Social media is not necessarily used by businesses as a direct sales platform. While some companies may post deals and special offers on their Twitter or Facebook pages, others see it as a more subtle approach to generate brand awareness. Danny Bluestone, managing director of digital agency Cyber-Duck, says: “People need to want to go onto social media sites, therefore it is not about shoving things down their throats, but about building relationships and trust with your followers.”
Speaking at a roundtable discussion on the Twitter ecosystem, hosted by digital marketing firm ExactTarget, Greg Banbury from Naked Wines underlined that Twitter is not a direct sales channel for his company. “We don’t make money from it currently, that’s not to say that it doesn’t have an effect on the rest of the business model because what it does is humanise your brand,” he says. This then in turn helps people to think of their company next time they want to buy wine, for example, because they perceive them as honest and approachable.
People tend to see social media sites as more personal ways of communication. The key is to keep posts interesting, and to refrain from bombarding users with sales offers. However, some sites can be a useful tool to help enhance sales. Banbury adds: “With Facebook, you can post an offer with an appealing image, and use it in a similar way you might use an email promo, to entice users to buy your products.” Social networking sites can be very effective promotional tools because people who are passionate about your brand can post complementary comments online for other potential customers to read.
Things to remember:
• Do not use social media as a direct sales channel
• Social media should build trust with your followers
• Social media is a way to ‘humanise’ your brand
• Keep posts interesting on social networking sites