Social media marketing is no longer just a great place to connect with old college friends, family members or even meet new friends. It has become a critical platform for brands and clients to engage their audiences and reach more relevant customers. Importantly, from my experience for brands today’s brands to successfully drive conversions in real-time –than with social selling.
‘THE DAYS OF ‘COLD CALLING’ OR RUNNING AN EXPENSIVE 60 SECOND TELEVISION COMMERCIAL ARE LONG GONE’
As I have written this article based on decades of experience gained at: DDB, Ogilvy & Mather, Leo Burnett, Ammirati Puris Lintas and inside The Omnicom Group (NYSE:OMC), it’s critical to always remember that loyal customers are the primary, enduring source of cash flow and organic growth.
Marketing isn’t optional in today’s digital world—it’s a ‘great & must do investment in continuing sales’
After reading the many comments from my recent articles, a common reoccurring comment has been: ‘Why is social selling important?’
The key benefits of Social Selling for consumers, brands and clients are increased access to discounts, stronger relationships with companies, and inside knowledge of an organization. Because of these benefits, consumers are incentivized to participate with social selling efforts.
CHECK OUT THESE IMPRESS STATS:
- Social selling leaders get better results
- Social selling leaders create 45% more opportunities than peers with lower SSI.
- Social selling leaders are 51% more likely to reach quota.
- 78% of social sellers outsell peers who don’t use social media.
- 86% of IT buyers now use social media to make technology decisions (IDG)
- Buyers using social media are more senior and have larger budgets than buyers who don’t use social (IDC)
- 53% of buyers using social media to assess new tools and technologies (Harvard Business Review)
And, Harvard Business Review states that 84% of B2B buyers begin the buying process with a referral, and over 90% of purchase decisions are influenced by peer recommendations.
Best yet, Social Selling allows you to create conversations about your product and services which organically can produce sales conversations.
It is essential to bringing in revenues from key customers, clients, fans, members and build your tribe. AND, I think from my decades of experience, Social Selling and Educational Marketing are two must do techniques today.
So, let me first define what I mean by Social Selling and Educational Marketing. Here are my definitions for both:
- Social Selling = According to LinkedIn’s definition, which I agree and often quote, Social Selling refers to using social media platforms and other digital tools and processes to find and connect with leads and prospects, thereby increasing sales. For B2B businesses, it comes down to building relationships with prospects on platforms such as LinkedIn.
‘SOCIAL SELLING = RELATIONSHIP BUILDING’
To summarize, I would also state, as your brand being ‘social’ or personable with your consumers and selling when it’s relevant. With social media analytics tools, it’s easier than ever to gain a comprehensive understanding of your buyer personas. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is also now penetrating every aspect of B2B sales, including social selling. Knowing your audiences interests, buying habits and behaviors can help you build messaging that resonates with and strengthen long-term relationships and build trust and loyalty.
- Educational Marketing = ‘Educational Marketing is the sharing of knowledge with the purpose of building trust. It is a strategy that establishes credibility and trust with your customers by using educational messages. Today’s consumer lives in a highly digital and immediately gratifying consumer environment.’
Sales, New Business and Growth is all about building trust and rapport, not breaking it. When you sell, or pitch, you’re often breaking rapport because the prospect may be skeptical at first because no one wants to be ‘sold.’ BUT, when you educate, you build trust and establish rapport.
‘MY PRO TIPS TO USE SOCIAL SELLING TO REACH MORE CUSTOMERS’
As I recent wrote, ‘How I Use Social Selling to Reach More Customers’ e.g. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/now-you-can-improve-your-total-marketing-reach-string-geoff-de-weaver/ I had such a positive response from the article, I thought I would share some of the key reasons, Social Selling has allowed me to become a TOP 1% in The Advertising & Marketing Industry AND, a TOP 1% within my Network within LinkedIn worldwide.
So, here are more tips and shortcuts that will help provide you with come insights into enhancing your:
- Professional Brand
- Targeting the Right People
- Engaging with Insights
- Building Relationships
NOTE: This is my ranking as at August 2019 time of writing. YES, I still even need to target the ‘right people’ with the ‘right insights’ even better! In fact, LinkedIn has even allowed to to impact a massive 622,396,315 LinkedIn 1st, 2nd and 3rd level connects! (YES…you really need to start using LinkedIn and fully grasp the power of social selling and Boolean String!)
Besides using and exploiting Boolean search strings – here are some other tips I would recommend you start to implement if you want to build you business, increase your influence, practice, add more clarity and improve dramatically.
Here are some of the most important tips to give you an ‘unfair advantage’:
- Select the best Social Media Platform for you or your Company. By this I mean, if you want to have a highly professional personality – I think LinkedIn is far better than, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and others. So, this is intentionally why I have always used LinkedIn as my ‘go-to’ platform. For me, as I specifically target more B2B clients, brands than I would on Instagram or Facebook.
