If Social Selling is all about Connecting, Listening and Content Sharing, then getting started on Social Media can be a daunting task. Have you ever wondered which tools you could/should be using? And more importantly, how much time you need to spend on it. Here is my take (and experience) on it.
Social Networking platforms are made for connecting. Here you will find the obvious candidates such as LinkedIn and Twitter. However, Xing and Viadeo might be good alternatives in the German and French speaking markets. Not everyone is on LinkedIn. In a B2B situation, Facebook seems the last option social sellers jump on. But since so many people have a profile here, it might make sense to link here too but you need a clear strategy on what and how to share. The inevitable discussion between personal and professional lives.
Finding and connecting new prospects and clients are here clearly the marching orders. Nothing new so far. Make discovering new contacts part of your daily routine.
Here it becomes a little more complicated and time consuming. There are at least 2 reasons for monitoring: understanding what your contacts are saying/doing/interested in and finding interesting content to share in the content sharing stage.
Listening to what your contacts are saying can be done through Hootsuite and LinkedIn Saved Searches, while finding content could be done through Google Alerts, LinkedIn Pulse, Feedly or any other RSS feeder program.
How much time you will be spending on this part of your social selling routine will vary a lot depending on the number of contacts, the activity level of those contacts, the variety of topics you are following and how much reading you will be doing yourself.
Content is everywhere on the internet but prime locations are Slideshare, YouTube (or Vimeo), Blogs and Forums. Once you have that content you will want to share it. Tools such as Buffer or Hootsuite.
Additionally to sharing interesting content from others (less than 40% of all your content) you will need to create. You might create presentations, blog posts and general status updates/tweets. Let me be clear that this is a time intensive task and thus easily postponed. Once you created your own content you will want to share this with your contacts via Status Updates and Tweets.
Finally, through the monitoring and listening programs you will also find more opportunities to engage with and help your clients and prospects. Your entrance ticket to become a trusted advisor.
Again, it is hard to put a number on this when it comes to time spent. Do not consider this lost time but think how much time you saved by not having to drive to your client to have a conversation.
10-60-30 Rule of Social Selling
Social Selling is more about the approach rather than the use of a number of tools (see above). Over the course of time, this has evolved into a daily routine. My experience has demonstrated that the different steps and tools must be interwoven with everything you do during the day.
Today I can say that I spend about 10% of my time working on the connecting bit. 60% reviewing what my listening tools unearth in terms of client conversations and content. And I must admit that most of the time goes to reading and qualifying whether this information can be shared to provide more value to the clients (and me, of course). Finally, 30% is the actual sharing and personal content creation.
So how does your social selling routine stack up?