Social Selling and Social Marketing: Lessons in the Cart and Horse

By Sander Biehn | Mar 7, 2018

Sander Biehn is founder and CEO of Thought Horizon, LLC. After a successful career in sales at AT&T, he founded his company in 2013 helping organizations to build, manage and succeed using social selling.

Social selling should be in place before you begin online B2B marketing period final. Like so many things in life, timing is everything.  Marketing online without involving your strongest advocates (your sales force) can lead you to wonder if all the marketing automation is worthwhile.  If you want ROI, you can’t put the cart in front of the horse.

When launching an online campaign there are several reasons to take some of the budgets and apply it to social selling.

1) Amplifying your reach with a highly receptive audience is easier. It is probably obvious that promoted social posts coming from individuals (such as your salespeople) are much more likely to clicked on and engaged with. In fact, it has been said that marketing from individuals is 10X more likely to be engaged with. What’s less obvious is that if your sales team is connecting on social media with their prospects. By leveraging this fact, you can build a bespoke drip campaign without investing in any new marketing tech. Simply have the salespeople post your online marketing on their personal pages and viola, it will show up in the feed of every one of your hottest prospects.

2) No one fills in forms on landing pages. I don’t care how awesome your white paper is, no buyer in her right mind is going to give you her email address in 2018 in order to see it. Getting ‘form fills’ on landing pages has gone from tough to impossible as desperate marketers hit the gas trying to make marketing dollars convert to leads. No reason to panic. If your sales team is distributing your online content and paying attention, they can follow up with interested parties via social media. Interested parties are much more likely to reach out to purveyors of good content directly if they see it is shared by a friendly face and not a logo. You may find yourself tossing those old form fills in the bit bucket.

3) Isn’t it high time sales and marketing learned to get along? Nothing says ‘we don’t care if you live or die’ to a sales leader like a slick new advertisement on Facebook attempting to get prospects to click on a lead gen form. Why? Because even if leads are found, the marketing content likely does not match how the sales team is positioning your products. With the wrong messaging, those leads can quickly become useless to sales. Now, if marketing rolls out a social selling class and collaborates with Sales on the content and messaging (or at least allows Sales to tweak it before it goes out), it begins to look like an olive branch. Collaboration has its advantages. Getting Sales to help will hold them accountable for the results and ultimate success of your campaign. That sure beats an ‘I told you so’ if the campaign tanks.

What have we learned? Don’t get the cart in front of the horse! Any good digital marketing campaign in 2018 will surely have a large component of social selling attached to it.

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