B2B social selling: leverage social media to turbocharge sales.

B2B Social Selling: How To Use Social Media To Boost B2B Sales

B2B social selling involves using social media such as X, LinkedIn, or even TikTok to connect with potential customers, build better relationships, and get that conversion over the line. In the digital age, 75% of B2B buyers use social media to make buying decisions; that’s a big chunk. But they can’t buy if you aren’t selling…

If you want to use social selling effectively, you’ll need to think in terms of blogs, podcasts, videos, and other online content that position your brand as the top dog in your niche. Content is best used to educate and entertain. The idea is to capture attention first and let the marketing come naturally.

Let’s start at the beginning.

目次

What is B2B Social Selling?

Touched on above, B2B social selling is a method for sellers to connect with prospects and start building powerful relationships through social media. In short, it allows brands to build trust, credibility, and a stronger foundation for business partnerships.

How is B2B Social Selling Different to Traditional Selling?

Here’s a quick overview of how B2B social selling differs from traditional selling.

 

Traditional B2B Selling

B2B Social Selling

Lead Generation

Primarily relies on referrals, cold calls, and networking.

Utilizes social media platforms to attract natural leads.

Initial Outreach

Usually initiated through cold calls or emails.

Starts with engaging content, comments, or connection requests on social media.

Trust Building

Depends on face-to-face interactions and references.

Builds trust through consistent online presence, thought leadership, and shared content.

Credibility

Established through company reputation and sales pitch.

Enhanced by online presence, peer recommendations, and content sharing.

Relationship Development

Often linear, progressing through stages in the sales funnel.

Can be more organic, building relationships over time through ongoing interactions on social platforms.

With the rise of the internet and remote work, B2B social selling evolves at a rapid pace. Let’s take a deeper look…

The Evolution of B2B Social Selling

Pre-internet, everyone had to pick up a phone or knock on a door to sell their product or service. Now you can generate your own ads, videos, and blogs to attract prospects all over the world through social media.

The internet era has put social selling on a pedestal. The definition of social selling used to be predominantly about building rapport and trust with potential clientele. Now it’s about using TikTok or Instagram to upload short-form content to sell something indirectly. Genius. You can also skip the cold call, choose not to send the prospect email, and directly message someone on Linkedin instead.

But we’re way past the internet era now. Web 3.0 is on the horizon and the pandemic has certainly accelerated global reliance on digital tools. This is the era where B2B social selling is really coming into its own, not just as a great sales method, but possibly as the future of sales! Gartner predicts that by next year (2025), 80% of B2B sales interactions will take place through digital channels

Whether browsing on LinkedIn, using a mobile app of your CRM, or implementing AI automation tools to track a buyer’s behavioral patterns, the remote-first era is upon us and B2B social selling is thriving.

Optimizing Lead Generation With Social Media

Research shows that a staggering 78% of salespeople engaged in social selling outperform their peers who don’t use social media. If you haven’t gotten started with B2B social selling yet, now’s the time…

Social media has emerged as a powerful resource for businesses and brands to generate leads and expand their customer base. Through paid promotions or authentic interactions, you can harness social media platforms to connect with fresh audiences and transform them into loyal customers. 

75% of sales reps use Facebook to find leads, followed by Instagram, Linkedin, and YouTube. It might sound strange, but this is where the buyers are. Social media is actually joint first (with referrals) for generating the highest quality leads for your business!

High quality leads come from referrals and social media
出典HubSpot

Social media revolutionizes lead generation by precisely targeting audiences based on their demographics, interests, likes, and online habits. LinkedIn and Facebook offer advanced audience breakdowns, helping you target specific customer demographics and those who are more likely to be interested in your product or service. This will help you refine leads and make them more suitable which should lead to increased conversion rates.

Compelling Content For Lead Generation

We all love a good story that gets us hooked, whether it’s a book, TV show, or film. Generating leads using social media is no different. Now we scroll through our phones on a regular basis and this is how businesses hook you in, through B2B influencers and videos that give you the urge to buy something. 

To make the most of B2B social selling, first and foremost you have to understand your audience. Once you’ve got your target market narrowed down, you need to address their needs and create content that they will enjoy.

Ideally, you want to educate them on their pain points, providing valuable content that keeps your target audience coming back. They will identify with the problems you speak of and begin to look at your brand as a valuable resource as well as a source of entertainment. Remember: most people scroll social media to get a break from work, so you don’t want to be overt in the way you try to sell. The key is to build a presence and establish yourself as an authority. 

A Case Study: US!

