The world generally refers to sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ as ‘social media’. But this can mislead business users about the nature of successful use of the sites.
A more accurate term for the use of these sites is therefore social networking:
- Business use of social networking can be at a company and/or individual level
- Networking is two way and requires relationship building which comes from engagement
- Advertising should only be utilised with care and moderation in company presence in social networks
- Display advertising is available with targeting via demographics. Research says that promoted content is generally the most effective use of this
- The best indicator that a business is using social networking effectively are responses (e.g. shares and comments) rather than followers or connections
- ‘Bad behaviour’ in social networks can damage a business’ reputation and change brand perception
- The timing of social network activity and numerous other factors about what you do, how and where all impact business effectiveness
- Content is key – regular published, unique, quality and addressing hot topics. With the right balance of knowledge sharing, 3rd party material, company news and offers
- Activity in relevant discussions can be very powerful
Living Streams has been using social networking since 2010 and providing support on it for to client companies since 2011. As with virtually all of our services, we provide client companies with he mix of advice, mentoring and implementation that suits them individually.
There are many ways that effective use of social networking can lead to sales. But social selling as such is a term increasingly applied to the use by B2B companies of LinkedIn to generate leads. The underlying basis of such social selling is that increasingly B2B buyers are changing their buying habits – spending the first 60% to 70% of their buying journey researching. It is therefore important to have contact, build relationship / reputation and generate trust & confidence before they reach the point when they want to discuss a potential purchase.
Living Streams is certified in social selling and can support client companies in its application. But social selling is not an addition to traditional selling techniques – it’s a replacement for some of these that have become inefficient or even ineffective. Effective use of social selling therefore requires a change in day to day practices – something best addressed with a training programme which slowly introduces change of sales practice in a way that reinforces the changes with results. This is best handled with a modular e-learning course where progress is dependent on implementation of each module in turn. We have exactly what you need – please contact us for details.