If you’re responsible for sales, you can no longer ignore the power of social media.
65% of consumers who receive a recommendation from a contact on their social media sites have purchased a product that was recommended to them.
And nearly 93% of social media users have either made or received a recommendation for a product or service.
And it’s not just in B2C either. Word of mouth is as strong in the business-to-business environment. Referrals are shown to be the top influencing factor when it comes to B2B purchasing decisions too – many of these via platforms like Twitter or Linkedin.
How can you capitalise on this?
For Sales teams, the obvious answer here is to join in! If you’re not already active, consider social selling – the art of using social media channels to build relationships between buyers and business developers.
The very personal nature of social media means that your buyers are likely to know the people they’re connected with – and value their opinions.
Become one of these trusted contacts and you can build a long-term relationship with your prospects, trusted as a go-to source of relevant, valuable information.
The secrets of successful content
If you want your posts to positively impact buying behaviours, you need to get the content spot-on. This blog has some good tips on how to get started.
In a nutshell:
- Make it relevant. You’re not there to sell overtly. Instead, write about topics you know are of concern to your buyers. You will know better than almost anyone the challenges they face and the issues that keep them awake at night. Focus on these.
- Target the right people. Your followers will grow organically if you share material that’s of interest. Identify the thought leaders in your industry and follow or connect with them. This is the first step in building up your network for reciprocal shares, likes and retweets – all of which are vital to getting your stories out there.
You might want to look at some of the tactics used in influencer marketing, where you target leading figures in your sector with a view to getting them to endorse you and your approach.
- Choose your channel. If your business is B2C, Facebook may be relevant. Purely B2B? Your target audience is far more likely to be on Linkedin. Twitter covers both.
- Post regularly. There’s no use starting off with a wave of enthusiasm…only to realise you don’t have the capacity to keep it up…and tailing off altogether a fortnight later. Little and often is a good watchword. If you’re busy, think about how frequently you can realistically post. Remember, you don’t always need to create your own content. Sharing or curating insights from others also works to build up your profile and following.
- Be compliant. In a regulated industry like financial services, regulatory compliance adds another layer of complexity. The FCA has specific rules on what’s acceptable – including guidance on use of hashtags, retweeting and sharing, risk warnings and disclaimers.
- Make it easy on yourself. Building up a toolbox of ready content makes it quicker and easier to get material out there. Slide library, with ready-to-share, Compliance-approved content for you to draw upon can be a big help. Similarly, quick and easy ways of generating on-brand materials take the legwork out of producing presentations, tip sheets and other valued information.
Get a head start when it comes to buying behaviours
Capitalise on the opportunities that social media offers, and you will be well-placed when it comes to referrals.
A regular presence, whether it’s on Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook or any other channel, will put you top of mind when your clients and prospects are making those all-important buying decisions.