When done right, social selling can be an important part of B2B sales strategy.
However, when it isn’t handled carefully and thoughtfully, social selling alienates and annoys the very people you want to attract. And no matter what platform you choose, the vast majority of sales professionals out there will be doing it all wrong.
Of course, that means you have an opportunity to stand apart from the crowd.
Social media has a learning curve, but it’s much easier when you consider “adding value” as your main purpose. When you add value to prospects’ lives, you foster trust and rapport. That means they will think of you first when – perhaps months later – they are ready to buy.
To make the most of social selling, avoid these three pitfalls:
Don’t Focus on Closing Sales – Instead, Build Relationships
Most of the people you encounter online won’t be ready to dive in and buy from you right away. Just like the marketer who needs to architect dozens of emails before that all-important purchase takes place, you may need to have several conversations with others on social media before you connect with a potential prospect. Create a presence by posting useful, informative and helpful content with a personable, one-to-one voice.
Don’t Take the Scattershot Approach – Get Laser Focused
To get anywhere in the social media universe, you need a targeted message directed to a very specific audience. Before you get started, be sure you know your buyer personas intimately. What are the concerns and burning questions they’re searching for help with? What kinds of online platforms and influencers do they already listen to? Use this knowledge to craft your communication.
Remember: There’s a Wider World to Your Social Efforts
If you’re doing social media, you’ve no doubt heard all of the following:
- You need to be on as many social platforms as you can.
- You need to post regularly – ideally, several times daily.
- You need to cultivate and interact with your following.
All of those are sound starting points, and good as far as they go – but that’s far from the whole story. To add as much value as possible to your business, social media efforts need to tie into your sales strategy at large. Social media that only builds brand awareness is not reaching its full potential. You should be using it to pull users toward your blog, email list, or both.
Businesses of all kinds can benefit from social media. Small business owners in particular often go into it with high hopes, only to find that it doesn’t deliver the kind of value they wished for. These three guideposts will help you stay on track for true ROI from your social presence.