If you have a fantastic product, but have been having trouble generating interest in it through social media for months, or even years, continuing to dutifully make daily or weekly social media posts can feel like an exercise in futility. Are you tired of merely hoping that your product descriptions, case uses, testimonials, and discounts or other offers will eventually sink into the consciousness of the online audience you’re trying to reach? Are you ready to achieve better results and make actual sales through social media?
What else could or should you be doing?
Instead of talking at your customer, try talking to them. If you’re a technology provider, you might consider setting up a free trial, or even some kind of special beta testing area, and then using social media to invite your target customers to give your technology a try and provide feedback or describe their experience directly on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, etc. This idea may be a little bit scary if you are particularly worried about getting a lot of negative feedback or giving away trade secrets, but research has shown that it can really work. Why? It starts conversations.
In addition to helping you generate interest in your product, starting conversations on social networking sites by inviting participation and feedback, in whatever way you choose to do it, can help you to gain valuable insights into the effectiveness of your product, how users really want and expect to use it (which may be different than the ways you think they want and expect to use it), and what changes you could make to improve your product.
Starting conversations through social networking can also help you increase general interest in your product and brand it in an organic way. By inviting 1,000 target customers to try your technology and provide feedback, for instance, you can actually get others to do some of your marketing and branding for you. When users read about other users’ experiences, it helps them do things like consider the various ways your product may be applied to various parts of their unique businesses, and other advantages that they might not have considered on their own. They can also see who it is who’s really having a great experience—perhaps some of their own competitors—and be swayed towards making a purchase or investing in what it is you have to offer because of what someone outside of your company had to say about it.
It almost goes without saying that starting meaningful conversations through social media can also help you increase your numbers of followers, expand your Web presence, gather and capture more follower/visitor data, and provide you with new commerce avenues. You wouldn’t be the first to find that your customers who are willing to engage with you via social media are interested in things like click-through commerce options versus having traditional conversations with individual sales reps or taking the time out to sit through lengthy sales presentations. Start the right conversations, and you can actually alter and speed up your sales cycle, and even change the way you do business.
Important: Don’t forget that you have the power to delete! If you get a particularly nasty response or if someone abuses your social media campaign, don’t hesitate to give the response or the abuser the virtual axe.