Social Selling: Building A Network And Business Brand

Lorraine Maurice

Today’s buyers want and need a more rewarding experience, especially when seeking technology solutions to meet critical needs. Businesses must adapt to buyers’ changes or face losing a share of their target market to competitors.

For business partners, social selling is becoming a vitally important strategy for reaching prospects early enough in the decision-making process to influence eventual purchases.

What is social selling?

Relationships between the business and the consumer can mean the difference between increasing revenue or losing customers to competitors. Social selling involves using social networks to build relationships with prospects in your target market.

The popularity of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other platforms has made social selling a viable marketing tool for large and small businesses. Business partners can also use these platforms to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to their websites and in-person events.

How does social selling improve brand awareness and increase customer loyalty?

Savvy marketers today know that 75% of B2B buyers are going online to be more informed about vendors. Using social selling to build a reputation, share relevant and interesting content and industry information, engage in conversation with consumers and clients, and seek out new prospects are all key to achieving sales success.

Vigilance and consistency are always important with this approach. A business that takes a lackadaisical approach to its marketing efforts will likely lose prospects to a competitor. However, a business that consistently updates and repurposes content, promotes itself as an expert in the industry, and actively engages others is more likely to stay top-of-mind with its target audience.

5 social selling techniques that work

  1. Businesses that are successful at social selling understand that delivering consistent, high-quality content is the key to building relationships with their target markets and current clients. A social network must be nurtured, just as real-world networks were in the past through meetings, business lunches, phone calls, and seminars.
  1. Sharing content related to the industry, informative videos, pictures of a product in use, and general content relevant to the target market is another important aspect of social selling.
  1. Positioning a business as an industry thought leader also serves to showcase products and services in a manner that improves brand recognition and marketplace credibility.
  1. Keeping online profiles up to date and detailed ensures that interested buyers can learn more about your business. A strong LinkedIn profile is especially important for those seeking B2B sales. Taking advantage of the Lead Builder function in the LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a great way for businesses to find and make new connections.
  1. Stepping back from selling and instead listening to buyer concerns can provide a wealth of information about what a buyer is looking for, enable you to provide useful information and solutions, and build trust with important decision makers.

Social selling is quickly becoming the primary method of revenue generation in today’s changing economic landscape.  Want to learn more?  Visit the SAP Marketing Academy, choose “SAP SME Academy Live Series,” and find the “Social Selling” series.

Lorraine Maurice

About Lorraine Maurice

Lorraine Maurice is the Senior Director of Global Indirect Channel Marketing at SAP. She is responsible for the launch of SAP partner programs, solutions and communications into the Indirect Partner Ecosystem, which includes many partner types such as VARs, Distributors and DRCs.