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June 23, 2021
Many brands and businesses use social media to engage with their customers. Social media has opened a direct line of communication between businesses and their customers, and it’s become a great way to nurture those relationships. However, if you’re only using social media to engage with customers, you’re doing your business a disservice. Social media is also a powerful tool to generate valuable leads via social selling.
In this blog, we’ll cover 6 ways to ramp up your social selling strategy. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll unlock a new achievement - the ability to social sell like a pro.
Your social media profile is going to be people’s first impression of you, so it’s important to spruce it up before you intend to do any social selling.
Make sure you include a professional head-shot as your profile picture. A photo that you look friendly and approachable in, but still professional. Under no circumstances should you include a cell-phone selfie!
Next, focus on your bio. Your bio on any social media channel acts as your virtual greeting. Think about what you would tell someone when you’re shaking their hand followed by your elevator pitch - that is what should be in your bio (regardless of what social media channel you’re using). When you’re writing your bio, make sure you’re writing it with your ideal prospect in mind.
Additionally, provide your contact details so that prospects can easily reach out to you if they want to.
This can be tricky on certain social media channels that only have a limited amount of characters you can include in your bio, so do your best with the room that you have and ensure that you hit your most important points. On a social media platform like LinkedIn, you have more room to expand on your bio by adding to the summary section. This is where you can write about who you are, what you do and how you can help your prospects. Don’t just list off an arbitrary list of skills and accomplishments that mean nothing to your prospects.
You’ve probably heard the old adage, “if you build it, they will come”. The same can be applied for your social media channels. Building credibility doesn’t happen overnight; it takes time and effort. Every time you Tweet something, share something on Facebook or comment on LinkedIn, you are building your personal brand and establishing that you’re a credible thought leader in your industry.
The best way to demonstrate that you are an industry expert or thought leader is to share relevant articles about your industry, sharing thoughtful insights, participating in relevant conversations and solving your prospects’ biggest problems. In doing this, you will begin to notice others re-sharing, liking or engaging with your posts.
With social media platforms like LinkedIn, you can even publish original articles directly on LinkedIn (and then share those on your other social media channels).
The best way to figure out exactly what your prospects need is by listening to them! Pay attention to what your ideal prospects are talking about on their various social media channels. If you’re seeing certain topics or challenges coming up repeatedly, that presents an opportunity for you. You can use platforms like Hootsuite to monitor certain topics, hashtags, mentions etc.
In addition, on platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook, you can join groups. Groups are a great source of prospects because most groups are fairly niche. It’s an easy way for you to find and connect with a specific audience on a specific topic. These groups allow you to share your valuable knowledge and expertise, or engage with other like-minded professionals. It’s also a great forum to ask for help or swap ideas.
Simply participating in relevant conversations and groups is how you will build relationships. You can then nurture these relationships as leads by sending them helpful content, product news or recommendations.
It’s estimated that about 70% of Americans are using social media. That is a lot of people. Chances are your target audience is among that 70%. So you should be using social media to find and reach out to them! The cold call may be dead, but social outreach is alive and well.
You can find your target audience by doing what has been mentioned above, or you can use tools to help you find them. For example, LinkedIn has a great segmenting tool called LinkedIn Sales Navigator that you can use to create your ideal target audience search list, and then it’ll generate a list of leads for you based on your search criteria.
On Twitter, a great way to find prospects is by searching for certain key terms or clicking on relevant hashtags and then seeing who is talking about those things. You can then use Twitter Lists to create personalized feeds so you can maximize your time.
Once you’ve found who you want to do business with, you can plan your outreach. Don’t just reach out blindly with a vague cold-call style message. Instead, reach out based on some sort of commonality, whether it be a shared interest, mutual connection or common industry/job role etc. You may also want to start by sending a relevant piece of content you think they may be interested in to provide value before asking for their business.
It is not enough to just connect with or follow people, you have to be consistent with your posts, engagement and outreach. If you don’t keep up with some sort of consistent posting schedule or stop actively engaging with other peoples posts, people will forget about you very quickly.
Because this can be a huge time commitment, it’s best to stick to one or two social media platforms rather than trying to participate in all of them and risk spreading yourself too thin. Go to where you know the majority of your audience is and make sure every post, Tweet or 'like' matters.
Simple ways you can stay active on your social media networks is by:
The ultimate goal is to be seen as a thought leader in your space so that your audience will seek you out when they need a problem solved.
The thing about social networks is they’re just that; social. You have to actively engage and socialize with your network, not just talk at them. What we mean by that is that you don’t have to constantly pump out and post original content with the aim to generate leads. Instead, spend time responding to people, commenting on their posts, sharing their posts, liking their posts. Actively reach out to prospects on your social media channels and engage in one-to-one conversations with them. Be social.
Carve out some time each day to engage with your network. It’s also imperative that you respond to people that are commenting on your posts or trying to reach you via chat or DM. Don’t leave comments unanswered, as it comes off that you’re not actively monitoring your social media channels...or worse, you don’t care.
These tactics can help you utilize social media for prospecting and have you social selling like a pro. As a result, you’ll generate hundreds of leads and be able to convert them into valuable, loyal customers. Not only will you generate more business, you’ll also build a strong personal brand, become a thought leader in your industry and create long-lasting relationships, both personal and business.