What’s the primary purpose behind all of your B2B social media efforts? If you said, “close more sales”, you certainly wouldn’t be the first.
It’s great to have a large presence on the various social media channels. Heck, who wouldn’t want a million followers? But at the end of the day, you need these channels to help you and your B2B sales team generate new business. That’s where social selling strategy comes into play.
As I’m about to explain, by integrating social media with your sales and marketing efforts, you can help some of those followers make the jump from ”prospect” to “lead” status and then right onto “customer”. Not only will this result in more business, it will also give you a “North Star” of sorts by which to measure the effectiveness of your social media strategy. Ready to learn more? Let’s get started.
1. Attract More Leads, Not Necessarily More Followers
Repeat after me: Social media followers are not leads. They could be, however.
You can curate content with Oktopost’s content curation engine or Feedly integration, schedule posts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+, and watch your followers grow. But again, these followers are not leads – at least not yet. Though definitions differ, a lead is generally someone you can call or email; someone who has given you such information. The purpose of your social media efforts should therefore be to turn these followers into leads. More on this in a moment. When you finally do, you’ll need the ability to know:
- What channel they came from: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or a combination of several
- When they converted: How much time did they spend as a follower before becoming a lead
- What interested them: A white-paper, webinar, product demo, etc.
As you send your followers to your website, you need ways to measure the performance of these efforts. Using social media analytics you can view the clicks, conversions, and engagement metrics that are vital to understanding which lead generation strategies are working and which should be abandoned.
2. Use Web Forms and Landing Pages on Your Social Networks
So you’ve got a social media follower to visit your website or click on a blog you post, now what? In order to complete the conversion, you’ll need a way to collect their information. With landing pages and web forms you can create offers, also known as hooks, to draw in potential leads and collect their information.
By integrating your Oktopost with a marketing automation software like Act-On, Eloqua, or Marketo, you can create unique landing pages and nurturing campaigns based on your social follower’s activity. Because your leads will go directly to your marketing automation and integrate with your Oktopost social analytics, you can easily see which campaigns, social networks, and profiles your new lead engages with to power your social selling.
When leveraging social selling, your website isn’t the only place you can put web forms and landing pages. By utilizing Facebook tabs you can embed a landing page into your Facebook page so your followers can view your offer and fill out a form without ever leaving the social network. Twitter makes it even easier with Lead Generation Cards. Through Twitter ads you can create a web form that will automatically populate with your twitter followers information and have that information sent directly to your marketing automation and social media platforms.
3. Keep the Conversation Going Through Social
You go to a networking group, meet a ton of potential clients, and get all of their business cards. No reason to ever go to that event again right? Not so much. Most good networkers and sales reps know that in order to leverage a good networking opportunity – whether in person or through social media – you need to stay in that network and communicate with the leads you’ve already generated.
Oktopost’s social inbox makes it easy to continue to communicate with your social networks and with your current leads. You can automatically check for comments and reply without needing to log in to each individual network.
Even with these simple dashboards, trying to communicate with someone through email, Facebook, and LinkedIn can become confusing. You can simplify this by integrating with a CRM like Salesforce to keep all of your lead’s history and social media information in the same record.
4. Automate As Much As Possible
You’ve probably seen articles or programs that state you can “Do Social Media in 15 Minutes a Day” or some other promise. In reality, social selling takes time. It isn’t something you can sit down for 15 minutes and accomplish, but it also isn’t something you need to sit down for three hours to accomplish. Your social selling strategy should be integrated with all communications and operations you do as a sales rep. If this still sounds like too much work, it’s because you aren’t automating enough.
To avoid spending your whole day looking for new articles to share with your audience or crafting messages to send to leads, you should leverage Oktopost and marketing automation. Oktopost’s Autoposter helps you save time by creating social content in advance and scheduling them days or week in advance. By adding marketing automation tools you can sync long-term campaigns to communicate even more with your leads in even less time.
5. Empower Your Sales Team
When most companies think of social media, they think of big brands posting pictures and information on their brand’s Facebook page or other networks. But that’s not really what social selling is all about. Social selling is about individuals communicating online, so it makes sense that the things your company is sharing come from individuals, right?
Creating a place where your sales team can find social media updates ready to post – like Oktopost’s employee advocacy board – will make sure the right messages are getting to the right people from the right people. The Board allows you to feature posts that your social media team has curated and optimized for your audience. Then your sales reps can connect their individual Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook profiles and choose the posts they want to share to their network with a single click.
By tracking the success of your employee’s individual posts you can identify top contributing employees and help improve sales for your entire organization. Integrating this information with your analytics and CRM platforms is another important step into discovering the complete ROI of your sales and marketing efforts.
6. Measure ROI
Will social selling really have an impact on your sales funnel? Find out for yourself. Since the rise of social media, marketers have struggled to show the true ROI of their social media efforts. By tying together your sales, CRM, marketing automation and social media you can track conversions much more accurately show the true ROI of each of your marketing efforts.
For social media, you can track each conversion back to the messages and engagements that caused them to move through the sales pipeline. Oktopost measures KPI performance, including conversions, for any post shared to your social networks through your company or employee pages. Gain an even deeper insight when you combine your social media platform with marketing automation and CRM platforms like Salesforce and Marketo to sync all your lead data.
Social selling is an initiative your sales team needs to buy into, but it isn’t all on them. Your sales and marketing teams need to invest their time to build the programs and resources necessary to support a social selling strategy. Luckily, with social media platforms like Oktopost and integrations with sales and marketing tools, your team will have the support it needs to hit the ground selling.