social sellingNow that January is over, it's time to start executing and growing your social selling plans for 2014. This year is all about looking forward to the potential opportunities that lie in the ability to leverage big data, gain insight and isolate key posts on social media. Brian Solis refers to this as Altimeter's Dynamic Customer Journey -- the conversations that can be isolated into one of the consumer buying stages; awareness, consideration, evaluation, purchase or post purchase. These consumer posts give you the opportunity to engage directly at a 1-1 level or through the delivery of very targeted ad campaigns based on their place in the journey. 

Insight into this audience will be a key differentiator in the social selling approach. But before this happens, we must recognize a few of the key basics for a successful strategy.  Twitter is a great place to start, so here are seven steps before you roll out your 2014 social selling strategy:

1. Goals

Set goals around your engagement activity, such as building followers, engagement rates, CTR, web traffic and even conversions (assuming you can measure these effectively).  These all feed into the sales funnel and the more people that know you and engage with you, the more your overall brand reputation, and ultimately sales, will grow. 

 2. Twitter Handle

Twitter still separates itself from the rest of the social channels as the most open place to engage with anyone and everyone. Because of this, you should take a few things into consideration on your Twitter presence.  Have enough followers to make you legit, a profile picture that represents you,  and a bio to reflect the tweets you will stand behind.  

3. Twitter Persona

Twitter sets itself up to be the "largest cocktail party in the world" but just like in real life, people want to talk with those who are open to typical conversations, so mix your tweets up a bit.  Don't be overly sales focused and recognize that you can have fun with your conversations. Don’t spam people constantly with tweets about your product. Instead, focus on building strong Twitter relationships.

4. Lead Generation Platform

Engagement on Twitter allows for lead discovery in real time.  No one wants to hear back from you three days after you expressed the need or asked a question on Twitter.  There are 12 billion tweets happening every month, so get yourself a platform that allows you to isolate these conversations so you can engage and help people on their path to purchase while the thought is still conscious.  

5. Web Analytics

It's smart to engage and share relevant links to great content, deals or products and services.  But you better have some way to capture your efforts and report back what your activity is actually doing for the company.

 6. Patience

Started to engage on Twitter a week ago and still no sales?  Give it time. Patience is a virtue and if your boss is following up daily asking for metrics on ROI and how many sales you made today, than social selling is not for your organization. Social engagement is just part of the journey to building a loyal fan base that will continue to advocate and buy from you for years to come. 

7. Social Ads

Not set up to 1-1 direct response on behalf of the brand?  Social ads help brands looking to get in front of the right audience. There are tools to help you find the demographics and psychographics of the consumer buying audience you are targeting.  Here is a great article from MarketingProfs that helps sum up the current state of ads on Twitter and Facebook. 

 This is the year to engage more frequently and more strategically. You’ve spent enough time sitting on the sidelines watching your competition leverage social media to drive success. It’s time for you and your business to step up to the plate and knock it out of the park.

Here is a guide on how you can effectively build stronger relationships on Twitter:



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