As an example, take a peek at how we demonstrated our meeting recorder to record a Dungeons and Dragons game…

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It was nothing to do with work or business, but people requested it. It was for fun. Because that’s why people go on TikTok.

It might not seem like an obvious marketing method, but you’d be surprised. A reference to our social channels comes up in at least 1/3 of all our calls with leads, and when asked, more than 50% of leads said they found us through our social channels.

"Our TikTok or Instagram videos come up in almost every first email we receive. It helps to break the ice and gives you an advantage over other products in your niche which is hard to replicate."

You can’t just go in willy nilly though. You always need a strategy.

Optimize, Track, and Analyze

Optimize your content; make sure it’s front and center of the most popular platforms and search engines to attract the best kind of traffic. Use relevant keywords and meta tags, and provide high-quality content to give real value to your audience. It’s all well and good creating compelling content, but if nobody sees it you have a problem. 

From here, you can organically engage with prospects. Respond to their comments on posts, have discussions on blogs, and get a better feeling for the type of person you’re dealing with and what kind of relationship you can build. 31% of B2B professionals believe they have built stronger relationships with clients through B2B social selling. Once you get started, it’s easy to see why!

If you track the content you put out using analytic tools, you can decipher what resonates with your prospects and what doesn’t. Try different campaigns, alter your strategy, and go again. The more you try, the more you learn.

This is also the place to streamline your workflows by using sales process automation. There are plenty of tools out there that you can use to do the heavy lifting for you when it comes to optimizing, tracking, and analyzing. You just set up the integrations and feed data to your chosen tool; they do the rest and present it in a way that makes your life easier. Just check out how GPT can be used for sales and apply it to B2B social sales. It’s mind-numbingly easy!

Building and Maintaining Engagement Through Social Platforms

Building and maintaining engagement on social media is another important process of B2B social selling. The key is to connect with your audience, share regular content, and respond quickly to feedback/any questions followers have. 

By having genuine conversations with potential customers, you’re going to strengthen relationships and build the foundations for a loyal base of followers. 76% of consumers have purchased a product they saw in a brand’s social media post. This is one of the best sales processes you can imagine for boosting sales in the modern age.

To build and maintain engagement through social media, you have to grab your customer with four key points:

  1. Make your content relevant. Make sure your content matches the latest trends and what your audience actually cares about. You have to understand what interests your potential customers and appeal to that.
  2. Provide value. If your content offers something valuable, it will attract the customer. That could be information, tips and tricks, or some form of entertainment. Make it re-watchable, shareable, and make sure your customer goes away with your product on their mind.
  3. Encourage engagement. By encouraging engagement like comments, likes, and shares, you stay relevant and talked about.
  4. Remain consistent. Keep up a regular posting schedule to stay on your audience’s radar. Consistency will breed trust and keep engagement with your product high.

Utilizing Various Social Media Channels

There are several social media channels to utilize for different processes of B2B social selling. Here’s a few…

フェイスブック

You can use Facebook to help connect you to potential leads, narrow down your criteria and database, and engage in discussions with potential clients. It’s a good idea to make a Facebook page and just interact and engage with followers and other businesses on Facebook till you’re blue in the face.

X (Twitter)

X, formerly known as Twitter, is a fantastic B2B social selling platform that can provide you real-time engagement with potential prospects and keep you updated with the latest news and marketing trends. It’s great to find industry-related news via the search of a hashtag and you can create blog posts and advertisements about your product that lure in the interactions. 

Specifically, you can create Twitter lists to keep an eye on specific content from different groups. Keep tabs on competitors, list any potential prospects, and check out your existing customer’s activity to see if you can gauge any valuable information to enhance your sales processes.

リンクトイン

LinkedIn is more of a formal business platform that helps you identify and reach out to businesses and their decision-makers to build a professional working relationship. However, LinkedIn is experimenting with short-form video content and is primed to become the ideal place for B2B social selling.

It’s a great place to share but also take in industry insights from leaders and specific case studies. Through LinkedIn Sales Nav you can out reach specifically and personalize your message to help generate the best leads and potential prospects. It’s ideal for networking in the B2B world.

ティックトック

Specializing in short video content, TikTok is a relatively new social media platform that is primarily used by the younger generation. This user base does not appreciate direct selling and will quickly glaze over ads or sponsored posts. However, they do appreciate fun or funny content. Social selling via TikTok can be challenging if you don’t know your target market, but extremely rewarding if you do.

インスタグラム

Instagram is a B2B social selling paradise for businesses. It has nearly two billion active monthly users, making it the perfect place to showcase your product or service. People love to shop, follow businesses, and interact with brands directly, through comments, hashtags, and posts.

