So, you’re interested in improving your social selling skills. Naturally, you want to dedicate your limited time to a platform that is going to have the most impact on your business. This leads many to choose Facebook, the world’s largest social network.
There are many reasons why Facebook makes an excellent choice of platform for social selling. Just take a look at these stats that show how large (and engaged) Facebook users are:
While many consider Facebook to be more of a social media platform to share personal information with friends and family, there is a lot of opportunity to make connections and scout new prospects on Facebook.
However, the platform requires that you employ some unique strategies to make connections with your ideal audience. There is truth to Facebook being a personal platform first. You don’t want to continually send business communications intended for your customers but reach your family and friends.
It’s important that you go into social selling on Facebook with the right mindset and a well thought out strategy for social selling. In this article, we’ll cover some simple steps that you can take while selling socially on Facebook to increase your audience and build more connections with your ideal prospects.
Facebook — A Home To More Business Discussions Than Most Know
Yes, Facebook places its focus on your personal life. You connect with your family and friends first. Your main timeline and feed is not generally a good place to conduct business, at least at first.
Still, Facebook presents a lot of opportunity for social sellers. Facebook Groups, in particular, provide a direct avenue to the target audience of many industries. It’s particularly useful for B2B sellers, as there are many B2B Facebook groups with relevant daily discussions — providing you with the perfect opportunity to jump in and make some connections. If you want success with social selling on Facebook, it’s important that you know where to find your audience and how to interact with them. Throwing things against the wall and seeing what sticks isn’t an approach that will lend itself to success on the platform.
There are tens of thousands of relevant Facebook groups that you could join. In the discussions that happen there, you will make new connections that blossom into Facebook Messenger conversations, friend requests, and the ability to begin interacting with these prospects on a deeper level.
Now we’ll dive into some direct tips that you can use to find your audience and interact with them to build meaningful relationships through social selling on Facebook:
Clean Up Your Profile
This should be common sense but is often overlooked. If you are going to be doing business on Facebook, then you need to treat your profile as a business asset. Or at least make sure that you are properly using the privacy settings to keep your business prospects from seeing your weekend party pictures, political opinions, or generally anything that you wouldn’t want to share with a business associate.
Somehow, many people overlook this step as they begin social selling on Facebook. Whether you realize it or not, the things that you share with your prospects on the platform have an impact. They form the basis for how they view you, your business, and your prospects.
Make sure that everything that possible customers can see on your profile is something that you’d like them to see. It should look like the content that you share on LinkedIn, only perhaps a bit more personal. There is nothing wrong with letting your prospects get to see you. We’re not saying that you have to hide your wedding pictures or that photo with Grandma. Just make sure that you are giving your profile a once-over and that there is nothing questionable or offensive on there.
Join Facebook Groups
For B2B social selling on Facebook, Facebook Groups are your bread and butter. They are the locations where your prospects will engage in conversations about their business, which makes it the place where you want to be as well!
Now, there are a few important considerations here. The great news is that every Facebook user is allowed to create a group. That means that there are going to be a lot of dead groups out there. When we say dead, we mean several different things. Yes, it could mean that there are groups with no (or very little) active discussion taking place. You shouldn’t ever waste your time with those. By “dead,” we are also referring to Facebook groups that aren’t good for much more than allowing people to post spam in them. If you join a good number of Facebook groups, you’re likely to find groups that are filled with people only sharing links and no active discussions taking place. Ignore these as well.
Facebook Groups can be made public or private. Each group will also have specific rules for engagement that you must follow or else you are likely to be kicked out of the group or have your posting privileges suspended.
As you look for groups to join and engage with, there are a few traits that you should be looking for:
Finding Facebook Groups is simple. On the Facebook Groups Discover page, you can search for groups using keywords. This makes it easy to find groups that are narrowly focused on the markets that you serve. Be creative here. You’ll find that the audiences in similar groups tend to overlap quite a bit so you might be better off joining the best group that you can find in each category, rather than joining several groups that cover the same topic.
The Discover Page also gives you additional resources for finding Facebook groups that might be relevant to you. Their “Suggestions for You” section recommends Facebook groups to you based on the other groups that you have already joined. “Popular Near You” recommends groups that are popular with others in your local area. They also have sections that recommend groups that friends like, and listings for groups in different categories like “Business” and “Art.
