How To Swap ‘Salesy’ For ‘Social’ Online
In the digital age, everyone wants to (and should!) build their company’s presence online, but it’s common for many companies – especially in B2B – to be overly salesy on channels meant to be social.
To be clear, we’re not suggesting you stay away from salesy posts 100% of the time. You offer some great products and services – you should feature them! But it’s important to remember that there’s so much more potential to engage your audience if you swap the salesy for social.
Before we get to the “how,” let’s discuss the “why.”
Post-after-post of product information is, frankly, boring.
If all your content has the same goal – selling – then you’re not giving anyone an incentive to follow you. At the very least, try experimenting with different types of content – longform blogs, infographics, video, etc.
Remember who your audience is.
Social media is omnipresent in the sales cycle: Someone who has never heard of your company but has a need for your services could stumble upon your profile; a prospect may have searched for your company after a productive sales call to further vet you; or perhaps someone about to make a purchase decides to follow you to keep up-to-date with your company. Plus, a significant portion of your audience isn’t prospects or customers at all – it’s partners, vendors, employees, and friends. Your content should be for everyone.
So how do you connect with a social audience without trying to directly sell to them?
Develop a personality.
Social media gives brands the opportunity to come to life, more so than is often possible through other traditional marketing channels. Your company’s personality on social media could be a reflection of your internal culture, the industry in which you work, and perhaps even your existing stature in the marketplace. A well-known, global tech company may portray themselves as being meticulous, forward-thinking and intellectual. A smaller start-up tech company may be more casual, curious and eccentric. It’s important to find that personality – and then stick to it.
Offer insight adjacent to your products and services.
More than likely, you’re an expert in the industry you serve beyond the specifics you contribute. Tips, how-tos, “insider” info, and trend predictions are just a few examples of ways you can provide value to your audience without trying to sell your products and services (and without giving away your trade secrets). Becoming a valuable resource for everyone – prospects, customers, colleagues and friends – will increase your engagement, and ultimately your visibility.
Start a dialogue.
Another way to boost engagement – ask for it! Find out what your followers are thinking about the latest industry trend. Start an open discussion on best practices. Depending on the social channel, you can create polls to make engagement even easier for your followers. Your social media profile isn’t a soapbox. Actively aim to talk “at” people less and “with” people more.
Get your people involved.
While the bulk of your social media strategy is focused on the company profile, you should factor in the personal accounts of your key team members. Depending on the resume of a particular team member, their voice could hold a lot of extra weight in the industry (this is particularly true for start-ups that don’t have a lot of credibility on their own yet). Publishing content through a team member’s personal page can also leverage their followers. Your company page can still share or interact with their posts, so you maximize engagement.
Don’t be afraid to curate content.
Not every post has to be original content! There are certainly outlets that you trust and find helpful in your day-to-day – it’s likely that your followers will too. Industry publications, news articles, or blogs are great, shareable content. It’s just another way to show your audience that you’re a trustworthy, go-to resource.