Why social selling should be part of your marketing strategy
With B2B buyers becoming increasingly reliant on digital tools such as social media for information, social selling is a powerful way to connect with prospects in a more personalised and meaningful way. Done right, it can be a valuable part of the marketing mix and an effective revenue-driving asset.
Why social selling should be part of your marketing strategy
As the B2B buying process becomes increasingly digital, more people are involved, but fewer have any real interaction with your sales team. While much can be achieved by online advertising and content marketing, personal contact and trust remain key to closing the deal.
So how can you still build meaningful relationships with prospects who stay safely hidden behind a screen? Social selling is a perfect solution.
Selling through social media channels can enable you to reach and connect with prospects, building the right level of trust and confidence to influence their decision when it comes to the final purchase moment. Done well, in conjunction with your other communications initiatives, this can be a powerful part of your marketing strategy that is hard to achieve via other channels.
According to LinkedIn, 78% of sales professionals outsell their peers who don’t use social media. They are also able to acquire 45% more sales opportunities.
How to leverage Social Selling in B2B
At its core, social selling in the world of B2B is the art of using social media platforms to engage with potential buyers, build relationships, and nurture leads. Rather than relying solely on traditional sales methods, social selling enables you to connect directly – and personally – with potential customers, positioning yourself as a trusted advisor and industry expert.
However, our subconscious relationship with social media means things go deeper than that. People engage with what you tell them in different ways depending on the channel. For example, they will process something on Facebook differently to how they would on LinkedIn, even if the content is exactly the same.
This means leveraging social media to create the right outcome in your buying centre isn’t as easy as simply spamming messages on your preferred channel. It takes a strategic approach that is sensitive to your audience’s drivers and needs at different stages of their buying journey, as well as the mindset they will be in when viewing the information in different channels.
CBC blog link: The emotional role in B2B branding
Five steps to a solid social selling strategy
Here are five things to consider when forming your social selling strategy.
1. Build a strong personal brand
In the digital realm, a salesperson’s personal brand holds immense value, as audiences can sometimes be wary of communications from a larger corporate brand. By crafting a compelling and authentic online presence, you can establish yourself as a thought leader in your respective field. A strong personal brand not only fosters trust but also attracts potential buyers who are more likely to engage with people they perceive as knowledgeable and reliable.
To build a robust personal brand, it can be effective to actively share valuable content, industry insights, and their experiences on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and industry-specific forums. Consistency and authenticity are key in showcasing expertise and passion.
2. Leveraging social listening
In B2B social selling, listening is as important as engaging. Social listening involves monitoring online conversations to gain valuable insights into the pain points, needs, and interests of potential buyers. By actively following industry trends and discussions, you can identify relevant prospects and tailor their outreach strategies accordingly.
Social listening also provides you with an opportunity to understand the challenges faced by your target audience. Armed with this knowledge, you can provide more customised solutions, making your interactions more valuable to prospects.
3. Engage with more personalised content
Relevant content plays a pivotal role in social selling. You should offer content that resonates with your target audience, such as blog posts, whitepapers, case studies, and infographics that address the pain points of potential buyers.
Sharing this with prospects showcases an understanding of their needs and positions you as a valuable source of information rather than just another seller plugging their product. Moreover, content sharing can spark meaningful conversations, making it easier to transition prospects to the next stage of the buying journey.
4. Foster relationships through social interaction
Social media platforms provide a unique opportunity for you to interact with prospects on a one-to-one basis – something that is very difficult to do in any other media. Engaging with potential buyers by commenting on their posts, responding to their questions, and participating in relevant discussions can go a long way in building rapport and trust.
It is essential to approach interactions with a genuine intent to help and provide value rather than a direct sales pitch. Establishing a strong relationship lays the groundwork for future sales opportunities, as prospects are more likely to consider a solution from someone they trust and have interacted with positively, when it comes to the final decision stage.
5. Measuring and analysing efforts
Like any other sales strategy, the effectiveness of social selling in B2B should be measured and analysed to determine its impact on the bottom line. You should track key metrics such as the number of connections made, engagement rates, leads generated, and conversion rates.
By analysing these metrics, you can identify which social media platforms are most effective, which content resonates best with the audience, and how to improve your social selling efforts. This data-driven approach ensures continuous refinement and optimisation of your social selling strategy.
CBC blog link: How to build thought leadership in the B2B space
Start the conversation
With B2B buyers becoming increasingly reliant on digital tools and social media platforms to facilitate their buying journey, social selling is a powerful method to enhance sales effectiveness and adapt to buyer behaviours by connecting with prospects in a more personalised and meaningful way.
It isn’t always easy to get started, especially against social-savvy competitors that have already built a strong presence in key channels. However, with the right strategy and – crucially – engaging and value-added content that hits the right notes at the right stages of the buyer journey, it can be a valuable revenue-driving asset.
If you want to start social selling, or get more return from your existing efforts, CBC can help. Connect with Ralph Krøyer, Managing Partner, on Ralph Krøyer | LinkedIn or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org to start the conversation.