4 Steps for Mastering Your B2B Social Selling Efforts
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.
Marketers are simply going crazy to find out what exactly is social selling and what it means to them. Pretty inevitable given the immense popularity of social media in the digital age. Sales pros are trying to dig the treasure by augmenting their selling efforts on social. However, there’s a catch.
To beat the competition, they oftentimes fail to measure the impact and align their budget with the required efforts. While salespeople may tell you how important social media is and may attribute it to their selling success, it is essential to measure just how much social media is helping in order to justify the needed tools to keep sellers going online. Isn’t it?
Let’s tell you the key elements you need to measure. Get along!
1. How many sellers are active on social?
The first step to kickstart with a wonderful social selling strategy is to identify your social competitors. Think about the businesses in your niche and within that, the businesses that cater to exactly the same target market as yours. Find out the competitors and analyze their profile to jot down the striking features. It can be an appealing cover image or a compelling tagline. In case you are a new brand and find it hard to identify the direct competitors, try finding the brands in your industry that you admire.
List out these competitors and keep track of metrics like:
1) Platforms they are active on
2) Handles on each of these platforms
3) Follower count on each platform
4) Engagement on each platform (average likes/ retweets/ repins/ etc.)
5) Brand voice (adjectives that describe their social presence, that is, inspiration, casual, professional, funny, etc.)
A simple way to do this is to put your LinkedIn Sales Navigator tool to use.
2. How many articles/ shares do they make each week?
Now that you have gathered numbers, it’s time to identify how your competitors rank on each platform. And the first thing you would want to look at is what’s their activity. It relatively easy to gauge how active are the brands by answering these three questions:
1) When was the last time they posted?
2) Is there a long time span between various posts?
3) Do they respond to the comments?
Once you have the data at your fingertips, find out the type of content they publish. Look at the first ten posts of each competitor and check out what share of them is held by promotional material. Additionally, identify their voice. Is it professional or casual or funny? Do they post as a brand (We) or humanize it (Smith).
Include all the information and find out what works best for you.
3. How is their social network growing each week?
You must be well-aware of keeping track of your fans and followers as critical goals of managing online communities. After all, numbers matter, don’t they? Find out what keeps customers connected to a brand, and what attracts them? Understand that customers don’t innately want to follow a brand on Twitter or Facebook to keep up with your updates. There is a massive pile of content and already, and yours is not on that top priority.
That said, it’s not that difficult to land in the priority zone. Find out how competitors create compelling reasons for customers to connect with brands on the social web. Figure out how you can be more helpful and relevant. Give them a better idea, and they’ll definitely choose you over the competitors.
4. Identify their engagement score
Here are two important questions to answer. Do customers find their content attractive enough for them to share/ comment/ like? Do the brands make it two-way communication? If yes, what are the types of posts they typically reply to and how long do they take. But that’s not the only angle to it. Keeping track of how the customers and brands interact with each other gives you a bigger picture of your audience.
Start selling social!
Without most of realizing, social media has transformed from a communication avenue to a marketing juggernaut. If you take your business seriously (which of course you do), you also need to take social media seriously. Working social media correctly can mean the difference between your brand flourishing and floundering.
The metrics hence discussed are ethical and extremely effective ways for garnering a phenomenal social media presence. These numbers and the relation of the numbers to each other form the basis of a comprehensive social selling dashboard. Have them sorted, and you are geared up to optimize your spending on social.