Social Media Sales Strategy
10 Principles for B2B Sales
Have a social media plan. Lacking a purpose and clear
objectives social media will be a waste of time.
Here are a few things to consider in building your social media
B2B sales strategy:
1. Who do you want to target?
2. What do you want them to do?
3. How are you going to encourage them to do it?
"If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you
there." -Lewis Carroll
Having a plan makes listening a lot more productive. A social
media monitoring plan is the surest way to avoid wasting time
in these social venues.
In fact, a well structured listening plan will help you gain time for
sales. Once established, your social media listening will do the
majority of your prospect research and deliver you regular
opportunities to engage.
I like to listen for: 1. Personnel changes, 2. Chatter
between competitors and their customers, 3. Hints at ongoing
or future product or service evaluation.
The real power of social media is the power of online
communities. However, this is probably the number one failure
of most social media programs.
This failure and resulting frustration with social media comes
largely from the lack of community in most programs. Why is
that? Because most try to build community in the wrong way.
Here are the steps B2B sales should use to build community:
1. Don't try to build your own
2. Find and engage (contribute) to existing communities
3. They will come and surround you--You Win!
Social media etiquette is really "dinner party" etiquette--we are
socializing, not pitching. Here are a few guidelines to
1. Listen before you speak
2. Introduce yourself (not an elevator pitch)
3. Wait for an opportunity to add value to the discussion
4. Ask questions. Seek to learn
5. Make it easy to find out more about you
These are guidelines, but the only way to really get it right is to
practice. Engage. Make mistakes. Apologize. Grow.
Practice makes perfect, and no where is this more true than in
social networking. It's a body of technology and methodology
completely driven by the whims and behaviors of people.
That means it's unpredictable. The silliest things will soar and
the most clever will crash.
Have a practice plan:
1. Try different social networks: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook
2. Try different methods: blog posts, links, questions, polls
3. Design campaigns and measure results
Chances are you're not going to improve without monitoring
your impact and results. Like any great athlete will tell you
logging and tracking your training and personal bests are
critical to winning the big competitions.
Social media is no different. You need to set-up a monitoring
program to see and capture opportunities. It can be difficult to
see all the reactive ripples without good monitoring.
Here are a few monitoring recommendations:
1. Free: Google Alerts and Search Twitter
2. Paid: Kaleidico's Eavesdropper
Measuring is closely tied to tracking, but I think there is an
important distinction to be made. Tracking or monitoring is
watching the flow and grabbing opportunities--maybe even
using reactions and impacts to motivate you. However, to really
nail a consistent flow of sales from your social media efforts
you need to step back and up a level.
When you are designing your measurements makes sure you
are capturing the big picture, as it's tied to your goals and
Each measurement should be tied directly to an outcome you
are trying to achieve and a tool that gives you the numbers.
Nothing ever works perfectly the first time (even if you think it
did). Program in specific time to analyze your monitoring and
measurements. Figure out where you are losing opportunities
from your funnel.
Here are some places I look for clues to adjust:
1. Blog posts that are low visits, top exits, high bounce rates
2. Blog posts with few or no comments
3. Tweets with low RTs, low click-through, no response
4. LinkedIn Answers without good or relevant responses
5. Social networking that brings little engagement return
At this point, social media for sales sounds like a lot of extra
work. That's the secret!
Your prospective clients and partners should get exactly that
impression. You want them to perceive that your engagement
is prolific and personal.
But, you know efficiency increases margins so let's look at
1. Tweetspinner: Automating daily management of Twitter
2. Twitterfeed: Syndicating regular, high-value content
3. Hootsuite: Scheduling that social media plan
I've given you all of the mechanics, but that won't get you to
where you want to be. The first nine principles will simple get
you on par (maybe a slight edge) on the competition.
The big successes will go to the ones with the most creativity.
The ones that figure out how to really inspire reaction and
passion in their communities.
I can't give you the formula for this--it has to come from YOU!
Good luck and let me know if I can help you brainstorm up
some of your own social selling magic.
More resources & inspiration: http: