Social media can be a daunting word; the phrase encompasses so many platforms, so many tasks, and so many trends. How is it possible to consistently make content stand out among hundreds of millions of posts? When platforms are oversaturated with businesses trying to accomplish similar goals, it’s difficult to determine where to even start when it comes to an effective sales content strategy.
When in doubt, it’s best to start simple. These days it’s a well-known fact that Linkedin thrives as a professional social selling platform particularly in B2B selling. This makes it an ideal jumping off point for companies trying to be seen by potential customers.
If you’ve ever been placed in a social selling role, you’ve probably had a moment when, after toiling away for hours to compose an informative article for Linkedin, you check back the next day to see…. A whopping two likes.
That’s it. All that work and only two people reacted.
This stage can be incredibly frustrating. Linkedin has over 700 million users, so don’t beat yourself up over lack of visibility. A well orchestrated content strategy will help you overcome this hurdle and garner the engagement you covet.
Identify brand values and personal image
The first step towards building a sales content strategy is creating a company image to send out into the digital world. A consistent brand identity has a positive impact on customers as well as the company itself. In most cases a company’s marketing team and web content managers have already done the brunt of this work by, for instance, coming up with a logo and a company narrative. A thorough sales rep will pay attention to the fine details in order to be an extension of this narrative.
This includes each individual’s profile. Personal content needs to demonstrate that you uphold your company’s core values. Your page should be thoroughly filled out and something you’re proud to let users click on.
Content posted on behalf of a brand should also accurately reflect the brand’s image. Language, tone, and messages should be consistent. In most cases, politics or social views should be completely left out. In summary, anyone posting content or representing the company is an innate part of the sales content strategy!
Use relevant hashtags
Similar to other platforms, hashtags on Linkedin are used to help users find content on a specific topic they’re interested in. People can even follow hashtags for the topics they want to regularly see content about. For instance, the tag #contentstrategy has over 1.1 million followers! Tagging makes content more discoverable, essentially widening your audience.
Select hashtags that are relevant to the topic of your post, to your company, and to the solution your product offers.
It’s especially helpful to always be aware of trending topics. Follow hashtags posted by competitors and related industries; identify overlaps between trends and the content your company is putting out there and bandwagon on to hot topics. For instance, if everyone’s talking about an enterprise’s data breach and you work in cybersecurity, make a brief mention of the current event with its trending hashtag for more exposure.
Unlike with more casual social media platforms like Instagram, excessive hashtag use can be seen as spam. It’s best practice to select three or four well-chosen, relevant hashtags.
Gathering and analyzing sales content metrics allows a sales rep to understand who’s engaging in their posts – in some cases, why – and what progress is being made towards engagement targets.
Here are a few factors to keep track of:
- Reach (total number of viewers)
- Who viewed it (unique viewers vs total viewers and which ones were already followers)
- Number of interactions (likes, comments)
- Clicks (on profile, on links contained in the article, etc)
- How people discover the post
- How many conversions the article generated (for instance, people signing up for a newsletter)
Keep in mind which days and times lead to the most engagement.
Some of these metrics are found on Linkedin itself. Third party integrated tools are also incredibly handy; even a simple spreadsheet can accomplish the task. The important part is that it gets done and with accuracy!
…and identify top performing posts
All of the above factors are directly tied to the success of your social media sales content strategy. By measuring analytics you can find out the reach, impressions, and engagement of each piece of content that’s posted. Then circumstances of the most successful content can be replicated with future posts to increase overall engagement.
Interact with similar posts
Anyone you interact with is a potential client, so it’s critical to stay active. To enterprises that already have a large social media presence this can mean just a weekly or even a monthly article post. Businesses that don’t yet have a large social media presence need to change it up a bit more.
One way to do this is to like, comment on, and share other posts within the same industry topics. Answer questions; join the conversation.
Adding calls to action to your own posts also increases engagement by encouraging people to converse. This can be accomplished by asking a question relevant to the post (“What problems do you typically encounter during your recruiting process?”) or simply asking for input at the end of it.
Meanwhile, Linkedin is incorporating more possibilities for interactions such as live streams with live chat features. Consumers often prefer live video; authentic face to face interactions are valued and, quite simply, video can be more fun to share than text content.
The more you and your company’s name appear online, the more exposure you’ll have. At the end of the day, businesses that engage well in industry discourse will in turn receive more engagement on their own posts.
Build contacts and connections
Activating your network increases the visibility of your posts and other sales content you might share.
Engage in posts to make virtual connections. Seek out opportunities for referrals and warm introductions. A bigger network means a bigger audience to react to and share your content, thereby increasing exposure to it.
Stay visible with status updates
Many people think sales content only comprises in-house articles, case studies, customer testimonials, and other long-winded text.
An effective content strategy incorporates shorter status updates in between those effortful posts. An industry news update, some statistics, or even a question can be a great way to engage people. Include a picture if you can! Such posts are not only easier to produce but easy for audiences to digest as well.
This strategy puts you and your brand name at the top of everyone’s feed more frequently. Just remember that updating too often can make people feel like they’re being spammed.
Delve into other social media platforms
We’ve been focusing on Linkedin because it’s made such a name for itself as the world’s professional social media platform. But there are other channels that can be used in tandem to really grow viewership.
Twitter has become a mainstream tool for building a brand reputation. Its system of short, interactive posts allows audiences to get to know companies by interacting with them. In turn, with built-in analytics, using Twitter helps companies better understand their audience. Linkedin articles and visual media can also be shared via Twitter to encourage cross-platform engagement.
When used properly, Reddit is another avenue for building brand awareness. Despite having over 400 million users, Reddit remains relatively untapped especially for B2B sales. While in-your-face marketing isn’t well received, delving into subreddits that focus on your specific industry topics can be a great way to low-key immerse your content into the discourse.
Whether it’s Twitter, Reddit, Youtube, or Instagram, a planned multi-channel strategy ensures content will be seen by as many people as possible.
Make a plan
No sales content strategy can thrive without the correct management. Applying the aforementioned tactics is a great place to start. The great thing about social media is that the more you use it, the better you understand it.
It’s key for sales content teams to collaborate with marketing teams regularly. Make sure everyone’s on the same page. Monitor the success of sales content engagement and make updates to your strategy in cooperation.
For further insight on how to plan a sales content strategy on social media, tune in to social selling expert Brynne Tillman’s upcoming webinar at Revenue Garage on October 6th.
The agenda for the webinar will be completely open to attendees. Go to Revenue Garage, submit the questions that you need answers to, vote for other questions, and watch the agenda change in real-time.