Social media selling has become a hot topic among B2B sales reps and sales management in recent years. As you may know, this sales tactic involves the use of social media networks like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to attract and nurture leads into customers. The concept of social media selling has been around since the early days of social media itself. Now that 79% of U.S. adults have a social media profile, though, it's become a key focal point for many companies. If you're thinking about adopting a social media selling strategy to promote your B2B company's products or services, let us share a few valuable guide.
Is Social Media Selling Effective for B2B Companies?
The short answer is yes – social media selling, when performed correctly, can help B2B companies attract more sales leads and generate more sales. In fact, a study published by Nimble found that sales reps and sales managers who support the use of social media selling strategy are 79% more likely to achieve their sales objectives than their counterparts who don't. Social media is just one more channel that can help connect with your audience and, therefore, generate more sales. And unlike other sales channels, social media doesn't require a substantial investment. You can get started with social selling with little or no monetary investment, making it an attractive sales lead generation strategy for B2B companies on a budget.
Choosing the Right Social Media Networks
For an effective social selling strategy, you need to choose the right social media networks on which to market your B2B company and promote its products or services. Not surprisingly, Facebook remains a popular social media network. According to a Pew survey, 68% of U.S. adults visit and use Facebook on a mobile device. Regardless of what your B2B company sells, your target audience probably uses Facebook. With that said, there are other social media networks to consider targeting in your B2B company's social selling strategy.
Perhaps the most useful and valuable social media network for a B2B social selling strategy is LinkedIn. Statistics show 50% of U.S. adults with a college degree use LinkedIn. Of course, LinkedIn is particularly popular among business owners, executives and other professionals, many of whom are B2B buyers. Be sure to identify the social media networks used by your B2B company's audience. By targeting these networks, you'll generate better results from your social selling efforts.
Use a Facebook Page (Not a Profile)
Assuming you intend to target Facebook with your social selling strategy, you should use a Page to connect with your B2B company's audience rather than a profile. Some people assume that Facebook Pages are the same as profiles, but this isn't true. Only a Page can be used for commercial purposes, including the promotion of your B2B company or its products or services. If you attempt to market your B2B company using a profile, Facebook may shut down your account. Therefore, you should always use a Facebook Page when social selling on Facebook.
To create a Facebook Page for your B2B company, you'll need to log in to the social media under your personal account, which is connected to a profile. Once logged in, visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/creation and follow the given instructions. You should then be able to create a Page under your B2B company's name.
Direct Message Prospective Buyers
Don't hesitate to send direct messages to prospective buyers over social media. Some prospective buyers may find your B2B company on social media without any additional help. Others, however, won't. By taking a proactive approach towards reaching out and communicating with prospective buyers on social media, you'll naturally generate more sales leads and sales.
Most social media networks allow users to send private messages to other users. If you know a user works for a company that's within your B2B company's ideal audience, consider sending him or her a private message. In this message, you can begin to build a personal relationship, and let them know that your B2B company offers solutions he or she might be interested in and that you'd like to schedule a meeting.
Publish Valuable, Informational Content
One of the most common mistakes B2B companies make on social media is only publishing highly commercial, sales-oriented content. If your B2B company's Facebook Page, LinkedIn Page or Twitter profile looks like an advertisement, it won't attract many sales leads or buyers. To succeed with social selling, you need to publish value-based, informational content that the sales lead can relate to.
What type of content should you share on social media exactly? It really depends on who your B2B company's target audience is. The key thing to remember is that your content should provide value to your audience. How-to guides, case studies, infographics and interviews are all highly effective for social selling.
Re-Use the Content You Made
Now that you’ve had time to create new valuable content for your social media account, use it for other channels too. This brand new content can be used in email marketing. It can be sent to your current list or send it to a few new sales leads as follow up.
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One of the best ways to evaluate the project reports is to open up a free account. This will give you the opportunity to read the notes on the project, get the know the quality of the contacts and give a few a try.