79% of salespeople who use Social Media as a selling tool outperform those who don’t.
Imagine all the business you could be enjoying if front-line personnel were proficient in Social Media. I recently wrote about the power of that awesome Social selling study from Jim Keenan that gave us that compelling piece of information. But where to start? This is a new world and daily operations is hard enough without bringing more tasks into the mix.
We talk a lot about transparency. It’s a nice word and many businesses haven’t really mastered it yet. The future is radical transparency that ignites the customer experience. Customers and prospects learn things about you and your staff that connects them on a deeper, more intimate level thereby solidifying trust.
Every sales and service professional should be mining Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin. They should write about their passions and displaying their expertise on their own blog. For years we’ve heard that “people buy from those they know, like and trust.” Social selling accelerates that process. When you eventually take your conversation offline, your customer is much further down the sales funnel and the sale closes much more smoothly.
I’ve outlined some killer tips here to help front-line sales professionals to start leveraging Social Media to generate leads and sales.
Social Selling Tips for Facebook
- Create a page starring YOU. By having a Facebook business page for your “personal brand”, you’re able to take advantage of the selling opportunities Facebook provides such as Facebook ads and analytics.
- Incorporate design that reflects who you are. In all visual content, especially your Timeline Cover, develop a consistent message that visually represents you, your passions and your expertise.
- Set Goals. If you don’t put some hurdles out there to jump over, you won’t ever know if you’re succeeding. Start with growing your likes and reach. Work towards 10% overall engagement on your page.
- Content strategy. Plan out what you’re going post on your page. Figure out who your ideal customer is and find content that’s relevant to them.
- Promotion strategy. Develop how you’re going to continually increase your fan base. A small Facebook ads budget ($100-200) will get you where you want to go.
- Engagement strategy. Every sale starts with a conversation. Listen, monitor, respond, and build sales relationships. Learn how to spot leads.
- Conversion Strategy. Plan how you’ll convert those fans into customers. Promote conversation and the prospect will create the lead for you.
- Measure and Analyze. Measurement is about more that just results, it must tie back to the goals you set for yourself. Review your activity and see where you had the most impact. Constantly reassess how you spent your time, what you got from that time and how much money you spen
Social Selling Tips for Twitter
- Create your Twitter handle and complete your profile. Pick a handle that’s easy for your clients and prospects to remember. If your name is taken, get creative. I have a friend who has a very common name so he chose @TopBrokerOC. It speaks to exactly how he wants to be known.
- Follow thought leaders who can help you. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been helped by people who I consider the experts on Twitter. Show support for them by retweeting them or mentioning them. Not all will respond but many do.
- Content strategy. Your content strategy will be the same for all platforms you’re participating on. Only the way it’s published will change. Great content gets noticed first.
- Leverage tools. Here are a few I use:
- TweetAdder. Easily find people to follow.
- Hootsuite. Schedule content out in advance so your time is free to participate.
- Advanced Search. Monitor tweets about any subject or keyword.
- Social Bro. Profile management, a full analytics suite, the ability to identify influencers based on topic or keyword, and keeps data of followers.
- ManageFlitter. Helps keep your account clean and free of the dead weight. Unfollow those who are inactive or are not following you back.
- Ebb & Flow. Follow 50-80 people per day who may be your ideal customer. Unfollow those who don’t follow you back and don’t take it personal. People don’t follow back for many, many reasons.
- Spend 20 mins per day participating. Remember, every sale starts with a conversation. If you find an interesting article, retweet it. Reply to something someone shared that you thought was cool. It’s like working the room at a networking meeting. Keep at it and it will get easier.
Social Selling Tips for Linkedin
- Complete 100% of your profile. You want people to know who you are, what you look like and what your background and expertise are. If you don’t tell them in your profile, they will ignore you and move on to the next. If someone tries to connect with me and they have no profile picture, I usually don’t bother.
- Paid version ($25/mo paid annually) is worth the money, but only if you’re committed. If you’re new, use the free version. If your ideal customer is on LinkedIn then consider making that commitment to the paid version. You get oh so much more with it and if you close one deal, it’s paid for itself.
- Content Strategy. You’re going to rely on your already-established content strategy and start sharing content that’s useful to your network.
- Advanced Search. Linkedin is amazing at finding those decision makers who you want to connect with. Search by keyword, company, location, title, name and so much more. The paid version gives you the best results but dive in and check it out before you decide to pay.
- Linkedin Groups. Here’s your chance to shine! Join a few groups where your ideal customers might be. Start a discussion around a topic that you’re knowledgable about. Demonstrate your expertise and attract leads.
Social Selling Tips for Your Blog
Blogging is the ideal way to connect with prospects, demonstrate your expertise, and sustain visibility and influence.
- Content strategy. I keep coming back to this and that’s because you need to keep coming back to this. When you have a foundational content strategy, you can always refer back to it. How can you help your prospect? What can you share that promotes your expertise?
- WordPress. There is no better framework for your blog. There are reasonably-priced solutions where you don’t have spend time developing your site. Car Dealer Press is one that I can recommend. It’s $19.95 per month. They host it and give you just the right amount of options so that all you need to do is provide the content.
- Derive inspiration from your customers’ most-frequently-asked questions. Every one of their questions can be answered in a blog post.
- Use SM to promote your posts. Now we’ve come full-circle. You’ve spent your time creating your profiles and now’s the time to show your network what you can do. Share your blog posts on all your platforms. Drive prospects to your blog. My friend Marcus Sheridan (thesaleslion.com) has proven that when prospects have read 30+ pages of your own content there’s an 80% chance of closing the sale.