Most social selling on Facebook will take place within Facebook groups. As you begin to establish connections and grow your audience, you’ll start to migrate some discussions over to Facebook Messenger. Eventually, you may add them as a friend on the platform and begin to interact with them on your news feed and throughout the Facebook website. But most connections will start in Facebook groups.
By embracing Facebook Groups as a vital component of your strategy for social selling on Facebook, you give yourself a simple and direct way to connect with your ideal prospects.
Create Your Own Facebook Group
Creating your own Facebook Group is an excellent way to increase your audience on the platform. In creating your own group, you control the moderation and can push discussions toward topics that will position you to provide insight.
We recommend creating a Facebook Group that is directly related to your products or area of expertise. For instance, a pay-per-click marketing consultant might start a group for other PPC marketing consultants. This might seem backward at first. After all, the ideal client of a PPC professional isn’t other PPC professionals, right? They would just handle it themselves.
While that is true, it does position the group founder as an expert on the topic. They can ensure that their posts are read by their audience. They can dictate what kind of discussions will take place within the group.
It’s not just PPC professionals that will join their group, either. Business owners that are looking to learn more about PPC advertising will also join the group. They may join the group, find that PPC advertising is a bit more complicated than they originally thought and decide to hire a professional. Who will they go to? The person that has shared the most knowledge within the group.
Creating your own Facebook group is easy, but creating a group with engaged participants and relevant content is a long and arduous process. In the beginning, there will be very little to no discussion taking place. Additionally, especially in the early going, the group founder must play an integral role in starting and responding to conversations. Over time, however, a Facebook Group provides you with a reliable audience on the platform that will grow organically over time.
Don’t overlook Facebook Messenger. In fact, many social sellers would say that while Facebook Groups provide them with a simple way to meet and connect with their target audience, Messenger is actually the most powerful tool on the platform.
Facebook Messenger is the most popular mobile app based on the number of downloads that it receives. You can message anyone on Facebook that you are friends with directly. You can also message people that you are not friends with, but it requires that they accept your invite to chat.
Messenger is quickly becoming a digital marketing staple. Currently, only 31% of businesses on Facebook use Messenger in any way, but that number is quickly growing. Messenger alone has 1.3 billion active users that send more than 8 billion messages a day.
Measure and Analyze
In order to better understand what works for you when it comes to social selling on Facebook, you have to track and analyze your efforts. While there are some tools that can help you with Facebook automation, there aren’t many tools for tracking and analyzing social selling efforts, so you’ll have to do a lot of it by hand.
At the very least, make sure that you are tracking your conversations. When you have a conversation with a prospect, where did the initial engagements take place? What strategy did you employ? What was the final outcome of the discussion?
Knowing what works is critical for refining your strategies over time. If you don’t keep track, it’s easy for vital information to get lost in the shuffle.
A Wealth of Potential on Facebook
Facebook truly provides a wealth of potential for social sellers. By leveraging a combination of Facebook Groups and Facebook Messenger, you can locate, engage with, and ultimately build lasting relationships with new prospects. These relationships often result in friend requests, setting the stage for relationships that feel closer than they would have on another platform. Use the tips in this article to help you lay the foundation for your initial audience and grow it over time.
What do you think? Share your thoughts about building audiences on Facebook in the comments:
Think of copywriting, and you probably think of product descriptions, billboard advertising, and content marketing.
But copywriting is key to social selling. It’s about communication, speaking to your customers as humans rather than potential sales. Read on to discover five hacks that bring copywriting and social selling together that will get you sales.
Recommended reading: How to Start Social Selling - 7 Tips to Set up Your Strategy
Go for the emotional jugular with power wordsWhen your customers scroll through their news feed, they’re faced with a barrage of content. Consequently, it can be difficult to grab their attention.
Visuals are a great way to quickly hook a user as they scroll through Facebook. But you know what can be just as effective? Power words.
These are words that trigger an emotional reaction in the reader, eliciting a powerful response that compels a person to act. Here are just a few examples of power words that will make your followers stop in their tracks:
Different words elicit different emotions in different people. Want to inspire your customers? Use words like ‘zen’ and ‘healthy’. Or perhaps you need to appeal to your customers’ sense of greed? Try out words like ‘free’ or ‘bonus’. For a full list of power words you can use in your social selling, click here.
