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Social Selling 101: A Hubspot User Group RecapFebruary 08, 2017

Content Strategist, Lindsey Graff, attended a Hubspot User Group session that covered the importance of integrating social selling into business strategy and the action steps needed to obtain maximum success. Lindsey’s notes from Chelsea Hunersen’s presentation make for a great guide to social selling 101.

Why social selling?

“But maybe because we’ve been doing “social” well for a while, I hope we’re better at it and more willing to see it for what it is – a tool, not a feat.” – Ariana Huffington

­Social selling, as the name implies, is the one-on-one relationship built with a customer through social media communication to provide value at the right time, in the right place. This relationship leverages your professional brand to fill your pipeline with the right people, insights and leads. Social selling occurs at the intersection sales & marketing, and has emerged as an essential skill in the digital marketing tool box.

Statistics show that people who use social selling achieved a 66% higher quota than their peers, and 72.6% of people outperformed their peers. People are already 60% of the way through the sales process through online research before they ever contact sales – and having an online/social presence will give salespeople the opportunity to influence prospects before they reach that 60% point.

The value of social selling has been proven a hundred times over, but that begs the question: why aren’t more people using it? The found 28% of sales reps say more social selling was a priority for this year. Not only is it not a priority in the minds of sales reps, social selling can come across as ‘creepy’ to potential customers when done poorly. There is a misconception that the older generation of people making decisions are not on social media (this is a myth!) – gen Xers are often decision makers and are actually very active on social media.

“The modern customer is digitally driven, socially connected, and mobile empowered. We need to adapt or be replaced.” – Jill Rowley, social sales expert

Psychology of social selling

We share as a form of social currency – 62% of people say they feel better about themselves when they share something that people are “liking” or reacting positively to on social media. People trust social proof as they research products and services – this is why reviews are important – they are unbiased and truthful. People want to be HEARD and they appreciate feeling listened to by brands and salespeople. People are reciprocal in nature and they like learning; this is where your brand as a teach steps in. But, as an educator providing value keep in mind that reputation, relationships and resources matter.

The do’s and don’ts of social selling

Naturally, there are good and bad ways to approach social selling.

  • Do: Chart from Kissmetrics on Good social selling.
  • Don’t: Deliver the hard sell on social media platforms.
  • Do: Make yourself a source of good content. Reach out at the right times and use social analytics to figure out what those right times are.
  • Do: Leverage social networks for research and social listening (notice I said listening, not selling).
  • Don’t: Use Facebook as a selling platform.
  • Do: Leverage social networks for research and social listening (notice I said listening, not selling).
  • Don’t: Lie or mislead as a way to pitch a product in a Linkedin message. Ex. “We haven’t talked in awhile” (when you have never met or talked).
  • Do : Send LinkedIn message to comment or respond to something someone posted and include an interesting/helpful article link.

Action steps

This will keep your profiles fresh and new so that people want to follow you and continue following you. Having a completed Linkedin profile has been known to get your page found 40x more than incomplete profiles, not to mention boosting your credibility. For a successful LinkedIn profile, a good picture, optimized headline, contact information, links to the product and content are a necessity, not an option. These requirements aren’t exclusive to just LinkedIn either; your Twitter page also needs a good picture, company information & goals in your bio to stand out. And while Instagram is not a traditional social selling tool, it is rising in its prominence in professional settings. It is a good platform to showcase who you are and add humanity to your professional persona.

1) Post daily

Maintain consistency and post 1-2 pieces of fresh content daily. If this proves to be a strain on your time and resources, try a scheduling tool like Hubspot, Buffer or Feedly.

2) Use Twitter to monitor prospects

Be on the look out for user engagement that could lead to a prospective client. Check your feed for people asking questions, expressing paint points and showing new information on their company or environment. By examining the things that are top of mind for your users and offering opportunities for your users to connect with your brand, you can begin to collect valuable content to send to your prospects. The content could include helpful articles, answers to frequently asked questions, or even solutions to problems your prospects didn’t even know existed. Also, follow your prospects who comment on your content (tweets/comments) and respond directly to them to show you value their engagement.

PRO-TIP: Keep a list of commonly used content and share with sales team. Keep updated based on their feedback.

Lastly, use HubSpot social monitoring tool. We might be a little biased considering we’re a fan of their tool. But HubSpot’s social monitoring tool allows you to set up monitoring streams, answer questions if you can and respond to posts with thoughtful comments/retweets in a streamlined manner. Use Insights to determine the right time to contact a company or prospect, find new people to whom you should be communicating to and look for referrals. Follow prospective company clients’ social profiles to see changes in leadership.

3) Be ready for complaints

Complaint management can seem a bit difficult to manage; no one wants to look like the bad guy. However, if you can jump on them with strong customer service, it makes you look authentic and ready to help. Also, just because you’re not seeing complaints or dissatisfied comments doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Scan your social media platforms for your prospects’ activities and make note of major activities in Twitter chats and webinars. Scan social for your prospects’ activities – make note of major activities in Twitter chats or webinars you can stop buy.

Social selling should be integrated into your company’s sales and marketing strategy to ensure that you are providing maximum value to your current and prospective customers. Remember: social selling takes only 30-60 minutes per day, so set aside the time to allow your business to flourish.

 

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