MAKING SOCIAL SELLING WORK FOR YOUR BUSINESS

 

 

The hot new buzzword on everyone’s lips is Social Selling. The tool that today’s sales people are using to become the top performers in their firm as well as get new clients through the door.

 

With the use of Social media; the way we connect with people has changed. Using social media to do business, plan our everyday lives, stay in touch with friends, try out new restaurants has become a way of life for us. In fact social media merges word of mouth advertising, selling and marketing beautifully. Social media marketing is so powerful that you can’t afford to miss out!

 

Word of mouth marketing has always been around much before social media. Neighbours would buy similar stuff; friends would seek advice from others on what to buy, where to go for a service, what recipe to try, all over a game or over a fence at the backyard. Today, we do the same thing, except that we use tools for it and seek out reviews on a global level. Advertisers too now know how to sell to you and the vital role that friends play in influencing your decision.

 

What is social selling and how do you make it work for your business?

 Social Selling is making use of social media to make your sales more effective. It’s using warm, conversations that are both inviting and engaging with mutual benefits to the company and clients over cold calling, knocking on people’s doors and talking about what you do and who you are.

It generates insights and information into what customers want and what decisions they are influenced by before they buy. It also helps build relationships, make better strategic deals and grow the brand.

Making Social Selling work for your business:

 Sure, you have tried cold calling and noticed that there are more people who say “Thanks but we’re not interested” than those who say “Sure! sounds interesting, come on over!”

Here are some tactics you can use for your business:

  1. Using social media tools like Google Alerts, Tweet deck, Radian6 etc. can give you real time insight into what your customers are talking about. You can then understand their needs, unmet demands in the market and leverage that information and use it for your business.
  2. If your customers are not using social media, find out what’s being said about the industry in general. Check out some reviews and understand the customer’s point of view.
  3. Use social CRM tools that allows you to capture user’s Twitter profiles, contact details, details of a consumer or user-anything that is publicly available.
  4. Dig a little deeper: Understand whom you are selling to. Who are the key people involved to seal the deal? Who are their customers? What are the customers talking about? What is the level of engagement that they have? What contacts do your contacts have?

With so much information up your sleeve, you can now make a pitch that doesn’t always talk about ‘YOU’ but rather ‘THEM’. You can tell them how you can solve their issues and how you can help them. Doesn’t that sound better? It’s a serious competitive advantage!

 

  1. Make use of communities & blogs– read other people’s blogs, reviews, and any visual media they have shared and connect with them. You can also use LinkedIn to connect to vendors; participate in LinkedIn groups and find new prospects!
  2. Set up Social Media Monitoring tools like Radian6, Buzznumbers, and Google Alerts to get active updates on the industry, your customers and potential influencers.
  3. Create your own Blog and Social Media Channels: In order to be successful at social selling, you must have a strong brand yourself. The company you are selling and sourcing for must develop strong connections. You must also develop the knack of story telling and increasing your social influence score. Also include a ‘subscribe to the company blog or RSS feed’ icon on your website.
  4. Identify competitor moves: We all want to be ahead of the pack but finding an advantage amongst the various players in the market is challenging. If you were using traditional methods of sales and marketing, you’d know as soon as there is a new ad, press release or  product on the shelf! But now, you can anticipate your competitor’s moves by using social media monitoring tools. You can find that perfect opportunity to gain an edge over your competitors that you may have otherwise not known about!
  5. Prevent Customer Retaliation: By using these tools, you can avoid customer’s negative feedback by finding solutions to the problems they have mentioned. Doing a sentiment analysis will help you understand their emotions in regard to your product or service or your competitors products.

 

If you’re a stockist or distributor, you can understand which products to stock up on and which ones to drop. Imagine having all that shelf space for products that sell quicker!

With so many benefits to using social selling over traditional selling and cold calling, you can find opportunities everywhere! It’s time to embrace the new buzzword and make it work for you!

You can set up the tools and make it work for you and your sales team or you can give us a call and we can do it for you! You get all the information you need right in your inbox!

Talk to us now and let us know how you can make social selling work for your business! What tools do you use?

