Social media is here to stay – everyone from your great aunt to your boss to your kids are sharing statuses, goofy faces, or live updates. These platforms give people entirely new ways to connect with one another, and this is something that sales professionals need to leverage to succeed in the modern sales environment.
With all of the different platforms and features out there, social selling can become overwhelming. However, sticking to a few best practices will result in great relationships and more closed sales. We’ve compiled tips to help you navigate the ever-changing social media landscape.
- Don’t Treat Your Posts Like a Sales Pitch
There are different ways that you can use social media to connect with your audience, and all of them require different approaches. When it comes to status updates and posts, pitching your product is not the way to go. Think of your status updates as the top of the funnel – your prospects may only be vaguely familiar with your solutions, and a cold sell will turn them off. You need to warm these prospects before moving into the selling stage. Try sharing information that highlights a specific pain point. Share best practices related to their industry or job function. Use your status updates for building awareness, and your private messages or phone calls for pitching.
- Join or Create Groups and Associations
One of the most under-utilized tools in social selling is social media groups. People will often join groups that align with their interests, which is another way you can find and start conversations with potential prospects. If you find that there isn’t a strong group for a specific industry or topic, you can create one. Just remember that people prefer to participate in groups that have thoughtful conversations and interesting advice, so ensure your group doesn’t become a place for spam or advertising.
- Engage Your Audience
Social media is different from other marketing and sales channels because it is inherently just that – social. Your audience can interact with and respond to your content however they want. While this is a challenge, it is also your opportunity. Post content or ideas that are thought-provoking or controversial. Ask questions. Respond to comments. Treat your social selling efforts as you would meeting new people at a party – engage with different people, and take note of those that you’d like to follow up with later. Your prospects have the ability to easily scroll right past your posts, and they will only respond positively to your social selling efforts if you make the effort to engage with them.
- Use Social Media to Understand Your Prospects
The concept of social media “stalking” has become ingrained in popular culture. Fear not, this phenomenon doesn’t refer to actual stalking; it is instead a practice where people view the available information in profiles of other people in their social networks. You can leverage this behaviour in your sales process to find out more about prospects. Take a look at their public profile information to see their job title, where they have worked in the past, where they went to school, or some of their interests. This information will help you understand their buying power, their knowledge, and it may help you start to build a relationship if you can find some common ground. Just be careful not to “like” a post from two years ago.
Social selling will deliver returns over time. The better you nurture your relationships, the higher the ROI will be. Leverage these tips to foster a connection with your prospects, and you’ll become a social selling star.