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You’ve made it to the last step of the Social Media Success Cycle!

We’ve covered a lot of ground in these last 5 installments, so please, if you need a refresher, you can easily review the Social Media Success Cycle, Social Listening, Social Influencing, or Social Networking. It’s important to have a solid understanding of the former quadrants before you begin to embark on Social Selling!image 2

Social Selling is all about generating leads and sales from existing customers and prospects through lead generation and customer acquisition on the social web.

You do NOT sell on social media channels … at least not directly.

Your ultimate goal is to move peeps from channels you do not own to channels you do own. Take them out of the uber sites where they’re hanging out:  Twitter, FB, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube – and move them into an owned channel like email.

SOCIAL SELLING GOALS

What do we want to accomplish with social selling? Four main goals:

  1. Generate leads/grow email list
  2. Initial customer acquisition
  3. Cross sell/upsell
  4. Increase buyer frequency and return

SOME SOCIAL SELLING TOOLS FOR YOU

Aweber

  • Is email marketing software.
  • Put leads into an email program.
  • Good mid-level solution in terms of features and cost.

Optimize Press

  • Use with WordPress.
  • Build landing or squeeze pages.

Infusionsoft

  • Contact relationship management software (CRM).
  • Hold customer data; process payments; email marketing.

VALUE FIRST STRATEGY

Truth is:  when we come out in social media too quickly to get the proposal, we look creepy like the guy with candy in a van. People back away and grow skeptical. But we also want to find a way to reach cold prospects, those hanging out on social media, to the proposal – help marry prospects with products. That’s why you have to build an environment (in social media) where people know, like, and trust you.

Social media is NOT a singular event. You need to

  • do social media daily to build know, like, and trust.
  • show consistency of showing up day after day.
  • position yourself to be reachable and connectable

Bottom line is that it’s not just about showing up – it’s showing up and being human. It is why the first 3 stages are the catalyst for the fourth stage.

Listening – answering reputation issues, dealing with customer service, talking to peeps who praise you, talking about your services/products, being part of the conversation – LEADS to selling.

Influencing – when you provide solid content on your blog or on social media, and do it consistently, that builds influence, gets them to know, like, and trust you, when you produce content at the influencing stage.

Networking – having conversations with prospects, customers, and influencers, and being a human being on the web at the third level, builds know, like, and trust, and leads to selling through the web.

A big part of the Value First Strategy is embedded in the first 3 stages: listening, influencing, and networking.

In social media, people do NOT expect to see high-dollar offers, subscriptions, or continuity-type offers. There are 3 types of offers to make on social channels that show you are genuinely prioritizing the interests and needs of your audience base or potential clients.

  1. Ungated content
  2. Gated content
  3. Deep discounts

Ungated content:

  • Most of your offers on social media should be ungated.
  • It’s the content we shared in the Influencing stage – either our content or someone else’s. It’s like a networking activity.
  • This IS an offer to click on a link and go read something, even linking to a blog post counts as an offer.

Gated content:

  • Allows an option to link to something more profitable and more valuable whether it’s information or a prodcut/service.
  • Not asking for money at this stage – just asking for contact information.

Deep discount offer:

  • Flash sale, black Friday, Groupon, Living Social type of offer.
  • Mix in these kinds of offers. 40-80% off.

THE CUSTOMER JOURNEY

How does social media make an impact on top- and bottom-line sales if all I’m doing is offering ungated content, gated content, and discount offers off of which I can’t make any money?

The answer is the steps on which you build your social media presence, starting with Social Listening – answering the social telephone.

There is indirect return of investment (ROI) from the content you share on social media. The sales funnel from top to bottom and act as a Customer Journey:

Awareness -> Evaluation -> Conversion

These are the stages someone must go through in order to buy something from you:

  • Be aware of the problem they have and the solution you have. Those who are not problem or solution aware are never going to buy from you.
  • Then move into evaluation stage. (For anything that has a sales cycle longer than a pack of gum). Buying a car example.
  • To get to the Conversion stage, they have to pass through Evaluation.
  • At the end of the Evaluation stage, before they buy from you, they need to settle on you as the solution to the problem they became aware of originally.

But how do you get people in a room to raise their hand if they’re interested in a certain topic? Call out to them on social media and send them to your content on a blog or wherever.

Create content and put it on the social media channels to get peeps to click and indicate interest in a certain subject so that you can walk them down the proper Customer Journey and move them down the next stage towards what we have to offer them.

But whatever you do, DO NOT propose marriage:  EG on Twitter – “buy our $495 content marketing certification.”

Come out with content, segment, and make appropriate offer.

SEGMENTATION + RETARGETING

We walk someone through the Customer Journey by using content in our social media updates to get people to raise their hand to indicate interest in a topic.

Remember those customer Avatars you created and then targeted? Well use the different topics peaking their interest that relate back to products you sell:

  • If someone clicked on the content, you’d know they were a good fit for your product or service.
  • This is how we sell on the social web:
    • By informing, educating, and leading with value.
    • Then segmenting and making appropriate offer.

HOW TO DO THIS?  SET UP AD RETARGETING.

Let’s break this down into a process:

      1. Set up a simple tweet with a link to your blog.
        • Those who click the link have segmented themselves.
      1. Drop a cookie on their machine using ad retargeting.
        • That cookie tells ad networks like FB that someone visited that page.
        • The next time they visit FB, it runs targeted ads to them based on the knowledge they clicked on that initial social media update (the tweet in this case).
        • If they click on the targeted ad, they are taken to a gated offer (webinar or tele-seminar) to ascend to the next level. Now have their contact info so can follow up with more offers.

It all starts with your connections on social media, that room full of 1,000 peeps.  This process lets you segment (map back to Avatars and offers) and retarget with the right offer all while leading with value first.

Importantly, however, is to remember that we do not sell on social media. This brings us back to Value First. Providing quality content and information that does not spook the customer, allowing you to segment their varying interests and retarget them to the actual deals and return of investment.

You can build audiences by interest because they’ve self-selected by visiting a web page on your site.  Now you have these lists that you can retroactively run traffic to.

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

Let’s take one last moment to recap about the important role the Influencing stage plays in being able to execute the Selling stage. Content marketing and the content you create marries itself to the social media updates at the Influencing stage. Ad retargeting only becomes an action for your business at the Selling stage, it follows up with segmented list of people seeing your social media updates, and provides the appropriate next offer.

If you’re not yet selling on the social web and don’t have that all optimized, remember that there is tremendous ROI in Listening, Influencing, and Networking on the social web. And that’s without even graduating to the Social Selling phase. Think about how effectively you can monetize social media if you properly build on each phase of the Social Media Success Cycle!

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