Join us for the conversation on #socialpandora

 

 

 

Advertisements

Putting the success back into your social media campaign! PART 2

 

(PART 2 CONTD…)

 

Every industry is different, so try being in the required range for your industry. All this does is to help gauge your scores.

 

Ford’s Global Head of Social Media –Scott Monty also suggests using a tiered point system in place rather than looking at how many likes you have. It’s a simple yet effective strategy to use. You can measure the response to your efforts on any social media channel you use.

 

Here’s how it works (Source: Socialmediaexaminer.com)

If you’re launching a product or a service, you want to generate a buzz about it on Facebook. You post an update to your page about your launch and get a few likes on it. The next day, post a different update, get likes on it and you begin to see people engaging with the post. Shares are more valuable than likes or comments because that update is moved to another page, which increases your reach.

 

At the beginning of your campaign, translate your objective into a numeric goal. Then, use the tiered point system to weight different types of engagement according to what is valuable to you.

 

For ex: (For Facebook)  -Likes- 1 point each

Comments- 5 points each

Shares- 10 points each

During the campaign, a quick sum of values will help you determine if your efforts are paying off. You can create similar systems for any of the social media channels.

 

4. Visibilities and Brand Perception:

 

 

visibility

 (Image via www.xeus.co.uk)

Social media monitoring tools will provide you data on your brand, your products to see who’s talking about you , how, why,where from? The key to getting good scores here is to add tonnes of value for your customers. Gradually build it up and then begin to sell and then measure. Building relationships with customers is vital, and this is the best way to get there.

 

How do your numbers compare to your expectations? How have you fared with respect to your industry?

 

5. Measure traffic to your website:

Link each social media channel to your website; then track which of them send the most and the best traffic to your site. Track URL shares, click conversions, what do they do once they’re on your site?

6. Audit, Adjust, Repeat:

Review your measurement program periodically. Always include benchmarks or competitor information so that your stakeholders will understand how well you have fared.

It also helps to include visual representations of your data to describe your readings better. Editing and improving your measurement program will help you rectify errors if any. Enter new metrics, you may have missed before and alter content that is needed to help achieve your goals.

 

And. That’s it! 6 super simple steps to show your stakeholders the money! Soon enough you will be raking in results! We hope this gives you ideas on how you can simply measure your social media campaigns and do so without all the expensive tools!

But, hey, if it’s a little too much to do in too little a time, give us a call! We’d do all the hard work for you!

Let us know how you go! What do you think? Can some of the above-mentioned strategies improve the effectiveness of your campaign?

 

-Social Pandora

Putting the success back into your social media campaign!

Putting the success back into your social media campaign!

2 Part series

 PART 1

 

Putting success back into your social media campaign

(Image via http://www.switch-magazine.net)

 

By now you’ve run a campaign or two across a few social media platforms and you are noticing people take note of your brand; what you have to offer and maybe even dropped by your office! While all these are great signs of progress; you still need to measure how well that progress has been. Measuring the campaign will tell you where you’ve been successful and where you can improve.

 

At the start, you would have set goals for your campaign, the number of followers, fans you want, the levels of engagement for your campaign etc. so when you measure your results, you will have two kinds of analytics –ongoing analytics and campaign focused analytics to focus on. Measuring the success of your social media campaign is not very different from you measuring the success of your marketing efforts. You will still see where your customers are from, how many times the ad or campaign on TV and social media was clicked; what do they like, socio- economic and cultural backgrounds etc.

 

As marketers, we are all on a mission to be better than our competitors, out-think others, deliver better products and services and track our efforts.

Ongoing analytics are those that you will keep tracking over time. These are necessary to understand the trend; the peaks and pulses about your brand and that of the competition over a period of time. To do this, you need to set up brand tracking and check the results every now and then.

Campaign metrics will measure the results of your targeted marketing activities or campaigns. These can also vary from campaign to campaign and depend upon the goals you set.

To get the best possible results, you will need a combination of both

So without further ado; here’s a list of what you should be measuring

1.Measure your social media listening activities: If you aren’t listening as part of your campaign, you’re missing out on the conversations people are having about your brand. When you do listen you gain insights into your brand

How engaged are your target audience?

