This is part of a series of articles on the biggest mistakes brands make with online marketing. You can view the articles here: http://bit.ly/1ohkl48 Today we’re going to expand on mistake #4 by sharing secrets about selling on social media. 

selling on social media

So relationship building and branding is good for the long term, but what about short-term, direct sales? How can you implement relationship building and selling on social media together?

You can use what I call the “Four Sparks” of status posting to help you connect all of your content together to get your customers ready to buy from you. You want to give away free content, BUT you want to make sure it’s easy for them to buy your product when you’re giving away the content. Let me explain to you the underlying principles of the Four Sparks:

Spark Their Attention – Figure out what your clients desire, and then give that to them in free content. This is going to be the hook at attracts your target audience.

Spark Their Interest – After you’ve grabbed their attention, it’s time to maintain their interest. That means being relevant to your niche, and showing your clients that you have the answers to their problems.

Spark Their Desire – Using the same rules as getting their attention, your content should be painting a picture of what life is like when what you offer (your product or service) fills a need in their life. This will get them relating you to fixing their issue.

Spark Their Action – You have sparked everything necessary to make them think they actually need to use your service, and slid under their “sales radar.” You must have sales pages set up for when they’re ready, and links to these page in easy-to-view areas on your social networking pages.

Make sure you incorporate all four of the sparks. It doesn’t matter if it’s done in one post, or multiple posts, as long as you have all of the elements in place. Make sure that people understand that you are the best solution to their problem.

A lot of the best social networking sites never ask people to purchase directly from them. They have just implemented the “Four Sparks,” and the customers purchased their services on their own.

Good Status Posts

To wrap up, here are some of the best updates I’ve seen (these also happened to have the most responses from their friends and fans). These can give you some good jumping off points for relationship building statuses.

“A happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there, we wish you a happy holiday with your family. If you have a minute, we’d love to hear your best Thanksgiving Day memory!” Not only was this a good way to get people interested, but even if they didn’t respond the wishes were nice. Of the people who did respond, a lot of people were able to come together and talk about positive times in their lives.

This led them to have positive emotions, which they then associated with the company, subconsciously. This can pretty much be used on any holiday. Try to do only positive, known holidays. Not many people have Pearl Harbor Day memories, and if they do they generally aren’t positive.

“We have the greatest staff over here. I’m so blessed to have so many wonderful employees working for me.”

This was an awesome little post that showed the generosity and caring of the company. It was nice to see someone give a little recognition to his employees.

“I just found this awesome video on [something that relates to a service your business does]. If you have a minute, you should check it out. It really explains [whatever your expertise is].”

I LOVE seeing these posts. Not only do people love free information (as you are providing), but they like not having to find this kind of information themselves.

To get the information, all you have to do is Google a subject you’re thinking about. This can go with any type of link that people would enjoy, for articles, videos, blogs, etc. Never post just the link though – always give people your two cents on the matter!

“I hope everyone is enjoying this wonderful summer day we are having here in California.

Pretty straight forward, and, again, will associate positive emotions (the nice weather) with your company.

“I’d like to thank [a client] for being so wonderful to do business with. I can’t wait to work with you again.”

This is a good one because it gives special, public recognition to a company for what a pleasant experience it was to deal with them. This shows other potential customers that you take your time with your clients.

You can also “tag” the company in your post. When using Twitter or Facebook, type “@” and then the company name, which pulls up that company or user’s profile. This not only notifies them that you posted, but it also puts a link on their page saying that you said it. So, all their fans see what a nice person you are as well, and check out your page. Obviously, make sure that this is honest, and not made up. If you just had a horrible fall out with a client, don’t go home and post this as a sarcastic message.

While some of these statements may seem like cheesy marketing ploys, they aren’t. As long as you have established yourself as a friendly person online, your clients will see this as a reminder of your warm personality.

You can use these examples to create your own relationship building messages. Then, for every 5 or so of these you post, you can submit a strictly sales post selling a product/service/coupon for your company (yes, a coupon counts as selling).