9 tips for social selling! The digital alternative to cold calling in B2B
The advantages of social selling in B2B
With social selling ("social selling"), companies communicate with potential customers via platforms such as LinkedIn. Right from the start, the focus should be on building and strengthening the new customer relationship and offering added value to interested parties based on useful content.
With properly operated social selling, you get a whole range of advantages:
Increase your awareness and reach
Direct access to your target group
Strengthening customer loyalty
Improving your corporate image
Targeted action through detailed analyzes
Tip 1 - Set clear goals
In order to be able to pursue a goal, you need a formulated strategy with clear goals and regular analyzes, such as for leads generated, conversion rates or website traffic. You can orientate yourself on the SMART principle: The goals you set should be specific, measurable, appealing, realistic and timed. You can also create a processing plan to keep track of comments, customer meetings and content.
Tip 2 - Get to know the target group
You need to get to know your target audience well and be where they are. In order to have a clear picture, it is worth creating a buyer persona and collecting demographic data on gender, age and location. You will receive the information through surveys, forums, customer surveys or through social media.
Tip 3 - Decide on the right platform (s)
According to a study by LinkedIn, you get up to 45 percent higher sales opportunities through social selling than with cold calling. Find out where your goals play a relevant role and where your target group is. Less can also be more, so it is better to use a few platforms efficiently than all of them a little and yet not efficiently.
B2B social selling on LinkedIn
LinkedIn literally cries out for social selling, as this platform is used to maintain business contacts and numerous B2B experts use it as a source of information. With the help of specially created posts you can express your expertise and gain more visibility by joining LinkedIn groups. Satisfied existing customers allow you to publish reviews on your profile and achieve more credibility.
B2B social selling on Facebook
Facebook is considered a platform for private life, which is why you should never send friend requests to prospects or customers. On the other hand, create a company profile and network yourself with the community, you don't seem intrusive, but you are still present.
Tip 4 - Create an appealing profile
Follow the trend towards transparency and publish all important company data such as your contact details, the website URL or an "About us" page on your profiles. It is also important to have content tailored to the target group in order to reproduce a uniform and crystal-clear corporate image. It can also be helpful to have the most relevant posts permanently displayed or to draw attention to your solution with appealing images.
Tip 5 - Promote interpersonal dialogue
Social selling is also about making the purchase decision process as serious as possible. So don't just publish your own contributions on your site, but also ask your contacts to share and comment on content in order to not only increase reach and interaction, but also increase trust.
Tip 6 - "But first" content
Achieve more loyalty by asking and answering questions as you show presence and activity. Good content includes content that offers your target group added value or tips and sources of knowledge that make life easier for customers. By the way, you can also use so-called “user generated content” (UGC) for your social selling, such as surveys in which customers report on their experiences. This saves you time and gives customers serious support in their purchase decision.
Tip 7 - Build relationships
Stay in touch with your contacts on social networks. Congratulate them on new milestones or career jumps or offer your solutions to questions. Leave likes or comments on other posts and show that you are interested in what is happening.
Tip 8 - Don't forget the "real" world
Personal contact with potential customers is a crucial success factor, especially in times of advancing digitization. So meet your social media contacts at business events, lunches or at congresses. After the meeting, customers can continue to be looked after (also online).
Tip 9 - Maintain perseverance and consistency
New projects, also in the digital area, take time, so don't let initial difficulties unsettle you, but focus on the goals you have set. In addition, social media platforms provide numerous tools that can be used to analyze the success of your social selling. In addition, determine the optimization potential and adapt the approach or objectives accordingly.
Selling has always been about building relationships, establishing trust and conveying your own expert status, social selling works the same way. It is an important tool in digital marketing and an even more important link between you and your (potential) customers. With the prerequisite of a well thought-out strategy and tailor-made content for the target group, you pave the way for sustainable success.
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