What customer support issues are they happy with?

What customer support need gap can be filled?

Are there any changes to your product or service you need to make?

Performance management?

 social media listening

(Image via www.leadformix.com)

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply”– Stephen R.Covey

Use listening tools to understand how many people you’re helping through your campaign, are your fan followers increasing, etc. prioritize the points and use the information gathered to make changes to your business.

 

2. Measure Growths and Reach:

 

 

 

Measuring social media growth

                  (Image via http://www.marketingzen.com)

 

How healthy is your growth rate? Watch for a steady increase in the number of your fans, followers and subscribers. We also like to club growth, reach, volume, exposure under one metric- Awareness-how far is your message spreading?

3. Engagement: Are your followers interested in what you post? Do they comment? Interact? Maybe even poke, write an LOL? Well that’s great! It’s exactly what you need! It cannot get any easier really, just monitor the quick interactions to your channel- starting with how many likes, shares, +1’s, comments, retweets, mentions repins etc. Always set a target and then work your way up to measure the targets on a bi=weekly or monthly level. See how far your interactions increase, decrease or remain neutral. The idea is to keep increasing but also maintaining a good engagement level.

 

(PART 2 CONTD ..)

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to use Project Management to create better Social Media Campaigns

social media and project management (Image via blog.bootstraptoday.com)

 

 There’s so much being said about using Social Media with Project management and how many of it’s principles and techniques can be applied to social media marketing campaigns in order to improve their effectiveness.

But there are two approaches:

  1. Project Managing Social Media
  2. Social Media for Project Management

Here are some tips to merge social media and project management. Let’s get started!

Before starting on anything in the social space, you need a clearly defined social media strategy . After you’ve got the strategy in place, it is time to start your campaign or in the parlance of project management ‘ Initiating a project’ with PRINCE 2. This stage is very similar wherein you need to have a good understanding of the desired goals of your campaign before you proceed.

 Also, the tool sets out the necessary resources, the different sources of information, what sort of things you will post, who your target audience is etc from both a logical and a strategy point of view. PRINCE 2 will help you achieve that.

PRINCE 2 directing a project or a social media campaign

(Image by Emerald Insight)

So you have the Starting of the Project or campaign, and Initiating a Project or campaign, which is similar. the next step is:

Defining Scope: Set a budget for your campaign and a time scope for each day. You need to stick to a particular limit if your project has to be both cost and time effective.

Make use of Gantt charts to keep track of your time and your activities on social media. Use it to plan an item, record the time spent on each part of the project, which ones require more focus etc.

Gantt chart

(Image by Linsday-sherwin.co.uk)

PRINCE 2 methodologies have been crafted seamlessly for each stage of the project. It’s very structured and has stages for controlling and managing product delivery too.

You can integrate Social Media and Project Management in:

1)   Blogs– Which is equivalent to a project notebook or a shared project log

2)   Instant Messages: Send quick, short text messages to colleagues on the computer

3)   Webinars: Make use of Webinars for meetings, presentations, seminars all on the web!

4)   Use Podcasts and Vodcasts: For audio and videos on anything in your field, get them downloaded for access anytime

5)    Social Networks: Make use of different networks to get people of similar interests to come together. Connect with people on topics of interest and learn on the go. Or share photos of interest to people in your network.

Benefits of using social media for project management include:

-Collaboration

-Communication

– Networking

-Increased efficiency

– Financial benefits

– Building trust

-Increased transparency

And using project management tools in social media you can:

–       Choose which tasks are important vs urgent

–       Identify resources

–       Choose the platforms needed

–       Choose the timelines for each project

–       Develop content for each project

–       Have monitoring and communications management

–       Measurement and analytics

prince2 project management phases

(Image by Keycomcorporate.co.uk)

We believe that if you apply some of the project management principles to your campaign, you will be looking at a very successful outcome!

Try it out and let us know how it worked!

