Lee Kenny social media column - The fastest way to online sales without advertising

Lee kenny, CEO of Snowflake Media
Lee kenny, CEO of Snowflake Media

Business owners often ask me the quickest way to get sales online without spending any money on advertising.

Assuming you don’t have a large email database already then the answer has to be Twitter. At this point most roll their eyes and say they don’t “get Twitter” hoping I’ll change my answer.

Using Twitter isn’t that difficult really and the same principles apply here as they do in offline networking.

Look to provide great value and information to a larger audience that can possible use your services, then engage with suitable companies and individuals and of course make sure people know you are looking for business.

Don’t recreate the wheel

You are not a digital pioneer! Think about where your potential customers are already likely to be. What accounts are they likely to follow? You don’t just need to look at competitors accounts here, but also think about the following.

Geography: If you only operate in a local area then which accounts already exist on Twitter serving just your location?

Related industries: What else do your potential followers need or like to do? For example if I am an accountant, there’s a good chance people who have an interest in what I have to say also follow Solicitors or perhaps accounting software such as Sage or Kashflow?

Searches: Take a look at key phrases that are pertinent to your business. So if you specialise in home boiler replacement, what phrases within tweets might indicate someone needs your help? “Got no hot water?” or “Anyone recommend a plumber?” You can create saved searches within twitter so you only have to do the work once

Get Social with #CalderdaleHour. There are hundreds of twitter chats that happen each week. This is where people interested in either a topic, #PhotographyHour for example or promoting businesses in a particular region. Most

major towns have one including #CalderdaleHour which happens each Tuesday between 8 and 9pm. Anyone can get involved by simply including #Calderdalehour within the tweet.

Confused? Think of it as an online version of networking without the need to worry about whether you know anyone or not!

Let’s hold hands first.

No one likes a pushy salesmen apart from their mothers. Online networking and selling is no different. Take your time to get to know people and you can build some lasting friendships even if they never turn in to customers. Twitter is a great way to prove your credibility and expertise and if you are providing valuable insight no one minds if you sell or promote your services 10-15 per cent of the time.

Don’t try and do too much in the beginning. If you spread yourself too thin you won’t have the time to respond to tweets or welcome new followers.

Finally, before you follow Twitter users make sure you have posted some good tweets yourself and completed your Twitter Bio and a good profile picture.

Above all go and have some fun and just get started!

Have a great weekend!

Lee Kenny is Managing Director at Halifax-based Snowflake Media