Social Media has become a great selling mechanism through the art of conversations. It’s important to grasp the idea of what works for business and how conversations are potential markets.
Social Media can be related to the old days of trading, where businesses would meet in a local town and before any selling or buying would take place, there would be a long exchange of pleasantries. The businesses would exchange their knowledge and stories of their previous trades, building up their trust for each other. Only after successful relationship building, would the businesses finally trade. Eventually the businesses would part to another town to trade with another business, only for the whole process to repeat. It is likely that the traders would speak well of their experiences and recommend trade with through positive feedback. This is the way that most people would to choose to buy and sell.
In today’s world, much has changed and moved on. Thanks to the rise in globalisation, local trade and crafts has moved on to mass production and mass advertising. In the old days, your typical shopping experience consisted of stalls which turned into shopping malls. With electronic communication we gave birth to internet shopping where individuals could buy anything. However the social interaction got lost, conversations with the local grocery store owners diminished which was all the heart of the shopping experience. Inevitably, the mass manufacturers and advertisers had forgotten that consumers talk and will talk about your brand no matter what.
The internet has seen retailers reproduce this conversational feeling by implementing forms where shoppers can record their experiences or recommendations. Sites like Amazon and Ebay have hugely transformed the shopping habits. The book called Clue Train Manifesto written by Levine, Locke, Searls & Weinberger published on the internet in 1999, is one of the original guides of selling electronically. The book is a great read and is highly recommended to any seller or consumer that wants to grasp the foundations of understanding why and how Social Media networking is set to significantly influence the new selling environment on the internet.
Any business can add back the missing conversations that will characterise the selling efforts of the most successful businesses in the coming years. The great news for small businesses is that using freely available Social Networking tools such as Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook can promote meaningful “conversations” about their products that eventually lead to sales.