-Social Pandora

The 10 essential but lesser known social media tools that you should know about

Social media tools that aren't well known but are great (Image via Dreamstime)

 

The social media landscape is changing rapidly and we’re sure that by now, you’ve hopped on the bandwagon too. Every company, agency, or person uses their own set of social media tools to get the most out of their business. But we’ve got a few tools we use and think that they’re great! Although some are in beta or aren’t as well known you might find that they do wonders for your business!

 

Here are our top 10 tools that got our attention and will get yours too!

 

  1. Mention – A tool that replaces Google Alerts for capturing mentions, social media monitoring, it is really easy to use with great functionality. It also has simple controls to turn specific sources off with emails that take you straight to the source!
  2. Editflow– A WordPress plugin that allows you to manage your editorial team seamlessly. It gives you custom statuses, a calendar, editorial comments etc. This tool makes it easy to collaborate with your teams and is especially useful for those with many blogs.  If it’s a single tool you’re looking for to manage your accounts, this one is for you
  3. Tweetreach – Another great tool to see how far your tweets travel and how effective your tweets are. Who doesn’t want that!
  4. Addvocate– A social sharing tool for employees in your company. All you have to do is install a simple browser plugin that allows them to receive recommendations and to recommend content to the marketing or social media team.  You can get detailed statistics showing which employees are sharing content and how many clicks you get.
  5. Argylesocial.com– Perfect for team- based collaboration, publishing and merging social media with your business. A dashboard that allows you to monitor Facebook and Twitter, delegate tasks to your team. It’s easy to use and has easy reporting of your social media efforts. It is your go to tool if you are a social media manager or a client or agency to prove to your management that your social media campaign is paying off.
  6. Crowdbooster– This is a highly recommended tool for many. It offers social media analytics with suggestions to help improve your online presence. You get a bird’s eye view of analytics, audience insights and content schedules.
  7. Swayy – Swayy helps you discover the most engaging content to share with your audience. The articles are right in front of you as a dashboard and you can share articles across multiple platforms. Plus you can schedule them too!
  8. Twitter Search: A lot of people love this , in fact it’s one of Chris Brogan’s favorite tool. Most of us use this tool but here are a few tips on how to make the most of it (Source: Kissmetrics) Use Twitter to uncover top trending topics– by using the  -rt filter:links  code. So if you’re looking for “Social Media –rt filter:links” , the code will remove all retweets.

Find out who’s talking about you– what conversations are you in, or are you not involved in. Just use the search string. X-to:x-from :x-@x  replace x with your name. Ex: CoolEgg-to: CoolEgg-from: CoolEgg-@CoolEgg

 

Track multiple profiles– search using to: plus your twitter handle. For example; to: Patel plus your other Twitter handles.

 

Follow conversations about your competitors- Search with to: competitor or from: competitor. Replace competitor with their Twitter handle.

 

See pictures with trending topic– search for these using the string ‘trending topic twitpic/post.ly/twitgoo filter: links

 

Twitter search is also great for finding topics to blog about.

9. Traackr.com – A simple way to find and follow influential people in your space. Identify the authorities in your industry and watch how they respond and contribute to content that is shared. It’s great for agencies or brands who want to build their campaign.

10.Tagboard We saw Kim Garst talk about it and decided to try it out. It is fantastic! It monitors hashtag searches across multiple social media channels. You can check specific hashtags on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Google+ and create a custom board filled with content from across all platforms. It is useful for brand monitoring for your own or your competitor’s brands and content curation for a specific hashtag. You can also reply to the conversations right from within Tagboard.

These are our recommendations for you to try out; integrate them into your plan and see how it works for you!

Tell us your views of the tools and if you use any that is not as well known as the other social media tools.

 

-Social Pandora

 

Adapt and Soar, don’t adapt and get left behind!

Adapt and Soar, don’t adapt and get left behind.

-Why your business needs to adapt to changes in technology to stay ahead

Time for new technology( Image by Shutterstock)

 The world is moving at an accelerating pace and it is changing everything in its path. Technological changes, automation, and social media are among a few. We’re sure you know this all too well so we’ll get straight to the best part!

