Social Media Sales

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Forward-thinking salespeople are embracing a new approach to break down old communication barriers such as Cold Calls, and Email = Social Media.

While determining the best way to connect with prospects and help coax a consumer down your sales funnel, buyers are consistently going to social networks and the Internet to research products they have an interest in purchasing. Whether you are a B2B or B2C brand, potential buyers are looking on these social media platforms for product information. As the rise of smartphones are getting bigger form factors, consumers are apt to looking, researching with these larger handheld mobile screens.

Here is a brief breakdown of Social Media as related to the Enterprise:

Business to Consumer = Facebook

Business-to-Business products (or services) = LinkedIn (if you have a first-level connection in common with the executive or buyer who will sign off on a PO)

All types of sales = Twitter

*Twitter is the best for “all kinds of sales” as it’s a very popular network (across all demographics) that doesn’t have privacy settings that keep you from high volume searches and actions.

Social Media Sales strategies

Twitter. Make sure you “add” to the conversation a little before directly engaging:

  1.     Favorite a few Tweets
  2.     ReTweet one or two Tweets
  3.     Follow them

Friend, Follow or Connect with individuals with profiles that match you or your clients. Its VERY Important to build relationships on any Social Media platform. Not only can it help to generate leads, it can also help foster relationships with current customers.

Be in expert in your space. Provide solutions or tips and feedback to your customers or potential customers if they post a question or gripe on Twitter/Facebook. Prioritize the social channels and tools your audience is already using and that you’re familiar with, then organize those by their primary function.

Listening on social media is one of the most powerful tactics in a social selling strategy. Monitor for popular hashtags and keywords that are relevant to your industry or brand to find useful insights but also see what is being said about your competitors.

Never cold pitch on Social Media platforms. It comes off as desperate and will be ignored. If there is a conversation trending within your industry and potential customers, join in to offer meaningful commentary and interact with these potential buyers. Listening for these opportunities and finding out the pain points your potential customers are having will give sales people a feel for the conversation and allow them to add value.

Social media is “networking” more than it is “advertising”. The goal is to get them to call you (or vice versa), have an open mind about your product or service, and then make your sales pitch.

When its time to engage or pitch, follow these steps:

  • Ask for their email so that you can send them some info on your services.
  • Find them on LinkedIn and add “connect” with them.
  • Send a polite email and mention a conversation you had with them on Twitter or Facebook. You can also mention a tweet or Post that you “favorite” or “liked” from them.

Good Social Sales tools in this space that keeps track of conversations and engagement include:

Hootsuite. More for individuals and small business.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Enterprise grade and scalable.

Its apparent that Social Media like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are not fads anymore. These platforms are now mature options to generate leads and sales online. By experimenting with different Social Media sales strategies, you can find the best way to convert them into real quantifiable results on all levels.

The Best Digital Marketing Weapons (Tools)

Digital Marketing tools are constantly evolving and changing. They deliver benefits to any organization willing to build up a digital marketing team. Benefits include enhanced credibility, fast and easy access, increases customer relationships, feedback and reviews are easily tracked, cost effective, and can reach an enormous mass of people in a short amount of time. The below is a short list of digital tools in a ever changing digital marketing environment.

Google Analytics. Enough said on this one. Fundamentals of working with report data to advanced segmentation and analytics intelligence. Key for measuring and tweaking your marketing campaigns. Google keeps adding more and more functionality each year.

Google Keyword tool. You can extract valuable data about the demand and competition level of keywords you wish to target organically. The tool will also suggest similar keywords to the one in your query to give you alternative, relevant options for your keyword targeting. The Google Keyword Tool can come in handy whether you’re building your very first keyword list or looking to expand and/or switch directions in your keyword and content strategies.

SEO Doctor and/or ToolbarBrowser. This is a great Firefox extension. Toolbar pulls in many useful marketing data points to make it easy get a holistic view of the competitive landscape. Google PageRank, Links to Domain, Page links, Directory links, Site age, Monthly uniques, Est Traffic Value, and much much more. Great for competitive analysis.

Salesforce Radian6. A powerful tool that lets you monitor specific keywords and phrases that are dominating conversations across the social media sphere. You can also use Radian6 as a sentiment evaluation to aid brand management. Its very scalable from basic to Enterprise paid packages. Very worth the cost.

Traackr. This App helps you find the most important people and content on social media. Traackr includes dynamic influencer lists, automates metrics-driven influencer mapping so you can instantly identify the right people for your projects, real-time listening, sentiment analysis, geo-targeted searches, and shows you all of your influencers’ relevant content in one place so you never miss an opportunity to reach out to them and be part of the social conversation.

TweetDeck or HootSuite. Free tool lets you simultaneously manage all your social media accounts from a single interface. Although it excels with Twitter, you can also effectively manage your Facebook, LinkedIn, or Foursquare profiles.

Wildfire. Another go-to service / tool that will help grow , engage and monetize your social audience. A great paid service for running your social campaigns.

MailChimp. A really easy, dynamic email marketing platform. Your opt-in subscribers will be able to easily connect to social networking pages in order to share your email marketing campaigns. You’ll also be able to use social networking in conjunction with your email marketing. In one click, you’ll be able to send out an email campaign and update your social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Delicious, with your latest information. You can also see who has tweeted about or liked your business.

SurveyMonkey.  I use this one a lot in my own projects. If you have questions about your products or services and you need immediate feedback, SurveyMonkey is THE best web-based survey solution.

SEOmoz. Anything SEO oriented, use this site. Analytics for all your in-bound marketing. There are a lot of free tools and paid ones as well. I use this site and tools daily for years. This site is an incredible value-add to your digital marketing efforts!

Wistia. Is video marketing part of your digital marketing strategy? If so, you may want to think about professional video hosting from a company like Wistia. Video is a great way to communicate with your subscribers, prospects and customers. Wistia provides your business with a ton of great tools that you can use to measure your video’s engagement as well as make your videos more interactive.

Pardot. Marketing Automation. Pardot allows you to provide your sales team with the tools they need, send automatic response emails to prospects interacting with your brand, measure campaign ROI, communicate relevant information to prospects, help you figure out which online efforts are working the best.

Why You Should Be on Facebook

Because its a great business networking platform for self-promotion, branding, advertising, sales, and multimedia interaction. Why? Why spend the money and time? Below are a few basic reasons (stats):

1. 93% of adult US Internet users are on Facebook. (source: BlogHer, April 2011)

2. Facebook is overtaking Google and Yahoo in total time spent online. (source: ComScore, August 2011)

3. More than half of B2B marketers agree that Facebook is an effective marketing tool. (source: Outsell, December 2009)

4. More than half of small businesses agree that Facebook is beneficial to their business. (source: Ad-ology, November 2010)

5. 67% of B2C and 41% of B2B companies that use Facebook for marketing have acquired a customer through this channel. (source: HubSpot State of Inbound Marketing Report 2011)

6. One out of every eight minutes online is spent on Facebook. (source: ComScore, February 2011)

The demographics are almost limitless for all different products and services. Just a simple Facebook fan page will work. A fan page is an official page for a brand on Facebook. A Facebook page is created and other users can become fans of the page. Put a linkback to your website and its yet another way to increase traffic.