The sales game has changed – has your approach? Using social media to reach out to, connect with and nurture new clients is a smart move for your small business. By offering helpful content and answering questions, you can make valuable connections with prospects that can lead to more sales down the road.
It’s called “social selling” and it’s a great way to get to know what your target market wants and show that you can help them meet their needs. Salesforce’s recent survey showed that 79% of salespeople who use social media outperform those who don’t. If you fall into the latter category – or just want to improve your social selling skills – here’s how to be a social selling superstar.
Pick your platform wisely.
Social media is a great selling tool – but only if your prospects are using social media. If they are, you need to figure out which platform will help you make the most impact. For B2B businesses, LinkedIn is a natural fit. Businesses that deal with home improvement or design might find a good home on Pinterest. Facebook users run the gamut so this is often a good place to start – and Twitter is perfect for businesses that might have customer service inquiries that need immediate attention.
Create a business (but personal) account.
Social selling is the process of taking the one-on-one connection that happens in person and taking it online. Your customers want to connect with a person – not a brand. In order to make social selling work you’ll need to create a persona that can connect with customers online. This will help you establish a relationship with your network and become part of the social media community.
Grow your network.
After establishing your profile on your preferred social network, get connected! Do a search on each website in order to find people who are in your target market, or are talking about your brand. Try a tool like Social Mention to find conversations about your company or important keywords. Then reach out to those people. Contribute to the conversation, answer questions or offer advice – but don’t make a sales pitch!
Keep it helpful.
When you find conversations and reach out, don’t go for a hard sales pitch. Which of these are you more likely to respond to?
“Hey! I saw your post and you totally need our product. Buy it here at www.buymenow.com”
“Sally, here’s some info you might find helpful in your search for a solution. Let me know what you think!”
It’s pretty clear that the first version will put people off on social media. They are there to connect and find new information, not be sold to. The second version is much friendlier, puts the emphasis on being helpful and doesn’t make a hard sales pitch.
Stay connected and consistent.
Social selling isn’t about making a one time connection that leads to a sale. Stay involved with your growing social connections by posting helpful articles, linking to great resources and answering questions. Follow up with users that you’ve interacted with directly without being pushy. Over time, you’ll start seeing the clicks, signups and sales that you’re looking for.
Ready to use social media selling for your small business? Share your profile information below and let’s get connected!
About the author:
Tobi North – Creativity rock star and marketing master
I enjoy being innovative and creating communications that customers can relate to. I am always looking for that “light bulb” moment, when I find an interesting topic that I know our customers will love to learn more about. In between creative brainstorming sessions, you can probably find me at a concert or searching for the best BBQ joint in town. .