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Category Archives: Social Media

Be a Social Selling Pro

The idea behind social selling is simple: today’s consumers look to social media when they want to connect with brands and find information about potential products to purchase. If the brands they support aren’t making themselves available on those channels, then they’re missing a great opportunity.

The key to social selling is using social media sites (the ones your prospects and customers use the most) to build relationships, drive engagement, participate in conversations, answer questions, share valuable content, address customer service issues, and otherwise interact with your audience with the aim of converting leads into loyal customers.

Check out our Social/Digital Selling Course today…

But for salespeople who haven’t yet jumped on the social sales bandwagon – and don’t worry, you’re not alone: less than 10% of salespeople list social selling as a priority – you might be wondering how you can get your feet wet and incorporate this new technique into your repertoire. You might be even more convinced when you hear that 90% of the top salespeople do in fact use social selling. So today you’ll learn some tactics you can include in your routine to master the art of social selling.

1. Choose Your Forums

Twitter and LinkedIn tend to be the most popular platforms for social selling, but you can engage in this activity on any social network where your audience can be found. If you’re not sure where to find your audience, here are some tips you can use to determine which social sites they use most:

  • Conduct a survey
  • Have a look at what sites your competitors have a presence on
  • Ask your best customers
  • Use resources like this one from Pew that breaks down social media use by demographic

2. Revamp Your Profiles

Social selling is very personal because it takes place in an arena where most people are trying to make connections. Therefore, it’s important that your profile shows more of what you can do for others and less of what you’ve done. In other words, your profile shouldn’t just be a resume. Instead, you want your profile to present you as a trusted authority in your field who can be a great resource and problem solver.

Start by adding a professional profile picture, and then rewrite the bio to focus on things that your ideal customer would be interested to know, including who you’re qualified to help and how exactly you can do that. Finish with a call to action to contact you. Under the experience sections, focus on results you’ve helped other clients to achieve, and use your headline to present a value proposition.

Always remember to keep the emphasis on the improvements you’ve facilitated and problems you’ve helped to solve for others rather than making it about you. Finally, link your social media accounts (for instance, add a link to your company’s Facebook page on your LinkedIn profile) so that buyers can easily do a mini reference check.

3. Join Groups and Become a Valued Resource

Social network groups are a gold mine for professionals because they bring together users with similar interests and needs. As a salesperson, you can leverage these groups to help find prospects, but the important thing to remember is that you should use your position in the group not to sell, but rather to provide insights, give information, build relationships and gain trust.

For instance, if you were in art supply sales, you might consider joining the ‘Visual Artists and their Advocates’ group so that you could provide resources about the latest tools and supplies, answer questions, and join and start conversations about art. The key is contributing valuable information to the group, instead of using it as a platform for a sales pitch. To find the right groups, look at the groups where your customers and prospects are spending their time and join those groups as well.

4. Create or Curate Content to Share

As a social seller, content is one of the most crucial tools you can have in your arsenal, because it’s one of the best ways you can offer value to your audience. Just think about it: everything on social media is about content. Whether somebody is sharing a personal photo, a blog, a news story or an article from their favorite brand, it’s all content.

You can either create your own content or curate it from other sources, but the goal in both instances is the same: share valuable, relevant, informative and interesting pieces that will engage your audience, start conversations and encourage social engagement (things such as likes, shares, and comments).

Regardless of whether you’re sharing a blog, white paper, video, infographic, or any other type of content, the topics should be trending or evergreen, on-point, and add something new to the discussion. If you don’t have time to create all your own original content, here are some ways you can curate it:

  • User-generated content
  • Subscribe to other people’s blogs
  • Services such as Medium, BuzzSumo and The Moz Top 10
  • Follow the top influencers in your field

5. Share Content to Build Awareness and Generate Leads

Sharing great content to your social circles will get your foot in the door with new prospects. If you’re constantly sharing relevant content that your audience finds interesting, then they will begin to recognize and trust you, and these are crucial steps in building relationships.

Imagine, for instance, that you were a new artist who had recently joined that aforementioned LinkedIn group in the hope of finding information and resources that might help you achieve your goal of becoming a self-sustaining artist. And now imagine that one of the group members kept posting articles about how to make it in the modern world as an artist, the best ways to cut material costs, budgeting for young artists, and other content that answered the exact questions you’d been asking. The chances are you would start looking to that person as an authority, you would trust the comments that group member made and what they said during conversations, and might even approach that person with specific questions. In other words, the content fosters the relationship and creates a lead – but only if the content is relevant and interesting, and provides value to your audience.

So now the big question: how often should you be posting? According to HubSpot, the more you post on Twitter the better, but you should limit Facebook and LinkedIn contributions to daily posts, and no more than five per week.

6. Drive Engagement with Your Audience

With all that said, content isn’t the only way to build relationships in social selling, and it’s also important to engage with your audience. There are many ways you can do this, including:

  • Starting and taking part in conversations
  • Commenting
  • Answering and asking questions
  • Liking other people’s content
  • Making and interacting with new connections

However, the key here is that interactions shouldn’t be seen as sales pitches, rather an opportunity for you to add value to a conversation, share your knowledge and demonstrate authority in your field. Moreover, your messages should be personalized rather than general, and everything you add should be thoughtful and applicable to the conversation.

