As a small business owner, it’s imperative you understand exactly what B2B social selling is and why it’s so important to your business’ future. In general, B2B is the shortened term for the phrase “business to business,” or how businesses interact with each other. In the context of social selling, this refers to developing a relationship with a business as a part of the sales process.
Social selling, especially in a B2B context, can be very fruitful, but only when executed in the right way. A common misconception in the world of social media sales is that it’s easy to post, pin and tweet and then all the work is done for you, but that’s simply not the case. Businesses with a mindset of “I’ll just post and tweet and see what happens” are more often than not unsuccessful in their sales efforts. Any business with a sales strategy, social media or not, needs to have a plan of execution.
The good news is that this is a pretty easy to problem to fix with the right kind of planning. Think about your own business’ strategy, if it exists. Examine how lax or ad hoc it truly is, instead of being strong and concrete. Social media posts shouldn’t be thought of as an extra form of marketing, but should be seen as something to integrate into an already set up marketing strategy.
So how do you make this plan, if you are indeed without one? An effective social sales plan is made up of three components:
- Understanding an Audience: Even when you’re focusing on B2B social sales, you still have to have a basic understanding of what you’re looking to show to the audience you’ve chosen. Without having at least some idea what your audience is looking for, your ability to form relationships is faulty.
- Marketing Programs: Remember, social media should be integrated into your marketing strategy, not tossed in as a “yes, no, maybe so” form of exposure. As non-serious as social media might seem on its face, businesses with success in the social media sphere have fully realized ideas of where they want their social image to take them.
- Tracking Effectiveness: You can pour all your effort into a social sales strategy, but it’s only actually worth it if you’re able to see if it’s working or not. An ineffective strategy is as bad as not having a strategy at all.
When you have these three things in mind, you’re ready to start working on a new social strategy.
First you’re going to want to center in on your target audience. Think about commercials. While anyone has the ability to identify with most commercials, there is always a target audience or demographic in mind. The takeaway is to always have a set ideal in mind when it comes to who you’re trying to reach with your marketing strategies, and this should be pretty obvious.
Being specific to businesses, it’s essential that you look to create a sort of profile for any specific targets you have in mind. This should outline the basic biodata you know about the person or business in question. What is their position or purpose? What social strategies do they use? Once you have the answers to these and questions similar to them, you’ll be able to center a marketing style around them. You can now build a relationship based on this information.
The goal is to ultimately provide content to a marketing group that connects with them directly, and anyone else you happen to catch the attention of is a bonus. Just remember that the focus should be on the main demographic you want to target. Outliers are nice, but don’t try to catch everyone with varying success when you know you can catch a few with a guarantee of progress.
When the plan is concrete, execute it and start monitoring how successful it is. Without a way of measuring success, you’ll be unable to both understand how well the plan is working and any data you could use based on the plan’s execution is effectively lost. Resources exist to help track and monitor the data of social media postings, like eClincher’s own analytics features.
You’re looking for a strategy that will maximize traffic in two areas: one, the social media account of your business so that its value and exposure will grow, and two, the main business site so that traffic stats will rise and sales will potentially go up.