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Marketing & Tech
Using your Social Media Channels to Engage Prospects
Oct 12, 2017 | Canadian Professional Sales Association lock

Using your social media channels to engage your prospects is one of the most important aspects of social selling. You might be on the same networks as them, but if they see no reason to engage with you then your presence there is doing little to help you make a sale.

Here’s how to use your social media channels to engage prospects.

General Strategies

  • Don’t just sell. Whatever you do, don’t just post about your company and product. Yes, you’ll want to share product news, information and deals from time to time. But leave the majority of this to your company’s official profile, not yours.
  • Know your prospects and keep it relevant. So, if you’re not just posting about your company or product, what should you post about? Well, people only engage with content that is of interest to them. Ideally you, or your marketing department, will have created a customer persona which identifies what your target customer is like and what they are interested in. If you know that your target customer is a woman in her early 30s, who is married with one child and enjoys reading about healthy lifestyles, nutrition tips and home decor, then share third party content about these things, even if it doesn’t directly relate to your product.
  • Pay attention to your personal brand. Not only should everything you share be appealing to your prospects, it also needs to help develop your personal brand that will position you as an influencer; as a thought-leader in your space in the market. Prospects will engage with you if they think you are knowledgeable and if following you on social media will add value. So before you post, ask yourself: is this content current? Does it add value to my prospects? Does it show me at the cutting edge of my field?
  • Optimize your profiles. For any channel you are on, make sure your profile is complete and optimized to convey your personal brand. Incomplete profile are not only a missed opportunity to sell yourself, they also make you appear untrustworthy or fake. With so many bots around, this is not something you want to happen.
  • Use a variety of content types. Don’t just stick to one post such as text or links. To engage prospects your feed needs to stand out. So make use of a mix of different posts types: links to blog posts, images, video, live stream and keep it fresh and exciting. Hopefully you will have a marketing department that can provide you with some of this content but if not there are lots of awesome digital tools that you can use for content creation as well as software and apps that will help you source specific third party content that your prospects will love.
  • Interact with commenters. There’s no better way to encourage people to engage with you than to be seen as someone who interacts with those who do. Set aside time in your calendar to go back and like, share or reply to comments on your own output. This not only shows you are active and worthy of interaction but the more interaction you achieve on a post, the greater the reach it will have to a wider audience.
  • Be active and jump on trends. Importantly, if you want to engage your prospects you need to be active on the channels where you have profiles. People won’t see much value in following a person who never posts anything, so make sure you are posting regularly. Being active on social media will also allow you to see what’s trending and allow you to jump on those trending hashtags or memes that appeal to your prospects.

Channel Specific Strategies

  • LinkedIn
    • Join the groups where your prospects are members and make insightful, non-salesy posts there to catch their attention. You’ll also be able to send an InMail to a prospect who is in the same group as you.
    • Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator for their advanced prospecting features. You’ll get get relevant insights on your accounts and leads, including job changes that will help you keep your posts and messages relevant.
    • See more about creating a successful LinkedIn strategy here.
  • Facebook
    • Image and video both perform really well on Facebook but Facebook Live is especially popular right now. Use live stream to give your prospects an insider look at your company. For example, try going live with product developers explaining a new update or with a happy customer who’s giving a testimonial. Let people know in advance when you will be live if you can.
    • Ask questions. If you want people to engage, ask them to give their opinion or thoughts in the comments about a specific issue or article you are posting about.
    • Use humour. Social media is more informal than other channels, so don’t be afraid to get a little witty (as long as it’s appropriate), especially in photo captions.
  • Twitter
    • It’s really important to use appropriate hashtags to get your content seen. But 2-3 is the maximum. Any more is overkill and actually has a negative impact.
    • Similarly, mention people in your posts using their Twitter handle to reach a wider audience and get them to retweet.
    • Create a private Twitter list of your prospects so you can hone in on what they are tweeting about and then like, retweet or reply to them as appropriate. The more you engage with them, the more likely they are to engage with you back (as long as you add value).
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