“Social selling is convergence of marketing and sales. Only agile companies who can break silos will fully capitalize on the social selling opportunity.” – Malin Liden, Vice President of SAP SE and Digital Marketing Executive
As I discussed previously, identifying influencers is a key component to your social selling strategy. By targeting and engaging with influencers, the market awareness of your posts is exponentially expanded, and you have an increased potential of driving revenue to your sales pipeline.
From a marketer perspective, influencers can include industry bloggers, media personnel at events, etc. A simple way to start the identification process is to look for the authors and publications behind the top trending blogs / media articles within your industry. What are the industry posts that are generating the most buzz on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn?
As a salesperson, the idea is to think about the accounts that you are trying to break into, whether it is a small fish or that white whale you’ve been courting for years. The influencers will generally be the people within your prospect companies and target accounts who possess the power to make the important buying decisions regarding your product / service offering.
With all that being said, regardless of they type of influencer you are attempting to engage with, one key in all this is that the concept of social selling needs to be embraced by your entire corporation from top-down. As illustrated in the quote at the beginning of this post, the cohesion between marketing and sales is vital in order to maximize the effectiveness of your social selling strategy.
Assuming have identified your influencers and have buy-in from all departments in your company, how should you go about fostering continuous engagement and interaction with these people?
Tips for Interacting with Influencers
Follow them on Twitter and friend them on LinkedIn
- This can be in done a strategic fashion, as you might delegate specific marketers / salespeople, for example, to follow and interact with specific influencers.
- On LinkedIn, utilize your second and third degree connections to potentially assist you with a warm introduction.
Monitor their posting / commenting habits.
- What types of posts are they making regarding their company and industry? What are their personal interests?
- The beauty about the age we live in is that there are a myriad of resources and social networks that you can utilize to form a full picture of your industry influencer / prospect.
Promote their content
- As you start forming the full, detailed picture of your industry influencer / prospect, you can now comment, retweet, and share the content they are promoting.
- In certain cases, you might consider the promotion of a specific piece of content as a company-wide initiative in order to show the power and presence of your company on social media to the influencer.
- Demonstrating an interest in your prospect is the first step to creating the continuous drumbeat of positive impressions that you are striving for!
While some of these tips might seem intuitive to some extent, you are probably wondering:
- I’m fine with promoting influencer content, but how and when do I benefit from this?
- Can this influencer engagement be scaled in an automated fashion to reduce the manual efforts required by my employees?
Both questions will be answered in the final two parts of the blog series. The former question will be discussed in Part 4 (the latter in Part 5), as you are now ready to start escalating your interaction with your industry influencers / target prospects by initiating your content marketing strategy and introducing a call to action. Until next time!