Social selling is the art of using social media as a tool to find prospects and nurture leads through social media so that you can enter into favourable or ‘warm’ business conversations with your target market. It’s about creating a brand through social platforms, that customers and prospects can trust and respect.
In essence, a good social media strategy plants a number of seeds and nurtures that harvest over time for a substantial return on investment in the long term.
We are all familiar with B2C social media campaigns on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but what about B2B?
It surprises me when I hear people say that social selling is not for them, it’s not in line with their brand or they don’t need it. But maybe this shouldn’t come as a surprise, when Henry Ford invented the automobile there were certainly those who said that the horse and carriage would never be replaced. When mobile phones came around, there were definitely those who said that they would be a fad, the same with the internet itself.
The fact is, that social selling is not only effective, but it is really no different to any other form of marketing and it is certainly not a fad – at the end of the day, it’s getting you in front of your specific target market and clearly expressing to them how you can help them achieve their goals or solve their problems. And yes, your target market IS on social media.
B2B organizations pay thousands to have a stand at expo’s and conferences simply to be in the same room as their target market, well guess what, you can have the same effect through social media at a fraction of the cost.
It comes as no surprise then that:
- 72.6% of salespeople who incorporated social media into their process outperformed their colleagues and there’s a direct correlation between closed deals & social selling tactics.
- 79% of marketers see increased traffic through just 6 hours invested in social media marketing per week.
It comes as no surprise then that:Why does social selling yield these results? There are a number of reasons and advancements that make social media the go-to, and increasingly even the stand alone marketing & lead generation outlet for modern day B2B marketers, some of the core elements which make social media an attractive proposition when compared to other potential avenues are:
It comes as no surprise then that:Targeting like nothing else
It comes as no surprise then that:From a B2B standpoint, social media is by far the most effective way to be targeted in your approach to marketing and lead generation, the ability to refine your market by extremely specific demographics is a luxury that simply cannot be attained through any other methods of marketing out there.
It comes as no surprise then that:Build trust and rapport
It comes as no surprise then that:Probably the most important factor in generating new clients is TRUST. Your prospects need to trust you in order to invest in your services, and if that all important trust is missing then you will not generate any clients. Period.
It comes as no surprise then that:Social media is one of the best ways to build trust with potential clients, here’s how:
It comes as no surprise then that:Content: Writing thought provoking & value based articles, producing insightful infographics, uploading actionable videos are all solid ways to add value to your network and allow your prospects to become familiar with you at an arms reach. Remember, nurture the seeds ready for harvest.
It comes as no surprise then that:Direct Messaging: The ability to directly contact your prospects through social media is an opportunity that many fail to capitalize on. But the fact is, that with the right approach through social media, not only can you be extremely, extremely, extremely targeted in your approach but you can set up multiple warm sales calls with prospects who have AGREED to have a conversation with you. Imagine if every cold call you made, was with a prospect who has expressed an interest and desire in what you have to offer whilst being in your ideal client demographic. It’s possible to set up 10+ calls like this a week with the right strategy in place.
It comes as no surprise then that:In essence, social media allows us to find and then filter out which prospects have those pain points we can address with the solution that our product or service provides. This is perfectly possible with the right approach.
It comes as no surprise then that:Build a network of Target Market: The ability to target your ideal client through social media is a genuine opportunity to become a household name among your target market. By optimizing your profile and producing consistent, value-based content – your network will begin to take notice and actually want to start doing business with you.
It comes as no surprise then that:Speak to decision makers
It comes as no surprise then that:The problem with traditional B2B marketing campaigns is not that they are necessarily ineffective methods in themselves (think cold calling, and email campaigns), it is that they do not even reach decision makers in the first place. Social media is a genuine way to bypass gatekeepers within organizations and make direct contact with the head honcho of an organization, instead of having to waste time doing battle with the gatekeeper before even speaking to a decision maker.
So where to focus?
In a B2B sense, there is one network that stands head and shoulders above the competition. LinkedIn boasts half a billion + users and one new member joining every 3 seconds. It’s a professional network that has sophisticated built-in sales and prospecting features that allow businesses to refine their target market to a tee. With the right approach, and I emphasize with the correct approach, LinkedIn is simply a goldmine of target market prospects in virtually any industry.
Take that with a word of warning, because with the wrong approach, you will actually burn leads and not leverage the effectiveness of LinkedIn. It’s a question of approaching your market with value first, and sales later.
So it’s no surprise that LinkedIn users are 4x more likely to visit your website than Facebook users and 49% of B2B buyers research a potential vendor on LinkedIn before making a decision.
What’s more, LinkedIn is 3x more effective at generating B2B leads than both Facebook and Twitter. So you better believe that it is the place to be.
Put all your eggs in one basket
When it comes to B2B Social Media strategy, putting all of your eggs in one basket is good advice. The fact is that LinkedIn delivers significantly better results for B2B marketers than any other social media platform, so focus on it, plant seeds and look after that harvest. I promise you can achieve near on limitless Return on Investment from a proper LinkedIn strategy.