How to Use Social Media to Find Customers and Generate Leads [Infographic]

Using social media to create conversation, provide value, credibility and trust is only the start. How do you convert those “Likes” into customers?

This infographic,  compiled by Wishpond, shows that 77 percent of business-to consumer (B2C) marketers have acquired customers through Facebook, while business-to-business (B2B) marketers have found more success on LinkedIn — finding it a whopping 277% more effective than Facebook or Twitter.

Lead Gneration on Social Media Ben Martin #wesoe

What platforms do you use? What are your tips for success? Join the discussion below and say hello.

How to fail at social selling in five steps and how to SUCCEED in three #WESOE

How to fail at social selling in five steps

1 Produce content
2 Promote to social media platforms
3 Pray (Pay!) for comments and RT’s
4 Promote some more
5 Be disappointed. Give up.

What if there was a better way. A way that actually gets results.
A way that builds engagement
A way that generates SALES

There is:

Three steps to success using Social Media to sell.
Creating the Social Wrap with three ways to “serve”

1: (OB) SERVE
Before joining the conversation, listen
FIND: your audience, prospects, segment or whatever you call it
LISTEN: to their conversation, their questions and what they talk about.
DISCOVER: what they care about, focus on and want to get done first.

This should be a huge part of what you do first. Simply listen to the conversations that are happening around you. Sign up for LinkedIn groups, check leading blog posts, send out surveys. Do what ever it takes to develop a deep understanding of what motivates your prospects. What do they care about, struggle with and desire. Ask follow up questions to gain clarification and develop an intimate knowledge of what their world looks like.

2: (DE) SERVE
Now and only now, join in the conversation.
DEVELOP: intelligent perspectives, insights and resources
CONTRIBUTE: to the conversation by offering highly valuable insights, data and facts
ENGAGE: in meaningful dialogue with those who care and matter

When you have developed a deep understanding of your prospect you can then join in the conversation. But only then. Do not take to spam messages and ensure you tailor your messages. For example The biggest mistake you can do is use a template LinkedIn message. Personalise.

Produce quality content, that demonstrates value, meets the prospects needs, offers tangible practical actionable advice that meets the prospects needs. Deliver instant value of what it would be like to work with you.

3: (RE) SERVE
Focus on the few, not the many.
FOCUS: on your tribe of peers and followers, connectors and leaders.
FIND: those that deserve your time, follow up and start the journey forward.
FAVOUR: the few who are worth your time, effort and dedication

It is very easy to get hung on on the “how many RT’s did I get today” buzz. Focusing on this craze will help flatter your ego and of course make you feel like you have accomplished something.

But it does not produce results.

So be selective spend your time with those that engage with your content and are likely to be decision makers. Ask questions, promote their content, and above all thank them.

Create the “social wrap” equation:

Observe – Deserve – Reserve

LinkedIn – Harness the Power – Reap the Rewards

LinkedIn is great for Business, or I should say SMART Business & SMART Networking

I am NOT a LinkedIn expert, but I do know how to make it work for me. Do you?

We are both equal in exposure and linking possibilities yet 96.5% of my LinkedIn connections are the result of people wanting to connect with me.

I do not accept everyone. But I do click on everyone’s profile before connection. Many are impressive. Most are average or less. Some are down right bad.emptyshop

How’s yours? A good friend of mine, James Potter better know as the @thelinkedinman has a short quiz you can take in two minutes, I suggest you do. Here is the link.
How many connections do you have? How are you communicating with your connections? How are your connections helping your sales or your career?

Your LinkedIn profile is just one, but perhaps the most important, social presence you have. You control exactly what it is. When others search for you on Google, LinkedIn is one of the first links they click on. You have a one time chance to make a positive impact, both personally and for business.

The Good: When I realised the business significance of LinkedIn, I immediately sought professional help to help me with the keywords, layout, and what to include on my profile page. So should you.

It must be working. In the three years since, my network has grown substantially, people wanting to connect with me, be part of my network, be my customer. Huge opportunity. At an acquisition cost of ZERO.

The Reality: I receive requests to link and I also get messages. Some are very nice, some are self-serving, some are insincere, and some are stupid (very stupid). And ALL messages are a reflection of the person sending them. That would be you.