See the business engagement statistics below and ask yourself if you want to be missing out on this wealth of leads…

Instgram stats for B2B social selling
Source: Instagram

Converting Social Engagement Into B2B Sales

Engaging on social media is a must if you’re looking to attract the right kind of attention and buzz around your product. Provide high-quality content on platforms like TikTok and Instagram that gets you talking to the people. Then work your magic and turn them into a full-paying customer. 

The real challenge is turning those likes and engagements into dollar signs. The best way to do this is to let your message be heard in the content that you’re putting out. Show your brand to the world with authenticity. You’re not trying to directly sell, just become a leading voice for your market. The trick really lies in getting the customers to come to you.

Engagement is one thing, but it’s important to utilize a call to action in your B2B social selling strategy. When you have your prospect’s attention through a direct message, a sign-up form, or a landing page, you can provide a clear idea of what the next steps will look like should they wish to proceed with the purchase. This increases your chances of converting followers into leads.

Nurturing Leads and Direct Messaging

When you’re on the cusp of converting followers into potential leads, it’s important to nurture them through the whole process and show them what the buyer’s journey is going to look like.

What you don’t want to do is get the prospect warmed up and then leave them to find their own way. The key is in directing them to the right place and people to push the conversion ahead. A warm lead is far more likely to sign up if they feel like the process is super easy and requires very little figuring out on their part.

One way to do this is to train your social media team in the art of sales, or vice versa. The more freedom your social sellers have, the more leads they can magnetize. After all, the prospect likely feels comfortable with the social seller. Suddenly being thrust towards somebody else can cause friction, though it’s not the end of the world so long as the process is seamless.

The Iterative Process of Social Selling

To put it simply, B2B social selling is an iterative process with several key steps. From engaging on social media, all the way to driving that conversion over the line, let’s take a look at twelve key points of the sales cycle:

  1. Listen and learn. Pay close attention to what your followers (and competitors) are saying on social media. This can be used to help you adjust your strategy.
  2. Build your brand. Provide lots of valuable information through content to show people you know your stuff and this is why they should listen to you.
  3. Talk to people. Engage with your target market by sharing and commenting on posts.
  4. Be helpful. Support and educate people wherever you can.
  5. Find people interested. Figure out who’s interested and who’s not.
  6. Provide solutions. Build your content around the solution to your primary leads’ specific problems.
  7. Strike a sale. Once a lead demonstrates significant interest, reach out and see if you can work out a deal.
  8. Request feedback. Ask for specific feedback on what can be improved and what works.
  9. Create followers. Get your customers to spread the word and create followers and fans of your product.
  10. Keep learning. Stay in the loop about market trends and customer feedback. You need to change things when necessary.
  11. Analyze and adjust. Regularly review what’s working for you and what’s not. You need to make specific changes based on these approaches and what you’ve learned.
  12. Improve your strategy. Use the feedback you get to tweak your tactics and make them more effective. Ensure you’re setting improvement goals and track your progress over time.

Measuring The Impact Of Social Selling on B2B Sales

Follow these crucial KPIs to keep track of your progression whilst leveraging B2B social selling.

  • Engagement rate. Keep track of your overall engagement from all of your content. Measure your likes, comments, shares, clicks, and views from your whole audience.
  • Click-through rate. CTR measures how many people on the whole platform have clicked on your page or a link on your story, compared to how many people have viewed your content. A high CTR score is what you’re aiming for as it shows that your content is engaging and drives traffic to your page. Keep an eye on this to know when your call-to-action needs more work.
  • Conversion rate. Your conversion rate is your biggest indicator to determine if your content is successful. The CR rate measures the percentage of people who convert from a follower into a customer after interacting with you on a social platform.
  • Inbound leads generated. Another metric to track to help determine if your strategy is effective is by measuring the number of leads you have picked up from social selling.
  • Content performance. Dissect your content and analyze how effective it is when contributing to selling efforts. Measure the CTR, time viewed, and engagement metrics for your post and alter your strategies based on the readings.

By monitoring these performance indicators, you can adjust your strategy when necessary and accurately track its success. This is critical for a successful social media campaign.

Social Selling: The Future of Sales

Social selling has been around for some years now, usually as a way to talk about building rapport online. However, B2B social selling has advanced into a new era with the rise of digital marketing. When leveraged well, it turns loyal followers into loyal customers. 

‘Content marketing’ and ‘social media’ are expected to be the most important sales channels in the coming years, adopted by 42.1% and 68.4% of businesses. It’s clear that B2B social selling isn’t going to slow down anytime soon, so what are you waiting for?

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