Hacks for Expert-Level Social Selling

Social media is not just a great platform for brands and businesses to engage with their existing customers but also a great tool for finding and converting leads, Social Selling. However, you will not be the only business hunting for new customers, so get a headstart on the competition with these 11 hacks for social selling like an expert.

1) FIRST IMPRESSIONS ARE IMPORTANT

Just like in real life, you have to look your best online. Your image will be the first thing prospective clients will see and a good first impression is vital, so choose an image that is professional but approachable. The text next to this in your social media bio essentially has to work as an introductory conversation, so tailor the copy to your prospective clients and do not forget to add your contact details.

Social networks like LinkedIn also give you much more space to tell your story, so share your “Why” and explain how you make your clients’ lives easier. Do not forget to have your connections endorse you for your skills — your abilities and expertise are much more credible when described by others.

2) BUILD UP CREDIBILITY

Social networks can be used to build your personal brand credibility and reputation outside of your company. Imagine it as a track record of your authenticity, industry knowledge and network. You can start establishing trust by sharing content relevant to your field, and providing thoughtful insights and solutions whenever and wherever you see the chance. Others are bound to engage by re-sharing or joining the conversation, especially if you use platforms like Medium or LinkedIn to publish original articles on relevant industry topics.

3) TRACK YOU SOCIAL SELLING

Your existing social selling efforts hold a huge amount of information on what is working and what is not — and clues on how you can execute it better. Trends like a high page bounce rate from social media referrals or site visitors spending a long time on one particular page already give you a clear insight into where problems could lie or what your potential clients find useful. This gives you the chance to dig deeper and better tailor your message and offering to social media leads.

You can use tools like Leadfeeder to track which pages your social media visitors are viewing and what organizations they belong to. This´helps you learn what your most promising leads are interested in. Tailor your content accordingly.

4) LISTEN IN TO FIND PROSPECTS

Listening is the most effective way of understanding what your prospects want and need, thus allowing you adjust your offering and messaging. Monitoring relevant conversations is a good way to find out what current and prospective clients are saying about your brand on social media: Why are they frustrated, excited or delighted? You can win your existing customers’ loyalty by using this info to address their issues — or even learn from your competitors’ customers.

Social media monitoring is a good way to track conversations and discover what your target audience is saying about you and the rest of the field. Learn from your competitors’ mistakes or successes and combine it with your own customer data to better communicate with prospects. This could even be on a one-to-one level with a personalized social media message that hones in their particular needs.

5) DRIVE LINKEDIN GROUP ENGAGEMENT

Joining relevant LinkedIn Groups is a great way to find B2B prospects — just find a group, request entry, and start engaging once you are accepted. First, build relationships and credibility by engaging with other group members and sharing opinions and articles. This can help you identify and connect with leads, who you can later approach with offers based on their needs. Find the right groups by searching for keywords around your area of expertise in LinkedIn’s search bar.

6) SEEK OUT PROSPECTS

Find out where on social media your potential clients go to solve their problems. It could be in discussions under a Twitter hashtag or in a group on Facebook or LinkedIn; either way, find it, listen in and engage. LinkedIn and Twitter both work well for this, and the latter gives you a great deal more access to influencers. If you do not know where to start, try Tweet Reports’ Twitter Chat Schedule to discover chats relevant to your industry. Tune in, get involved, identify the best leads, and listen to what is on their mind. Similarly, industry-specific groups on LinkedIn have some fantastic dialogue. Checking out your new prospects’ connections and groups can lead you to even more potential clients.

7) ALWAYS PROVIDE VALUE

Once you have connected with the right people, it is vital to keep on supplying your social media network with valuable content. There is nothing worse than being inactive or inconsistent — you will lose followers and people’s attention —  so be sure to stay active once you get started. The easiest way to do this is following industry influencers (for expertise and content), sharing your own expertise and content, and staying targeted on your niche with relevant hashtags.

8) LOOK AFTER YOUR PROSPECTS

One of the most important parts of social media interaction and social selling is to simply listen to what others are saying — and then engage. Treat every social media conversation like one in real life and be sure to respond to people who reach out to you. Commenting, reposting and tagging content from others, and ‘Liking’ conversations are easy ways to engage and exhibit your expertise.

9) SHARING SUCCESS STORIES EARNS TRUST

No matter how great you claim your service or product is, prospective clients will not necessarily believe you. One way to earn this trust is by using social selling to share the proof: your existing customers’ reviews and success stories. Try linking to success stories on your site from social media, create custom graphics featuring a happy customer and your brand’s achievements or even get clients to explain how you helped them in a written or video interview. Proving that you can deliver on your claims will allow you to convince prospects much more easily. You can even get your customers to leave reviews about your business on Facebook, so that other Facebook users can learn from your existing customers.

10) CUSTOMER COMPLAINT RESPONSES

Responsivity to your customers is just as much a part of social selling as promoting your business on social media. On top of this, responding to and resolving customer social media complaints with the best possible customer service can do wonders for your brand reputation. Exceptional customer service will not only help you keep existing customers, but your responsivity and service attitude can also be great assets in helping you convince new prospects.

11) CONNECT OFFLINE

Converting social media followers and connections to leads is a good start but is only the means to the end-goal of creating real-life connections. An active conversation online makes it much easier to line up a meeting or phone call since the person already ‘knows’ you and is more likely to accept your offer.

Source: 11 Tips & Tactics for Expert-Level Social Selling, published by Social Media Management Software Firm Sprout Social.

KIRCHBAUMER.COM is Silver Agency Partner of Sprout Social.