"My customers don't use social media."
"Social media isn't worth the trouble for B2B."
"Social media may increase B2B brand awareness, but it doesn't work for sales"...*
These myths have been invented by people who couldn’t succeed at generating B2B sales via social media. Maybe they didn't know which platforms to choose at all, or maybe they didn't know which platforms' features will come in handy.
Facebook (91%) and LinkedIn (81%) are the top social media platforms used by B2B marketers, followed by Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube.
But posting on these networks and asking your colleagues to like/comment isn't enough for generating sales. You should cooperate with third-parties, spend time engaging with users, and one day you will succeed.
Here are 6 B2B sales strategies that become possible via social media:
LinkedIn Search: Filters & Automation Tools
LinkedIn is a social network that allows you to find leads by advanced filtering options. Filtering options include
- Connection level
- Current/past companies
- Profile language
Finding quality leads this way is free. However, it's extremely time-consuming as you have to endorse, send connection requests and follow-ups manually.
If you want to scale this process, you should consider using a LinkedIn lead generation automation tool.
Some of them have free plans, and you can view profiles, send connection requests automatically. But if you want to automatically endorse for skills, send follow up messages, build funnels, you need to choose a paid plan. High-level B2B lead generation services use multiple tools and they know which ones work for companies with certain needs and goals.
Another option that LinkedIn provides for sales is Sales Navigator. For sales purposes, you should consider Premium Business and Professional features.
The Premium Business plan allows you to send 15 messages to any contact, view unlimited profiles from search results and suggested profiles.
The Professional plan allows you to send 20 messages to any contact, get access to advanced search filters such as seniority level, get lead recommendations, create lead lists, etc.
When the leads show interest after your connection request message, you can add them to your funnel and take them from the Awareness to the Decision stage.
Facebook groups are communities where you can connect with like-minded people, learn, share what you know, and grow. While they allow you to build relations, they are also great for generating leads and increasing your sales organically.
Well, we don't recommend you to put sales links in the post comments, hoping to get traffic and conversions. Users will report similar content or, at best, disregard your promotions.
Instead, you should closely watch what questions users ask, initiate discussions by yourself, and feature your product/service when you feel it's the best time.
For example, if your target customers are SaaS companies, you might join the groups below:
- SaaS Breakthrough Marketing Community
- SaaS Products & Marketing
- SaaS Revolutionaries
In one of these groups, the user was looking for an email automation tool. So you could offer your service/product if it was relevant to the context.
In the groups mentioned above, people may look for recommendations on any SaaS-related topic, from outsourcing software development to finding a reliable web hosting company, etc. You should keep following what's new and drop a link or give advice when relevant.
Another example. If one of your target customers are eCommerce stores, you may join the groups listed below:
- E-commerce and Shopify Pirates
- Ecommerce Entrepreneurs
- E-commerce online business owners tips and tricks
- 7-Figure Ecommerce Secrets
These groups might be interesting for logistics companies, printing companies, SaaS companies (who target eCommerce), etc.
The questions users ask don't have to be product/service-related. Any post that relates to your industry is a good opportunity to show your expertise and drop appropriate links when they fit the context. You may then continue your conversation via Messenger, email, LinkedIn, or another channel.
Leverage Social Media Advertising
Using social media advertising to promote your products or services ensures higher visibility for your brand among your target audience.
Increased visibility will further improve your chances of driving sales from social media.
You can even customize your ads by displaying products that a user has recently viewed on your website.
This would remind them about the products and encourage them to go through with a purchase.
Using a managed service like Statusbrew, you can create, schedule & visualize a complete timeline of all your ads and promotional posts.
To fine-tune your campaign strategy, you get in-depth insights into the performance of your content like organic v/s paid impressions, engagement, and much more.
If you'd like to try out Statusbrew for your business, you can sign up right now & start your free trial.
Youtube & The Power Of Influencers
YouTube ranks 4th for the most valued social media platform by B2B marketers. And 51% of B2B marketers run ads on Youtube (same source).
However, uploading videos to Youtube regularly and running ads aren't the only ways to generate sales from Youtube. You can partner with Youtubers who have a big, loyal audience and are ready to feature your product or service in their videos.
"Here's the best tool for Xyz that I use, and if you purchase, I will get a small affiliate fee at no additional cost to you."*
"The sponsor of this video is Xyz that is doing ABC"*.
Thus, your partner will encourage his/her viewers to check out the link in the video description and offer to visit your landing page. A unique URL or a promo code will help you identify which leads and sales were generated from Youtube.
There are Youtube channels on almost all topics out there, including legal, financial, human resources, etc.
To make the right Youtuber choice, make sure they cover your business-related topics and get thousands of views on all videos.
Twitter's Advanced Search
67% of all B2B businesses use Twitter as a digital marketing tool. B2B companies use it to partner with influencers, run ads, etc but we will discuss a very unique tactic below.
Type "recommendations" in the search bar followed by keywords related to your business. For example, "recommendations, hr software," and here's a question from a user looking for a similar tool!
Here’s another example. We searched for “recommendations, outsourcing accounting”. And below are questions from 2 users.
You should be flexible with what keywords you look for to gain fresher access and even more results. Try typing "recommendation," recommend," "recommending" because users think and write differently.
The same principle should apply when writing keywords related to your business. If you are offering HR software, look for other keywords such as "human resources," "freelancer management," etc.
Twitter Advanced search allows you to add your preferred filters to the search. You can set a date range to see only the latest questions, choose the tweet language, etc. When replying to the tweet, you can ask the author to DM you or visit your landing page.
Quora search works the same way as Twitter search but doesn't have the same filtering options. You type in your keywords and see what questions users ask related to your business.
If you were a local accounting firm, you might want to answer this question and introduce your advantages.
Whatever question you ask, Quora will recommend Related questions at the top right corner so you choose the most relevant ones and continue answering.
Besides, Quora allows you to join topic-related Spaces (groups). In some Spaces, only founders and admins can publish posts, while in some others, you can share links and text-based posts.
Both Quora questions and groups are targeted places to find sales-ready leads and redirect them to your website.
To make it possible, you should have a professional-looking profile that clearly states who you are and what expertise you have. Profiles without photos and legit info don't inspire people, and people will probably avoid doing business with you.