Looking for a way to kick your business off online? If you’ve already built your fan base on Facebook and recruited followers on Twitter, you can use these platforms to generate revenue for your company, too. Here are five suggestions for using social media as a sales tool:
1. Post or tweet a promotion
Offer a discount or a freebie to your fans and followers. Offer a free soda with a meal, a discount on shoes, a free consultation, white papers on products, an exclusive gift — anything that you think will be of interest and will entice users to act. Use a specific promo code to track and measure the effectiveness of the promotion.
2. Create a contest
Advertise a contest to win a gift certificate or fun prize. Provide users with a link to register on your website or email an entry. Clearly spell out the terms of the contest and how the winner will be selected. Be creative. You might want to ask people to upload a pertinent photograph (like a favorite pet photo for a grooming business) or write a short paragraph answering a relevant contest question.
3. Announce new products and services
Roll out new products and services on social media and forum boards and include a link for people to respond directly to a page on your website. You can always keep the web page hidden from your site navigation to keep it “exclusive” to social media users and their referrals. Specially worded contact forms on that page can help you to discern customers who email you as a result of your Facebook or Twitter announcement. More specific information and a mechanism for customers to “act now” on that web page can help close the sale. If you have a good analytics program in place, you can gauge how much traffic you generated from the announcement.
4. Experiment with ads
If you have a Facebook business page, you can advertise your company to other Facebook users. Pay for impressions or for click-throughs, fine-tune the social demographic you are seeking to solicit, and select a specific dollar amount you want to spend daily on the ad. You can also select specific days, or a range of days for the ad to display. If you opt to pay for click-throughs — even if nobody follows through to your Facebook page or your website — thousands of impressions will help make you more visible to users. Soon, Twitter will also roll out the ability to advertise, which is worth a look!
5. Reward referrals
Ask your followers to refer others to your business. If you have a small or manageable following, it may be easy to reward a follower for a referral with a discount or small free item if the referral becomes a customer. (A more complex response mechanism will likely be required for those with a larger following.) At the least, you can give a public “pat on the back” by writing a post or tweet directed to your follower thanking him or her for the referral. This acknowledgment will also spur others to direct referrals your way.
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Using Social Media to ‘Build Your Personal Brand’