by Liz FarquharMay 21st, 2015
Did you know that 93 percent of sales executives haven’t received formal training on social selling ? 
Smart social selling is a game-changer for businesses of all shapes and sizes. It is also important to note that it does require a well-defined strategy in addition to taking a significant investment of time if you are going to really make a difference for your bottom line.
If you are not part of the 54 percent of sellers who can tie social selling to at least one closed deal, and you would ideally like to be part of the 10.8 percent who have closed five or more deals thanks to social media, then these five factors could be thwarting your efforts.
1. You Haven’t Clearly Defined The Audience
Either you haven’t created buyer personas for your content strategy or you aren’t using the proper messaging and channels to attract qualified audiences. If you are using the shotgun approach or using too many gimmicks on social media in an effort to gain followers then it is definitely time to reevaluate your strategy.
Here are some ideas on where you can find actionable insight into where your true audience may be hiding:
- Look under Acquisition in your Google Analytics to see which channels are driving the most traffic. If your social traffic is minimal compared to search then you are likely not engaging the right people on social media. Your source: Google Analytics
- Social media analytics are also a helpful resource for viewing engagement metrics. You can measure impressions vs. engagements, as well as analyzing the posts that received the most attention. If the post with the most engagement involves puppies and bacon even though you sell B2B business development software then it is highly likely that a strategy revamp should be in order. Your source: Twitter Analytics
- Demographic information is especially useful through Google Analytics. You can see where users are coming from through acquisition metrics and get a sense of the age groups, gender, interests and engagement frequency of the audience coming into your website through each channel. Your source: Google Analytics
In order to effectively revamp your social selling strategy to attract qualified audiences, make sure that your sales and marketing teams have a clear understanding of where ideal prospects/buyer personas hang out online.
2. You Aren’t Spending Enough Time Prospecting Through Social Media
According to Jill Konrath, top sellers use LinkedIn six hours per week – and that’s just one platform. Every day you should be engaging prospects in conversations online through LinkedIn Groups, Facebook Groups, Twitter chats, etc.
C-suite executives have made it no secret that they are generally not interested in cold calls or email blasts. In fact, according to Harvard Business Review, 90 percent of them say that they never respond to either of those modes of communication. Not only that, if you work for any ad tech company it is important to know that 86% of IT buyers use social media in their purchase decision process . 
It’s safe to say that you are shaking your head and wondering how there will ever be enough hours in the day to prospect traditionally and through social media, but all it requires is a solid process and follow through.
You can start small by planning just 1-3 hours at various points throughout the day to do social listening through platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter. Using tools like Followerwonk, you can also identify influencers and prospects, beginning conversations with these individuals and building trust/awareness for your business.
3. Content Promotion Strategy Isn’t Motivating Audiences To Click Through To Website
Are all of your headlines written like a sales pitch? If so, stop the madness. Think like a journalist – or like a search engine marketer – and figure out what answers target audiences are looking for or what piques their interest and integrate that into your social media posts.
Your content can also get a lot more visibility on platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter if you use hashtags or post to groups. Hashtags help get your message in front of audiences that may not have seen it otherwise. And LinkedIn Groups help to build trust because you can do a little social listening and answer qualified questions with links to your very own content. Kind of sounds like a win-win situation, right?
Also, remember when you are creating content for sales and marketing purposes to first ask yourself, “Who will share this?” If you can’t answer that question then it is worth reconsidering that article or blog post.
Where have you found success with social selling? Any additional tips for sales teams struggling to get social selling off the ground within their organizations?
Top 3 Reasons You’re Not Getting Qualified Leads from Social Media