Today, we’re writing to give you a few tips on how to accept this change and how your company can embrace it. Last week, our team had met a few clients. Clients who knew what social media could do for their business but were sceptical about doing it. Now don’t get us wrong but there are a great many companies out there who are doing really well but they haven’t considered using Social media or they don’t have senior management buy in to the concept. So we’re here to help you change all that!

Are you proud of your company?

Hell yeah!

Is it Agile enough?

Ummm.

Are you happy referring to your company as a dinosaur?

No way!

Well if your company is averse to change, that’s exactly what you’ll become, Extinct!  We’ve all read about so many companies that have shut down due to lack of agility to accept change in today’s market dynamics. Regardless of whether it is because of the inability to do so or the lack of motivation, you can’t afford to sit back and watch it pass you by!

If you’ve seen ‘The Internship’ starring Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, you might just be on the same page as we are. The rate of adaption of new computing and communication devices are at a dynamic pace, so much so that businesses everywhere are changing their strategies. Add in Globalization, a shift in specialized and customized choices, social collaboration, cloud computing (phew!), enterprises need to be more flexible internally as well as externally.

So the winds of change are here, how will you harness it?

changing the way businesses work

(Image by Wesee.com)

  1. Understand the change in cultural and demographic references:

Customers you’re targeting and talking to today are not the same as they were before. Expecting them to listen to the Bee Gee’s in a world of Lady Gaga is almost impossible. But the digital world is having an impact on emerging customers. The social networking tools allow them to express themselves; create an online personality and connect in ways that were impossible before. So step one is to understand the changing market conditions and choose the perfect time to move from your existing business model to a new one.

2. Create a future or forward thinking team:

A good mix of the young and the key functional leaders in your company should sit together and rethink your game plan. Ask your customers, suppliers, go online and find out what’s being said about you. What UN-met needs need fulfilling? Do your products or services need updating? Keep checking with them to stay on top of their needs.

now is the time to plan for emerging trends(Image by Shutterstock)

 Right Technology + Vision= Win!!

 3.Know your fundamentals to accept change: Digital and Social media platforms will grow and evolve everyday, but your business fundamentals will remain the same. Are you adding value through greater experience, better service or cost structure? Regardless of the changing digital landscape, you need to understand the connection between your business & the platforms needed to drive these fundamentals.

4.    Prepare your company for change:

Change Management in Social Media(Image by Shutterstock)

“The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress”- Charles Kettering

 It’s common Knowledge that any change management practice will be met with resistance. It’s a social process. But if your team explains the benefits, the bigger picture and what the end outcome will be, the resistance may not be so hard.

‘If you feel like it’s difficult to change, you will have a harder time succeeding’-  Andrea Jung

 Change will be a slow process but once you have most people’s buy in, it will be easier.

5.Map your network-

Check your value chain and gain new insights. Move across your network and understand what others in your industry are doing right and why.

6.Create a pilot model: Based on your analysis of all the market signals, your competitors generate ideas on what you need to change. Is it product pricing, product features or target customers?  Go out and get market feedback- how is your new model faring in a test launch? Since it’s a test launch, do it quick and as inexpensively as you can. Results from this will help you adhere to a strategy.

 

Why you need to Upgrade in Business (Image by Shutterstock)

If you don’t have the manpower or the time to do steps 5 and 6, create an ‘Imperfect Model’ and launch. You will still learn from it and it will give you time to get comfortable with it. Understand which customer touch points you need to digitize and which ones not to.

 

You have your new model in place and it includes social media. The next step would be to create and launch your campaign.

All you need is 6 steps towards change management for your business and then engage an agency to handle the campaign for you. Social media will be your extended arm in your marketing campaign. Armed with analytics, customer insights and competitor’s insights your company will be able to soar to new heights!

As Anders Sorman-Nilsson said recently “ Don’t throw the analogue baby out with the digital bathwater, but start making sure that you connect really well in the analogue world and also offer value in the digital world to your clients and prospects”

What tips do you have for adapting changes in Technology? How is your business adapting to the new trends?

Let us know!

-Social Pandora

Figuring out the Tablet wars-Which one will you buy?

