Social Media Challenges

In the Social Media world there is no space for error, what is said is what must be provided, nearly the same rules as in the business world.

With today’s technological advancements and breakthroughs it is hard not to be sucked in to the Social Media fold and the few that have embraced the new ways have found that Social Media is the way forward in the new age.

For the others who are still either trying to integrate Social Media into their way of thinking and acting and the others who are cautious about the whole Social Media subject, decision time is closing in but who will give in and who will resist?

The influence of Social Media

Social Media has become an essential part of all our day-to-day lives but do you know how Social Media is taking part in your everyday activities?

Many of us have been part of the whole Social Media spectrum for a very long time but have not been aware of it. What has for years been a luxury for some has now become a tool of communication between many different types of communities, consumers and business as well as groups of employees.

There is still a high percentage of the population that are still in the dark about the doors that Social Media will open in the future and the ones that are already open. Consumers are slowly catching on and realising the power of social media to have their issues resolved by their service providers faster and that their comments are in the public eye, available and shared by everyone.

From a consumer point of view – we wonder how many of you realise the power of opting for the social media channel as a channel to resolve your queries with brands on.

Are consumers ready for social sales?

We meet many different brand representatives seeking to learn more about how their social media strategy can be enhanced. Often brands arrive with the understanding that they are already taking advantage of social media as an organisation. But are they really?

In the course of the coming weeks we will look at the different departments within your business where social media has particular relevance, and how smart social media strategy can enhance these departments by giving them a modern make-over from the traditional way of doing business.

We shall begin by focussing on ‘social sales’ – that is, using social media to sell products and services –  a topic that has perhaps been put on the backburner or simply overlooked by many organisations. This could be due to businesses being focussed on coming up to speed with social media itself, working hard at integrating social media strategies, and focussing on online community management, marketing and PR. The question on the mind of many sales executives is:  are consumers actually ready for social sales? We often have to introduce social sales to meeting agendas, as this topic usually does not form part of the average social media discussion, or is not an area that brands are focussing on.

So… are consumers ready for social sales?

Our world-leading solution allows us to track and monitor the exact content our clients specify, and allows us to also track, monitor and analyse their competitors as well. This may relate to products or services of the competition, or customer experiences, product launches and advertising campaigns.  In doing so, the magnitude of the commercial opportunity becomes obvious and appears considerable. If businesses already do everything in their power to target the customers of competitors through special offers and intelligent marketing, why would a business not turn to social media monitoring and engagement to do exactly the same?  Tracking what is being said in social media, and developing a strategy around this, is the answer.

Using social media monitoring to target dissatisfied customers of competitors is an effective and elegant means to drive expansion of your customer base. Even now, a competitor may be using this strategy to target and acquire your dissatisfied customers, in addition to using social media to engage with and retain its own ‘at risk’ customers. By the time your social sales strategy is developed, you may have already missed many opportunities for sales. The key is to be proactive and to move faster than your competitor.

A targeted approach is clearly the best strategy to adopt, but the manner of the approach is key. Consumers may feel put off, or feel as though their privacy may have been ‘invaded’ if the wrong approach is adopted. However, with a carefully targeted social sales strategy, consumers can feel as though they alone are being considered for a particular offer and this inferred ‘exclusivity’ is a powerful sales approach. In our view, a subtle approach works best so as to not come across to the consumer as aggressively being targeted.  The secret further lies in building a relationship with that customer, before offering the customer the benefit of moving over to your brand.  We know this approach works in practice.

Will consumers be scared off altogether if every brand jumps on the social sales bandwagon and start targeting customers at random with offers? Given that brands such GM have been reconsidering their Facebook advertising strategy in light of poor results, our view is that designing an intelligent strategy – following careful analysis on when customers may be ripe to be offered a product or service – may be the wiser approach.

We want to hear your views. Are you active in social sales, and if so what approach do you adopt? Do you feel the consumer is really ready for their beloved social media to be bombarded with sales strategies? Let us know what you think.