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Social Media:
Five Reasons Why It Will Increase Your Sales

By Mike Krause

When it comes to social media small and medium-sized businesses just want to know one thing: is it worth it?  Yes. Here are 5 reasons why.

1. Stay Four Moves Ahead of the Competition: A recent study conducted by the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth discovered that America’s fastest growing private companies adopt social media marketing initiatives at much higher rates than other companies.

Meanwhile, Vistaprint, a company specializing in small-businesses conducted a study on small business marketing trends. They found that small businesses are likely to increase their use of online marketing tactics in the coming year.

The takeaway: small businesses embracing online tactics now will grow at a higher rate in the future. If they aren’t already, trends indicate your competitors will extend their marketing into social media in 2010. Those who do are poised for faster growth and increased sales. Are you?  

2. Greater Reach: Facebook has over 350 million followers, up 25 percent from less than a year ago. As of Sept. 2009, Linked In had over 109,300 participants from just Rochester, NY or approximately 10 percent of the city’s population. In the U.S., 1 in 20 people has a Twitter account. You Tube is outpacing Twitter.

The takeaway: use social media to get your information in front of many people who are interested in what you have to say. Connecting with prospects is the first step to making a sale. How many quality prospects did you reach today?

3. Powerful Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Search engines love activity. Social media participation increases your online presence. Posting fresh content on your site and broadcasting the link on your social media channels also improves your SEO.

The takeaway: when a prospect does a search for your business they will find proof of your activity in the form of multiple links to your site. Your site will rank higher than someone who has the equivalent of an electronic brochure for a website. Or is your site the one that is the electronic brochure?

4. Absence is Suspicious: Prospects today turn to the internet to get their information. Your absence is no longer simply missed, it raises a red flag. Prospects trust businesses with an online presence.

The takeaway: Prospects equate an online absence with a business that has nothing to say and is disengaged with customers. Or they will wonder what you’re hiding. When it comes to making a purchasing decision customers will turn to vendors they can find and trust. Are you claiming excellent customer service while making it difficult for customers to find you?

5. Social Media Respects Compressed Schedules: Social media activity shows prospects who you are, what you do, how and where you do it. A prospect can gather this information and get their answers all before the first conversation. They will see you as a trusted source of information, a critical factor when it comes time for them to pull the sale trigger.

The takeaway: people follow the path of least resistance. Use social media to give them that path. Do you still insist prospects give up their time to meet you in order to gather information they can get online…from your competitors?

What are your experiences with social media and sales?

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