Do me a favor. Grab a sheet of paper and pencil. Go to your desk, the bathroom, outside, or wherever you think the best and write down five ways you think you can sell your product through social media. You got it? Great!

Now throw it away.

There are no pat answers on how to make sales from social media. Don’t let anyone tell you they have the greatest solution to start getting you sales from social media. Social media is an ever-changing media. Every single day, something new is introduced or taken away.

You’re competing with a lot of other businesses in the social media marketplace. Facebook recently announced that there are now more than 3 million active business pages on Facebook, and the average user becomes a fan of four pages every month.

What can you do to reach and understand your Facebook marketplace? The answer to this question will help you increase sales and grow your social media presence.

Social media is exactly that: media that delivers a message. And just like traditional media, you need to get to know your costumer and your marketplace. Although social media may be free, social media marketing is not. It’s just a whole new way to do it.

“So,” you ask, “how do I get people to come to my social sites?” The answer is simple—sort of! You must embrace social media in all aspects of your marketing.

Some examples –

• Add your social media logos to your direct mail pieces and print inserts
• Announce them on your radio spots
• Include them in your TV spots
• Talk about it in the showroom
• Add them to your website
• Have a promotion solely focused on social media
• Create a direct mail campaign that embraces your offer and a Facebook contest.

Selling through social media is no different than selling face-to-face on the showroom floor. Customers must be engaged and interested. They will not respond to random information or a hard sell. Social media is about your costumer. They came to your page for a reason, so give them a reason to keep coming back.

One of social media’s best qualities is content: creating it, sharing it and engaging with it. Quality content will inspire, inform, educate or even entertain your customers (and if you’re really lucky, it does all four!). So if you’re looking to engage with your customers to keep them coming back for more, follow the tips below to implement social media cohesion:

Establish Your Brand Voice

Brainstorm with your team and establish your social media identity before you set up your social media accounts. Decide what your brand stands for and what you want to portray on your social media platforms.

Ask yourself the following questions to help identify your social media goals:

• Do you want it to be strictly a selling tool?
• Do you want it to build life-long customer relationships?
• Do you want to increase fans and followers regardless of results?

Focus on Your Topic

Your social media fans may forget a specific post, but they will remember the topics you talk about the most and your subject matter of expertise – assuming that you establish one!

An effective social media branding strategy should write, talk and share about topics related to your business and industry. This will reinforce your weight as an expert on that topic. That’s not to say you should never post about anything else, but keep your subject matter close to your area of expertise to reinforce your image as a leader in that area.

Talk about what you know. You’re a furniture store right? Talk about what you do every day. Tell your fans how this new sofa is a perfect fit for the family. Share decorating tips; give them tips on how to pick out the right bedroom suite. Show them you’re the leading voice of authority in your industry!

Get to Know Your Fans

People become fans of your page for a reason. They didn’t happen to “like” your page just because they thought it looked cool. They want relevant and expert information from you. So go ahead and give them what they want!

Pay attention to their posts—both positive and negative—and respond appropriately. Allow negative feedback and address it head on. Simply say, “I’m sorry,” and don’t make excuses. Be real with your virtual fans, and you’ll create real friends.

Update Moderately

Don’t get caught in the overload zone. Once your fall into this trap, it’s hard to escape. Overloading your followers and friends with too many updates will annoy them and can cause them to un-like your page. However, it’s important to update moderately and steadily to help keep your brand fresh and reiterate your brand personality among your customers.

Okay. Now go back to the trashcan and take out the five ways things you wrote down at the beginning. Now take the four above-mentioned ways to produce social media cohesion and apply those to the five you wrote down. It’s about finding the perfect balance between selling and building that fan (customer) relationship.