Use Social Media to Improve Sales

By Catherine Oak & Rachel Schoeffler | April 21, 2014
social-media

Today’s generation is all about social networking. Social networking has become the most popular way to network and promote business. And in the current “tech savvy” environment it’s becoming increasingly apparent social media is here to stay, so it’s important to get on track with successful and smart self-marketing.

Have a Corporate Facebook Page

Facebook is the leading social media website with over 900 million monthly active users. Many users consider Facebook their “modern newspaper.” Hot topics and updates are constantly refreshed on to the timeline. High performer businesses create Facebook pages where prospective clients can “like” their page and receive all of their updates. Facebook pages can teach businesses about the firm’s target audience, and provide a way to talk and get direct feedback from them. It’s similar to ongoing focus groups, because the firm’s fans are aware of the company and want to learn more.

A company’s Facebook page is also useful to collect feedback from customers. An estimated 82 percent of small businesses use Facebook as a marketing tool to collect information for their own business and monitor their competitors.

Social media marketing is unique in the way it brings consumers, media, and the business world together.

Social connections and genuine communication are essential parts of social media sites. It gives people the unique opportunity to give their business a personality. Some interesting facts about the firm can be displayed, such as their fundraising efforts, their employees’ accomplishments and their unique products.

Facebook’s motto is to bring people together and with this website people can make connections with people worldwide in a matter of seconds. Salespeople can build their own community through Facebook with customers and prospective cliental. Once the community is developed, current clients and prospects become the loyal following. This can continue to grow and expand to an even larger population.

Another plus to creating a Facebook page is it will direct traffic to the firm’s website. The more active the firm’s employees and customers are on Facebook, the more popular the site becomes when someone is searching for a business competitor.

A Facebook page can also provide training for prospects and clients through the use of videos. Some agencies have developed videos on how to reduce risk exposures for different types of firms. With this information a prospective client can reduce claims, which could lead to lower premiums.

Facebook is also great for hiring. Prospective employees can get a personal feel for the firm by viewing posted photos of the many things that the firm does for its employees and the community.

Twitter Is Fun and Effective

Twitter has become the second leading social media website with over 645 million monthly users. Although it may look confusing at first, it becomes very simple once a person understands the concept.

Twitter says: “Every day, millions of people use Twitter to create, discover and share ideas with others. Now, people are turning to Twitter as an effective way to reach out to businesses, too. From local stores to big brands, and from brick-and-mortar to internet-based or service sector, people are finding great value in the connections.”

The main reason businesses use Twitter is to connect with customers. If there is an unsatisfied customer or even if they have a question, the firm can connect and hear them out on Twitter. Twitter is similar to Facebook in being able to get feedback from clients, but it is a more personal interaction, where there can be that one-on-one connection.

Twitter allows for short and sweet updates that are 140 characters. However, if a company wants to promote a recent article or a link to a website, Twitter makes that easy.

If a firm succeeds at gaining some popularity on Twitter, they can become viral very fast. The more interesting a firm’s tweets are, the more interactions one gets. Becoming viral will help expand awareness of the business, especially if the firm is currently small. Giving the business a personality can be very important to the brand, and gives prospects a reason to follow the business.

Another major aspect of Twitter is “spying.” Simply searching the competition on Twitter can really give the company a leg-up. Example, customers can complain about an aspect of the competitor’s service or business model and this information can be applied to one’s own business.

Use LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the business version of Facebook. Most often, brokers use LinkedIn to research a prospective firm’s owner before meeting with them. LinkedIn is a great business tool for showing someone’s background, experience and possibly some good information and attributes of the firm they work for. This gives the salesperson a leg-up in understanding the person they will be calling on. Many agency owners and producers also put a note at the end of their emails to join them on LinkedIn. Some professionals get endorsements from others on LinkedIn, which looks very good to prospective customers and employees. LinkedIn also is the key resource used by recruiters to search for prospects to hire.

Summary

Social media marketing is unique in the way it brings consumers, media and the business world together. Consumers have the ability to instantly interact, comment, or even alter or create content about your business.

Social media, as a marketing tool, has leveled the playing field. Small businesses can compete with large organizations with a substantial marketing budget to reach the consumer. Once one discovers the best ways to interact with customers and visitors through social media, and build a personal and professional “friend” network, the business can successfully market its products and services, generate buzz and consumer interest, build brand awareness, and connect one-on-one with customers.

About Catherine Oak & Rachel Schoeffler

Oak & Associates is an international financial and business consulting firm for independent insurance agencies and wholesalers across the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Phone: 707-935-6565. Website: www.oakandassociates.com

From This Issue

Insurance Journal West April 21, 2014
April 21, 2014
Insurance Journal West Magazine

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Latest Comments

  • April 21, 2014 at 1:09 pm
    Social Media Marketing says:
    It's true social media has changed the way businesses communicate and market to potential customers. One of today's biggest struggles within social media marketing is keeping ... read more
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