In the minds of entrepreneurs, many misconceptions embed themselves with the hype regarding networking marketing continued to grow. All of us want to get it right. We all need to make that group of followers that will assist their profit margins to explode. Social networking is about communication, time customer service that is real - and strong advertising effectiveness.
Let us examine some social networking facts that can assist you to stay away from the common pitfalls. The Social Media Marketing Misconceptions Social media creates chaos for brand images: engaging in marketing does not open up your brand to or less - opinions from satisfied - or disgruntled - clients.
What it'll do is show your clients that you care. It allows them an opportunity. When they supply this feedback, you need to respond in a caring way to it. Obviously, you would like to minimize negative feedback. But don't make the mistake of believing that your networking pages are needed by customers up and running so as to lodge their complaints. They do not.
-Social networking engagement is a passing trend: aliens have always had a need for communication. Social networking participation is a development that uses technology. That's not a trend. In fact, to get a perspective of the circumstance, you need to understand that!
-Visitors to social networking sites are increasing at 3 times the speed of these to other Internet based networking is ranked as the most popular action that is on-line. It even rates above personal emailing.
-My business doesn't need a pro to help with social network engagement: You need to address the enormous power of social network marketing seriously. Rapid and significant gains in targeted traffic can burst your profit margins. Social network engagement can transform your company, but there are rules to follow. This is an art. There are specific techniques and processes that must be implemented. Don't take it lightly.-Social marketing engagement is only beneficial for certain kind of brands: Again, this is far from the truth. The reality is that any service or product that's marketable has an audience out there searching for information.
Every audience benefits from and craves efficient, caring communicating. In a nutshell, you'll generate more revenue whenever you provide real time client care, and thus create client loyalty, via effective social network engagement techniques. By avoiding this common social marketing misconceptions noted above, you can start to invent your personalized plan for social media effectiveness. It is extremely important to bear in mind the advertising strength that entities like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and others possess.
Digital-first companies that fail to invest in social selling training for their sales reps are doing their team and their business a huge disservice. Social selling is a force to be reckoned with and the deployment strategy for this asset will play a key role in the future of any digital-first sales team. Today, 61% of US marketers use social media for lead generation.
But expecting your sales reps to get up to speed by reading blog posts and through trial-and-error is wishful thinking. It’s a missed opportunity that not only frustrates your sales reps, but also holds back your business growth. Yes, your sales reps may one day be able to get up to speed and gain an understanding of effective social selling, but training from an experienced source will accelerate the process and put them on the right path from day one.
It’s a sad fact that the vast majority of companies don’t invest in social selling training, despite how critical the strategy has become for digital-first brands. 93% of sales executives have never received any formal training on social selling — and that’s the executives. How often do you think companies invest in training for their reps?
1. Reps Want to Be Trained
Your salespeople are the ones on the front lines and they have a distinct feel for where the industry is heading. They see social selling become a larger part of their process each and every day. They need - and want - to stay ahead of their competition. In fact, 53% of salespeople want training to help them better understand social selling. To overlook training that your team is actively asking for could be a sign that you are out of touch.
2. Facilitate More Conversations with Relevant Prospects
Most B2B customers aren’t getting what they want out of conversations with sales reps. We spend so much time focusing on selling the product that we forget to engage on a deeper level with prospects. According to recent research, sales reps talk about client needs and expectations in just 20% of sales conversations.
But those conversations are so critical for lasting success. The process of qualifying leads requires that we take the time to understand prospects. On the other had, jumping into the buying conversation too early pushes prospects away.
Social selling training helps teach reps how to dig deeper and build real rapport with prospects. This results in salespeople that sell better across all channels, not just social.
3. Use Sales Tools More Effectively
Most digital-first companies are investing large sums of money into their sales stacks. Between CRM tools, lead management software, and communication solutions, it’s easy to see how those costs begin to add up. But if your sales team isn’t using tools effectively or uses them haphazardly throughout the sales process, a lot of your investment is wasted.
The tech that sales reps use has evolved just as fast as the strategies they use to close deals. Effective social selling strategies rely on tools to help reps manage relationships and stay organized. Social selling training will help your team see the bigger picture. It helps your team understand the importance of social selling and will encourage them to apply it consistently throughout the process and with all the tools and strategies you provide.