Curiosity killed the cat (but thrills your customers)Curiosity is a curious thing. It’s irresistible to consumers and is virtually guaranteed to drive clicks. And social media is the perfect platform for piquing people’s curiosity. It’s a place where customers are actively daily, and they are more receptive to content that grabs their attention.
Check out this example from Egyptian property developer La Vista Developments:
Super-cryptic and mighty mysterious, the ad doesn’t actually say what the developer has planned, but it piqued its followers curiosity considerably, making for stunning social selling. The comments section was full of people trying to guess what La Vista had planned, generating significant buzz for the business.
Create teaser campaigns for an upcoming product launch and drip-feed them on social. Cryptic copywriting like La Vista’s is ideal — tease your followers and leave them always wanting more. Combine this with close-up product photos that don’t reveal the full picture — your audience will scramble over themselves to try and guess what it is.
Like a good magician, don’t give it all away from the off. A prolonged campaign that builds on audience curiosity makes for great social selling that will boost your sales.
Embrace the active voice to tell, not askThe active/passive voice is an important distinction that surprisingly few know about.
Most of us automatically use the passive voice in our writing. It feels better, sounding more poetic and floral. But the passive voice lacks direction, and is more ruminative than commanding.
The active voice, on the other hand, is more imperative. It is clear and concise, and addresses the reader directly. This makes it great for compelling the reader — your customers — to act.
Let’s look at an example:
Passive voice:“You can impress your friends with this stylish unicorn tee!”
Active voice:“Impress your friends with this stylish unicorn tee!”
Can you see the difference? The passive voice is weak and noncommittal, but the active voice is commanding and direct. For a real-world example of a successful active voice at work, check out this example from webstore creator, Shopify:
Shopify could have written: “you can take your website design to the next level with our live workshop today,” but this feels less pushy and more optional. By using the active voice, Shopify literally tellsits followers to check out its live workshop, increasing engagement as a result.
Familiarize yourself with the active voice and use it in your social copy. It takes a little getting used to, and it might feel unusual at first. But get comfortable with it, and your social selling will benefit as a result.
Make customer negativity work for youLast year, Twitter users were surprised to see a number of sponsored tweets from fast food chain KFC appear on their feed. But rather than the usual promotional content, these were tweets from unhappy KFC customers, complaining about the quality of their fries.
KFC followed up these tweets by replying directly to the complainants and used the otherwise bad publicity to announce their new fries recipe.
It was a masterclass in social selling, and one made possible by their willingness to acknowledge their shortcomings. The lesson? Learn how to deal with negativity and turn it into something that benefits you.
This goes beyond KFC’s smart handling of unhappy customer complaints. Not every brand can sponsor angry tweets and turn them into sparkling marketing.
But by reaching out to dissatisfied customers on social and responding in a sincere, helpful way does wonders for your brand and will actually encourage prospective customers to shop with you in the future.
But most importantly, don’t shy away from your shortcomings — acknowledge that you dropped the ball, and actively work to be better in the future.
Place the most important message firstIn the social sphere, attention is a valuable commodity. A strong hook is vital for effective social selling, so don’t waste time setting the scene — go in for the kill.
Put your key message in the first sentence of your social post. For example, if you’re announcing a new product or a time-specific special offer, don’t beat about the bush — just say it.
While a more gradual opening to your social post might work for less conversion-driven content such as thought leadership articles, your social selling strategy should be targeted and driven.
For example, rather than saying:
“Planning that perfect summer vacation and need some new dresses? Check out our summer discount sale today!”
“Summer discount sale! Perfect for finding some summer style for your next vacation.”
It lets customers know straight away what to expect, grabbing their attention immediately.
Copywriting and social selling go hand-in-hand. Delving into the nitty-gritty of language and connecting with your customers, teasing their curiosity, and playing on their emotions will improve your social selling considerably. Follow the tips above, and enjoy the benefits of copy-driven social selling today.