Although Facebook has over 2.4+ Billion users worldwide, I believe now that Microsoft has acquired LinkedIn – LinkedIn today is the perfect place to drive business results, raise brand awareness, promote career opportunities, and educate potential customers on your products and services.
Additionally, LinkedIn’s Company Pages are also a great method to increase credulity and attract new business too! With Microsoft’s major involvement now – I can assure you, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will play an even more important role to close deals even faster in the months and years to come. Artificial Intelligence analyzes billions of data points from multiple sources, while sifting through social signals, to determine who you should contact and when and how you should engage (i.e., your prospect might be active on Twitter but not LinkedIn– AI can guide you instantly to the right medium). Make sure you get the best leads faster!
I recommend you also consider and investigate the three following things too:
- Where do your customers/clients visit the most?
- Where can you access your target the best?
- Where do your ads get clicked the most?
If you don’t have ‘clarity’, you can’t change. You can’t grow, right? No clarity, no change. No goals, no growth. It just ties together.
- Social Media Monitoring and Analytics are key. Some of the key tools I can recommend include:
- LinkedIn Sales Navigator – this tool helps business sales personnel and entrepreneurs alike connect with potential prospects. Using an advanced algorithm, LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a disruptive social selling tool that allows you to interact with potential leads and prospects that are recommended to you based on your business and the potential client’s needs.
- Hootsuite – Most people that have worked in marketing, advertising or used social media marketing over the last decade have probably heard about or used Hootsuite. I believe HootSuite is a very disruptive social selling tool for brands and businesses who are looking to make a big impact with their brands/clients while avoiding the switch between various social selling platforms. HootSuite allows you to manage multiple social media platforms, the content that is posted, and performance measurements to see how your social tactics are impacting actual sales.
- Salesforce Social Studio/Salesforce Marketing Cloud – I can personally recommend many different products from Salesforce.com. In fact, I have know and been aware of Salesforce.com since living and working in San Francisco since 1999 – they really got on my radar when they first acquired the industry-leading social media monitoring platform called Radian6, for approximately $276 million in cash and $50 million in stock, net of cash.
I was so thrilled by their social media listening and monitoring skills and technology, I even introduced them into Agency.com New York in 2008 for the initial trial and even helped them set up and expand into Sydney, Australia as well.
BUT, in recent years, Salesforce.com has continued to heavily invested in Cloud Marketing tools and offer an even deeper and broader selection of products and solutions that I can highly recommend to anyone.
Salesforce have pioneered many of the best tools in this space PLUS, they help companies listen to what people are saying about them online and engage in those conversations across the social web. From blogs and comments to multimedia, boards, forums and communities like Twitter, Salesforce gathers the discussions happening online and gives businesses the ability to analyze, manage, track, and report on their social media monitoring and engagement efforts. NOW THATS POWERFUL!
Importantly, Salesforce have helped pioneer the world in cloud marketing and social selling and are amazing at building and managing ‘customer journeys’ with Marketing Cloud. AND, delivering the right message at the right time on the right channel. For more information I recommend you visit them here: https://www.salesforce.com/products/einstein/overview/
For social selling, analytics they are a must I believe. You need to constantly track your posts’ performance. LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index can give you a free score which will help you understand your social selling success rate.
FACT: LinkedIn generates more leads than all other social media platforms.
In my opinion LinkedIn is far better for business and social selling. Facebook is for fun – just like Snapchat. And, I have consistently seen the past decade – any B2B company not taking advantage of LinkedIn leaves potential sales on the table. And, comfortably beats Twitter, YouTube, SlideShare and Facebook on the Effectiveness rankings!
Importantly, LinkedIn was specifically designed for connecting companies and business professionals together.
One of the massive developments for LinkedIn has been their mobile-optimized lead ads. Over 80% plus of LinkedIn’s user base is mobile users, and they have optimized the lead ad experience to be more mobile-friendly and their APPS are amazing too. These improved forms take fewer steps to convert and have the potential to go to your website and convert on another piece of content through a “visit website” button.
If you want to check your Social Selling Score NOW, click: https://www.linkedin.com/sales/ssi
Social selling tools and techniques are now an essential part of any successful sales strategy and are revolutionizing sales and prospecting in real-time.
Importantly, if you want to make a major impact, you will improve your ‘batting average’ if you shoot to post your articles at the right time. In order to boost social selling and interaction among potential customers, it is important to know when to post content on LinkedIn. And, I have observed and found, the most effective time to post on LinkedIn is either around noon or between 5 and 6 pm (EST.) The worst time to post is between 10 pm and 6 am.
Finally, he ABCs of sales and marketing have forever changed. It’s no longer: A-Always, B-Be, C-Closing BUT, the new way of selling is: A-Always, B-Be, C-Contributing to your buyer’s journey. Social Selling is the most effective way to engage with your customer today, and the world’s most powerful social selling tool for any B2B sales professional. Period.
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