applicable
  • If you write a regular blog, then post it on Twitter at the same time each week/month, or if you host Q&A sessions, for example, get into the routine of doing it at a set time

Social media should not be your only means of communicating with your audience. If you’re creating blogs, videos, hosting events or taking part in conferences, then let people know about it via your various social media channels, by all means, but build your brand in as many different ways as possible. Social media is important, but it shouldn’t replace traditional marketing routes such as a website, blog, or advertising.

Build relationships

Building relationships, either by being a valuable source of information, or by engaging in conversations with consumers, is a fantastic way of creating brand awareness. Find audiences that you believe you will be able to help – by searching for particular key words, monitoring trends, joining relevant groups, for example – and engage them in a way that is meaningful. Don’t go for the hard sell straight away, when it comes to promoting a business or product via social media, slow and steady nearly always wins the race.

Answer questions

Being able to communicate directly with a brand, and then get a response very quickly, is one of social media’s greatest assets. Sending an email or picking up the phone to try and resolve an issue is something that takes time, but posting a quick message via Twitter or Facebook can be done in just a few seconds. This is something customers value.

 

Being able to answer questions accurately depends largely on having a structured social media strategy. This means understanding the details surrounding products on offer, providing suitable answers speedily, and having a system in place to assist people should they encounter problems. Always do your best to give a satisfactory answer as soon as it's available, but don’t be afraid to take the conversation offline it needs a more detailed response.

 

Businesses need to establish themselves as trustworthy, and that means answering all questions and being transparent whenever possible. When customers have confidence in a company, they are far more likely to continue using them on a regular basis.

 

Demonstrations and conversations

Tell people how you can help them. If they have an issue, and you have a solution, give them all of the information they need so that they can fully understand the benefits. Listen to people, appreciate what they are saying, and then respond accordingly.

 

Sometimes, it can be difficult to articulate exactly what you offer. If this is the case, why not show your customers? Creating a video or infographic can be the best way of getting your message across, and can help to explain complicated or confusing topics in a way that is easy to digest.

 

Remember that social media is an extension of your overall brand, it's a way to add value to your business. By providing people with information, updates and content that they find genuinely useful, you will position your business not only as a brand worthy of trust, but as a business that can provide a dependable and reliable service.

 

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The importance of online reviews

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