The industry is seeing more and more professionals apply their B2B sales strategy to social media. Social networks have gained more and more interest among sellers, and for good reason. 75% of B2B buyers use social media to guide their buying decision, Saphia Lanier, writing for Influencer Marketing Hub, reports. And SalesFuel’s own research reveals that when researching a purchase, buyers consult social media postings by the company, as well as others’ social comments and reviews.
A B2B sales strategy for social selling
To stay competitive and reach customers and engage more easily, social selling is a must. But doing so is more than just posting about your offerings or liking others’ posts. According to Lanier:
“Social selling involves using social media channels to build relationships and engage with your prospective customers to drive sales…Over time, they’ll build authority and trust, and potentially earn clients for showing up regularly on the platform. It’s a subtle way of advertising your services without using your posts as advertisements.”
She is careful to point out that, when compared to social marketing, social selling is more relationship-focused. Sellers don’t want to constantly be mentioning what they’re selling; they should be seeking to build relationships, as well as credibility and trust.
And doing this isn’t difficult. Lanier shares six ways that sellers can engage in social selling effectively and easily. Here, we will discuss a couple to give you a starting point.
Pinpoint your customer
Just like with emails, pitches, and other methods of communication, you don’t want to target anyone and everyone. Instead, be thoughtful about which buyers you want to connect with on social media, just as you would with other aspects of your B2B sales strategy. Lanier recommends asking yourself the following when considering social selling:
- Who is my ideal customer?
- Where can I find these prospective customers or leads?
- What value can I bring to the table?
- What channels are my competitors using?
- What channels should I focus on?
Your responses to these questions will give you guidance, including which network to start with and who you want to target. Also, do some research. Visit different networks and see what your target audience is posting and liking (as well as your competitors). See which hashtags you should use and follow. And just get comfortable using these sites. As SalesFuel’s Kathy Crosett writes, “If you’re just learning about social selling, lurk for a while. Consider the tone of comments that seem successful. Educate yourself on the topics that people appear to be most passionate about.”
Optimize your profile
Don’t neglect how others will see you on social media; the image you project is just as important. Credibility is one of the reasons you want to engage in social selling, so don’t let your own lackluster profile get in the way. Lanier urges sellers to keep this in mind when implementing a social B2B sales strategy:
- Use a high-quality or professional image for your profile
- Add a professional banner to your profile (for LinkedIn and Twitter)
- Have a concise headline or description that sums up who you are and what you do
- Link to your website or company’s page
Remember, how you present yourself on social media impacts buyers. SalesFuel also found that when researching a seller before meeting them, buyers say they look for:
- Their LinkedIn profile
- Their posts on social media
- Videos on social media
- Photographs/Headshots of them
Be mindful of your profile and how it speaks to your ideal customer because it definitely matters. And no matter which networks you use, make sure it’s easy to learn who you are and what you’re selling. Focus on making your profile as professional and informative as possible.
These two tips from Lanier are just the beginning. Use them to get yourself familiar and comfortable with social selling. Once your profile is established, social media presents so many opportunities to prospect, network, build relationships, and yes, drive new business. “Done right,” she notes, “you can gain a loyal following who advocates for your business and its products or services.”
For SalesFuel’s own advice on social media and your B2B sales strategy, check out these posts.
Photo by Tracy Le Blanc
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