Prospecting on social media presents so many opportunities for salespeople; they just have to make the effort to do it. Industry professionals encourage reps to use these networks for leads, as most parts of the sales process aren’t happening in-person.
In my previous post, I discussed the importance of social media prospecting for today’s reps, citing insight from a Blueleadz article by Baylor Cherry. I highlighted her reasons why social media is a valuable tool for today’s sellers. In addition to extolling its value, Cherry also discusses how prospecting on social media should be carried out on five different networks. Because each network is unique and offers its own set of tools and opportunities, this breakdown can be very helpful, especially to reps who aren’t familiar with social selling.
Prospecting on social media
I’ve included just a sampling of the tips she shares for two popular social networks, and reps will likely find all of them to be helpful. Her recommended best practices for LinkedIn and Facebook are as follows.
- Attempt to connect with everyone who comes across your business. Any time you make a new professional connection (whether it’s a lead from a website or a colleague’s introduction), hop on LinkedIn to connect on the network. Doing this can also lead to more contacts. “Connections can create more connections,” Cherry reminds reps. “By finding those contacts who already are aware of your business and connecting with them, you are showing interest in them.”
- Prospecting on social media requires you to engage, and LinkedIn has so many groups that you can join to drive this engagement. Joining groups gives you access to other like-minded individuals who could potentially be lucrative clients. “Posting on a group's discussion board can increase your post's views and shares as well as bring more visitors to your company's LinkedIn page, or even better, send them right to your website,” Cherry suggests. Doing this will not only boost your visibility and awareness about your company, but also inspire great discussions and interactions. Also, don’t worry about joining too many groups; she reports that “53% of users are in 10 or more groups.”
- Joining relevant communities will also enhance your prospecting on social media. On LinkedIn, users are permitted to join up to three communities; this gives you the opportunity to connect with others interested and involved in those communities. As Cherry explains, “The more they engage with the content you post in your community the better. This way, they'll be more likely to click on your website or message you about what your company does and how you can help them. Like with groups, communities provide the chance to get in front of others involved in your industry who have the potential to be great leads.
No longer just a space for personal socializing, prospecting on social media today wouldn’t be complete without including Facebook.
- First and foremost, make sure all of your contact and business information is up to date. Users will be looking at all of that, and if it doesn’t contain the latest details, it won’t be helpful. Ensure that there is a relevant call to action on your profile, such as buttons for calling, emailing, messaging and booking.
- Work consistently to deliver valuable content to fellow users. Blog posts, research, trends, new offerings, and industry tips and tricks are all bits of content that will showcase your value to potential leads, as well as position you as a knowledgeable source. Additionally, this content can drive traffic to your website and other properties.
- It can be easy to get caught up in the “social” aspect of Facebook. But prospecting on social media is more than just sharing memes or liking posts. Reps must find ways to engage in a direct and helpful way. One way to do this is to use Messenger as an outreach tool. Actively use it to connect with other users and create meaningful engagement rather than just posting a generic message on their wall. But, use Messenger thoughtfully. “Don't treat Messenger like another cold call; contrary to traditional outbound marketing methods, your inbound approach shouldn't scare away potential prospects with pushy selling,” Cherry explains. “Spark a conversation, offer to help them out, and see where the conversation takes you.”
Prospecting on social media networks can be a major driver of new leads if done with some thought and planning. Consider these tips, along with Cherry’s suggestions for three other networks, when engaging on social networks. Even when in-person selling resumes, social media will likely remain a valuable way to identify leads and engage.