4. Learn How to Build a Long-Term Asset
For sales reps, few things are more valuable than a strong network and reputation for being able to connect customers with solutions that genuinely help them to solve their problems. To build their network, reps have to engage socially, look at each conversation not just as a sales opportunity, but as an opportunity to build a long-term connection. Effective social selling is about building and maintaining their social presence. This not only helps you secure more deals today, but it positions your business and your team for long-term success.
Isn’t that something that every company should invest in?
Calculating the true ROI of your inbound marketing efforts is difficult, but by keeping a few simple tips in mind, you can improve the accuracy of your measurements and better understand the true value that inbound marketing brings to your business.
In inbound marketing, calculating the true ROI of your full efforts is impossible. Even getting an accurate estimate is more difficult than you would think. Choosing the right attribution model directly affects internal perceptions of the usefulness of your inbound efforts. In fact, inbound marketing budgets are cut 12% more for companies that don’t calculate their ROI — so measuring as accurately as possible and tying your efforts to business results is critical.
At the end of the day, the return on your investment justifies the effort that you put into the strategies that you employ.
1. Understand Your Attribution Model
If you are invested in inbound marketing, you should have a complete understanding of attribution and closed-loop analytics. It’s the only way that you accurately assess and measure the ROI of your inbound marketing efforts. More than 67% of shoppers use multiple channels to conduct research and make purchases, and you have to be able to account for that when assigning credit for sales.
Most platforms offer a range of standard metrics and attribution models that companies can use to measure their inbound marketing return. Without a deeper understanding of how each model works, it’s tough to glean actionable insights. Know the different conversion attribution models and take the time to understand how your lead generation and sales efforts are credited to the different pieces of content that a customer interacts with throughout the customer journey.
2. Focus on a Limited Number of KPIs
The key performance indicators (KPIs) that you use to measure the effectiveness of your inbound marketing campaigns are an important choice. Sales revenue. Cost per lead (CPL). Customer lifetime value (CLV). Traffic-to-lead ratio. All of these are viable choices for your average inbound operation. But that doesn’t mean that you need to track all of them or even track everything that you could technically put in that executive dashboard. As the expert, it’s your job to narrow down the flood of data that could possibly be looked at to the few datapoints that actually matter. As Avinash Kaushik says: be an analytics Ninja, not a data squirrel!
Whittle down the number of metrics that you place your focus on to just those that make the most impact on your business. Focusing on too many can cause you to make decisions that ultimately have little impact on your business other than affecting outcomes for that particular metric. Worse: not only does it tempt you to take your eye off of the bigger picture, you also miss out on the opportunity to show your smarts and make strategically important recommendations that make you stand out with your executive team.
Base your decisions around two or three metrics that have the most impact on your business.
3. Consider Value Beyond Trackable Metrics
In inbound marketing, the value delivered to your business surpasses that which can be tracked and measured (in a way). Sure, you can track every action that a customer takes and attribute their ultimate conversion to every step they take throughout the process — but there are immeasurable factors that have a long-term effect on your revenue.
The slight uptick in brand awareness that you receive from starting conversations and engaging on social networks isn’t fully trackable. There’s no real way to know when someone starts to recognize and pay attention to your name as they scroll through their feed before they interact with your content. How many prospects are in that stage of awareness right now, just starting to care about what your brand has to say?
Understanding the less-intangible value that inbound marketing provides is important for measuring your ROI. The return that you are able to account for right now is not the true value of your efforts. Most of that revenue will be accounted for in time, but there will always be value beyond trackable metrics when it comes to inbound marketing.
Social selling will be a key sales strategy of the future. You don’t have to take my word for it. Just take a look at how the term has grown in popularity over time, according to Google trends.
While there are still plenty of sales teams out there producing results from more traditional methods — cold calling and other interruption-centric strategies — we have seen the industry as a whole steadily trend toward a more social approach to selling.
There are a few reasons for this. First, social selling produces better, more consistent results as you build your credibility and following over time. Second, it’s a more natural sales process that buyers and salespeople alike enjoy because it is devoid of the high-pressure scenarios that make traditional sales strategies uncomfortable at times.
But let’s dig deeper into why those two things are true, and why social media selling is the future of digital sales.
Social Selling is a Process, Not a Tool
Although it is often referred to as a tool, social selling is actually a process. It’s a series of steps that lead to a more valuable engagement for both parties. Those steps include:
The “tool” in selling is your own social skills and your ability to understand the position that your prospects are in. Social selling is all about genuine interactions and providing legitimate value to your customers, not leveraging new tools and gimmicks for incremental boosts in success.
