Over the last decade and in the last few years in particular, social media has become a primary sales portal for all types of businesses. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram are especially powerful for hosted desktop resellers, as catching your audience whilst they’re online is the perfect opportunity for them to find out more about a valuable IT product right there and then.
Whether you’re reselling GoCloud hosted desktops through your existing business or under an entirely new brand, building your social media following using a tailored strategy is essential if you want to increase your customer base. We’ve put together some tips on how to grab attention, start conversations, and ultimately turn interest into monthly sales.
In 2017, Microsoft found that 63% of millennials begin their customer service interactions online and 93% of UK consumers expect a brand to have an online support portal. This means that you can’t simply post to your social media channels and leave it at that – you need to keep on top of interactions, reply to queries in a timely fashion, and deliver exemplary customer service that satisfies the individual whilst demonstrating your brand’s dedication to those who happen to come across these public conversations.
Whilst scheduling software such as Hootsuite is excellent for creating a content plan and checking engagements, we also recommend that you or a member of your team enables app notifications on a smartphone. This way, the likelihood of missing a question that could lead to a sale is reduced to zero.
People don’t want to follow a social media channel that simply sells its product day after day and nothing else. Constantly posting promotional content is the digital equivalent of having the same flyer through your letterbox on a daily basis – it becomes repetitive, irritating and there’s little evidence for a consumer to give the product a try. We’re not saying that you shouldn’t upload generic promos and ads, far from it, but a balance needs to be achieved.
The solution is to intersperse other content so that your social media feeds are both branded and well informed. This can range from sharing updates that are relevant to your sector, to positive news about other businesses that you can tag in (with the exception of direct competitors, naturally). On top of this, the type of content that really grabs attention includes blog posts, white papers, photos and videos created by your business, which can cover topics as diverse as how-to guides, industry insight, staff profiles, CSR activity within your business, and if you think it suits your brand, fun and feel-good snippets such as dogs being brought into the office or a team day out. Showing the human side behind your business really can work wonders when it comes to raising brand awareness, enabling you to get your sales promotions in front of a much wider audience.
Influencer marketing has become big business. This is when you approach a social media user who is considered an influencer because they’ve established credibility in a specific industry and built a very large following of people who value their thoughts and recommendations. However, influencer marketing can come with a large price tag and little longevity, so it isn’t necessarily the go-to marketing move.
Instead, focus time and effort into turning your existing customers into brand advocates. Providing that they’re happy with the service (and let’s face it, they will be), there’s a high chance that they’ll be willing to promote your hosted desktops through their own channels. This could be in exchange for a perk or a discount, but in many cases they’ll do it for free due to it also being good social media activity for their own business.
The more user-generated content there is on social media that praises the quality, security and efficiency of your hosted desktops, the more trust you’ll gain in potential customers. And of course, all brand advocacy activity should then be shared or retweeted through your own channels, therefore maximising its reach within existing audiences and entirely new ones.
Almost everyone uses Google (it has a 92.6% market share of all global search traffic), so SEO is a crucial factor in regards to smart marketing. And yet many businesses forget to make use of the search tools that are integrated into social media websites and apps, which is a major oversight.
Savvy social media users will always tag in a company or brand when talking about them, but that doesn’t mean that everyone does. Chances are that if you search for your business on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you’ll find some posts that you never knew existed. This is your chance to start conversations and connect with people who are talking about your hosted desktops, which could lead to further sales, testimonials and brand advocacy.
Similarly, the search box should also be used for looking up relevant hashtags, such as #hosteddesktops and #cloudcomputing, as this will open up additional opportunities to discuss hot topics with other businesses, thought leaders, CEOs, and yes, you guessed it, prospective customers.
If you do decide to invest some of your marketing budget into social media advertising, it’s still not a case of simply creating an ad and sending it out to the world. First of all, you need to be certain that the design of the ad is clear and attractive – if it doesn’t catch the eye immediately, you might as well not run it. Then we have the copy, which should be strong, honest and concise, with a call to action that encourages web traffic.
Once this is done, your audience targeting could mean the difference between 10,000 views by people with no interest and 100 clicks from businesses that are looking to diversify their offerings. The targeting tools differ for each social media platform, so familiarise yourself with all of your options and choose demographics that you believe will bring top results. It’s also worth doing some A/B testing, as this way you can gauge which types of visuals, messages and audiences work better than others, then tweak future ads to optimise their return on investment.
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