Chances are if you are in sales, social media is already a prominent part of your personal life. And now, thanks to social selling, it’s hopefully a big part of your professional life as well. Incorporating social media into the workplace has brought many opportunities, but also many questions. You may be wondering how to best navigate social networks with your sales prospecting goals in mind. There are many answers including leveraging a page out of Ben Green’s playbook and utilize his social media tips.
One thing I instill during social selling training is ensure you do everything you can to gather insights into your prospect’s or client’s business needs. Then, map out a plan as to how your company’s product, service or solution can best address those issues. One amazing way to do this is via social media networks. Remember first and foremost, when you are leveraging social networks for growing your business, your primary focus is to gain leads, not followers.
With this in mind, here are 4 social media tips to help you shape your social selling strategy and explode your sales pipeline!
Focus on LinkedIn, Twitter and Social Video
In B2B sales, you will want to use LinkedIn, Twitter and Social Video the majority of your time while researching, engaging and communicating with prospects on social networks. As you already know, LinkedIn is the home base for professional networking, and it’s where you’ll gain the most insights into your prospect’s industry. It’s also a good idea to follow your prospect on Twitter, since tweeting is a popular means of expressing likes, dislikes, and opinions in general, and will provide important insights regarding some of the larger issues that your potential client cares about.
What about Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat? Ah, now you face the interesting quandary of do I engage with them there or not… In the beginning, reserve these channels for research purposes only. Refrain from friend requesting your prospect on Facebook as an example, as it may come across as intrusive and a violation of boundaries. I promise you will know when it’s the right time to connect with them. You’ll feel it in your gut when your relationship is Facebook ready. And when you do – ask to connect. For me generally, I am mid sales cycle or have closed out a deal when I asked to connect to their Facebook account.
However, you should leverage Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram to find the Big Fish on the wall! What do I mean by that? I started in software sales 19 years ago, and in the old days we used to walk into our prospects office and the first thing we’d look for were pictures. Pictures of the big fish on the wall, kids, spouse, etc. Why? For no other reason than to take the first 10-15 min of the hour-long meeting to build personal rapport and a relationship. Given that most times we don’t even meet with clients and prospects in their personal office (thanks to corporate America reducing workspace and implementing “work from home”), leveraging Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram for personal pictures will help you find the “big fish”.
Don’t Fake the Funk: Avoid Clickbait
In content marketing, there’s this thing called clickbait, which is defined as “internet content, especially that of a sensational or provocative nature, whose main purpose is to attract attention and draw visitors to a certain web page.” Clickbait gives you a bad rap, mostly because, as a rule, it overpromises and under delivers.
A great example of this in sales is start a note with a subject line that says “RE: Interesting Topic.” What do we hope? The prospect will open the email because they assumed the “RE:” meant you both were already engaged in a conversation. Another example would be if you choose to engage with long blog posts on LinkedIn or anywhere else for that matter. Promising to deliver say “8 things you should know about…” In the title of your article but really not delivering 8 things would turn a lot of people off.
Same thing on social media.
- Don’t Fake the Funk!
- Don’t try to send someone a message via LinkedIn InMail or Messaging with a GREAT subject line asking for a meeting but offering him or her no value AND not personalizing your message.
- Don’t try and do it on email either
What could be the results? Once upon a time, I was testing out open rates and experimenting with different subject lines for an email campaign. I made the decision to title an email “RE: (whatever my subject line was) to give the perception we were already engaged in a conversation. The result?
I ticked off a bunch of people off. Many individuals had opened the email, confused about what the original chain was even about, and, upon realizing there was no original chain, got angry with me. From a metrics standpoint, my email open rate went up, but my unsubscribe rate did too!
Lesson learned: don’t resort to cheap tricks to get people to read your content. It’s not worth it!
Challenge the Status Quo and Provide Value
Use social networks as an opportunity to challenge the status quo and provide value to prospective customers. Basically: craft your messaging strategy so it focuses on what you can do to make your prospect’s life easier, rather than just asking for 15 min of their time. If you do your due diligence and write an informed and thoughtful outreach message, that meeting will happen.
Don’t Offend your Prospects with Crappy Messages
There are few things more irksome than getting a cold email from a sales rep trying to book an appointment that offers no value, is a canned and clearly automated email and overlooks how they can help solve my business problems.
Take CyberCoders, for example. The technical recruiting company has my resume on file and frequently contacts me regarding job recommendations. One would think it would be for Sales Leadership roles right? Wrong! I receive garbage auto-generated emails from 9 out of 10 cyber coder recruiters for positions like Project Manager! Really?
Why is this happening? It is because I listed program management within my resumes keywords contained within the Applicant Tracking System. As a sales leader this is an important skill. But if the recruiters took the time to actually READ my LinkedIn profile or resume they would quickly discover I’ve never been a Project Manager. What’s more, recruiters will aggressively follow up with me and say “Just checking in on my note” to repeatedly try and gauge what my interest level is.
This type of “spray and pray” sales approach that is not personalized makes #YourBrandSuck – TOTALLY Suck!
So, whatever you do…
Make sure to do your due diligence to avoid sending out crappy content that wastes your prospects’ time!
Hopefully, these social media tips have given you some insights into how to navigate social media like a pro. Subscribe to my blog now to receive helpful sales, social media and social selling tips on a regular basis.
As an added Bonus I’ve included our latest video for sales and marketers which answers the question: “What should my Twitter Bio say?”