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5 Metrics Social Selling Success Hinges On

By thought-horizon | Aug 21, 2019

At its most basic level, social selling is all about leveraging social media to hunt prospects and build a relationship with them. As the trend quickly picks up, 90% of the top-performing companies use social selling as a vital part of their sales strategy. 

With immense potential, social selling has a lot to offer irrespective the size of your business. That said, you can only measure the efficacy of your social selling efforts with a comprehensive strategy in place. And that’s where most of the salespeople fail. According to Forbes, only 15% of the participating sales pros could prove the impact of social media quantitatively. 

Social selling programs hinge on the engagement of the salesforce with social media. How else are they going to get engagement from prospects and ultimately sell using these platforms? This is obvious. But how do you track this when the term “social selling” is so broad? What exactly does “engagement in social media” mean? While most businesses are aware of the importance of data to remain competitive, looking at the wrong metrics can be just as detrimental as using no metrics. 

Here are the metrics you need to keep in mind and why:

1. Inbound Connections and Network Growth

Relationships are important to prove the success of your social selling efforts. Having the right strategy can help you make sure that you score high on this metric by augmenting your chances of building the right relationships on social. As many as 31% of B2B professionals believe that social selling cultivates stronger customer relationships. 

The size of your network indicates the strength of your social presence while inbound connections enable you to identify the value of each communication. 

2. The Social Selling Index: LinkedIn’s SSI

Search for the definition of “social selling” online, and you are likely to hear some reference to LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index. It is considered as one of the most important social selling tools, as it provides comprehensive metrics to measure four critical elements:

1) Establishing a personal brand

2) Engaging with social selling insights

3) Prospecting

4) Building relationships with decision-makers

Keeping track of SSI helps you encourage engagement and establish clear goals for performance. Studies establish that sales pros with a high SSI are able to achieve 45% more leads. That said, SSI alone cannot help you reach the desired results. You also need to support it with a human resource that is committed to seeking out referrals and leads for your business.

3. Content Engagement Rate

Brands don’t garner as much growth as they can by humanizing their social presence. Empower your sales reps with relevant information on their channels. Help them to activate their networks and establish themselves as the industry thought leaders. Leverage this content to build credibility for your brand. 

Measure how sales reps join conversations that matter by analyzing the content they share. Once you have content marketing in place, you can take further steps to measure how consumers interact with that content. Find out the number of likes, shares, and comments each piece of content attracts. 

4. Followers Who Find and Engage with Your Content

Measuring social selling ROI requires you to first understand where it all stems from. Social selling is not just limited to spreading brand awareness via social platforms. It also encompasses boosting engagement and conversions. With over 91% of B2B buyers active on social media, the strategy allows a brand to engage the buyers and encourage them to spend on your products and services. 

KPIs corresponding to the social selling does not limit to the overall number of followers but also emphasizes on the value those followers offer in terms of engagement. You can easily track down these metrics by leveraging employee advocacy and analytics. Once you have all the data, you can use it strategically to move your customers along in the buying cycle. 

Focus on consistent content sharing. It is getting harder and harder to have Linkedin serve your content to your best prospects, so you need to keep posting in order to beat the algorithms and deliver the much-needed content that LinkedIn depends on. 

5. Prospect Referrals

Referrals are one of the most powerful things to get your brand to flourish. 

Potential customers are 5x more likely to engage with sales reps who were referred to them. According to a report by Demand Gen, “warm” referrals are 4x more likely to covert. This is primarily because the ones who engage with you on social are already in a deeper stage of the buying cycle which means you have better chances of successful sales. 

Furthermore, prospects trust their peers more as compared to other sources. This is the primary reason that as many as 70% of the B2B companies suggest that referrals can convert and close deals faster than any other lead source. 

While this is one side of the story, it is also vital for the brands to bear in mind that the target of social selling is not augmenting the conversion rate. It also needs you to stay updated on how your efforts are driving lead generation and prospect nurturing that remains effective for the long run. Enhancing the social selling efforts enables one to establish themselves as the market leaders which encourages prospects to engage with them. And once they engage with you, they are more likely to refer you and buy from you. 

Ideally, there should at least be one engagement per post. A higher engagement indicates that your content strikes a chord with the audience.

Social Metrics are Important

Social selling has gained a great place as a powerful tool for multiple brands across industries. As customers increasingly go against outbound selling methods, social selling helps to create relationships that build trust and foster higher conversions. So if you are not yet leveraging social for lead generation, it’s high time you put your best foot forward and get started. And when you start, make sure to look at all the metrics mentioned here. All of these metrics need to be positive to maintain a growing program. They all interact and are dependent on one another.

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