Guest post by Kayleigh Alexandra from Micro Startups www.microstartups.org, your online destination for everything startup. Micro Startups is dedicated to spreading the word about hard-working solopreneurs and SMEs making waves in the business world. Visit the blog for your latest dose of startup, entrepreneur, and charity insights from top experts around the globe @getmicrostarted.
LinkedIn is the most powerful platform for B2B social sellers. The vast network that LinkedIn provides gives you the opportunity to identify and connect with decision-makers that fit your ideal client profile. On LinkedIn, there are more than 61 million senior level influencers and 40 million people in decision-making positions. LinkedIn provides a straightforward way to build real, genuine relationships with senior level decision-makers over time instead of relying on rapid pitching techniques.
While it is true that LinkedIn is a powerful platform for B2B social sellers, it offers a lot of different options and therefore can be a tough platform to navigate if you don’t have experience. Building relationships with dozens of different prospects at one time can be tough to manage. Under the standard subscription membership, LinkedIn’s built-in limitations can make it difficult to get your social selling strategies off of the ground. Some of the key differences between the basic free level and LinkedIn’s paid plans include:
There are a few tools that every social seller should consider using in order to effectively identify prospects and develop quality relationships on the platform. Trying to manage all of the manual tasks on your own can leave little time for actually engaging in quality conversations. Ultimately, it will hurt your ability to focus on the most important tasks, leading to fewer sales and beneficial relationships.
If you want to become an active social seller on LinkedIn, there are a few tools that can help to automate and simplify processes and research, freeing you up to focus on the most important goal in social selling — building relationships with prospects.
#1) LinkedIn Sales Navigator
LinkedIn Sales Navigator is the must-have tool on this list. For a subscription of around $80 per month, you receive a number of advanced selling features and the removal of limitations on messages and profile limits that would otherwise hamper your strategy. This means that once you sign up for a premium account, you can view unlimited profiles and make unlimited searches without having your results filtered, allowing you to connect with more decision-makers.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator brings a number of premium features to the table that assist social sellers in other ways as well. First and most importantly, their Advanced Lead and Company Search features help you to find the right people at the right companies, matching your ideal client profile. You can search for leads using a number of advanced features. The Sales Navigator backend will automatically generate potential lead matches that you can sift through, tag, and add to lead lists. Their system also provides you with a number of automatic lead recommendations based on your previous usage history.
Sales Navigator also offers direct CRM integration. This is extremely helpful as it lets you save leads and accounts that you are selling to. You can directly log activity into your CRM of choice with a single click. That’s on top of their own CRM offering that you gain access to with your subscription. The built-in Sales Navigator CRM is robust with a lot of features that will help you to streamline and fill your pipeline. Sales Navigator integrates with a large number of CRM systems, including Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce.com, Hubspot, Zoho, and many others.
Their “Professional” plan is geared toward individuals and costs $79.99 per month. With this plan, you have up to 20 InMail messages per month. InMail messages can be sent to people that aren’t connections and areideal for making initial connections with decision-makers . You can also use LinkedIn’s prospecting platform to create custom lists with a wide range of prospect-filtering options. Additionally, LinkedIn’s job change alerts allow you to take advantage of changes in decision-making teams and speak to new entrants in account-based sales conversations.
Do you need a solution that will help you to automate your public interactions on LinkedIn? Remember to login every day and find new content to share is a time-consuming task that is usually best completed in batches.
HootSuite is one of the most popular social media management platforms on the market today. It’s an ideal tool for social sellers that are looking to leverage relationships on several platforms. Many large brands use HootSuite to manage and schedule their entire social media marketing operation. While the tool is more robust than what most LinkedIn sellers will require, it offers a number of features that help social sellers leverage its powerful features and improve their social media skills along the way.
First — HootSuite shines because of its excellent scheduling features. Thankfully, these aren’t limited to LinkedIn integration and also work for your other social platforms.Hootsuite lets you save time by scheduling your LinkedIn content in advance, making it easy to increase engagement and mix in manual updates along with automated content.
Hootsuite also lets you schedule and publish LinkedIn videos directly from their platform. According to LinkedIn, videos posted on the platform see five times more engagement than other types of content.
Hootsuite’s system offers an in-depth tracking and analytics suite that allows you to analyze and optimize new follower growth, impressions, and engagement levels of your specific posts. Hootsuite will generate easy-to-understand reports that ensure that you have a top-down view of your efforts on the platform and can identify areas for improvement.
