Social media has become a strong source of revenue for many businesses that actually get it. It is a much different approach to selling online then say search engine optimization and marketing for keywords. Many companies use social media as a way to give company announcements or press releases. While this does provide some value for your clients is not the most effective way to make sales. One company that has mastered the art of converting social media into sales is Geek Squad. Geek Squad found out who their buyer was. There buyer was the do it yourself computer fixer. What they went on to do was make demonstration old videos for how the do it yourself computer fixer can fix their computers themselves. They provide many in-depth videos, 226 to be exact, for how the do-it-yourselfer can do everything from change a hard drive, to install RAM and so on.
At first glance many people would say this is counterproductive because you are giving them the information they need to do it themselves and in turn losing the sale. However this is the wrong train of thought. By creating videos to help them do it themselves you are creating trust and putting yourself in their mind as the expert because they’re learning from you. So when their customer gets to that point which we all do, where we do not have the expertise to finish the job ourselves… Who do you think the first company is they think of when they want to get their computer fixed? You got it: Geek Squad. This consultative approach develops customers for life rather than just making a quick sale. Geek Squad found out that losing a few small battles wins the war.
So how can your business use this approach? Well first you need to find out what your customers would like to know. If you don’t have the answer then simply ask them, what would you like to know about? Then think of way you can post a blog topic about it, a video and begin posting those items to your Facebook and Twitter. If you need some help with ideas, give me a shout and I would be happy to help you come up with one. Just keep in your mind the goal is to provide valuable information to your clients so they will feel helped and not like they are being sold to or “pitched.”
I want to give you a couple of examples from my own personal life where this approach worked very well. One has to do with me producing music as a hobby, the other has to do with carpal tunnel syndrome that I dealt with for years. With the music, I like producing electronic music which is very technical in nature. It requires using advanced software and plug-ins. I use music production software Nuendo (Cubase), Reason, and a huge list of plug-ins that do different things from equalization to adding really cool effects.
With these programs, you have what are called “VSTs”, Virtual instruments that will let you create your own synthesizer sounds. You can manipulate oscillators, change wave frequencies, filters, delay, echoes to create any sound imaginable that is in your brain. I can assure you it is a tedious task but very rewarding when something ends up sounding good. To help me out with making these sounds I go to you to and look for tutorials. One of the best tutorials I found was from a young DJ/Artist named LuckyDate.
He has tons of videos where he will actually make the same synthesizer sounds that you hear in the most popular dance records that are current at the time. One of my favorite songs at the time was called, “Day n Night” by Kate Cudi (Crookers remix) LuckyDate shows how to use Reason software’s Thor synthesizer and develop the same synthesizer used in that song. I followed his instructions verbatim and voilà! I had produced the same exact synthesizer sound that I heard on the radio! It can take 10 to 15 min. to make all the different settings required to produce the sound you want once you know what you’re doing. It was an amazing feeling and my victory of the day. For months I would spend time off and on browsing through his tutorials and learning new tips and tricks. Eventually I came across one of his videos that sold, “refill packs.” Refill Packs allowed you to purchase the synthesizers already pre-made without having to do any configurations. A huge timesaver! My case in point is, the only reason I bought his “refill pack” was due to his instructional videos. That’s it. Without his instructional videos I never would have come across this product or thought to purchase it. I followed his videos for a good six months before making the purchase, without knowing anything about him or ever talking to him he established himself as an expert in my mind, and in turn I became a huge fan of his music and have bought his products and tracks.
Another example from my life where I bought from this “youtility” helping based selling approach was when I went online searching for help for my carpal tunnel syndrome. This example uses a blog. I personally dealt with carpal tunnel syndrome for several years before deciding to buckle down and do something about it. My hands would go numb and tingly and I could not feel my fingertips during the day or when I went to sleep, I felt like it was natural for me based on the fact that I work on the computer all day… But then it got to be too much to the point where I decided I have to do something about it. So I thought to myself maybe if I learn how to strengthen my hand muscles this would make the carpal tunnel symptoms go away. So I began looking online for solutions. I started off by typing in Google, “fix carpal tunnel syndrome” and I found some blogs that gave advice.
One of the blogs had videos on YouTube that gave exercises to do. I watched tons of these videos and practiced doing my hand exercises every day and saw some results but it wasn’t enough. So I got back online and searching and came across a blog that had a product where you use a foot pedal as a mouse instead of a traditional mouse where you click with your index finger. I thought this would be a great help for myself so I read comments on the blog, read posts and watched an instructional video how to install the foot pedal myself and made the purchase. After I bought the foot pedals I used them extensively all day as my mouse, which saved my hands thousands of mouse clicks during the day. I really felt like this was helping me until guess what? My foot started having carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms! So I stopped using the foot pedal all together I went back online and bought some books which did not work either. Long story short, I ended up getting surgery on both hands and I’m better now. My case in point was that I went to YouTube and a blog found some videos for how I could do something myself and in turn I ended up making purchases. It did not happen right away, but eventually it did happen and I bought when I need the help.
Another great resource I found on this selling approach is by Jay Baer. He runs the self-proclaimed top content marketing blog in the world and has done a lot of guest speaking on this topic. He has a great video too where he discusses in detail numerous case studies of “youtility” based selling through social media. Modern-day business has changed to the point where now we have all of the information we need in our pockets. If we are at the store or shopping for a certain item online we can pull out our smart phones and begin looking for reviews on that product, look for the best options, seek live help online, etc. So it is very important that we create trusting relationships with our clients so we become the experts in their minds that have helped them in the past so when the time comes that they do not have the expertise or resources to get something done on their own they think of your business first, or your product. The customer thinks of you first all because of your self-help video, or you answer their question on Facebook, or you responded to them on twitter when they needed your help.
How will you convert sales and create long-lasting customers with social media are your business? Give me a shout I am interested in knowing!