Move over cold calls: there’s a new way of selling in town. But although social selling has been around (as a concept and as a practice) for years now, many businesses aren’t yet grasping its importance and potential for better sales prospecting.
In this post, I’m going to share five social selling tips for better sales prospecting on social media.
Why social selling?
It’s no secret that some of the traditional sales practices (I’m looking at you, cold calls) are no longer as effective as they once were.
Social media, on the other hand, is growing consistently, both as a source of leads and prospects, and as one of the most efficient ways of nurturing leads and prospects into becoming your customers.
Have you mastered the basics?
Before getting into my social selling tips, go through the following short checklist to make sure you’re on the right track with the basics:
Are you in the right place? Join and be active on those social networks that your audience is using
Have you completed your account profile? Make sure it has a good profile image, and that every field is completed with compelling copy; plus, don’t forget to link to your website or a landing page
Are you posting new content consistently? This is essential if you want to keep people interested and get more people to follow you
Are you active and engaging? Always respond to direct mentions and messages as soon as possible; plus, take the time every day to engage people by liking their updates, sharing them, leaving comments, and so on
Now, onto the actual tips:
1. Use content strategically
Content is essential to social media and social selling success. It’s the content you post and share that will make people want to follow you, and it’s content that attracts leads from social media to your website.
Not to mention, content helps you build your profile, and the trust your followers (and prospects) have in you.
There really is no substitute for great content, whether it’s other people’s content that you share with your followers, or the content you create to post on your accounts.
Ideally, you should be posting a combination of both:
- Quality content that's relevant to your target audience and that helps them solve a pain point (content created by others)
- A selection of different types of content (images, videos, GIFs, text only, and so on) that you create and share on your social accounts. Plus, there’s also the content you create for your blog or website, which you can share and promote on social media.
You can also use this as an exercise to understand more about what your audience likes and what type of content they prefer.
In terms of the content you create, focus on creating content as strategically as possible. Think of your social media goals and use them as a starting point to decide what you should create in order to achieve them. Additionally, use your own knowledge of your niche (or, to be safe, you can use a tool like Buzzsumo to find out exactly what content gets the best results) to help you create updates and content that your audience actually cares about.
Timing is also very important - with as much content as there is, you need to use all you can to stand out and reach your audience.
Once you know what content you'll post, create a social media calendar; use your analytics to find out when most of your audience is online, and try to post more during those times (better yet, use a social media scheduling tool to save time and make sure you’re posting something new regularly).
In a moment, I’ll also discuss monitoring for leads and sales prospects, however I think it’s important to mention here that you’re likely to find potential prospects searching for information - use that opportunity to send them a private message, or respond to their update with a piece of content that will help them find out what they need. This not only shows you care enough to make an effort, but that you’ve got the knowledge to help them too.
2. Use monitoring and search features to discover potential prospects and monitor your prospects
Although as you grow it gets easier to get potential prospects coming directly to you, you can get even more results by being proactive and using monitoring to discover leads and prospects.
Most social media management tools have monitoring features - use them to search for relevant keywords that your target audience would use.
Then, as you find relevant people, follow them and start engaging. Or, when you find a relevant conversation happening, either jump in (where applicable) or, once again, follow and engage any potential prospect.
Plus, there’s LinkedIn, which offers some very useful advanced search options:
This is an amazing tool for salespeople, and one that can help you generate some amazing results, as it enables you to find the exact the right people you’re targeting. Plus, you can also search for companies, and look for the right connection within the company for making a sale:
Once you do discover potential prospects, monitor their social media activity so you can nurture them into customers. They could be actively asking for a product or service like yours, looking for quality content, or engaging with your competitors – that’s why you always need to keep an eye on them so you can act accordingly (and quickly).
3. Use a tool to get their correct contact information
One of the issues that many salespeople face is all the time spent looking for someone’s personal contact information. Reaching out to them via social media can be effective, but what’s more effective is to get their personal phone number or their email and reach out to them that way – thankfully, though, there are plenty of social selling tools to help.
For example, you can use a tool like Lusha to quickly get someone’s personal information, including phone numbers and emails, for any prospect you encounter online (plus, there’s a Chrome extension too, making the whole process as fast as it can be):
4. Join groups and create your own
Social media groups and communities can be a great source of leads and prospects. There are two essential parts to this: find out what groups your target audience is active in, join them and start posting and engaging.
LinkedIn and Facebook groups, in particular, are great for this - many people are using these groups specifically to find answers to their questions, to discover quality content which helps them solve their problems, and to actively search for products and services they need.
That is, in fact, a big reason why social selling is so important - people now use social media to find products and services, but also to do their research before buying.
Monitor these groups, be active in them by posting quality content consistently and by engaging, and you’ll be able to find more prospects for your business.
5. Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to find the right people, easier
LinkedIn knows that it's a great source of quality leads, so they’ve created the LinkedIn Sales Navigator to make salespeople’s’ lives easier, and help them generate more prospects.
Among the main features, they offer:
- Advanced lead and company search: their search is much more complex than the normal one you get on LinkedIn, allowing you to find the exact right people you need:
- Receive lead and account recommendations based on your target audience
- Integrate with your CRM tool to keep track of all the leads and prospects you discover and engage with
- Get alerts for relevant job changes, as well as prospect and company news alerts
If you’re already using social media to promote your business, why not take it to the next step and start using it to also generate more sales prospects?
Because let’s face it, most old sales tactics simply aren’t cutting it these days - your audience is on social media, and that’s where you need to be too in order to sell more.