Todd Martin

Todd Martin

Sales Strategy

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Social Selling Impact Quantified By Study…

November 1, 2012 , ,

A recent study revealed some good news about the efficacy of social media engagement– and a bit of caution. Here are 6 tips to consider.

It used to be easier to measure your sales success, didn’t it? You worked your list by making phone calls or personal visits, or maybe sent out a mailing. When someone responded, you knew which effort had closed the deal.

Today, people have unprecedented access to information and opinions about what you’re selling. And when they do buy, was it that Facebook ad? The how-to series you posted on your blog? A particularly intriguing Tweet? It’s hard to be sure.

Keeping it in perspective

A recent report, the 2012 LoyaltyOne Social Media Transaction Impact Study, found that social media engagement led to a direct, tangible, positive impact on the business.

The study’s authors predicted that customer engagement through social media would continue to be important, but warned that it should be considered a relatively small element in a much broader marketing mix, a rudder rather than an engine.

Making social selling work

I think this is good advice. Having worked in the technology field for a couple of decades, I’ve watched businesses quickly incorporate a new tool or technique simply because it was being talked about so much.

The social selling model is here to stay, and I’m a firm believer in it, but I agree that it should be approached with a great deal of consideration and deliberation – and as a part of your overall sales and marketing strategies. So:

Be flexible and adaptable. The social media universe is just beginning to unfold. Prepare to modify your strategy as it evolves.

Experiment. Try out different tools, approaches and sites. Pay close attention to what works and focus your attention there.

Always be soliciting feedback. Social media is about dialogues, not monologues.

Create strong calls to action. Do you want prospects to call you? Download a white paper or attend a webinar? Request a sample? Tell them clearly and frequently.

Find or develop a good tracking system. Social selling involves your active engagement on numerous sites and with a wide range of individuals. Document these relationships conscientiously.

Finally, try to resist succumbing to the constant hype. Take social media in stride, and budget a reasonable amount of time for it. Don’t overextend yourself at the expense of your other sales efforts – and your core work responsibilities.

Got a comment? “Not enough time” is often named as the biggest problem small businesses face with social selling. Is that your most significant stumbling block? If not, what is?

What do you think?

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