At this point, social media is everywhere. For virtually anyone online, it’s essentially a fact of life. So many of us have social networks down solidly, but businesses are still getting their sea legs, so to speak. For the most part, businesses have woken up to the “why” of using social media to increase sales, but the “how” tends to be elusive.
It’s no longer enough to simply be on social networks, but businesses need to stay active on them and be thoughtful of how they are interacting with their audiences. B2B businesses especially can benefit from tactics that fall under the umbrella of “social selling.”
What is social selling?
Leading inbound marketing powerhouse Hubspot offers a simple definition of social selling as a process by which “salespeople use social media to interact directly with their prospects.” However, the term social selling in and of itself is a bit of a misnomer. The process is less a traditional idea of selling and more a process of building relationships. Businesses that leverage these strategies thoughtfully can get a leg up over their competition.
Salespeople use social media to interact directly with their prospects.
Jumpstart your Social Selling
If you are in professional sales, you have to consider social selling quite seriously. We are ready to share some tips on that.
Get Your Online Profile in Shape
For businesses that focus on B2B selling, LinkedIn tends to be king of the social networks. The first thing you should ensure is that your photo is as professional as possible. Thinking of using a selfie? Think again. You want those that view your profile to get immediately a sense of professionalism from your photo, not a cropped photo from a social outing. It’s not a bad idea to use a professional headshot either, if you can get one!
The same relates to your Twitter profile. Twitter become a significant platform for Social Selling lately.
Also, be sure to fill out your profile thoughtfully. Use each section to present yourself as authentically as you can. You never know when a past volunteer position, board membership, or other little detail could become a way a prospect might connect with you.
Learn About Prospects
Social networks, with all the details that people share about themselves, are an incredible way to learn about prospects. When reviewing their profiles, be sure to keep an eye out for common interests, experiences, and connections that might be a great icebreaker once you connect.
Also, despite the ability to send a message or request a connection despite not having met a person, resist the urge. Many users will simply ignore you, or may feel negatively about what they feel is an unwanted solicitation. Instead, ask mutual connections to make an introduction where possible. A warm introduction from a mutual colleague or friend will go a long way towards getting your prospect to open up to you.
Previously we posted nice related articles Know Your Customers, that shares some insights.
Interact on Social Platforms
There’s nothing worse than a company who has comments from their audience and doesn’t actually respond. When you have an audience that is interacting on social networks, ignoring them is essentially wasting the effort you’re putting into getting any content out there. It’s also alienating your audience by making them think that either you don’t care, or you’re not wanting their comments and interactions. Goodwill and attention span are critical and hard to acquire online these days, so be sure you take care of your audience!
You should be thoughtfully responding to all comments on your social pages, even the negative ones. Negative comments help show potential customers how you deal gracefully with criticism, and can even bring around someone that had a bad experience. Only block or report comments that are abusive in nature.
Social selling can be a powerful set of tools for your business to gain more business from prospects, but might be a little daunting for businesses to break into. Check out the awesome mini-guide to social selling from Salesforce, or LinkedIn’s own ten tips for social selling for some great starting points.
We will be exploring social selling here on SocialSearch here as well, so be sure to keep an eye out!