Social media though meant for networking has proved to be highly beneficial in augmenting sales for businesses. While social media is not a direct sales platform, it accomplishes this by influencing people, by exploring preferences and interests of potential customers and using social media to address them. Social media offers an open platform for people to share brands and products they like or have problems with, and this turns out to be the most effective marketing technique. For businesses social media offers an initial opportunity that can be grabbed and used to persuade potential customers to buy the products on offer. Marketing experts believe that social media is the gateway to social enablement that offers opportunities too good to be missed. This makes it the right route to increase net revenue through increased sales.
Social media is preferable to cold sales calls which may or may not be well received. It helps businesses gain ground with friends and groups, thus opening a world of opportunity as word about a new launch spreads virally on social networks. It also provides businesses an opportunity to get closer to people and have a more human face which people can relate to.
Social media helps sales in numerous ways some of which include:
- Opportunity for personal one-on-one contact – Businesses get an opportunity to interact directly with potential customers and answer their doubts and queries.
- Increase products’ and brand awareness- Social media offers the ideal platform to businesses to popularize their products and give their brand an online presence.
- Get more referrals- Brands and businesses get more orders and increase sales through recommendations of friends and peers than other advertising tools. Social media is being increasingly used by consumers to spread word about how good a product is-people like to share experiences which works to the advantage of a business.
- Relationship building- this is possible primarily through social media where a business creates its online image. By maintaining contact and reaching out to people businesses are able to resolve doubts, address issues and answer queries and also understand their needs.
- Lead generation- perhaps the biggest benefit of social media is that it helps to generate leads since people recommend and refer businesses to others. Thus the biggest source of new orders, new customers and new business comes from social media. This helps to augment sales.
- Helps in evaluation- Social media helps in evaluating what exactly people want and changing or modifying product lines to meet those. It also helps in evaluation current trends and promising business avenues worth exploring while introducing new products.
- Building trust- eventually most people buy brands that they can trust. Trust can be built through social media since communication is possible and sharing of knowledge and expertise will reveal the superiority of a brand over others. Additionally, customer inputs can be used to reinforce claims. Once the trust is established, more and more orders will push sales higher. Repeat customers are crucial to sustain a business.
Social media is an inexpensive medium to establish a rapport with current and prospective customers, which can then translate into higher sales.