Social Selling: Not Just for Sellers Anymore
Social selling has been called the future of new business. As modern marketers, it’s a channel we need to include in our strategic planning and execution.
LinkedIn defines social selling as “leveraging your social network to find the right prospects, build trusted relationships, and ultimately, achieve your sales goals.” LinkedIn is “all in” on this concept, even creating a Social Selling Index (SSI).
Anyone in your organization who interacts with a prospect or customer one-on-one is capable of helping advance your social selling strategy. Here are six simple steps to get your entire organization excited about social selling, and move the strategy beyond the sales team.
- Grant easy access to tools and content. Your coworkers already have a day job. If you want them to help share content with prospects and customers, you must make it ultra-easy for them to find, access and share content.
- Make it fun and competitive for employees. Salespeople aren’t the only employees who are competitive with each other! What a great way to reward employees throughout the organization for becoming advocates.
- Create useful and educational content. One of the founding principles of content marketing is to create content that is useful for your prospects. Nothing puts the spotlight on great content more than a robust social selling effort. When you are asking employees to put their name behind content, you can be sure the most helpful content will get shared often, while the weaker content will go unused.
- Lead by example. When employees believe it’s part of their job to be an advocate for the company, they will participate. Most important, when they see top executives and co-workers leading by example, they are more likely to get on board the social selling bandwagon.
- Create public rewards for the best social sharers. This works two-fold, by giving you an excuse to reward behind-the-scenes employees and also to incent more social selling activity throughout the organization. A win-win all around. This can be in the form of cash, prizes or simple recognition on a leader board, or all of the above.
- Repeat, repeat, repeat. Once you develop momentum around your social selling program throughout the organization, you need to constantly communicate and reinforce the success. This can be done through rewards programs, reminders and good old-fashioned repetitive communication.
Be bold with your social selling strategy and hold high expectations for your entire organization to help advocate for your product or company. Hootsuite estimates that social selling generates 40% more qualified leads than cold calling. I’ve written tips to use social selling to help boost your demand generation strategy. Never underestimate the power of real people sharing helpful content with other real people in their network.