7. Watch for Trigger Events

It might seem strange that an article about sales hasn’t actually mentioned sales yet, but there’s a good reason for this – as discussed, social selling is mostly about nurturing leads, building trust and fostering relationships. However, trigger events are your time to shine, because when a trigger event occurs, that’s when you can swoop in with a subtle sales pitch and save the day.

What’s more, because you’ve spent all the time and effort nurturing the relationships, when an opportunity for a sale does come along, you’ve already done everything possible to secure it. The best way to stay on top of trigger events is with social listening alerts such as Social Inbox or Google Alerts. These will notify you when conversations happen that you should be a part of.

Social Selling is Here to Stay

Social selling may not be at the forefront of every salesperson’s mind just yet, but because of how effective the technique is, it won’t be long before it’s widely adopted. For one thing, social media isn’t going away any time soon, and the number of active users is continually growing on the most popular sites, meaning your possible audience is always growing too.

Moreover, today’s consumers want to use social media to help them research and make purchasing decisions, and if you aren’t there to make those connections, somebody else will be.

Instagram TV – Concepts to begin thinking about…

Tips and Best Practices for IGTV

Just like any other social strategy, you’ll want to be sure to design videos for the particular demographic you’re marketing to. To this end, you’ll want to have a grasp on what you’re already doing on Instagram and where it’s best serving you.

After you post, you can also share your IGTV videos through your other channels, and, most importantly, on your regular Instagram channel. Remember that, as with any other cross-posting exercise, you want to be super clear that you are posting on IGTV and for your followers to find you there. You’ll also want to maintain consistency in terms of branding, visuals and posting schedule.

Make sure your videos are 15 seconds long or more, but not longer than 10 minutes. Depending on your product and message, a video of 3-4 minutes is typically a good length to aim for. And consider that your audience probably has a 1-minute attention span, so be completely clear at the start about what you’re doing. Another option is to create a video series and break it up into smaller parts.

In the introduction, make sure you’re not blaring music or being loud yourself, as it can turn people off, especially if they’re watching in a public place or with headphones. These videos start right away when someone gets to the channels, so be prepared to have someone just “stumble” across your video, and don’t scare them away.

Don’t forget to utilize clickable links in the descriptions, which is similar to YouTube and is extremely useful for driving traffic to your landing page or any part of your website you’d like to feature.

Hashtags

If you already know how to use hashtags on Instagram, you will know how to use them for IGTV. Be strategic, use only a few relevant ones, and put them in the video description for better SEO traction.

Metrics

Don’t forget to review your IGTV insights regularly, to get a clear picture of how videos are performing as well as to realign them with your key business goals. Remember that this is a new platform, so if you see lower numbers than you expect, you may want to give it some time.

Social Selling – It takes Digital Skills too!

What is Social Selling All About?

Social selling is a relatively new concept and practice, but it now forms a key part of the sales process for brands, businesses and individual professionals in marketing and sales. Sourcing, curating and sharing content that is relevant and useful to your sales prospects is central to this practice, particularly in the B2B environment, on top of producing and distributing original content.

LinkedIn defines social selling as: “Leveraging your social network to find the right prospects, build trusted relationships, and ultimately, achieve your sales goals.”

While this is a reasonably simple definition, social selling these days can be a sophisticated process, with high-quality content at the forefront. It requires knowledge and skill to execute well, but when done so, the results can be outstanding.

Sharing insightful, useful content with your target audience has many benefits, including:

• Building your brand, reputation and authority

• Generating trust by sharing and curating from a range of sources, both external material and your own content

• Providing value to your customers and potential customers

• Converting fans and followers into leads and customers

The effectiveness of social selling is borne out by evidence and numbers. Social sellers realize a 66% greater quota attainment than those using traditional prospecting techniques (SBI). Companies such as SAP, IBM and many others have reported significant sales success from social selling.

The case for businesses employing social selling as a key part of their activities is therefore undeniable. And those who master the art are becoming highly valuable team members in marketing and sales. This eBook gives you the knowledge and guidance required.

Check out the certification in digital selling.  #BeTheChief

Building Back Links and Traffic To Your Site

Link building remains one of the most effective ways to build your website’s rankings. Despite the misuse of this strategy and the resulting penalties handed out by Google during the Penguin and Panda updates, getting good quality links continues to tell Google that your website is authoritative. Links from high authority sites also bring quality traffic and leads to your website.

Find a piece of old content and update it. Search on one of your keywords, and then look at the content that is on page one and two. Chances are you’ll find a topic that’s relevant, but the website it is on hasn’t updated the content, possibly in years. Write a good article on that particular topic then use a back linking tool like SEMrush or Ahrefs to find authoritative sites that have linked to the old article. Reach out to them with your new, improved article. Chances are if it’s relevant to their business, they link to yours as well.

Write a guest blog. Every industry has influential bloggers. Reach out to a few of them and offer to write a guest blog. They are often happy to have fresh content and will most likely provide a link back to your website and profile page(s).

Update your old blog posts. Have a new product or a compelling case study? Updating old blog posts with new information can substantially increase your site traffic. Update an existing blog post with new information, especially case studies, will help elevate the content. Make sure to then promote the article on your social media sites and reach out to influential bloggers in your industry so that they know you’ve got a new story to tell.

If you’re looking for help making online marketing work for your company, contact us today.