How do you choose form the range? (Image via WeSEE)

The battleground is set and our warriors are all ready to fight it out. In just this week, Apple, Nokia and Microsoft have released new tablets and it’s going to be very hard for consumers to make the choice. Especially since you have competition from Google, Amazon and Samsung with their low cost versions. In just a few years the tablet has become the most sought after device; some preferring to buy tablets over laptops even!

 

Over 2.3 million tablets were sold in Australia last year of which 52% bought iPads, 43% bought Android and 5% bought Windows. These numbers are set to increase this year.

With an array of styles and price ranges to choose from, we’ve got a few tips to help you make up your mind.

  1. Know your Budget: Set a budget and stick to it especially when it comes to buying gadgets. Try not to get duped by the slick conversational skills of the sales folk.
  2. Choose a tablet with the right Operating System for your needs:  Different tablets run on different Operating Systems and arguably the top 3 most popular ones are iOS for iPad and iPad Mini, Android running on different tablets from different manufacturers, Windows RT and Windows 8.1. iOS may be easier to understand than the other two, but all three boast a wide variety of apps from the App store.

 

Here are a few options: (Source:Engadget)

In the 10-Inch tablets, choose from the Apple Ipad Air priced at $499 and up, Google Nexus 10 priced at $399 and up providing great value for money, Sony Xperia  Z priced at $499 and up.

7& 8-Inch Tablets:  Google Nexus 7 priced at $230 and up, iPad Mini at $399 and up, Amazon Kindle Fire HDX – $229 and up

Windows: Microsoft Surface Pro 2 – at $599 and up and ASUS Transformer Book T100 -$349 and up (At Amazon), Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2- $629 and up

 

If you don’t have access to wifi, choose from a range of options for 3G or 4G:

 

Apple iPad Mini (Wifi and Cellular) -$529 and up

Google Nexus 7 (2013)- $350

Galaxy note 8.0 – $500

Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2- $749

 

The best buys for Budget:  Google Nexus 16GB -$230

ASUS Memo Pad Hd7- $150 for 16GB

Amazon Kindle Fire HD (2013)- $139 and up for 8GB or 16GB of storage

 

Make sure you try all the Operating Systems when shopping for one.

3.Choose the size of tablet according to your needs:  7-8 inch tablets are perfect for browsing, reading a book, checking e-mails or playing a few games. They’re definitely handy & can fit into handbags too; if it’s light use you’re after pick up a 7-inch tablet. If you’re looking for a larger screen and more work space , choose a 10-inch tablet.

 

We’ve known people who use the 7-8 inch tablets for work too and are quite happy with it so it’s actually a personal choice. Choose whatever works for you.

4.Choose a tablet with the right specs:  What kind of storage options do you need? Is 16GB enough or 32GB? Or even more? Is it for at home use over wifi or usage outside over cellular network?

Do you store a lot of files, music or videos? Then maybe one with higher storage is right for you. What kind of camera do you want?

Would you want Apple iPad Air- Dual core A7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and 16GB to 32GB of storage with 1.2 Megapixel front &5Mp rear camera?

Or maybe Microsoft Surface Pro 2 with 1.6Ghz dual core, Intel core i5 processor, 4GB or 8GB, 64GB to 512GB of storage, 720p front and rear cameras?

Consider your usage and then decide if you want to splurge.

5.Is innovation a key area for choosing a tablet?  With so many options to choose from, buying a tablet can be difficult and not to mention overwhelming.  Check here for a full list of specs and different tablet options  for ideas.

Innovation is key for makign your choice

 (Image by WeSEE)

 We hope these 5 steps will help you decide on which one to buy, but here are our choices based on user reviews and the choices of our own team members

Best Tablet overall– Apple iPad

New tablets to note– Apple iPad Air, and iPad Mini with retina display

Best Android Tablet- Google Nexus 7

Best value for money- ASUS transformer Book T100

Best for Uni- Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 with its S-Pen makes taking notes easy.

 

Which one is your favorite? What will you be buying this Christmas? We’d love to hear from you!

 

-Social Pandora