Businesses wishing to successfully connect and engage with potential customers have to meet them on their home turf, and for an estimated 5 billion people - that happens to be social media.
While B2C companies may sell directly on social media through virtual stores, B2B companies mostly use this channel for indirect sales that exponentially grow their revenue over time.
However, both B2C and B2B buyer journeys involve social media, be it for coming across a company, checking its credibility, reading reviews, asking questions, or comparing prices.
So it only makes sense that sales and marketing teams have to leverage the power of social media to grow their audience and revenue. When done right, it can help businesses gain new customers, grow their brand recognition, drive retention and brand loyalty, engage with their audience, and get valuable feedback.
Is Social Media Really All That Effective For Sales?
The answer to this question is a big fat YES. But just in case you’re still dubious, here are some reasons why every sales strategy should make room for social media:
Before making a purchase, 75% of all internet users turn to social media to research brands, with younger generations increasingly choosing social media over search engines.
According to Gartner's prediction, by 2025, an astonishing 80% of all B2B engagement will take place through digital channels, indicating that B2B firms lacking a robust social presence will struggle to survive.
US sellers placed social media in their top 3 preferred channels for sales outreach, according to LinkedIn’s 2022 State of Sales Report.
Social Media Use Cases In Sales
Just knowing how effective social media can be for sales is not enough. Companies must know how to implement and align it productively with their business goals. This article will help you do just that.
Using Social Media For Sales Prospecting
Prospecting… the starting phase of virtually every sales strategy out there, yet so far from simple.
Depending on your industry and niche, focusing your prospecting efforts on the most relevant social platforms gives you access to an enormous pool of potential customers.
Take LinkedIn, for instance - a goldmine for B2B firms with 930 million professionals in every industry imaginable, so it’s safe to say a good chunk of your target audience is there.
Besides, LinkedIn makes it obscenely easy to filter your search by industry, location, company size, and so on to help you find and connect with the most relevant prospects. Sales teams wishing to improve their LinkedIn prospecting efforts can also use LinkedIn Sales Navigator for a more advanced lead and company search.
Similarly, every social platform has niche/industry-related groups and communities that sales teams can join and monitor. This way, companies can stay close to their audience, stay on top of industry trends and issues, and most importantly - identify individuals and companies interested in (or perhaps actively looking) for products such as yours.
Using Social Media For Social Listening
Social media is undoubtedly the place where most communications occur regarding every topic imaginable, and your industry and product are no exception. Sales teams can leverage social media to accurately monitor any online discussions about their brand and industry, also known as social listening, which in turn lets them easily adjust and perfect their sales strategy for better conversion rates.
First and foremost, sales teams using social media for social listening have an eagle eye on their potential customers’ buyer readiness. Designated social listening tools can send trigger alerts the moment your brand, competitors, or any other related keywords are mentioned, allowing sales reps to engage prospects at the perfect time:
Next, it allows you to swiftly address any recurring issues with your product that customers have brought up, making it easier to keep your business running smoothly and avoid any long-term brand reputation damage. Besides, who could possibly be a better critic of your product than your actual customers?
Using Social Media For Social Selling
Chances are, you’ve come across the phrase ‘social selling’, but what does it actually mean? Simply put, social selling is a sales technique that employs social media to engage and nurture prospects with a focus on building meaningful relationships.
Company profiles on social platforms are highly promising in building relationships with potential customers and educating them on their product and industry, slowly but steadily enticing them for an eventual purchase. You could even create a social media content calendar to help stay consistent with your posts.
On top of that, an integral part of social selling, especially in the B2B space, involves senior-level employees growing their personal social profiles on LinkedIn.
Such personal profiles allow sales leaders to build relationships with other decision-makers and become industry thought leaders, growing their following and expanding their firm’s brand reach.
As a result, sales social sellers outsell and hit quotas far more than their peers who don’t grow their personal brand on social media.
Sky's the limit with social media - you can post whatever you like, from industry trends and repurposed blog content to giveaways and memes. While such posts won’t skyrocket direct revenue, they will definitely help achieve the main goal of social selling - building a strong rapport with prospective customers.
Using Social Media For Sales Engagement
The days of cold-calling prospects off a contact list with a generic pitch and value proposition are simply over. While nothing will replace the good-old emails anytime soon, social media has joined the club of the top sales engagement channels.
