When it comes to social media, B2B marketing isn’t something that is usually discussed. Commonly, most cases for social media marketing comes from the B2C realm.
What is Social Selling?
Not to be confused with social media marketing, social selling is the act of using social media to create strong professional relationships with sales prospects. Social selling isn’t owned by sales or marketing, but rather a combined effort on both their ends. Marketing is expected to train and support sales by giving them the content they need.
Why is this method so effective for B2B?
- B2B buyers use peers to research and evaluate purchases
- Builds lasting relationships
- Sales become involved earlier in the buying cycle
How to do social Selling:
Do your homework
Like every successful marketing campaign, it all begins with research. Before engaging in social selling, it is important to know the intended audience in mind. Who are the decision makers in the specific industry you tackle? Identify the right people to interact with and follow social groups they actively participate on.
It is also important to know what their pain points are, their needs allow you to find or create content that will specifically suit their need. The objective here is not to prioritize your sales agenda, rather focus your efforts into solving your customer’s problem.
Have a consistent touchpoint
Once you have identified your target, it is important to enable your sales team with a professional online presence. First impressions matter, this is especially true in social media. A professional looking profile picture as well as a profile page that clearly states your company and role goes a long way in establishing your credibility as a trusted advisor.
Start conversations through content
Social selling isn’t spamming various people on social media with unsolicited posts and private messages. The right approach must be done with consent. Remember, social selling is a dialogue. This hinges on the value you bring to the table. Your value is measured on the relevant content you contribute. Through owned and borrowed content, establishing yourself as a subject matter expert creates opportunities for you to start professional conversations with your target market.
Build professional relationships
With social media it’s a lot easier to maintain and build relationships. While the ultimate objective of social selling is to close the sale, becoming a trusted adviser to a prospect brings your closer to that finish line. After starting that conversation, keep in touch. Devote 5% to 10% of your time to reconnecting with your network by sharing relevant content with them. Don’t let the relationship stagnate by focusing on helping them solve a problem they have or identifying problems that might happen in the future.
Activate the relationship when ready
After you’ve built trust with your prospect by proving yourself as a trusted advisor, it’s only a matter of time before your professional relationship with a lead turns into a referral or a sale. When you’ve noticed that your prospect is ready to make a sale, introduce your product or service. Take note this should be natural, otherwise you risk alienating the professional relationship you’ve been cultivating.
Minsky, L and Quessenberry, K. (2016, November 10) How B2B Sales can Benefit from Social Selling Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2016/11/84-of-b2b-sales-start-with-a-referral-not-a-salesperson
Newberry, C. (2017, January 19) Social Selling: What it is, Why You Should Care, and How to Do It Right Retrieved from https://blog.hootsuite.com/what-is-social-selling/
Biale, A. (2017, March 1) Social Selling: Your Step-by-Step Guide 2017. Retrieved from https://insights.newscred.com/social-selling/
What is Social Selling Retrieved from https://business.linkedin.com/sales-solutions/social-selling/what-is-social-selling