Is Your B2B Social Selling working ? If not, Read this!

One of the most important aspects of social selling, and one which is often overlooked by companies and businesses of all sizes, is the need for an actionable plan. If you have no plan or have one that is not working, read on and take a look at the B2B Social Media infographic from Mashable , an oldie but goodie supplied by Alex Hotz to understand what B2B Social Media is all about.

Many companies simply jump into social marketing and social selling as an ad hoc type of selling strategy instead of a planned, integrated aspect of the complete marketing strategy for the business. While this may be an error, it can be corrected by developing an effective, integrated plan and moving forward.

Developing this plan requires several important considerations. Through understanding the target audience, the marketing programs, and being able to determine how to monitor and track the effectiveness of your social selling campaign a very durable social media sales plan can be developed.

How to Find Your Target Audience in Social Media

There is little point in marketing and designing social selling campaigns to the general public as a whole. Instead, each company should be able to identify the specific, focused and exact group which is being targeted through different marketing techniques.

In my world , we call this the user persona profile. It is critical that you outline who your target groups are, profile by profile to get an understanding of : their location, their occupation, their online behaviors, their age, their preferred social channels, etc. Since I cannot share my own client confidential user personas here; instead I will provide a Hubspot example as I am a Hubspot partner for my clients. See below.

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When businesses understand the target audience at this level, it is easy to develop content and to address the specific needs of the target group. It also provides the business with the ability to become “user-friendly” to the target group.

This in turn allows the business to begin to develop a connection with the customer. This also boosts recognition as a brand, as a need, and as a product of importance for the target audience.

Content Marketing and Social Selling

Once the target audience is defined in the plan, content material needs a detailed plan based on the behavior and interests of that audience, coupled with your area of thought-leadership. Working from the needs and wants of the target group the company can provide informed, relevant, and timely content to capture the attention of the businesses most likely to buy their products and services. Content Planning is a detailed process. The process is detailed in theContent Planning section.

Content marketing is perhaps the most important aspect of social selling and one often omitted from the B2B plan. Often sellers assume the relevance of their products and services will be evident, but with content marketing the importance can be driven home without the use of hard sell techniques which are highly ineffective.

How to measure sales in social media

In addition, the B2B plan must contain measurable and observable ways to track the effectiveness of the campaign. Without this tracking element it will be impossible to determine which social networking channels are providing the biggest returns on investment. It also provides the business with solid data for planning future social selling campaigns or making modifications in existing programs. If you are not familiar with tools to measure sales using social media, you may want to review my interviews with Social Sales SAAS companies and on my author page at ClickZ.

Having a B2B social selling program is just as important as having an overall business plan and marketing strategy. It must be designed strategically to maximize traffic to the businesses social media site as well as to boost traffic to the website and translate to increased sales.

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