10 Mar The 5 Cardinal Rules of Social Selling: A Beginner’s Guide
It’s important to recognize the value of social platforms for their huge research capacity and the critical role they can play, when used effectively, in prospecting. With LinkedIn, for instance, 1.5 million unique publishers are currently sharing content*. Social media can also be powerful for establishing brand voice and identity.
When you use social to establish the humanity behind the brand, and spend time researching and interacting with followers, you establish rapport within your community. For this you build trust and this is the catalyst that can transform a qualified lead to a prospect.
The Social Balancing Act
Learning to straddle this delicate balance, without overselling and putting yourself at risk of losing the trust of the community you have worked so hard to earn, is key. We don’t believe anyone has the magic formula quite yet, but there are some people who have become very good at it, and some, not so good. But we all started from the same place: beginner.
If part of your job is to grow and engage with a social audience, it’s easy to fall through a rabbit hole and grow weary with the knowledge you haven’t accomplished anything measurable in a full day’s work!
Work smarter, not longer
Learn how to achieve your social objectives in a disciplined, measurable, actionable way by practicing the following tips:
Cardinal Rule #1 of Social Selling: Time Limits
Give yourself specific times to complete tasks. Put a timer on it. Give yourself no more than X amount of minutes for each different item on your list.
- 30 minutes of engagement
- 30 minutes of retweets
- 30 minutes of researching and pitching influencers
- 30 minutes to craft compelling and topical messages and blast them across channels
It can be done! If you are running the show and have to divide your time between running your business and prospecting for new, it is possible to maintain social networks and accomplish this in under two hours a day.
However, if you are fortunate enough to have a creative and/or marketing department, you can really get some leverage out of social media.
Rule #2: Use the Right Tools
You (and possibly your team, unless you have an army) won’t be able to beat your timeframes if you are manually crafting messages, looking up the right content to curate, researching influencers the old-fashioned way, reading thousands of messages a day to find relevant interests and groups, and so on.
Marketing automation, social amplification and insights, influencer marketing and predictive analytics tools are a must. We’d tell you our favorite ones, but then we’d have to kill you.
Rule #3: Have a Strategy in Place
In the famous words of JFK, “Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”
Apply this principle to your social (and integrated) marketing strategy. In other words, all your efforts can come to naught without conviction. And well-defined goals. Go after whatever your target goals are: more traffic, brand visibility, micro-conversions, more opens, more click-throughs, leads or sales. Devise the plan to get there, using all digital channels.
You can’t make it on just social alone. There has to be a holistic approach with email, lead gen pages, blogs and valuable assets like video, infographics and white papers. Map this out with an editorial and/or marketing calendar. Make sure your messaging is consistent across channels. Blast at the right times of day. Stick to the plan and keep at it.
Rule #4: Divide Tasks
Conception >>> Strategy >>> Production >>> Execution >>> Maintenance >>> Analyze >>> Repeat
Although not impossible, having the weight of responsibility of all of the above can be a bit daunting. Those who are able, assemble your dream team. Leaders step in and clearly communicate the vision. Outline/storyboard/White board it out with your storytellers. Have them collaborate with your designers. Bring in the digital marketing mavericks to plot out the small steps needed to achieve the big dream. Keep imparting your wisdom throughout the process. Use your marketing tools and more administrative folks to load up messaging and deploy at ideal times of day in the social cycle. Maintain it, tweak it and score your leads as they flow in. Use predictive analytics to understand user behavior to continue to send them relevant messaging.
Rule #5: Do more of this, less of that
If something is working, you will know, thanks to the right people and tools. Do more of this! If something is not working, do less of it.
Once a prospect has been sufficiently nurtured, it’s time to pick up the phone or send them the meeting request. Always offer a flexible schedule with several meeting time options.
If you’re currently looking for the right people and tools to devise and execute your social strategy, discover how 3DegreeZ can help when you participate in your complementary consultation. We’ll assess your business goals and work with you on the best ways to achieve your KPIs. There’s no obligation other than to learn what we can do to help grow your business.
*10 Actionable Social Selling Tips; https://business.linkedin.com/sales-solutions/resources/social-selling/top-sales-tips