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Social media authors, Chase and Knebl, are atwitter with the question:
“What does it take to build effective sales using social media?”
Do the old marketing rules still exist? If a transaction can be defined as asking a question and receiving information, even though no money is directly exchanged, we are engaged in transactions every time we use social media. This brings us into greater interaction with potential customers, which can then be converted into sales. Good point, right? We have direct access with markets every time we engage in social media.
Key rules to social media sales involve:
These ideas form the very foundation of building effective sales. In essence, the authors develop the concept of The Social Media Sales Revolution. The New Rules for Finding Customers, Building Relationships, and Closing More Sales Through Online Networking from this foundation. If we as individuals, or people employed specifically as salespeople, change the way we do business, then, of course, the social media tools we use will support us in this approach. The example of changing the focus from selling to marketing is part of a wider movement that has become part of our new social fabric. The trend is more about providing information or marketing the product, rather than a hard sell.
As Knebl says people do business with, and refer business to, people that they know, like and trust. This is the secret of his success and is reflected in the more than 5,000 recommendations on LinkedIn. The book highlights three key social media tools: LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
The authors also make the point that another essential social media tool: blogging is easier than you think. They claim it is worth the effort as social media is often associated with blogging. A blog, which is short for “web log”, is basically a journal that exists online. It is a regularly updated account of events or ideas. The authors point out that you don’t have to be a geek to have a blog. The authors review some of the mechanics of blogging such as using WordPress.com, which is available free online. They point out that newsletters can also replace or sit alongside blogs, as both these tools serve to give information to your customers.
In essence, this book offers persuasive evidence for everyone interested in raising their profile –and online presence – in the business world. The effective use of social media tools such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Blogs gives you the credibility and presence to communicate with your target market.
Chase, Landy and Knebl, Kevin, “The Social Media Sales Revolution. The New Rules for Finding Customers, Building Relationships, and Closing More Sales Through Online Networking”, McGraw Hill, 2011.