Social media platforms are the third pillar of your content marketing strategy. And they are a fluid pillar, changing daily.
Bring the Rain
Social media platforms are the third pillar of your content marketing strategy. And they are a fluid pillar, changing daily. The ones your business should use will depend on your industry, your business, and most importantly your customers.
You will need to go where your customers and prospects are engaging with social media. Future chapters will look at individual platforms. But, a common thing you will do with all of them is engage in social selling. It is the tactic that can make your sales team into Rainmakers.
Hubspot has a good definition of social selling:
Social selling is when salespeople use social media to interact directly with their prospects. Salespeople will provide value by answering prospect questions and offering thoughtful content until the prospect is ready to buy.
Social media is also where your sales team will find and research prospects. They can initiate a relationship and nurture it through the sales cycle.
As you know, relationships are at the heart of any sales success. Social selling just lets you develop them at scale.
How is social media different from the other pillars of content marketing? Contently has a good explanation:
…social is inherently spontaneous, while content tends to be carefully crafted before it’s set loose upon the world. Social tends to be reactive; content, on the other hand, sparks conversation. And, finally, content is generally made by an experienced creative professional: a writer, designer, video producer, etc. Social? Not so much.
Social media is where your team members (that are not your content producers) can help your marketing efforts. However, they will be posting and sharing on their individual social media accounts, not your company accounts. And they should have separate accounts for business as opposed to personal accounts.
However, they will be posting and sharing on their individual social media accounts, not your company pages. And they should have separate accounts for business in addition to their personal ones. For example, if they have a personal Twitter account they should open a second one for social selling.
In Sales, Change is Constant
The profession of sales is quickly changing, but the role of social media in sales is changing even faster. These new communication methods are vital tools that will play a big role in your future sales success. The concept of social selling involves using them in a strategic manner in order to strengthen relationships with your clients and prospects.
But before we get into what to do with your social selling strategy lets take a quick look at how the sales process is changing.
By the time a potential client contacts you they are 60-70% through the buying process. They have been researching potential products and solutions in a “self-service” manner on a variety of online platforms. These include your website and blog. Social selling helps your team get involved in the buying process at an earlier point. The best way is by sharing content from your site/blog via social media.
Duct Tape Marketing believes you need to change your sales strategy in order to be relevant to potential customers. And most importantly to be useful to them. I agree. They note:
Today’s marketing minded salesperson thinks like a publisher and builds their own expertise by sharing and crafting a platform.
That platform is social media, and you need a social selling strategy to succeed in today’s market. You want to be providing the information your potential clients have been reviewing in a self-service manner prior to contacting a vendor. You want to be interacting with them online before they get 60% of the way through the buying process.
The goal is to become a resourceful and useful asset in your customers lives. You want to be seen as a trusted authority in your field. Your usefulness will make existing customers more loyal. And it will make potential ones more likely to initiate a relationship with you. Being useful and developing authority is part of effective content marketing.
After finishing part three of this book, you will have a better idea of the social platforms you need to use in order to create great relationships with your clients.
Concentrate on using two or three well rather than all of them poorly. Again, you want to go where your target audience is interacting with social media.
Now, let’s look at what you need to do to develop a social selling strategy. [Read more…] about Why Social Selling is the best selling