Nimble is perhaps the best social customer relationship management (CRM) tool on the market today. The platform’s focus on social media connections and easy-to-use sidebar interface make it the perfect tool for agile social sellers that need to react quickly to secure connections with new prospects. At a price of $22/month after a 14-day free trial, it’s definitely affordable for all of the excellent features that it provides.
Nimble makes finding information about your prospects easy through their Chrome extension. It auto-populates your sidebar with information about your prospects. This information includes any relevant info from your contact lists, social interactions (including all social platforms, not just LinkedIn) and email exchanges that you had with the prospects.
Nimble even notifies you when your prospects are celebrating important events — such as starting a new job or celebrating a birthday. This gives you a simple and straightforward way to start new conversations.
While it may not be the most robust platform available today, Nimble does a great job of simplifying the process of connecting information between your inbox and social media accounts. It may be the best option on the market for automating important parts of your social selling workflow. It makes social selling on LinkedIn easier and is a tool that any B2B social seller should have on their radar.
Crystal is a pretty cool tool. In this particular case, another word you could use to describe Crystal is ‘creepy’. In a good way, of course. The company describes their system as “the world’s largest personality platform.” Crystal helps to guide you by providing insight into the personalities of particular LinkedIn users. That might seem basic on face value, but it is actually a very powerful tool for social sellers that are able to integrate it correctly into their systems.
Crystal is a very unique tool, different from any other on this list. It can review a LinkedIn profile or premium account in seconds and provides in-depth information on the person’s likely personality, expressed in a DISC profile. This will help you make your cold outreach much more effective and allows you to touch on subjects that you otherwise would have had no idea about without the help of their system.
Crystal is a tool that is all about improving your communication by giving you very specific and personalized guidance on how to interact with your prospects. It will give you recommendations on how to interact with someone over the phone, in a meeting or via email. You can even use the Chrome plugin and while you’re writing an email to someone, Crystal will give you real-time recommendations on which words to use or which ones to avoid. Impressive. Is Crystal always 100% correct? Of course not - at least not yet. But using Crystal definitely brings you a lot closer to sending an email to that has a high probability of resonating with your prospect.
Crystal also allows you to compare two different LinkedIn profiles while providing you insights into how you can set yourself up for success in your conversations with them. Crystal gives actionable insights like:
Crystal simply helps to guide your conversations and actions by pointing you in the direction of actions that give you the best chance of appealing to specific prospects. By learning more about your prospects, you’ll be able to carefully tailor your messaging to them and ensure that they receive information that is consistent with what they care about and would like to know about your offering. If you want to approach social selling from a data-driven perspective, then Crystal is the perfect tool for you and comes in at $29/month.
Dux-Soup is one of the most effective and well-known LinkedIn automation tools and with $11/month a very affordable one. If you use Google Chrome, you should give at least the free version of Dux-Soup a try. Dux-Soup works by automating some of the most important social selling tasks, freeing up your time to focus on relationship-building and conversations.
Dux-Soup lets you:
Using Dux-Soup you can auto-visit profiles, auto-invite targeted individuals with a personalized message, message first degree connections, auto-endorse new connections, and automatically follow and tag relevant profiles.
Dux-Sup is very robust and very easy to use. It is highly recommended for any social seller that wants to take LinkedIn seriously as a social selling channel. The best part is that they have gone through great length to ensure that their software is safe to use - meaning, you’re unlikely to get flagged by LinkedIn for violating their ToS regarding automation. They randomize waiting times between actions, run on scheduled hours online, and avoid profiles based on a wide variety of internal rules that help the system to create the appearance of randomness. But as with all automation tools, use caution and at your own risk - if you push the system too hard, you may find yourself with a warning
#6) eLink Pro
eLink Pro is a solution that is similar to Dux-Soup in many ways. It functions primarily as a LinkedIn automation tool. eLink Pro can help you automate the process of connecting with prospects. Instead of the typical workflow, eLink Pro allows you to input keywords that are relevant to your business and automatically searches for the right matches for your business.
This is extremely helpful because it allows LinkedIn social sellers to devote more time to actually making connections with prospects and building relationships rather than simply identifying. eLink Pro will automatically view profiles for up to 5,000 prospects per week. This will notify those prospects that you have viewed their profile, enticing them to visit your own.
