Social media has slowly but surely made its way into the daily, or at least weekly activities of many marketing professionals’ lives. It’s no longer seen as a time-wasting, personal pastime, but as a meaningful way to make contact and build relationships with important people. And if you’re in sales, those important people just happen to be your valued customers.
So, why is it so important for sales teams to utilize social media with their prospects? Well, for starters, it’s a low-cost way to connect to those future customers and further your relationships with them. It also helps sales build credibility and demand in the marketplace.
Think about it this way: What if a sales rep has already connected to someone via social media before placing that dreaded cold call? By utilizing social media, that cold call warms up a bit. The rep will have some valuable information about the contact; they’ll know what content the person was interested in and therefore, the call can reference this content. The rep will also know how involved a lead is with other companies. Social media helps make a sales call more productive and efficient. Plus, if the sales rep re-engages with the contact on social media after the call, it only helps build the relationship that much more.
While it might seem like the amount of social media sites out there are endless and overwhelming, you can just focus on spending your time with a few of them. To name some important ones:
1) Facebook, which has 500 million users and growing, recently launched their Graph Search. Graph Search is important for business, because it aggregates user data and provides personalized search results based on users’ interests and connections. To appear higher in the results, a business needs to make sure their Facebook Page information is fully completed, and that they are continually engaging customers on their page.
2) Google+ reaches people beyond a social network. You can find people on Google+ by establishing keywords to help find individuals who are interested in the things that matter to your company. Google+ also obviously offers a strong tie to SEO on Google.com, and just by opening a profile you’re allowing yourself to be found on the Google Search page results.
3) Twitter is another great relationship-building tool for businesses. Your tweets can promote your brand and share valuable information with your followers about how your product or service will benefit them. Plus, you can monitor what others might be saying about your company and develop relationships with followers and new business prospects.
4) LinkedIn is a professional social media network for businesses and business professionals alike. Businesses can create profiles to share company information, products and services, open positions, and so on, while a professional can use it to showcase their experience and background. By participating in discussions on LinkedIn, you can prove your expertise on your industry and make valuable connections within networking groups.
It does take time to build relationships via social media, but if you’re keeping your customers engaged you’ll increase their happiness, expand your reach and grow your business. Your sales team needs to use social to develop a sense of trust early on in their business relationships. Just like knowing who you’re trying to reach by creating buyer personas, social media helps you become more aware of your lead’s pain points and interests.
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