Social media has impacted almost every business industry. Think about it – it’s changed how we view presidential debates (Twitter/Facebook), where we should eat next (Yelp), and who is the best candidate for a business partnership (LinkedIn).
These social platforms have the potential to supply enormous amounts of information if only you understand how best to tap into that resource. Let’s take a look at the most common social platforms used today by potential prospects: Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.
From the perspective of an inside sales professional, how can these platforms be helpful in completing everyday tasks and close deals? Below is a summary of the benefits of each of the common social media networks.
Facebook is the ultimate resource for uncovering hobbies, interests, religious/political affiliation, etc. People love filling out their Facebook profiles to categorize themselves into various social demographics. This can be a huge resource for inside sales reps – particularly those in the B2C space. This type of information, previously, was hard to come by. But now, people are literally just giving their information away for sales reps and marketers to use.
The nice thing about Twitter is that it provides access to the content and topics that prospects are interested in reading about and sharing with those in their social networks. Twitter is all about conversations. If you’re in the lead generation space and you are following hashtags (twitter categories) such as “#LeadGen” you can join in on conversations in which you are an expert! This is a great way to increase prospecting efforts and provide potential customers with content to educate them on your product or service.
The information available from prospects on Facebook and Twitter is also very similar to what is available on Google+. In fact, I like to think of Google+ as a sort of hybrid of the two social giants. It incorporates the more complete profile options of Facebook while allowing posts to be categorized by hashtags, like Twitter. Granted the social network isn’t as widely used us the other platforms mentioned earlier, if your prospects are active on Google+, it’s definitely worth investing some time. Not to mention your posting will be ranked higher in Google’s search engine helping your SEO efforts.
If you’re going to spend your time on any social networking site, LinkedIn is where you want to be if you’re in the B2B space. LinkedIn offers huge amounts of sales intelligence that sales reps can use to increase the efficiency of their sales automation process.
Think about it.
If you’re targeting a specific title level (VP of Sales, VP of Marketing, etc.) LinkedIn incorporates that title level directly into a searchable field. Not only can you gain access to valuable information on individual profiles, but you can also create lists for sales reps to call directly from this platform.
Once you have established followers on these social networks, treat the relationship exactly as you would a regular prospect. Start building a rapport, providing them with interesting articles, tips, best practices, etc. that would help you climb the trust ladder and build a sales relationship.
Don’t be afraid of social networks. Just like every new tool that comes around, once you learn how to use it, it can be an extremely beneficial addition to your sales toolbelt. In fact, XANT has incorporated all of these social tools into our new product, PowerSocial. Check it out and see the type of results, in addition to our sales management software, your sales team achieves.
What successes have you had from using social media as a tool for selling? Have they been a powerful addition to your intelligent communication dialing efforts?
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