Why did the marketing couple decide not to get married?
Because they weren’t on the same landing page!
(Source- please direct all negative comments there!)
Angela Leavitt (@MojoMktg) and Mike Oeth (@VoIPCEO) focused on the mission-critical topics of social selling and social media for businesses during our latest #SMBlab. They were happy to welcome an expert on the subject matter, Evan Kirstel (@evankirstel) of UCStrategies (as well as a Top 20 IT Influencer on Twitter), to get his insights into these key SMB selling strategies.
Watch the conversation to get useful tips that you can implement in your business, or read about the Blab below!
Wistia video thumbnail – SMBlab- 7/27/20165:29
Mentioned in the Blab:
B2B Social Media and Social Selling: A Complex Landscape, via UCStrategies
Social Selling Is As Much About Marketing As It Is About Sales, via CMO
How Can You Find Leads Using Social Media?
Social media and social networking sites have become essential to a business’s sales and marketing efforts (‘Smarketing,’ anyone?). As cited in a recent Fortune article, three-quarters of online adults in the U.S. now use social media sites, 90% of businesses see increased exposure, and more than half report improved sales from social media.
Mike shares how OnSIP’s sales reps research leads on social media to understand what their unique needs are. He then asks Evan an important question: “How do you use social media to find leads in the first place?” Evan replies by saying it’s a two step process:
Listening to Conversations on Social Media. Listen to what your current leads and customers are saying and doing, and use that information to identify new prospects, customers, and partners.
Reaching Out Directly. Contact these identified leads and engage with them directly, and eventually invite them to move the interaction into the “real world.”
Evan explains that there’s no “shortcut” – you have to build a relationship with these new contacts. By following each other on social media and engaging with them over time, you establish credibility in each others’ view. “It’s a process of getting to know someone, and then taking all that interaction into the real world: ask for a meeting, or meet at a show or event,” says Evan. Use in-network modes of outreach – whether it’s LinkedIn InMails, or Facebook messages, or private Direct Messages on Twitter – to continue the conversation with your new contacts.
Promote Your Content on Different Social Networks
Mike then follows up with another question: as a business creates new pieces of content, which platform(s) are the best to use to promote them? Evan notes that each social media platform has different strengths and purposes, and you should consider a variety of channels to reach your ‘niche’ market. “The more niche the better,” says Evan. Potential new leads are always active in communities on social sites, no matter how small or specified your product offering is.
Angela agrees and mentions that her firm posts infographics and other visual collateral to Pintrest. “Because Pintrest is so large and it’s such a huge database…you’re much more likely to come up in Google image search,” she says, which ultimately helps to drive traffic to your content pieces.
In his consulting work, Evan assists his clients in social selling and marketing their unique value proposition across social networking platforms. He observes that “marketing, these days, is all of the above, it’s not one or the other…You have to use all channels, all platforms” to reach your intended audience.
Social selling & social media- key small business efforts!
Social Selling and Social Media: A Team Effort
During the discussion on social selling, Angela mentions how she always has clients asking her, ‘Can’t I just hire a college intern to handle my company’s social media efforts?’ However, she agrees with a point that Evan states in his article: “These platforms are the window in initiating the relationship – would you have your college intern initiating relationships with CIOs and CEOs?”
Evan talks about how social media is a team effort, and how there’s a role for various staff members in being company ‘ambassadors’ on social media platforms: “Social really works well when it’s a team effort, when you have everyone from the C-level right down to the interns working hand-in-hand, and not just assigning it to the Marketing intern,” he says. He details how this team effort creates a ‘multiplier effect.’
Evan also asserts that outreach through social sites will cut through the “noise” on social media and even have the potential to alter the power dynamic between two people. He brings up the example of how an entrepreneur can get the attention of a venture capitalist or angel investor. Many people are too busy to take cold calls, or they have gatekeepers that one must get through first. However, Evan points out how many VCs will read a note sent over LinkedIn because they can immediately access the sender’s LinkedIn profile to review the person’s credibility and experience. Angela agrees, citing a statistic she found that well over 50% of LinkedIn InMails are opened and read, compared to less than 10% of cold emails.
New to Social Media? A Few Getting Started Tips…
Angela concludes the SMBlab by asking Evan to give his top tips for businesses that are just getting set up on social media:
Don’t get overwhelmed. “Spend 15 minutes in the morning, 15 minutes at lunch, 15 minutes in the evening on social.”
Always be following. “Massively follow new and interesting people all the time.”
Always be curating. Share relevant posts and articles that you come across. Evan talks about becoming a ‘news editor:’ “Making your news feed more about other people than about yourself is a much more interesting way to attract prospects,” he states.
Use publishing tools. Apps like Buffer and Hootsuite will let you schedule social media posts in advance and help you stay on top of responses that you receive.
Hang in there! Last but not least, Evan says that you’ll see the results of your investment in social media over time, and it may surprise you how many interesting people you meet.
Like this #SMBlab? Check out past episodes covering insights and tips on other key small business topics!
Business Software Tools and Trends with Stacklist
Video Marketing Tips with Iris MediaWorks