Social Selling is all the rage and if not already, will very soon be the ‘go to’ methodology for B2B sales success! For B2B salespeople and leaders, do you know what your personal Social Selling Index (SSI) is or the SSI of all your sales team members and how this compares to Social Sellers in your network and Industry?
Whether you’re just setting out on your Social Selling journey or have already attempted and don’t feel you’re getting the results expected, there’s a formula I call the 3Cs of Social Selling. These are Content, Curation and Community and building these three legs allow you to create a virtual Social Selling stool which will stand on its own and combined these 3 components will synergistically deliver greater results than any of these 3 strategies employed individually.
Content is the first C in Social Selling and the need for great content, relevant to your audience and aligned with your product, services and market strategy is key to Content Marketing success which will fuel your Social Selling strategy and execution.
For anyone who doubts this direction, see the below infographic which shares 55+ Proven Ways Content Marketing Can Benefit Your Business Today. One of the key statistics provided is that Content Marketing (13%) spend has now outpaced Digital Advertising (11%) spend as the number one item in business marketing budgets which is only set to grow.
Curation is the second leg of the social selling stool and is of critical importance as done right it will dramatically enhance your organizations credibility and stature as a go to resource in your industry and key product, service and market areas.
Creating your own excellent content is key, but on it’s own a continual spewing of only your own materials tends to be seen as only self serving and loses the attention of the social buyers you wish to attract and retain.
Building out your social channels with a mosaic of other current content pieces and sources ensuring that you’re picking up and utilizing every possible type of content and content medium is critical if you wish to become a ‘go to’ destination for potential social buyers in your market and industry to visit and revisit.
In the end Curation is not only about Content, it’s also about the Curation of People!
Influence and Influencer Marketing are all the rage and your ability to align your strategy with the right individuals both Macro Influencers and Micro Influencers.
When you’re thinking about people don’t forget your customers and employees, every one of your customers and employees are potential Micro Influencers for your business. Many new Advocacy platforms have entered the market to better manage and effectively drive these Advocacy/Influencer programs and who better than those closest to your business, customers and employees! Done right these engagement and advocacy programs will be a true health indicator/impactor, both enhancing and demonstrating the vibrancy of your culture.
Working with and curating key Influencer involvement, interactions and contributions to your efforts both online and offline can assist you in creating memorable customer experience moments which will resonate with potential buyers far into the future.
Talking about people is a great bridge to the last of the 3Cs, Community which is the ultimate connector and glue that will bring and hold your Social Selling strategy together for the long run.
The creation and ongoing support of a relevant Community in your business area is the third leg of the stool which is crucial to complete your Social Selling strategy.
Creating virtual spaces where likeminds can gather, share and interact on the most important topics and concepts affecting their business or lives literally brings your content and curation efforts to life.
Whether these are regular Twitter chats or other live online interactive events with Influencers or other luminaries, being at the core of providing such informative and enjoyable shared experiences with their peers is simply gold.
Just like the ability to build and start a fire that will continue to burn, there are components, skills and even some magic in online Community building that not all understand or have mastered.
Additionally, many communities have been started and failed because of a lack of understanding and measurement of the true business benefits.
Recently, Leader Networks published the below Matrix and this post How to Demonstrate the Business Value of Your Community-Building Efforts
Business leaders can relate better, and agree to invest further in, community efforts which are better defined and can be measured successfully.
Successful and effective Social Selling when done right and incorporating the 3 Cs as laid out above will allow your firm to create something that is much greater than the sum of the parts. So just remember and repeat my Social Selling mantra…
Content, Curation, Community….
Content, Creation, Community…