If you take a hard selling approach instead of social selling, you’ll enjoy the benefits of social media marketing for B2B. Engaging on social media is a fine balance and the focus shouldn’t just be on selling but providing value. If you come on too strong with a sales pitch and a hard sell, they’ll go running; if you don’t engage enough, you’ll never be able to build a foundation of qualified leads. The following tips will help you find the right balance and realize the many benefits of social media in the B2B world.
• Set Achievable Goals
Before you take on social selling, set achievable goals, goals you’ll stick too. You can always expand on them later. Consider how many people you would like to make contact with on a daily basis. Think about how many leads you’d like to generate. Once you have the answers you’ll be able to stay focused which will make it easier to measure success. When it comes to social media, or just about any kind of marketing for that matter, it’s never a good an idea to just “wing it”. Taking on social media without a plan will stifle your efforts from the get-go. Without clearly defined goals and metrics for success, you won’t be able to measure your progress and adjust your social strategies to achieve optimum results.
• Be Sure To Engage
Social selling is all about one interaction, which eventually spills over into other audiences when your comments go viral. You need to engage on a personal level, similar to how you would at a networking event or even a casual cocktail party. Never steamroll over your prospects with the “hard sell” approach; this simply doesn’t work with social media and repeatedly blasting your marketing messages isn’t going to help you build fruitful relationships or provide value. Imagine having a casual conversation with someone about newsworthy items, or industry standards and someone walks up, interrupts your conversation, and starts talking about themselves. Hard selling just doesn’t work with social media.
• Forget About Trying to Work an Angle
Social media site users have no problem pointing out sales people working an angle just to try to sell them on their services. Instead, be yourself; show them your human side. The more honest and personable you are, the faster you’ll earn the trust of your prospects. If you try to fake your way through the social selling process, your heart won’t be in it and social users will feel it and it’s not a quality that they’ll trust. Social selling starts with trust.
• Focus On Adding Value
When you engage with your clients and potential clients, it’s crucial that you always add value to your conversations (posts/tweets). With social selling you can help your social sphere solve a problem; provide them with interesting information about the industry, or useful tips that they’ll appreciate. Social Media sites are great places to initiate a sale, but terrible places to try to close. In other words, if you blindly pitch your services, you’ll end up forcing what you’re selling into the discussion far too early in the sales cycle.
• Listen To What’s Being Said
Social media sites are incredible places to gather useful information like your competitor’s attributes, learn industry news, discover your potential/current client’s pain and pleasure points and much, much more; all you have to do is take the time to listen and take note. If you only visit your social media sites to blast out your salesy messages and not paying attention to what’s being said, you’re wasting a huge opportunity to research, listen, learn and participate. Social selling requires social listening.
At the end of the day, there’s only one way to actually close a sale via social media and that’s to establish yourself as an industry leader and a trusted resource. Once you’ve earned your target audience’s trust, everything else will fall into place.