Do you know, roughly, how many people visit Facebook on a daily basis? Take a wild guess and keep it in your head for a second. Now brace yourselves for the actual figure. According to a statement made by Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg in The Guardian, Facebook recently received over one billion logins in a single day. To put it into perspective, that’s 1 in 7 people on the planet.

As the article also notes, Facebook receives 844 million on mobile devices alone meaning it, too, could soon be tipping the scales in the foreseeable future. From a sales standpoint, the question has to be asked: with these figures, can you really afford not be present on the social network in some shape or form?

A good online sales strategy will not only help you sell more through the network, but will also facilitate the gathering of quality leads – a fundamental support network for sales teams. However, how do you now take advantage of the network’s vast database? Where do you get started? Through a strategy of adequate content and some knowledge of audience targeting, you can improve your rate of sales.

Listen and learn
It’s important to focus specifically on the sector that interests us; what sense is there in targeting an audience who aren’t remotely interested in our product? Find out where your target market are hanging out on Facebook, in which groups and the nature and direction of their conversations. A good place to start is with your competitors. How are they interacting with followers? In what spaces are they conducting their outreach? Based on what you see and hear, create a structure and content strategy that represents your brand.

Buyer’s market
The internet has changed the face of sales for good. With the endless amounts of content now available buyers are now researching your product and that of your competitors at will. This online journey passes straight through social media, as this study by digital marketing brand GoDigital highlights. 62% of people making some form of buying decision based on what they discover on the network is significant and can’t be ignored.

Remember that Facebook is a more personal space than LinkedIn. This provides an opportunity to keep things lighter, yet still business related in terms of content. Instead of endless streams of product updates, why not include the odd photo of the sales team? Or maybe a hand shake as you close a deal? By keeping the page balanced it shows a more welcoming, open-minded page for potential customers to connect.

Build a relationship
Communication age has always been at the heart of sales and the introduction of social media only reinforces this point. By listening carefully to your audience, you can quickly engage with them in a meaningful discussion. For example, try offering solutions to some of the problems they’re facing instead of generic product shoves that do little to answer their queries. Facebook, being a forum of sorts, means everything you say and do is open to the public eye, so think about how you want people to think of you.  Once this trust has been established, only then can you start thinking about possible sales target.

Connect
Once a lead has been carefully nurtured, with a problem and solution clearly established, it’s time to connect. This doesn’t mean an immediate barrage of pitches, instead a private message is a good place to start. Other common practices for contact are calling or through commercial email. To learn more about these two commercial tools, you can click on the following links where we discuss these issues in more detail.

Although Facebook is key in increasing your online sales platform, it should be used in conjunction with your other networks as part of wider social media outreach program. Different networks are better at different functions. Twitter allows for immediate, real-time communication with followers, as this example by Mark Fieldman highlights whereas LinkedIn provides a more official setting to communicate. Getting the right balance will help build deeper relationships with your followers and hopefully, convert more leads for your sales teams.

 

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