It can be easy to relegate social media to two categories: 1) socializing – messages from friends, pictures of your cousin’s new baby, weird forwards from your great aunt, and 2) as a marketing tool – promoting a brand or bringing new visitors to a company website. But social media as a B2B sales tool? If you run a small business or lead a sales team, it might be harder to wrap your head around that one, but the proof is in the numbers.
84% of C-level executives say social media influences their purchase decisions.
- 75% of B2B buyers and 84% of C-level executives are influenced by social media when making purchasing decisions (source)
- Social sellers generate 38% more new opportunities than traditional sellers (source)
- 78% of salespeople using social media perform better than their peers (source)
- Social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing (source)
The people you’re selling to are on social media, and they’re ready to hear what you have to say, so the question isn’t whether you should be there too. It’s how you should show up and what you can do to effectively integrate social media into your sales strategy, grow your leads, and meet your revenue goals. Here are 5 easy ways your team can start integrating social media into your B2B sales strategy today.
1. Start thinking of social media in terms of “Social Selling”
What are the tried-and-true methods your sales team is using now to reach prospects? Cold calls? Emails? Networking? You can utilize versions of all of these tactics through social media (and do it in an even more targeted, engaging way) in the form of social selling. Social selling isn’t spamming social media inboxes with generic sales messages. Instead, it’s using social media platforms that your audience is already using, like LinkedIn or Facebook, to identify prospects, listen to needs they’re expressing, and thoughtfully choose the right time to engage and present a solution. In fact, prospects would welcome this approach. On LinkedIn, 65% of people wouldn’t find it creepy if a salesperson sent them a message and they had common connections.
2. Help set the strategy – and the message
Chances are, your B2B company’s social media strategy is handled by the marketing team. Even if the sales team hasn’t been involved in the past, now is the time to make a change and join in at the strategy level. By working alongside your marketing team to set an overall strategy, you can help ensure that it aligns with sales goals and helps craft a narrative and brand voice that aligns with your ideal customer. This will result in consistent messaging that everyone can embrace, from digital content creators to sales associates writing LinkedIn messages.
3. Create trusted content
Your prospects will be more open to your message if they view you and your company as a trusted source with valuable insight to offer. Delivering quality content through your social channels can help position you as a thought leader and a source of helpful information. You can create content that ranges from your original thoughts on B2B industry news, to videos that offer an inside look at your company, to regular updates on job openings and upcoming events. Overwhelmed by the idea of doing this on your own? Talk to your marketing team about building a content marketing campaign together.
4. Engage regularly (and automate to make it easier!)
A successful sales cycle includes regular engagement and interaction with prospects, and social selling is no different. If you’re going to use social media as a sales tool, it’s important to engage on a regular basis. You can do this by setting a small amount of time aside each day to respond to posts and look for new opportunities to engage. And don’t hesitate to lean on automation! A quality CRM platform like HubSpot offers the ability to plan and schedule social media posts ahead of time, so you can continue to engage while focusing on other sales goals. And if your team is small and creating a regular posting schedule sounds challenging, consider outsourcing the initiative. In 2020, 86% of B2B organizations outsourced content creation and 30% outsourced content distribution.
5. Integrate social media into your other channels
Social selling can’t replace other valuable sales tactics, but you can integrate it into those initiatives pretty seamlessly. By adding your social media widgets to all of your sales channels, from email templates to your website and landing pages, your prospects will see that they can find you on their favorite platforms as they move through their buyer’s journey.
So, there you have it. Social media is still a great way to socialize and market, but it’s also an incredibly robust and effective sales tool for B2B companies. By integrating social media into your current sales strategy, you’ll have a new opportunity to increase leads and a new, powerful tool for reaching your revenue goals.
Schedule a free consultation with Ryan for advice on how to get your sales team started using social to close the deal.