In a day and age where customer expectations for personalized service have peaked, social media is the ideal channel for sales teams to connect with prospects in a more informal, friendly, and human manner.
It’s ideal for reaching out to targeted leads with tailored messaging and value propositions in a personalized manner, replacing any aggressive or deceiving selling techniques. For these reasons, most customers consider social media their preferred way of connecting with a company.
While there’s no need to completely abolish all other forms of communication with potential and existing customers, it’s definitely worth adding your preferred social channels to your multichannel sales outreach sequences to drive conversion rates to the fullest.
Using Social Media For Building Client Relationships
Besides engaging prospects, social media is great for interacting and staying in touch with existing customers, which is crucial in driving retention rates and increasing brand loyalty.
It’s no secret that retaining customers is the only way for businesses to succeed in today’s hyper-competitive market, so sales teams should also focus their social media efforts on ensuring their existing clients are happy, valued, and heard. Solely expanding your customer base is not enough to create a solid, long-term revenue stream.
A fantastic way to build client relationships with existing customers via social media is to pay close attention to their posts regarding your business, both positive and negative. Negative brand mentions have to be addressed with the speed of light so they can know that all their concerns will be addressed if they choose to stay with your product in the long run.
On the other hand, positive social mentions from existing clients and partners are like gold and should be treated as such. Re-sharing and showcasing satisfied user-generated content on your company’s social media pages is one of the best ways to build credibility online and gain more customers.
This will make your existing customers happy to see their opinions voiced to a large audience, ultimately turning them into long-term brand advocates. At the same time, such user-generated posts will impact the purchasing decisions for 80% of all your potential customers, driving more recurring sales without you lifting a finger.
Sales reps can also turn to social media to identify and anticipate any upsell/cross-sell opportunities to drive sales and, once again, keep existing customers happy. For instance, if one of your biggest customers just tweeted about expanding their sales team - what a great opportunity to suggest a quick call to discuss a plan upgrade!
Getting Started With Social Media For Sales
Now that we’ve covered how businesses can use social media to elevate their sales activities, it’s time to get everything in order before getting started. Follow this short checklist to ensure your social media efforts pay off so you get the results you expect and deserve.
- Identify the best platforms for your business and niche by researching where your audience is active. Here are the top platforms B2B buyers use for their purchasing decisions (the results may surprise you)
- Conduct thorough audience and competitor research on your chosen social platforms and analyze their online behavior to navigate your social media sales strategy.
- Ensure all company and employee social media accounts are optimized with your brand’s tone & visuals for a cohesive brand image, and stay consistent with company profile posts. Your audience will eventually begin associating your social posts with your brand.
Here’s a great example of MailChimp’s vibrant and optimized Instagram page.
- Determine your company’s unique use case for social media considering your goals and available resources to maximize the effectiveness of your social media sales and marketing strategy.
- Based on your set goals, pick the right tools to support and streamline your social media efforts. The most popular social media tool categories include.
- Social schedulers → help companies schedule and automate all content and posts ahead to keep a consistent social media schedule.
- Social listening tools → help companies monitor any online mentions of their brand, niche, competitors, etc., to stay on top of any issues or opportunities.
- Social analytics tools → help companies track the effectiveness of their social activities and engagement with their audience with an objective view.
If you’re more interested in an all-in-one social media suite that combines all these tools and more, look no further than Statusbrew - the only social media management platform your team needs to discover, engage, and grow their online audience.
- Start building your own community by growing your following through engaging posts and interactions with your audience, both clients and prospects. The bigger your following - the more enticed new prospects will be to join the club.
- Track engagement metrics of all your social media activity (likes, comments, web traffic, conversion rates, etc.) to determine which platforms, content, and timing work best to double down on what works and eliminate what doesn’t.
Social media has come a long way from merely being an outlet for us to post pictures of our pets and trips. It has become a core part of every sales and marketing strategy, and when used correctly - social media can help absolutely every company grow and prosper.
While it will take some time to get the jist of entering the world of social media, the benefits you get in return are second to none in terms of growing your brand, engaging with your audience, and improving your sales in the long run.
So get your search on, gear up with the right tools, and begin showcasing your brand to the entire world right away!
Take full control of your social media presence with Statusbrew - the complete social media management suite for businesses of all industries and sizes. Signup for a free 14-day trial and see for yourself how Statusbrew can take your social media game to the next level.