Technology Sales Leaders: Get on those Social Channels!
The vast majority of us have been forced online in recent months and social media companies are reaping the benefits of this change. Most platforms are seeing lapsed users return reinvigorated, higher engagement, and a renewed interest in the positive role social media can play in our personal and professional lives.
Social media long shed its reputation of only being for younger people years ago and nowadays, thanks to the large number of niche networks mixed in with household name powerhouses, social media has become a critical avenue for business development, company culture initiatives, recruitment drives and customer support.
Despite this popularity, many sales leaders still shun social media as a fickle time suck. There are a number of reasons why people might feel this way, but mostly it’s because social media is misunderstood.
So why as a sales leader should you be active on social media?
To start, social media is a gold mine; often the first location buyers go for research, information gathering and endorsements from people they trust. Search “I’m looking for…” or “Does anyone have a recommendation for…” on LinkedIn to see this in practice.
Secondly, there’s how potential buyers analyze you, the salesperson.
When contacted by someone I haven’t heard from before, the first thing I do is check their company’s website, and then I see what digital footprint they have on social media. I don’t spend hours reading their profile top to bottom, but I do make sure they are active and participating in the digital world. You can also easily see the related connections you might have.
Also, ask yourself, what would impress you more?
The person with a grainy profile photo, little to no updates, and an out of date profile? Or, an expert regularly sharing their knowledge, a profile populated with engaging content, someone actively helping others, and an air of approachability?
I know which one I prefer.
A new sales approach has emerged due to social media too – social selling…
Social selling is perhaps a misguided term as it drives people towards a somewhat transactional relationship with social media, when instead sales leaders should be seeing social as a way of thinking and a place to showcase their experience, expand their company’s reach, build partnerships, or just keep in touch with people and grow their network. It is a new way of communication that became a standard in the sales process.
There’s also a personal development benefit to being active on social media too.
Upskilling yourself is all the rage and where better to learn from others than socially online.
This education process spills over into sales as business people are constantly searching for new thought leaders, innovative tools, different opinions, and new perspectives. You might be just that person to educate them.
Algorithmically, being active increases your potential pipeline too. When you engage in discussions and use all the features available on a platform that signals to the platform that you’re worth the time of others. Essentially, the more monetizable you are perceived to be, the more the platform will monetize your activity and thereby show your content.
That doesn’t mean you should spam and annoy those online, but rather focus on creating valuable content across different formats – text, photo, videos, audio, live streaming, group engagement, instant messaging – that can be reused in other sales channels as well.
Finally, customers. Your lifeblood. They’re on social media and if you’re there too, you can show them you care, uncover sales opportunities, leverage their reach and reinforce why they choose to work with you. You can’t do any of those if you’re lurking in the background or absent entirely.
With a large number of networks to focus on, it’s crucial you select those where your customers are. If you’re unsure, look at your competitors and peers and make an informed judgment. After that, all that’s left is to start posting.