The company claims that the average “look back rate” for LinkedIn profile views is 8%-9% on average. Building awareness of your profile is important to social selling, and you’ll be surprised how much engagement the tool is able to generate for your social selling campaigns.
LeadFuze is an all-in-one relationship building tool for LinkedIn social selling. Their system allows you to search for new leads instantly. You can search for leads in specific roles and industries, using specific software combinations, pay for AdWords campaigns, are hiring, or other criteria that comes custom-backed in their system.
Once you identify a lead, Leadfuze allows you to verify their email, phone number, and social profiles so that you can take a multi-channel approach toward engaging with your target accounts. One interesting feature they offer is Fuzebot, which is their automated sales assistant solution. Fuzebot will crawl the web according to parameters that you set and create daily data sources for leads that are a good fit. It utilizes Leadfuze’s database of more than 350 million records and syncs with other data providers.
Discoverly helps you to learn what your prospects are doing on other social media platforms. When you visit a LinkedIn profile, Discoverly gives you valuable contextual social media information about the individual. For example, it will tell you if you share any Facebook friends, if you have shared similar content, and it will provide you an overview of your prospects most recent social media posts. All of this gives you starting points for personalized conversations, which are more likely to yield responses and turn prospects into customers.
It’s a simple platform that can have a big impact, connecting you to your top prospects through multiple social media platforms. It makes for an excellent addition to your Gmail inbox, providing more insight about where you can reach certain prospects and what connections you might have in common with them.
#9) Sales Navigator Plugin (Formerly Rapportive)
If you use Gmail — you need LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator plugin. Using their free Chrome add-on (they also offer Firefox), you can find LinkedIn profile information for anyone that you interact with through Gmail. You won’t have to jump back and forth from tab to tab trying to learn more about prospects anymore. Instead, you’ll have their LinkedIn information in your Gmail sidebar!
The sidebar provides some basic information including their Profile link, company name, title, shared connections, and locations. The plugin also provides twitter profiles, personal websites, and Skype accounts if it is able to find that information.
The plugin isn’t game-changing, but it’s a highly useful tool for anyone who is regularly on LinkedIn in order to uncover leads. Whether you want to connect with new prospects, leverage relationships that you already have in place through LinkedIn, or simply expand your network — the LinkedIn Sales Navigator plugin makes it easy.
Bonus: LinkedIn Automation: Orca
Please Note: Orca has been acquired and is not currently accepting new customers. Current customers can still use the tool without limitation.
Orca is amazing and makes for the perfect complementary investment to LinkedIn Sales Navigator. The tool is built for social selling automation, handling some of the most important social selling tasks. In return, you can focus on revenue-boosting actions. An investment in Orca is an investment into your own time.
Specifically, Orca is designed to help you scale social outreach on LinkedIn in a genuine way while scaling your operations. It’s designed to help you create conversations with your prospects prior to engaging with them for business. You can automate and sequence a number of different tasks through the platform:
This is extremely powerful. These are the most important LinkedIn tasks for social selling and being able to free up your time lets you focus on quality engagement with your prospects and driving personal conversations. Orca’s simple drag-and-drop interface makes it a great choice for teams, who will require minimal training to use the platform. If you want to make LinkedIn a key component of your social selling strategy, Orca is one of the best tools you can pick.
Work Smart, Not Hard
Success in social selling requires that you are able to identify where best to spend your time in the prospecting, relationship building, and selling process. Understanding what tasks can be automated, what tools will provide you with the biggest boost, and where you want to invest your budget are critical for ensuring that you extend your reach on the platform.
Trying to do everything by hand might seem doable at first, but after just a few days you’ll begin to realize just how time-consuming and cumbersome all of the small social selling tasks can be. In the end, they all come together to create an ecosystem that generates revenue for your business. But until then, it’s important that you use tools to automate some tasks so that you can focus on more important tasks. Alternatively, you could also use a virtual assistant to help you execute many of these steps. If that’s your preference, you should check out this blog by Chris Ducker about the various things to keep in mind, including social media strategy, planning of the activities you want someone to execute on your behalf, account security, and many more.
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