The key to getting customers to purchase from you is to influence them in some way, shape, or form—right? But how can you influence your customers and prospects if you aren’t conforming to their shifted purchasing and decision-making behavior? Quite simply, you can’t.
Before I delve deeper into the subject, some of you may be wondering, what shifted purchasing and decision making behavior? Well, take a look at your sales for the past year and a half. If they’re not quite up to par, you can probably thank the shift for the low numbers.
But, this shift in purchasing behavior isn’t the deciding factor in the fate of your company. Rather, it’s the beginning of a new era. Embrace the change by integrating one of the most influential and engaging elements you have into your online marketing and social media efforts—yourself.
But before you can do so, it’s important to educate yourself on the shift in purchasing behavior and understand the dynamics of engaging prospects.
Below are three ways to begin to understand the whole picture of social marketing:
1. Understand that social media marketing isn’t black and white: Many of our clients come to us asking how to properly post to Twitter or Facebook. Although there is a certain etiquette that should be respected, it’s also important to embrace your unique brand message and think outside of the box. There is no right or wrong way to Tweet or post to Facebook; just use your best judgment, and always remember that your prospects’ purchasing behavior has shifted to a more personalized approach. As long as you’re not being overly salesy, you’ll do just fine. Remember to be engaging, conversational, and approachable by injecting yourself into all that you do.
2. Consider how you prefer to be sold to: **Queue the red flag** you probably don’t prefer to be sold to at all! Rather, you want to feel a connection to companies before you purchase from them. A salesy pitch is the last thing that’s going to connect you to a company—you can see right through those, and so can everyone else. Being “sold to” doesn’t influence you to purchase—if anything, it probably deters you from purchasing. But, if you are influenced by the actions, reactions, and conversations you’re having with a company (in other words, the emotional connection you build with that company), you are being influenced to purchase in a way that doesn’t turn you off.
3. Don’t try to sell, and you’ll make the sale: You’re probably scratching your head in bewilderment, but I assure you, this tip can be justified. For example, let’s say you own a luxurious day spa and you want to leave your clients with more than a rejuvenating experience at your spa, but something that they will also remember you by. You could give them an eight-by-eight-inch card outlining “At Home Spa Treatments,” “DIY Spa Treatments,” “Bubble Bath Guide,” or “Tips to Making Your Pedicure Last Longer.” This way, if your clients want to give the cards to friends or hang it on their refrigerators, you’ll remain in front of your clients and reach others.
For prospective clients, you can offer these cards as a downloadable free gift on your website. This shows prospects that you are an expert in the spa industry and you care about your clients and are compassionate toward their needs. You’re also showing them that they don’t need to purchase from you to have a relationship with you and to benefit from your services.
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