One of the basic questions I am asked when talking to technology businesses about B2B social selling is, “Why do I need it?”
The simple answer is because “people still buy from people” and establishing a social selling presence is an essential part of selling in the 21st Century. Stay on the sidelines and your professional credibility will suffer.
When the web was young, the gold standard of credibility was a robust website where prospective customers and partners could read compelling content about your company and its groundbreaking products. Well, that’s not enough any more.
Every business needs a great websites—and a strong presence in social sites such as LinkedIn, Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, and whatever else may emerge while I am typing these words.
Social sites, along with corporate blogs, must be part of a comprehensive marketing effort. You need all these channels to communicate persuasive stories and thought-leadership messages – sometimes just 140 characters long – to existing customers, new prospects, and other groups.
You. Must. Do. This.
Socially engaged companies such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, or IBM understand the competitive landscape. And they are using all the levers they can to shape perception of their businesses, humanize their brands, and build long-term relationships with customers.
So What’s a Social Media Novice to Do
Few technology companies have the resources of an Apple or IBM, but who cares. You don’t have to be a multi-billion dollar company to put your organization on the right social-media track.
And while it’s good to have a strategy, don’t let that hold you back. While you’re ironing out the details on how you’re going to participate as a social organization, move ahead with a few simple actions.
First, make someone on your team accountable for B2B social selling.
Second, start building your online profile by creating a business profile on LinkedIn.
Third, make sure all your executives have up-to-date and complete LinkedIn profiles.
Fourth, post regular updates to your company LinkedIn profile and ask your executives to do the same.
Do those four things and you’ll be on your way gaining social visibility. In my next post, I’ll share more simple steps for integrating B2B social selling into your companies marketing efforts so you can gain visibility online and capture the attention of new prospects by sharing information about you, your staff, and portfolio of products and services.