Here are some THINGS about LinkedIn to make you think, re-think, and act:

• Your picture is NOT an option. Show a professional, but approachable, image. Be proud of who you are.
• Have a LinkedIn profile that gives me insight, not just history. Not just what you’ve done, but also who you are. Your profile is your pathway to connection.
DANGER: DO NOT USE stock LinkedIn messages. It shows your laziness, lack of creativity, and overall lack of professionalism. Standard LinkedIn messages need to be replaced with your own. EVERY TIME.
• Tell me WHY I should connect. (Where’s the value? Its reciprocal you know)
• If you’re looking for leads, use the keyword feature (rather than the job title option) in the “advanced search” link to the right of the search box. It’s free, and you’ll find hundreds of people in your industry or in your backyard that you never knew existed.
• If you’re asking me (or people) to join your group, TELL ME WHY I SHOULD.
• Allocate 30-60 minutes a day to utilize this vital business social media asset.

LinkedIn is the business social media site of today AND tomorrow. Harness its power, do not abuse its options, and you will reap its rewards.

By the way, If you’re hoping for an endorsement or a recommendation on LinkedIn, or anywhere – EARN IT!

Do you have examples of good or bad messages, drop some examples below (delete names for courtesy!)

Social Media Marketing Is NOT the Same As Social Selling

Here’s my view…

I see social selling as the ability to integrate social technology into the front end of your sales process. Salespeople are always looking for ways to get in front of opportunities before their competitor can and using tools like LinkedIn, Twitter, and other platforms can give them the opportunity that they need to make that happen.

And…

It requires learning new skills. Not only do salespeople need training on how to use the platforms, but also they need to understand how the various platforms fit, and they also need to know how to adapt their communication approach and behaviour when engaging a prospect.

This is about selling. Not marketing.

I’m all for marketing and sales alignment. In fact, I happen to believe that with social media in the mix, we need that alignment more than ever. But come on…marketers taking the stage to discuss social selling? I worry that this is an example of using new terminology, but simply using it to mask old processes. As I have written before…social media marketing is NOT the same as social selling.

via Social Media Marketing Is NOT the Same As Social Selling | Social Selling University.

Social Selling – The Evolution of Sales

What is social selling?

Social Selling is use of social media platforms to listen, relate, engage and identify opportunities for engagement at the right time.

A social seller is someone who demonstrates the ability to blend digital technology, innovative web and social media to increase reach, depth, leads and expedite the sales cycle.

Why is Social Selling important?
The average company can access twenty times more information about you and your competition than they could five years ago. Sales people today are at a huge disadvantage, if the statistics are right, customers are not interested in picking up the phone until after they have scoped solutions. How can the salesperson reach them early and then keep their attention.

Isn’t this Social Marketing?
Social Media Marketing is the use of social networks to create awareness and broadcast a brand message. Social Selling leverages  social networks to build relationships. A marketing team will handle a brand account versus a salesperson will handle a personal individual account to create engagement.

Social Selling vs Traditional Selling
The good news is that Social Selling is not a break from traditional selling practices. In fact the use of ABC (Always Be Closing) is now ABC (Always Be Connecting). Social Sellers do not and should not abandon email, phone or face to face methods. In fact a deliberate use of social media will make these traditional methods far more productive. The customer becomes a warm contact, so if anything Social Selling will eliminate the wasteful parts of a sales process such as cold calling.

I said earlier that the sales people of today are at a disadvantage, so let me quickly mention the Social Buyer.
The huge amount of online data gives the seller an opportunity to create value for the buyers. Buyers may well be incredibly informed but they are desperate to shorten their purchasing cycles. The more data they have to process and the more stake holders they must consult, the longer it takes for them to make a buying decision.
If salespeople could deliver insights to buyers at the right times, they could bring purchasing times down and then everybody is happy.

The Evolution of a Salesperson
We as a species are social creatures, we always have been and that will not change. Social media has exploded into this era because of technology, the fastest adoption of technology in human history in fact. Your customers being on a social platform is just the tip of the iceberg. Smart devices are allowing us to be social 24/7. As younger generations step up the career ladder and become your customer are you ready to communicate directly into their pockets. Social Selling is an evolutionary step forward.

I will leave you with this last question:

Will the traditional 9-5 sales role be replaced with a 24/7 seller? I look forward to the conversation.

How to build a social business [Infographic]

Social business adoption is expected to increase to 57% by the year 2017. Companies will need to better incorporate social business processes into how they communicate, engage and interact with employees if they want to innovate more, grow more and be more successful overall.

