How do you use social selling to continue the conversation after the event or trade show? Your feet are aching, your back is probably hurting, and you might still have the ‘customer smile’ set in stone on your face, but there is still quota and sales goals to meet.
I just returned from SAP’s SAPPHIRE NOW in Orlando, where MY feet are tired from logging over 50,000 steps across the show floor; my Fitbit says that is 25 miles of walking! After any event like SAPPHIRE NOW, every small business or B2B sales executive should have a social selling follow-up strategy. Every event attendee can immediately impact their post-event business by using social media to follow-up and engage with contacts. Using social selling tactics as part of the follow-up mix will increase the Return On Event (ROE).
Here are ways to increase your Return On Event, whether you are returning from SAPPHIRE NOW or your small business trade event.
Social Selling: 5 Ways To Use Social Media To Continue The Conversation After The Event
- Read The Twitter And Blog Comments To Understand The Bigger Picture. Go to Topsy.com, Hootsuite or search.Twitter.com, type on your event hashtag (e.g., #SAPPHIRENOW) and read the comments. The Twitter commentary will check the good, the bad and the ugly customer sentiment. You can use this conversation to respond directly, prepare for follow-up calls or to help you collect your thoughts for a post-event blog post.
- Articulate Your Key Take-aways Or Summarize Your Collective Discussions In A Blog Post. Jupiter Research reports that 21% of decisions makers use blogs to help decide on a product. Another 19% use blogs to refine product and service choices. Use your blogging skills (don’t have them? click here or here) to summarize one key take-away or collection of key points from the event, such as SAP’s SAPPHIRE NOW. A blog is a great way to help you articulate your point of view, so you can point to it while you focus on the relationship building and moving the sales process along. It’s also a great source of content for your Tweeting, LinkedIn status updates and direct customer follow-up.
- Follow Customers On Twitter, LinkedIn & Blogs To Build Social Relationships. Now is the time to reach out with a LinkedIn request, follow them on Twitter (about 60% will follow you back) and follow their blog. Start to build the relationship while you are fresh in their mind. Start off your relationship building by adding a personal note to your LinkedIn invite request, sending an @ message to your new connection or leaving a comment on their blog!
- Collect The Best Content Created From The Event To Pass On To Your Social Network. Use blogs, videos, pictures and any other relevant assets from the event to pass on to your customers and new contacts. And, if you collected your own videos or pictures, upload them to your Instagram feed with the event hashtag (e.g., #SAPPHIRENOW) or pass them on to your company’s social media channel managers so they can upload them to the relevant platforms.
- Use Twitter And LinkedIn To Engage With Everyone You Met. Your post-event selling goal is to keep your new and established contacts engaged with your personal brand, even if they are not ready to buy. Social media is a great way to un-intrusively nurture customers. MarketingSherpa reports that only 5-15% of inquiries are not ready to speak to sales, so you need to develop a nurturing contact approach to keep in touch with these warm prospects. Using Twitter to follow, and likely being followed back, is a great way to stay stop of mind with relevant and informative content with your prospects. Why not keep everyone you have met, even if they are not a perfect fit, engaged with content that you deliver with social media? And, use LinkedIn to update your status and Group messages with event observations and content links to keep that network engaged!
If you just returned from your event, invest an hour now to increase your ROE (Return On Event). Your hour of time will increase your social selling skills and help set your future relationships and sales!