How Do You Apply Social Media Into The Sales Process?
Social media is inherently about building relationships and establishing a presence. Twitter is not the forum to cold pitch. However, the networking potential and the ability to understand a prospective customer's pain points is where much of the value lies in social media as a sales tool. Listening on social media is one of the most powerful tactics in a social selling strategy. Monitor for popular hashtags and keywords that are relevant to your industry or brand to find insights but also see what is being said about your competitors. When you can offer value to the conversation as opposed to a hard sell, you will have a better chance of gaining the trust of potential customers. With more than 1.19 billion active monthly users on Facebook and 232 million active monthly users on Twitter, there's an ample amount of leads to be nurtured.
What Tactics Can You Use
Social networks exist to provide entertainment, information, and connections. Sales people need to take this into consideration when augmenting their strategy with social. While an outright cold pitch will very likely be ineffective, social networks can provide sales people with real-time buyer interests. If there is a conversation trending within your industry and potential customers, join in to offer meaningful commentary and interact with these buyers. Listening for these opportunities and finding out the pain points your customers are having will give sales people a feel for the conversation and allow them to add value.
When it comes to being visible and interacting with the community, utilizing customer advocacy and employee advocacy to ensure your current customers and employees are talking about the business across their social networks will also increase brand awareness. Again, buyers are actively looking for what is being said about the company and it's important to have advocates who can talk positively. Encourage the sharing of content, company milestones, and general news. Become a resource for buyers looking for industry knowledge. And when it's time for them to make a purchase, they will come to you.
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Russ Fradin is the co-founder of Dynamic Signal and a digital media industry veteran with more than 15 years' experience in the online marketing world. Russ co-founded and was CEO of Adify (acquired by Cox for $300 million in May 2008) and co-founded SocialShield. He was also SVP of BD at Wine.com, EVP of Corporate Development at comScore (NASDAQ:SCOR) and was among the first employees at Flycast (acquired by CMGi for $2.3 billion in January 2000). Russ is also an active angel investor in the digital world and is on a number of boards. Russ holds a BS in Economics from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
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