Social Media Selling Places Focus on Relationships
Social media selling can feel a bit awkward at first because is eschews traditional acceptable sales tactics that are built around the assumption that you don’t have time to build real, genuine relationships with prospects over time and instead uses tricks and gimmicks to mimic the building of that relationship in a fraction of the time.
Social selling focuses on a few key areas, drawn out over weeks and months instead of hours and days:
Social selling naturally pushes sales reps to educate their prospects slowly over time, while focusing on the specific ways that they can provide value to that specific subject. Every engagement is tailored to their needs — not some sales script that provides the best conversion rate.
A Better Understanding of Customers
One often overlooked benefit of social media selling (and one of the reasons why it will continue to grow into its role as the future of digital sales) is that it helps sales reps to understand their prospects and customers on a personal level. Because social selling encourages engagement and discussion between reps and prospects, they learn more about the people they are selling to.
When you understand your customers, you learn about the different intricate issues that different organizations deal with as they relate to your product. Then, you can position your product as the solution to their exact problems. A better understanding of your customers results in a better sales experience for both the buyer and the sales rep. At its heart, that is why social selling has grown so rapidly over the last decade as social media has emerged.
If you’re not already listening to any podcasts, you should be.
In recent years, we have seen podcasts explode in popularity, surpassing other mediums in reach. The accessibility of creating and listening to podcasts has made them the preferred method of sharing and engaging with information, for many. Today, 44% of Americans are listening to podcasts, up to 124 million people total. 26% of Americans listen to podcasts monthly.
For sales professionals or anyone who is interested in social selling, there is a lot of great podcast content out there. And these podcasts are a great for for you to gain a lot of insight and sharpen your skills. However, with podcasting growing so quickly, there are a lot of different sales, marketing, and social media oriented podcasts to wade through, and not every podcast will touch on social selling with depth. However, there are several social selling podcasts out there that take a detailed look at popular strategies, or focus on social media in a way that makes them a good fit for those that want to learn more about social selling.
To get you started, here are my top five social selling podcasts:
#1 - The #AskGaryVee Show
Gary Vaynerchuk has been an internet business celebrity for over a decade now. His hyper demeanor and relentless positivity have secured him a cult following in recent years, but he’s not everyone’s cup of tea. That said, he is an expert social media marketer who has built his businesses and personal brand on the back of that skill.
While his podcast may not directly deal with social selling, many of the topics he covers inevitably deal with the best practices and core principles required for effective social selling. If you want a good, entertaining podcast that will provide you with broad social media insights, The #AskGaryVee Show is a great place to start.
#2 - The Social Media Social Hour
The Social Media Hour is an excellent podcast for marketers, entrepreneurs, and sales professionals who want to deep-dive into today’s most popular social media strategies. Hosted by Tyler J. Anderson, who is a social media entrepreneur, the podcast covers discussions with top brands and influencers in the social media space, covering every social media platform available.
One of my favorite things about the show is that the episode titles clearly state what they episode will cover, making it easy to pick through their archives and find valuable episodes that are relevant to your interests.
#3 - Social Pros Podcast
The Social Pros Podcast is a member of the marketing podcast old-guard, originally debuting in 2012. Back in 2015, the podcast won Best Podcast/Audio Series at the 2015 Content Marketing Awards. Hosted by Jay Baer of Convince & Convert and Adam Brown of Salesforce, the podcast hits that sweet spot between content and sales that social sellers are looking for.
#4 - Selling With Social
If you want something that is more of a deep-dive specifically into social selling, Selling with Social is an excellent podcast. Featuring interviews with sales pros from around the world, the Selling With Social show looks at detailed strategies for engaging prospects for social media and integrating it into your current sales processes. You can expect new episodes released on a weekly basis.
#5 - Growth Experts
Growth Experts, a podcast from Dennis Brown, features interviews with CEOs and entrepreneurs around the subject of growth hacking. On its surface, growth hacking may seem only tangentially related to social selling. However, when you dive into the podcast you’ll quickly see how many of the subjects they talk about deal directly with building valuable relationships through social media and leveraging those relationships to close sales. While Growth Experts may be more targeted toward marketers rather than sales professionals, there are many lessons taught throughout its archive that would prove useful for both.