What Social Selling Is NOT...
Social Selling isn’t PUSH selling like email blasts or cold calling, but rather about prospecting through engagement and insights.
Just like regular networking in person, if you start shouting about what you do, you’ll very quickly be ignored. To leverage social you need to engage with people and offer help/insights – very much like consultative sales. You can also leverage your social connections later in your sales pipeline to nudge your prospects along.
Here are a few things to do that will help you rock your social selling strategy:
#1 Know Your Customers
Look at your buyer personas (ideal customers) and update the information, adding information about where they are socially active. Talk to your best customers to find out what they use (and why), where they do their research, and how they engage.
Tip: If your customers employ a social media manager, talk to that person with an eye to understanding how they view social media for their brand.
#2 Use All the Channels
You will need to post on a regular basis to each social platform you’re engaging on, some of them multiple times per day. If your company has a blog, then it’s a great thing to promote via social. If not, then find experts and news outlets in your industry and promote their articles. Curation is a super way for those of us who don’t have the time or talent to write!
#3 Don’t Forget the Basics
Get a decent photo.
Make it professional. Use a photo of yourself alone centered in the shot. A smile always helps. The aim is to make you look like a confident, trustworthy expert that people want to get help from.
Write a good description of yourself.
The amount of words you can use depends on the social platform. You’ll want to include some keywords that search engines can use to find you. Think of your description as a value proposition, summing up your strengths in a few sentences.
Organize a social plan.
When will you post, what will you post, and how will you actively engage with your community?
Part of my social plan is attending the #SalesEU Twitterchat every Wednesday at 3pm. This enables me to provide insights around my industry and engage with people who share my interest in sales. These people retweet me and extend my reach, so more prospects see my messages and go to my profile or website.
There are lots of Twitterchats - check them out and attend a few!
#4 Engage in a Genuine Way
You’ll get the best results from social if you engage with people. Just like real life, you get more from meetings or networking events if you actively engage. Social is exactly the same - just in a digital form. Take 30 minutes out of your day and talk to people on social - retweet, ask questions, and answer questions. Those 30 minutes could turn out to be the most productive use of your time each day!
#5 Use Clever Tools to Assist You
Here are four tools I use to help me with my social strategy:
Feedly: Put your favourite blogs into a single list and read them rapidly via Feedly. This is a great time saver and brilliant way of organizing your reading list to stay on top of what’s happening.
BufferApp: This won’t help you engage but it will mean you have a constant stream of posts on your social feed - so it’s never empty. A clever feature is that it spreads out your posts throughout the day.
PipelinerCRM: For later stage deals you need a CRM that understands social selling and supports it with features. Pipeliner CRM you can actively monitor your prospects’ social feeds - and then like, share, and comment on them. This is a great way to nudge along your prospects.
Twtrland: If your social platform of choice is Twitter, then Twtrland will help you identify all the influencers in your market space.
Social selling is the way of the future. Understanding its power is crucial to your success. Read all you can about it - then share your insights about social selling on the social channel of your choice!
Richard Young, Managing Director at Pipeliner CRM