It’s easy to have a love-hate relationship with social media especially when you’re on the platforms for business reasons and not just catching up with old high school friends and long lost family. Social selling in particular is touted as a legitimate tactic for driving leads but if you’ve ever tried to follow the strategies, it can be daunting, time consuming, and doesn’t happen overnight.

However with the right approach, it actually does work. Here are three important strategies for business success on social media:

Engage Smartly for Demand Generation on Social Media

Like any other marketing strategy, the beginning is the end. Without fully understanding what you want to accomplish, you’ll end up picking a random starting point that may or may not deliver the ROI you want. Look at your existing customers and analyze which social media platforms the decision makers are using:

  • Which social networks are they actively engaged on?
  • What types of conversations are they involved in or contributing to?
  • Which publications are they reading (and sharing)?

Know Which State of Social Media You’re In

Many SMBs struggle with social media because they want instant gratification and ROI from the get-go. That’s simply not a reality on social platforms so changing your point of view will help garner success. There are actually three stages everyone passes through before the ROI is tangible and it takes time. When it comes to social selling, patience and consistency are your best friends in the beginning. Start with plain ol’ activity and post regularly. Second, find your audience and connect and engage with them. Finally, if you stick with it, just like in-person networking, connections turn into sales.

Execute These Three Social Media Strategies (Consistently)

Social media is a powerful tool for sales but there are specific activities that must be done on a regular basis to get the most out of it – especially when driving demand is your goal:

Social listening – what are your customers and prospects saying on social? Are they having conversations about your products and solutions? Are they sending buying signals such as asking for recommendations? Are they talking negatively about your competition?

Sharing content – the content you post has to be relevant and engaging to your audience, but yours isn’t the only content worth reading or looking at. Find interesting posts and articles socialized by others then add your two-cents about why you like it and share…share…share!

Self promote – self-promotion is a great way to drive awareness for your products and/or services but nobody likes a business that talks solely about their brand. The best ratio for social posting to get the right mix of content is roughly a 70/30 split. Try to aim for 70% posting content (preferably thought leadership) from other credible sources and 30% your own content with a mixture of blogs, e-books, videos, and company culture.

If you’ve tried social media for demand generation and haven’t gained the traction you want or expect, you’re not alone. Many – many businesses, especially small to medium sized organizations give up before they have the pleasure of realizing success. If you’re just staring out or trying to get back in the social game, make consistency your priority and follow these steps to capture the ROI you want.

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