When used correctly, social media a very effective method for reaching a wider audience. But how can you ensure you’re taking full advantage and are using the right platforms and methods to drive the best results?
I was recently joined by Ian Moyse, a well-known sales leader who has a huge social media presence and was recently rated 2016’s #1 social influences on cloud, and #1 on ITSM, Ian has been featured in many social selling leadership reports and has advised many businesses on how to play the social media game.
- Influencing Buyers – With 75% of B2B buyers using social media to research a vendor (IDC) and 57% of the buyers journey being done before a sales rep is contacted (CEB), the power of social really has evolved. Ian points out that even incremental decisions are being made, based on content shared through social media. ‘That wouldn’t have happened even 10 years ago.
- Transparency – The buyer and influences dynamic has evolved – anyone now has the ability to find out everything about, you, your brand, your products, what others think of you. It’s therefore more important than ever to portray yourself in the best way possible, across any mediums where potential customers may find you, in order to sway their buying decision.
- What are Your Goals? – It’s not enough to just want to be a part of social media because you’ve heard it’s ‘good’, you need to think about what it is you want to accomplish and where you want to go. As Ian says ‘If you don’t know where you want to go, I can’t tell you which route to take.’ Possible goals could be; to generate leads, to appear more established than you are, to gain a wider regional reach or to be seen as a thought leader.
After You’ve Identified Your Goals, You Then Need to Consider Who The Audience is That you Want to Reach.
- Customers – End customers.
- Channel Partners – Spread your message onward to their customer base.
- Analysts – To become recognized in your field.
- Journalists – To create an online buzz and get your brand out there.
- Influences – To improve the reputation of your business.
- Focus – Don’t be fooled into thinking you need to be on all social networks. If your business doesn’t lend itself to visual display, why have an ‘Instagram’ account? Yes, it’s a huge player in the market, but perhaps not for your industry.
- Take Advantage – Hashtags, keywords, Twitter lists, LinkedIn Groups – all of these are great ways to help attract your audience’s attention. Spend some time researching and see how you can take advantage of each option.
- Social Selling – As Ian says, people talk to people. They don’t like to feel they’re talking to a bot. To do this, you need to take advantage of your sales people and give them training on how to use their social media accounts effectively, for building relationship and engaging with prospects.