How to build a Social Business

If you noticed, the ten steps listed above include many references to people and process, further emphasizing the significance of the employee experience. Your social business strategy will be only as good as how well engaged and connected your employees feel to the company.

 

IT Purchasing Goes Social plus Infographic

The New Buying Process
Information gives modern B2B buyers an enormous advantage over their counterparts in sales. In late 2010, international agency OgilvyOne Worldwide interviewed 1,000 salespeople in the U.S., U.K., China and Brazil. More than two-thirds of respondents in all four countries believed the buying process is changing faster than sales organizations are responding.
Purchasing has gone through a major revolution in the past two decades to emerge as a vibrant strategic force in business. Social media, has only accelerated the revolution. The biggest question now is how and when people on the sales side will react.
The average company today can access 20 times as much information about you and your competitors as they could access five years ago.
So you are no longer dealing with a customer where ignorance is a factor. Sophistication is the nature of customers today, and you need a sophisticated salesperson to be able to handle that.
Buyers receive an average of 6 phone calls and 14 emails per day from vendors. Since they’re inundated with data and sales pitches, it’s not surprising that they rarely return calls. Now that these informed buyers can thoroughly research their own options, a call from a new sales representative can be more of a nuisance than a service.

If salespeople could deliver insights to buyers at the right times, they could bring purchasing times down and make everybody happy. But if the statistics show that customers aren’t interested in picking up the phone until after they’ve scoped solutions, how can salespeople reach them early and then keep their attention?

The answer is social selling.
• Sellers can use social media to relate to customers and identify opportunities for engagement at the right time: while they’re still conceptualizing their needs.
• Social media is asynchronous and noninterruptive, which makes it perfect for reaching buyers who are still kicking tires.
• Social networks help salespeople establish authenticity and credibility online, so customers consult with them instead of deleting their voicemails.
• Continuous participation within relevant social groups allows salespeople to stay visible and valuable throughout their customers’  winding,non-linear buying journeys.

 

Connect with me on Twitter : Ben Martin

They asked, “Do you facebook?” I said no

They asked, “Do you Facebook?” I said no, (ok I fibbed, I am on it, I use it to stalk my wife, it saves having a conversation later) joke hunny!

They said this would be an eye opening webinar, that Facebook was a sales tool in disguise, that sales people could build better relationships, reach new clients and drive sales. I was intrigued because I and I will be honest, dislike Facebook. But as always, I was receptive to being converted, so I allocated an hour of my time to revisit and maybe discover this potential.

I wasn’t converted and for 24 hours I struggled to understand why. I understood the privacy settings, the creation of groups and how you can feed different messages to different parts of your network, I get that, much like Google+.

My conclusion was that it must be more than just one thing, so here are three.

1) The webinar was run by a marketer, (nothing wrong with that of course.) But the conversation revolved around demonstrations of what brands were doing. Not what or how an individual sales person could benefit.

2) I have yet to hear someone in a B2B environment say “hello C’suite, will you be my friend on Facebook?”. Even rephrasing it to “Join my network on Facebook” doesn’t sound right.

3) With other platforms that I use for business, engagement and relationship building cant I just have one place that is mine where I can relax, chill out and if I feel the need to just talk rubbish I can. Yes I know your can separate by using the groups, but it just means they’re in the room next door.

So here’s my question? Can I convince you, the sales person, that Facebook is not the place for connecting with your clients?

Twitter – Business Networking on Steroids!

(also written from a Brand perspective just to be fair)

Seventy nine percent of Twitter followers (versus 60 percent of Facebook fans) are more likely to recommend brands since becoming a fan or follower.
Sixty seven percent of Twitter followers (versus 51 percent of Facebook fans) are more likely to buy the brands they follow.
Facebook’s shared links average three clicks, while Twitter’s tweets generate nineteen clicks on average

Want more? Ok!

Twitter users generated double the median monthly leads of non-Twitter users.
Consumers active on Twitter are three times more likely to affect a brand’s online reputation through syndicated Tweets, blog posts, articles and product reviews.
Twenty percent of consumers indicate they have followed a brand on Twitter in order to interact with the company – more than e-mail subscribers or Facebook fans.

If that doesn’t sway you, then there is always LinkedIn – where it does feel right to say “Join my network of business professionals”

See my LinkedIn posts

Statistic credits to
http://www.businessinsider.com/twitter-destroys-facebook-2010-12
http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1007639
http://www.exacttarget.com/