Discover the key components of a winning B2B paid social strategy and stay ahead of the competition in 2024 with our actionable tips and techniques.
If you work in marketing, you have probably already heard about a little something called Social Selling, and if you haven’t heard anything about it, you’ve come to the right place. (Spoiler alert: It’s not social media marketing)
First of all, what is social selling and how does it differ from social media marketing?
Social selling is using a brand’s social media channels to connect and engage with potential prospects. Salespeople will demonstrate knowledge of a buyer’s pain by answering questions and offering value-based content to address their business challenges. In other words, it’s like cold calling, but without the uncomfortable awkward silences. Other benefits of Social Selling over cold calling are:
- Prospects can be handled by more than one salesperson, instead of whoever made the first contact.
- Cold call attempts have skyrocketed to 18 vs 8 per prospect in 2019. Through Social Selling, you can lower the number of attempts by setting 3 different prewritten messages that you can send accordingly.
- Having the possibility of sending a calendar link through a DM reduces the time spent setting up just one appointment.
- It helps your prospects feel like they haven’t missed out if they were not able to make the call.
On the other hand, social media marketing is the use of social media platforms to promote a product or service. You can check out the table below to see a straight comparison.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is simply marketing that involves creating and sharing content on social media networks in order to achieve your marketing and branding goals. This form of digital marketing includes posting text and image updates, videos, and other content to social media platforms that drives audience engagement and can be done by posting organically or through paid advertising.
We can easily say that social media marketing is the precursor to social selling. Having the right content will put you in front of the right user, and having a killer social selling strategy can help you move the right user further down your funnel.
Now for some analytical motivation on why your company should care about Social Selling.
Studies have proven its effectiveness time and time again. According to LinkedIn Sales Solutions’ internal data:
- Businesses that are leaders in the social selling space create 45% more sales opportunities than brands with a low social selling index.
- Businesses that prioritize social selling are 51% more likely to reach their sales quotas.
- 78% of businesses that use social selling outsell businesses that don’t use social media.
With that in mind, make sure your social media profiles are created to provide better value to your customers and start finding better prospects using efficient search tools; some platforms already have these tools built directly into them. When looking at your insights, make sure to keep an eye out for conversation-worthy updates that will help you create and grow the relationships that you are establishing on your networks through social selling.
Social selling creates true customer loyalty:
Customer loyalty has increased by 87% in the past 10 years thanks to creating the correct content on your social media platform and having a humanized and friendly engagement strategy. This creates opportunities to connect with new potential customers on social media, where they are not just active, but also constantly creating multiple moments and memories. That means you can reach out to an audience who already has an interest in what you’re offering and authentically connect with them, offering useful information when the time is right. Authenticity builds trust — and that, in turn, can become customer loyalty.
And just overall, loyalty studies show that
- 82% of companies agree that retention on social media is cheaper than acquisition.
- 75% of consumers say they favor companies that offer rewards through their loyalty programs.
- 56% of customers stay loyal to brands that “speak their language”.
- Increasing client retention through loyalty programs by just 5% boosts profits by 25% to 95%.
B2C trends that you might see impact your B2B business
It's no secrete that social media shopping will explode in popularity in the next few years. Social commerce is estimated to become a $1.2 trillion global market by 2025, accounting for 16.7% of total e-commerce spending. Growing three times faster than traditional e-commerce in the next four years, according to Accenture.
So what does this all mean for B2B businesses? One thing's for sure: social commerce is a model you must embrace. It gives you the chance to develop new ways to connect and engage directly with prospects through social platforms.
Another B2C no-brainer tip I recommend to B2B businesses is to create a Linkin.bio where you can regularly share press releases, blog posts, your customer review page, webinars and so much more.
Now that we know what it is and why it's important, how do you apply it to your social media accounts?
If you made it this far, then we assume you already have your social media accounts set up. If not, here you can read a fantastic beginner’s guide to Social media marketing.
LinkedIn is one of the only social media platforms which focuses on the people behind the brand more than the product itself. This is great for making business connections and for giving potential clients an introduction to your brand’s ethos rather than just the product or service you are offering. A few things you can do are:
- Build your credibility with endorsements or recommendations. (Yes, you might have to ask for them, just make sure to pick your most satisfied customers)
- Extend your LinkedIn network by using the search feature to find new users and join groups.
- Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to reach your prospect audiences with personalized communications.
Something I would like to mention is the power of posting organically in LinkedIn groups. During my time managing Samsung LATAM's social media accounts,
I found that posting video clips showing presenters of past webinars and then posting invitations for future events where we either showed or mentioned the same presenter not only lead to more participants, It also lead to a rich and engaging conversation with new followers who I might not have been able to reach due to paid segmentation parameter.
A downside to posting in groups is that you will reach people who might not be your target audience. So make sure to double-check that the group you will be posting in was created in the country and in the correct language you are targeting to avoid reaching the wrong audience.
Out of all the social media platforms, Twitter is easily the one I use the most, and one of the things I enjoy about the platform is the ability to create lists. Unfortunately, though, it seems this is one of the most underused features, with many people forgetting all about it or simply not knowing how to use it.
With 6000 tweets per second, it’s impossible to keep up with everyone so, updates from customers, prospects, and competitors can go unseen. That’s why you want to create dedicated lists that allow you to stay updated with these accounts and topics. Instead of sifting through tons of tweets in your timeline, you’ll have this perfectly curated list to view.
I recommend creating lists for:
- Existing customers: Use this list to keep close tabs on your existing customers and watch for opportunities to interact with their Tweets. This will help you keep your brand on their radar.
- Prospects: As you identify potential customers, add them to a private list. Keep an eye out for requests for help or grievances about your competitors. That way, you can reply with helpful comments that show how your company solves their pain points.
- Competitors: Adding competitors to a private list lets you keep tabs on them without actually following them. This could give you a special insight into what kind of content is resonating with people in your market.
Some people say Facebook is no longer worth advertising due to the advent of other social media platforms, when it comes to tools and features for e-commerce sales, Facebook reigns supreme. Facebook allows businesses to connect with current and potential customers regularly. In this way, they can effectively advertise the products and services to their target audience. Through this, customers can receive business information directly from the business.
You might think that through Facebook marketing, you can only advertise to B2C businesses. It is surprising to learn that B2B businesses also run Facebook campaigns and spend about 74% more of their time than any other. The B2B market is competitive, so be advanced in leveraging Facebook.
Some opportunities for social selling can come through:
- Opening a Facebook Shop: This will allow your businesses to build an online store and sell things directly across Facebook’s family of apps. In fact, according to internal data, today more than 1 in 3 people on Facebook in the US use Marketplace each month to buy and sell things – that’s over 60 million people!
- Engaging with your followers: I know this is a given, but it’s a good reminder to always respond to your follower’s comments and mentions of your brand.
- Engage with other brands: if you create thoughtful, valuable content, it’s likely to be shared, increasing your brand’s reach. Your Facebook Page could be exposed to a whole new audience as other businesses share and like your content.
Sales has always been about building relationships, establishing credibility, and providing the right solutions to the right prospects at the right time. Social selling is just that. It simply leverages your social media marketing strategy to help you build authentic relationships, expand your network, streamline lead generation and meet your sales goals. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or have some comments to share.