When buyers are researching their options or looking to make a purchase, where do they turn?
Increasingly, the answer is social media.
It makes sense to be where your buyers are. Research shows reps who make a social splash create more opportunities, are better at meeting quotas, and generally outperform those who stick to more traditional channels.
Want to join their ranks? If you’re new to social selling, are thinking of implementing it with your team, or just want to update what you’re already doing, we’ve got some tips to share.
Social selling in a nutshell
Social selling is about sales reps using social media to reach out to ideal prospects, build trust, establish deeper relationships, and ultimately close sales.
By sharing great content and engaging with the content others share, social selling helps reps:
- Observe and listen to what prospects are already talking about and struggling with.
- Establish expertise and trust by being active and sharing meaningful information.
- Stay top-of-mind so they’re more likely to pop into prospect’s head when a need arises.
Start with these simple tips
The first priority when implementing a social selling program with your team: figuring out who your ideal prospects are – their company, their responsibilities, their demographic information and the social channels they prefer. This should be at the centre of your strategy.
Then, it’s time for your reps to log in and get sharing. Here are four easy things they can do today:
Step 1: Do your research
Spend some time browsing your customers’ profiles, groups, and the content they share to learn what they’re struggling with and what they care about. Then do the same for the prospects you’ve defined.
- Tap into your network and the networks of your customers
- Identify other companies that are a good fit and scan their employees
- Pick out the profiles of key decision makers who might make good prospects
- Read through their profiles, posts, and groups for insights and ideas
*Bonus tip: Before sending an invitation or private message to a new prospect, check if you have common connections who can make a warm introduction. (Just don’t get too personal with it.)
Step 2: Create or update your profile
A profile is a handshake, an elevator pitch, and a personal history all in one. Write with your prospects in mind, selling yourself as the knowledgeable, trustworthy and friendly expert they’re looking for.
- Upload a professional but non-stuffy image
- Create a bio and summary that focus on the problems you solve for your customers
- Ask a few contacts to provide a recommendation, and provide a few in return
*Bonus tip: Including information about your interests away from the office can help you resonate as a well-rounded, more authentic, and easily approachable person.
Step 3: Create relevant, shareable content
Whether it’s a status update, blog post, infographic, or video, the content you create should be meaningful and helpful. Use the posts your prospects and customers are already engaging with as an indicator for the kind of content they value.
- Write a status update that addresses a pain point you learned about in step 1
- Share a piece of news from your industry with a short comment
- Add around one to three hashtags to your posts to improve visibility
*Bonus tip: Not every post is a pitch. It’s okay to talk about your products and services once in a while, but more often content should address things like prospects’ pain points, the most commonly asked questions, success stories, or industry insights.
Step 4: Engage with someone else’s content
Social selling is a two-way street. To drive engagement on your content, you need to engage with others’ content, too. It can be as simple as answering a question, sharing something you’ve learned, or asking for more information – anything that’ll help contribute to the conversation.
- Like and share posts from prospects at least once a day
- Start a dialogue by asking a fact-finding question on a prospects’ post
- Add your knowledge to a discussion in a group your prospects frequent
*Bonus tip: It’s easy to come across as inauthentic when working with limited character counts, so remember to be human and be helpful above all else.
Finally, remember to monitor your posts. If something flops, that’s okay – tons of posts do, even from the pros. Try to figure out why and fix it for your next one. If you see something do extremely well, break it down so you can repeat that success.
The Ultimate Weekly B2B Social Selling Checklist for LinkedIn & Twitter