You have a business to run, or you've thought about starting one. Both of those goals can be intimidating. How do you generate money for your company to grow it or get it off the ground? All you need to build your company and your financial success is a business partner with a lot of experience to guide you through each step of the process.
It turns out that you have a small business partner in our sponsor, Dell: Get tech advice and a one-on-one partnership to help your business grow. Call 877-BUY-Dell today.
You may be surprised by this. The company you've long trusted for laptops has also been rated the world's most social-media-savvy company.
Your surging sales start with social media
If you're like most people, you're completely comfortable with social media. You have dozens of friends on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
You know its impact. You can post a photo and a message and, in seconds, you'll have friends and family members from around the world commenting on your post -- it's incredible!
The key to that instantaneous impact is the sheer number of people on social media. Facebook alone has more than 2.23 billion subscribers.
Yet, you may not be using that impact to grow your company. Dell found that sales people who use its proven social media techniques are six times more likely than the average salesperson to exceed their sales quotes, according to Ragan Communications.
1. Improve ROI
One important step to improving your company's sales revenue is to engage with customers on social media. Dell has found over the years that employees who use social media are far more successful than those who don't.
Of course, you'll want to keep a few things in mind as a business owner and entrepreneur. You'll ideally give your employees the freedom to engage with your customers on social media using your brand name, but with guidelines.
You'll want to ensure that they're following your company's rules and maintaining your company's culture. You will likely want them to be helpful with customers, be responsible and be polite.
You may want to hire social media specialists to oversee everyone's posts. They can work with you to determine social media rules and make sure they're following ethical and legal standards online.
The results can be spectacular. That is, they can be spectacular if you'd like to see your company's return on investment surge -- research shows that about three-quarters of salespeople who use social media do better than salespeople who don't use social media.
2. Set a goal
One way to achieve your goals is to establish some, according to Dell. How much money do you expect your company to generate from engaging with customers on social media?
Do you want to see a specific percentage increase in revenue after empowering your employees to use social media? What is your goal -- a 25% increase in sales revenue, a 75% increase?
3. Listen to your customers
Dell uses social media to engage with customers. This means far more than posting cute messages that get lots of likes.
The company suggests that you take a moment to truly listen to what your customers are saying on social media before reacting. You can train your employees to listen and take some time to think about the proper way to engage with each customer.
That might mean alerting your customer service team about an unhappy customer. It can also mean just sitting back and "listening in" on social media conversations.
This way, your employees and you can get a good sense of how your customers use your products and what they think about your brands. In the past, this type of critical learning could take years and a lot of money with focus groups and surveys.
4. Increase your visibility
You may be sitting on the sidelines when it comes to social media. You're keeping an eye on what your competitors are doing, and the successes they're having.
That's great for your competitors, but it's not great for your company. You can empower your employees and yourself to be out front on social media, as Dell has been for years.
A high profile on social media means that your customers and future customers see you. They're reminded about your products, your company and your social media personality when they see each post.
So, start engaging all day every day. Make sure your employees are sticking to your guidelines and that you're keeping track of your company's social media engagement successes, like an increasing bottom line.
5. Know your analytics
The key to your company's social media success is to know how much impact it's having. Dell recommends that you track your results with a tool such as Google Analytics.
You'll want to keep track of social media strategies that work well. But it's also critically important to know what isn't working -- after all, if your social media strategy isn't resulting in more revenue for your sales team and your company, you'll want to move on to a strategy that achieves that.
Why Dell's social awareness makes it a compelling choice for small businesses
You've heard business leaders advise you to, "get ahead of the problem." But how do you solve problems before they happen?
Dell's executives have taken to social media to answer that question. The company's staff monitors social media comments using sentiment analysis to find out what their customers want before their competitors do.