If you aren’t leveraging social media to boost your sales strategy, it’s time to get started! The relevance of social media in business is old news, but incorporating social selling into your sales strategy might be something you’re still working on. Keep reading for our advice on how social selling can improve your sales team’s performance and your presence online.
What is social selling?
Social selling is the use of social media by salespeople to develop customer relationships and gain insights, as part of the sales process. The relaxed atmosphere of social platforms is a great addition to traditional sales methods and allows you to connect with prospects at all stages of the sales funnel. If you’re still hesitant about adding social media into your selling process, keep in mind your competitors are already doing it and your customers expect it. In fact according to Salesforce, “85% of consumers use social media for business.” Social selling is necessary to keep up with the evolving B2B selling landscape. For those who have already incorporated it into their strategy, Forbes reported, “more than 78% of salespeople using social media to sell outperformed those who weren’t.” To be successful at social selling you need to establish yourself online, engage with customers and prospects, and strategize based on your results.
Optimize your social profiles
A worthwhile social selling strategy starts with establishing a solid online presence. To build an optimized profile make sure all of your information is completed and up to date. Use the list below as a guideline:
- Upload a clear, professional photo of yourself to all social accounts
- On Twitter include your position, company name, and relevant hashtags in your bio
- On LinkedIn add your position, company name, and relevant skills
- Add education, certifications, and past work experience
- Request endorsements from colleagues
Across all of your profiles add your company landing page link to maximize traffic. (Lead social traffic to a solid landing page. Check out our advice on how to create a high converting landing page here). When building your network, follow current customers, B2B influencers, and people within your industry. A carefully curated network of accounts is key to an effective page and will provide you with insights into industry trends and news.
Engage with prospects
Now that your social media pages are ready to go, it’s time to start engaging with your network. Become a resource for buyers by sharing useful information, news, and trends that either you or people you follow have collected. Consistently share helpful posts to increase your legitimacy and interest among buyers, “65% of buyers feel that the vendor’s content had an impact on their final purchase decision.” This is also a good opportunity to build relationships with prospects. Connecting with prospects can be as simple as following them to contributing an insightful response to a post they’ve shared. It’s important to remember that there is social media etiquette, never try to directly sell your product over social media. Instead, use your platforms as a way to build relationships and your brand. It’s also a good idea to “like” and “share” other people’s posts, this type of engagement will encourage others to do the same for things you share, spreading your name to more buyers.
Listen and strategize
Listen to what is being said about you, your company, and your competitors. It’s important to know how you are being perceived so you can amplify or alter the message. You can’t control everything that people say online, but you can respond in a timely fashion and way that will enhance your image. (Hint: It’s important to stay positive, even in the face of negative feedback). Finally, strategize based on what is being posted by prospects and customers. Familiarize yourself with customer complaints and concerns, and use that information to change your overall sales message. To get the most out of social selling track your social conversations and conversions and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Social selling is here to stay, Hootsuite says, “49% of B2B enterprises have developed a formal social selling program, and 28 % are in the process of doing so.” Incorporating social media into your selling strategy is a great way to boost your sales and company’s reputation. Utilizing social is quickly becoming a necessity in the B2B sales landscape, so optimize, engage, listen, and don’t miss out on sales.