August 23, 2016. Marketing Business Author: Karolina Pec

3 ways your business can benefit from social media selling

You must be hearing this a lot, but 80% of executives don’t trust marketing! Your marketing team or agency may struggle to define ROI out of social and nurture those opportunities.

If you look at it from your own experience across social platforms, do you actually engage with brands, comment or click?

A similar problem affects email marketing, where B2B open rates are amongst the lowest of all sectors and have been on a steady decline since 2010. You have probably noticed it’s much better to send an email from your own inbox or ask your marketers to work some magic on the marketing automation tool and pretend it was sent from an Account Manager. 

The same applies to social media!

 

1. Join forces between sales and marketing

It’s time we actually join the efforts between sales and marketing teams. Marketing should build a network of in-house social influencers (people who naturally attract attention on social platforms thanks to the content they share and their charisma). You can use this network to promote your company on Twitter and Linkedin by mentioning the influencers in relevant posts and vice versa.

Equally, your marketing team has the right expertise to teach you what, when and how to post to become an influencer on social. 

Marketing staff should produce communication plans and take them to sales meetings to allow collaberation, sales teams should be aware and have their input into what is trending across your social networks.

Collaborate to create more social savvy individuals. After all, in B2B people buy from people not from brands. It’s up to everyone in your organisation to share and engage with your marketing content.

 

2. Become your own brand

As a simple exercise, have a look at the number of followers your company has on Linkedin and then at the number of connections you and you top sales people have. Surprised?

You will reach far more people by utilising your own social accounts, hence work on developing those to enhance the business message will increase the click-throughs from social and possibly generate an actual interest in the ecosystem.

Social media bridge, Social Selling

To do so,

  1. Manage your own social accounts like a pro – look into a social media dashboard, one of the most popular is Hootsuite. You can centralise all of your accounts, build streams for your research keywords and store Twitter lists in one place.
  2. Share and engage – build a database of industry blogs, influencers and prospects. Remember to comment and mention top accounts in your tweets and updates. Social is all about conversation - don’t just retweet, recognise who will benefit from the message.
  3. Follow the Mother Ship – remember to always follow and identify yourself with the company’s social accounts and media channels, as a social media personality you have much more chance of engaging with the audience. The success of your brand on social depends on how much you can leverage it yourself!
  4. Listen to your network – a fairly easy task when you are using a social media dashboard. Build a collection of private Twitter lists - e.g. Customers, Prospects, Vendors, Partners etc. Start listening, commenting and mentioning your connections in posts.

Remember that social media is an extension of the real world, not its replacement. That means that common sense and the same level of politeness as to a face-to-face meeting is applicable. Equally, don’t be shy! It's just as appropriate to talk to your prospect on a social network as it is during a public event.

 

3. Get the share of voice

Once you are all ready to start posting, make sure you are aware of your audience. Think about who they are, how much time are they spending on social media, what are they reading and how often. 

To do it right, talk to your current customers in job roles you are most interested in and find out what their attitude is towards different social media channels and which they likely to engage with.

Structure your tweets and Linkedin updates, make sure it’s clear what hides behind the url you are posting and that your tweets have relevant hashtags. For Example;

Twitter:

[BLOG] 5 in 10 companies use outdate #encryption strategy, what do you think about it http://example.link

Linkedin:

[VIDEO] 5 in 10 companies use outdated encryption, how would you advise to your clients XYZ?

Figure out posting frequency and be consistent. Too little might mean you will lose your share of voice, while posting too much will drive your audience away.

 

And then… wait! It takes time to become a thought leader. But never give up, it’s relationship building just like any other.

 

Karolina Pec is a Marketing Manager for Arrow ECS.

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