The myth that social media was created solely for millennials and marketers to use is quickly fading. A report published by LinkedIn shows that, in 2016, roughly 90% of top performing salespeople used social selling to demolish their sales objectives. It’s clear that social selling isn’t just the way of the future. It is, in fact, the secret sauce your competitors are already using.
Learning how to reach your sales goals with the assistance of these powerful tools will put you and your team ahead of the game. Here’s how to dominate social selling and get your reps closer to achieving their quotas today.
Track Prospects Like A Champ
While press releases will continue to remain a staple in our marketing and business communications, the benefits of social media cannot be denied. Think of smaller yet still important changes prospects may have made to the company that aren’t perhaps worthy of an official letterhead but are important to the way you work with them and close the deal.
This could be anything from a change in the official title of a new employee, to an acquisition of a competitor’s property, to a simple company anniversary announcement. These details are important in your pursuit of strong and authentic relationship building.
The challenge here is your ability to remember most (or even some) of what you read on social media is limited. Studies show that engaging in lower levels of focus, as is our default mental approach to perusing social media, can actually inhibit memory formation and retention.
This is because memories like that status update you read in three seconds get stored in your short-term or working memory. But when your working memory is exposed to hundreds of short lines with separate information it is easily overwhelmed.
All of this is to say don’t just rely on your limited short-term memory when you create a strategy for social selling. Online tools, like CRMs, are extremely reliable places to record and store important updates from your network.
Simply add their social links to their individual CRM profile. Then, when you come across something noteworthy, simply record it in your CRM and set an automatic follow up reminder. Doing so will ensure you never miss the opportunity to continue building trust with clients. You’ll also have a succinct history of only the most important updates from your prospects to refer back to from time to time.
Put Your Analytics to Work
You already know that we here at Base are gluttons for data, but here’s why these statistics matter when it comes to social selling.
When considering how to improve your social selling skills, try using the scientific method (you know, the one from grade school). First, start with your hypothesis of what types of content are most appealing to your audience. This should be based on your company’s existing insights around your most valuable customer profiles. (Not sure what these look like? This blog post should help.)
Next, pick the best measurements of success to analyze. This can be anything from average number of likes, retweets, or even comments on any given post.
Does the content you post resonate? Why or why not? Attempting to predict the behavior of your social selling audience (with a decent amount of analytical certainty) helps you produce and share content that drives brand trust and loyalty.
You might even be surprised to find that certain accounts, business or personal, have populated your pages from industries or contact titles you may not have even thought to tap into yet. So yeah, those likes really do count for something more than just a personal pat on the back (though you deserve one of those too)!
Focus on Providing Context
Another powerful social selling technique involves building your brand. As John Barrows talks about in our recent interview, personal brand building is one of the most important and effective uses for social media.
Consumers favor personal brands over corporations, and social accounts that feel authentic, like a real person they can connect and relate to. Focusing on the human aspects of social media can make you and your company really stand out from the crowd.
When it comes to creating content that buyers will respond to, companies have two options. The first is to produce original material to share with their buyers. These guides, tips, and articles are essential in defining your brand’s voice. The second is to share content written by others but that is still relevant to your space or offering. Either way, it is important to add context when you share these materials.
Context is the idea of putting your own spin or sharing your opinion on current events, articles, or posts made by accounts you follow. The next time you share a new piece of content, remember to add in your viewpoint on the topic. It could be something that you strongly agree or disagree with, just as long as you explain why. Sharing your insight and thought process regarding the post can help your audience connect with you on a much deeper level.
Like-minded buyers will appreciate your mini thought leadership moment and hopefully feel welcome to jump into the conversation. This conversation can often lead to community, further strengthening these relationships in ways you couldn’t have before. Therefore context is the key performer in building your own personal brand and improving your social selling skills.
Supporting Social Selling
Dominating social selling can be as simple as putting your tools to good use and selecting a CRM that helps you keep track of prospects and get the most out of your workforce. For more on how to find, assess, and select the best possible CRM for your social selling needs, look no further than our free CRM Buyer’s Kit for more information.