Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Social Selling for Lead Generation: Part I

 By Blair Heckel

While working at a tech startup, finding people who are interested in our little known company can be challenging. Where do we meet people? How can we engage? What kinds of things can I say to peak their interests?

One of the easiest ways to find leads is through social media. Facebook has the option to create pages for your business and I almost always find great deals or breaking news from my Twitter feed. These create easy platforms for which you can engage potential clients. A study conducted by Marketo reports that at least 58% of marketers who have been using social media for three years or longer have seen a boost in sales. What is important to understand is you can have the greatest content and social media presence, but you need the same reputation behind your landing pages, website and sales team. We’ve created a list of mechanisms to ensure you have the best social strategy.

  • Pick the Right Social Media Platform for your Company
    • Almost every company we do business with has a Facebook page, Twitter account and LinkedIn presence; all of which are very important for connecting. However, there are other ways to connect without direct communication. Pinterest is a great way to showcase your business’ stats with infographics or pictures of your company’s products and location. The same goes for Instagram and Google+. Slideshare is a fantastic site to showcase your company’s presentations, videos, demos and documents.
    • Social Media is about covering all the bases. Whether your customers or industry use only one or multiple platforms make sure you have a presence. Can people engage with you and ask questions? Can they learn about your company, values and staff? Are people able to identify the products you put forward or the services you sell?
  • Make Sure your Content is Thoughtful and Relevant
    • Your company’s content should be consistent and of high quality. To maximize the output of carefully curated content in an efficient manner, the first step would be to create specific tabs for each kind of topic. These topics can range from About Us, How-To, Tutorials, Case Studies, Verticals, etc.
    • Another thing would be to write about the industry you are in or how you cater to your customers. As a tech company who has clients in the hospitality industry, we’ve written blogs and created reports that showcase how our solutions work for their industry.

  • Act as a Trusted Advisor
    • As a startup, people are unsure about how much we know about the tech industry and whether or not we know how to solve their problems. To showcase our expertise, we typically write about our experiences within a variety of industries. We’ll typically write about how we helped our clients engage better with their customers, how to listen to feedback, how they can increase sales and protect their reputation. After we share this content, we often get questions such as, “How can you help me increase my sales?” or “How do I find out what I’m doing wrong?”
  • Ask for Help
    • Sometimes, when you run out of topics and your brainstorming sessions end with even more frustration, it can be a good idea to reach out and ask people in the community what they would like to read about. Eventually, you will find something you haven’t already covered.
    • Another way to ask for help is to pitch for a guest blogger. Find someone else with expertise to create content for you. This is a sure way to cover areas you haven’t thought of and another great way to network.
    • Another way to reach out is to ask people to test out your products if they are in the alpha or beta stages of development. This is a great way to meet people with similar interests or needs and can help you develop your product in ways you didn’t think of before.
  • Social Media is not for Pitching: It’s for Community Engagement
    • In 140 characters, it’s hard to get your point across without sounding like a formal sales call script. Try and make your product/service/content look enticing. Is it something you, personally, would click on? Think back to the well-known acronym KISS, “Keep It Simple Stupid.”
    • Don’t over hashtag. It’s unnecessary and makes you look desperate. If you do some research on the most frequented hashtags, two to three hashtags can get your point across to the most important followers.
  • Social Selling is not Immediate: But it’s Worth It.
    • It can take a few years before your company really demonstrates a strong presence on social media. Once you generate a few followers, other people will take notice. Keep in mind the previous bullet points and over time, people will see you as a trusted adviser, influencer and communicator in your community.

Your Filelytics Team


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