The B2B Sales Rep’s Guide to Facebook

facebookIt’s no secret that social selling can have a huge impact on a B2B organization’s bottom line. In fact, sales reps who leverage social selling are 79% more likely to attain their quota than those who do not (source).

However, as impressive as this looks, B2B sales reps have been slow to adopt social media as an important sales tool. One study reported only 31% of sales reps use social media in their day-to-day sales process (source).

So, what’s the hold up? For many, this hesitation stems from a lack of knowledge; more specifically, they just aren’t sure where to place their efforts – and for good reason. The truth is, not all social platforms will present a sales rep with the same opportunities. To drive results, you must adapt your strategy to each, individual platform.

In a recent post, we walked you through the basics of using Twitter as a sales tool. Today, we’re focusing our attention on one of the more controversial platforms – Facebook.

The Trouble with Facebook

Facebook’s usefulness as a social selling tool is often a subject of heated debate – and probably for good reason. Take a second to consider how we utilize Facebook in our everyday lives; are your connections and interactions primarily for business, or for pleasure?

Since its inception, Facebook has been considered the most “personal” of all the social platforms, primarily utilized for maintaining relationships with people you already know, like your friends and family. This stark comparison to more professionally driven sites like LinkedIn, make it difficult for sales reps to Integrate the platform into their sales stack.

However, boasting nearly 1 billion monthly, active users, the potential there; it’s just all in how you use it.

In today’s post, we outline some best practices for using Facebook as a social selling tool. Keep reading.

1. Clean up your profile:

Let’s face it, if you’re not already using Facebook professionally, it might contain unprofessional posts. Remember, when you engage in social selling, your profile becomes an extension of your professional persona and ultimately, a representation of your organization.

To save yourself and your company from embarrassment, take the time to clean up your profile. It’s okay for your personality to still shine through, but consider deleting posts that prospects may find distasteful or offensive.

2. Monitor your B2B brand’s page:

One simple way to begin selling through Facebook is to simply monitor your brand’s Facebook page. Most likely, your marketing team has cultivated a strategy to engage prospects and customers.

Don’t be afraid to jump in on the conversation! Did they ask a question? Provide them with an answer. Are they looking for more information? Direct them to the answer! Remember, social selling is all about building relationships with your prospects, not closing a deal. The more helpful and engaging you are, the more people will trust your opinions and advice.

3. Create a content strategy:

The key to successful social selling is your ability to share relevant content with your audience, at exactly the right time. For optimal results on Facebook, be sure to develop a strategic content plan, prior to posting! Here are a few tips for a content strategy that wins on Facebook:

Understand your audience- Like any selling strategy, you won’t find success if you don’t truly understand who you are trying to sell to. Consult your marketing team to see if they’ve developed buyer personas—or profiles of your best buyers. Tailor your post to speak to these profiles—does your content solve a common problem? Does it use language they’re familiar with? Personalize your posts to your buyer personas for the most success.

Listen for inspiration- While monitoring your brands page, pay attention to the posts that get the most engagement. Does branded material get the biggest response, or do they prefer posts relating to your company’s culture? Find out what works best, and then mimic it in your own endeavors. Additionally, consider checking in on what seems to work best for your competitors.

Be visual- Studies show that Facebook posts with a visual element tend to perform best. In fact, photos on Facebook Pages received 53% more likes than the average post (source). Whether you’re sharing a link, or just providing an update on your day, be sure you include a visual element such as a picture, video, emoji, or infographic.

Keep it short and sweet- A recent study indicated that posts with 80 characters or fewer received 66% higher engagement (source). Facebook users aren’t looking to read a novel, so keep your posts short and to the point.

Properly punctuate- As crazy as it sounds, engagement rates are known to improve when certain punctuation is used. For instance, did you know that posts with question marks perform 23% better? Additionally, hashtags garner 60% more interaction, while exclamation marks can improve engagement by 2.7% (source).

Be authentic- The more authentic your posts read, the more likely your audience is to engage with you. Avoid using a “salesy” tone; save your sales pitch and skip the industry jargon. As cliché as it sounds, just be yourself.

Establish a cadence- When it comes to Facebook posts, quality always beats quantity. To avoid annoying your prospects, establish a strategic posting cadence. To stay safe, we recommend posting 1-2 times a day.

Analyze and refine- Chances are, your content strategy won’t knock it out of the park on your first try. To improve upon your efforts, take the time to analyze what works and what doesn’t. Then, fine tune your plan to scale success.

4. Create a business page for your personal brand:

If you’re worried about using your personal profile for business, create a business profile for yourself. This strategy will allow you to maintain the separation between your personal and professional personas, and mitigates the risk of appearing unprofessional.

Business pages provide users with access to Facebook analytics, which offer a great deal of valuable information regarding not only your performance, but also your audience. This information can help improve nearly every aspect of your social selling strategy, and can ensure the efficiency and efficacy of your efforts.

When creating your page, be sure you give your audience an authentic indication of who you are; be sure to include a thorough introduction, your mission is, who you work for, and how you can be of service. Most importantly include your contact information in a way that’s easily accessible to all visitors.

Be sure to follow along with any branding best practices and content guidelines that your organization has in place.

The bottom line

To put it simply, Facebook isn’t going anywhere; instead of ignoring its presence, leverage it to your advantage. With the right strategy in place, Facebook could prove to be a vital component to your B2B sales stack.

For more information about B2B sales and marketing, contact ZoomInfo today.

Or, join us at the 2017 Growth Acceleration Summit.  A two-day conference where B2B professionals come to network, learn, and obtain the tools needed to successfully grow and reach new heights. Use promo code BLOG2017 for a 10% discount. 

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