You Must Now Use Social Media For Sales

You must now use social media for sales. This may sound strange coming from me since I was lukewarm about social media platforms in my book: The 60 Second Sale.

Upon further review, I’ve discovered the power of advertising on Facebook and Instagram and leveraging video across all platforms as a tool to develop relationships.

My core philosophy hasn’t changed: Advertising and video should drive your social media sales strategy. And, for professional services, social media will still be a medium upon which you should use educational content that also has high entertainment value. (Nobody is going on Facebook to watch a lecture on child support calculations in New York divorce cases.)

My approach was: If you’re creating content for your website, why not add it to social media? Now I think you need to approach it in reverse.  Create the content for social media and post it to your website as an archive for your body of work.

The various social media platforms have an increasing potential to add visibility and enhance your credibility as an expert in your field.

In case you’re wondering what the watershed moment was that influenced my thinking on this, I can honestly say it wasn’t one thing in particular but a confluence of factors.  Here they are:

First: Origination Quality

In December 2018 I undertook an evaluation of my database. This is something I do each year. As part of this process I rank each current client on three factors: Lifetime Value To Date (which combines direct profit and referral profit), Labor Intensity (mine) and Value They are Receiving (as measured by revenue growth over the life of the relationship).

After I ranked the clients I looked at origination sources for each client and reviewed them based upon percentage of profit (without adjusting for labor intensity of value they’ve derived).

I was surprised at what I found this year.  Here are the most productive relationship development sources:

  • Youtube Videos – 30%
  • Referrals from Clients and Evangelists  – 20%
  • Speaking Engagements – 20%
  • Direct Website Conversion – 12%
  • Books (Direct calls and opt-in) – 8%
  • Direct Mail – 5%
  • Twitter – 3%
  • Unknown – 2% (I couldn’t remember and the tracking system isn’t perfect).

The reason YouTube videos rank so highly is because two of my largest clients came to me as a result of watching videos I posted years ago. Both of those clients became more valuable to me, steadily in 2017 and 2018.  I had forgotten about the genesis of the relationship (that’s yet another reason this exercise is helpful).

What this told me: Video is valuable as a tool for relationship development.

This makes sense since it embodies the three factors that enhance expertise: Visibility, credibility and differentiation.  Think of it as an on-demand speaking engagement.

Second: Advertising Success on Facebook

In December I had some additional dollars available to allocate toward business development and I found a partner I trusted so I allocated a small budget to Facebook advertising. The results were staggering.  This opened a floodgate of leads. It’s too soon to assess the quality but suffice it to say, there are so many, one of them will convert at a high level and the rest will be nurtured.

The thing that makes me more enthusiastic is the activity of the leads.  Our plan on Facebook was to drive leads to opt-in to a free course. After that, I engaged them with weekly email and a phone call.  These leads comment on posts on social media and are willing to engage in conversation and they are willing to give their MOBILE PHONE number – which allows me to connect with them individually via voice and text.   That will absolutely lead to conversion.

Social Media For SalesThird: Demographics and Psychographics

Millennials will be company decision-makers soon.  People who were born on the late 80’s and beyond are already successful entrepreneurs.  Those folks are on social media in a big way.  A strong argument can also be made that people in their 40’s and 50’s are on many of the social platforms as well.

When entering St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City for mass this week, I couldn’t miss the electronic billboards at all entrances promoting social media engagement with…yes…The Church.

If all these other factors are not enough, I cannot imagine my company or me falling behind the LEAST INNOVATIVE institution on Earth.   And I don’t think you want to fall behind either.

Start leveraging social media for sales success.