It wouldn't take a business coach to tell you that business needs to sell. And creating a network, staying relevant and working within your niche to identify competitors are all selling strategies that are engaged at any business. However social networks such as Facebook have revolutionised every area of society - and selling techniques are no exception. With ad spending on social networks to speak at an estimated US$2 billion dollars in 2011, and with more than 700 billion minutes a year logged into Facebook alone, it can safely be said that social networks are no fleeting trend.
Yet in my role as a business coach, I'm finding that this opportunity is being often overlooked.
The prevalence of social media necessitates re-evaluating your communication strategies: especially when it comes to selling. The traditional means of selling are still relevant today. You need a solid company website and a good brochure. But social networks are infusing youthful energy and a fresh perspective into conventional selling techniques.
As a business coaching plan we find the best most effective way is to ensure all elements of your selling strategy are coordinated. It is inefficient, and needlessly expensive, to have various marketing and sales strategies that are implemented in an ad hoc manner without cohesive planning.
Even if you are using traditional means, such as print, they should be prepared in such a way that the selling message is consistent across the whole marketing spectrum.
Start by creating a Facebook business profile. It's like creating your own Facebook page, but for your company. Facebook connects your business to more than 500 million internet- savvy users - just a handful of those 500 million even have to view your profile to potentially generate business.
Applications available through Facebook such as the Business Card take your promotional information wireless in seconds. And you can ask your favourite customers to put reviews on your page with the testimonials application.
A Facebook business profile is not just free marketing. It seamlessly connects to even greater audiences through 'discovery engines', sites that find and recommend websites and content to users based on their preferences. Discovery engines are free, and drop your product directly into the laps of interested consumers. It is a simple and effective strategy, and it's currently being employed at even the highest levels of industry.
If you have the budget you can also try advertising on Facebook with Facebook Ads, or sell your goods on Marketplace (an eBay-like classifieds page).
Getting in on the so-called ground floor is in the past - now it's get in or get off of this fast-moving social network train.