Most building material companies make social media too complicated. The result is that they either don’t participate in social media or if they do, they don’t do it well. The reason they don’t do it well is because they approach social media like a marketing program when it’s really more like a sales program.
Marketing programs take planning, budgets, approvals and time, lots of time. Sales programs are more immediate; building material companies should think of social media as a sales call rather than a marketing program.
Much like a good salesman, social media is about building relationships. A good salesman needs to make sales, but to gain sales he usually takes time to build a relationship.
Here’s how building material social media is like sales:
1. A good sales person knows who their customer is; similarly, a social media person needs to know their audience. In order to reach customers and make sales, both parties need to know as much about their customer as they can.
2. Salesmen understand the problems their customers face. They know if business is good or bad, and if business is bad, they know what has to change in order for it to get better. The same is true for social media.
3. Salesmen know what is funny to the customer and can share a joke or funny story. Yes, social media should be fun.
4. Salesmen know what their customer thinks about their product and their company, so they know what issues to address when they get around to selling. It’s easy, however, for the social media person to believe they have the best products from the best company when the customer may not think that way. So, it may take some extra effort for a social media person to understand what their customer thinks about their product, as they are not as close to the customer as a salesperson.
Building product companies trust their sales people to have discussions with customers. Sales people don’t have to read pre-approved scripts, they can just be themselves and let the conversation go where it needs to.
The best social media from building product companies allows the social media person to have a relationship with the audience.
So, if you want to achieve optimal results from your social media efforts, simply treat social media like a great sales call and stop reading from a script.