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Using Social Media For Executive To Drive Revenues

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A great content deck from Trap!T explaining why leaders of organizations should adopt social strategies to drive revenues.

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Using Social Media For Executive To Drive Revenues

  3. 3. WHY YOU SHOULD READ THIS GUIDE As the public faces of the companies they run, executives attract industry attention. The press loves them. Businesses seek them out for their knowledge and wisdom. Conference organizers ask them to speak on a regular basis. Social networks are another avenue for executives to share their expertise, build awareness about their companies, and humanize their brands. This guide documents a scalable process by which corporate executives can steadily build their social media influence and leverage it to increase their company’s revenue from social selling. 3
  4. 4. You might be thinking, “Umm… Most corporate executives aren’t salespeople. Why should, say, the VP of Human Resources care about social selling?” Remember that the goal of social selling is not to close deals by using social media, but rather, to build relationships with people who may become customers one day. To put it differently, social selling is when salespeople and executives build relationships using social networks with the end goal of increasing revenue. When the emphasis is on relationship building, it becomes apparent why corporate executives are poised to be ridiculously good social sellers. Reason #1: Trust For starters, corporate executives are accepted by customers as the human faces of their companies. Customers perceive executives as being more knowledgeable, and in turn, they will treat corporate leaders with less skepticism than they do sales reps. Reason #2: Influence Unique insights, drive relationships on social. By sharing their knowledge and expertise, executives will attract broad swaths of people. Many of the executive’s followers will include employees at target accounts, whom the sales team can convert into leads. Reason #3: Lead from the Top Companies thrive behind executives with strong visions. Right now, digital 4 WHY EXECUTIVES SHOULD CONTRIBUTE TO SOCIAL SELLING
  5. 5. x   Ready to get started? Let’s take a look at some ways that leaders can improve their social engagement. transformation is a top priority for companies of all sizes. If companies want to realize that transformation, they need executives who lead from the top and set an example that vibrates through the entire organization. Becoming active on social is a great way to be a visible champion of your company’s digital transformation. Reason #4: Company Promotion Executives have an inherent responsibility to represent and 5 WHY EXECUTIVES SHOULD CONTRIBUTE TO SOCIAL SELLING promote their companies –  regardless of what department they lead. Sales might not be an exec’s territory on the books. But all execs have expertise and knowledge to share that can help promote their companies. In Sum… An active social presence indicates that a leader is listening, open to engaging in a two-way conversation with customers, and comfortable with change. That’s why smart more and more smart execs are using social networks.
  6. 6. SETTING OBJECTIVES Having a social presence is not a goal in and of itself. It is a means to an end. It is a way of helping you achieve your professional goals – whatever those may be. To be successful, first determine what you want to achieve on social media. It might be helpful to divide your goals into short-term and long- term goals. On this page, you can find a few ideas for setting goals. Short-term goals Outline daily routines including time commitments and minimum activity levels such as: •  Posting at least a certain number of times (e.g. 1x daily on Linkedin and 5x daily on Twitter) •  Spend 15 minutes every day reading and responding to other people’s posts Long-term goals As an executive’s social presence matures, more aggressive goals can be set. For instance: •  You can set a goal for the number of followers you want to acquire over 6 or 12 months. •  Additionally, you can set goals for the number of leads that you pass to the sales team for follow-up. 6
  7. 7. HENRY NOTHHAFT’S TIPS FOR SUCCESS ON SOCIAL Over the course of eight months, Trapit’s CEO, Henry Nothhaft, grew his Twitter following by 1100% and his Twitter reach by 3900%. The best part: He didn’t spend a dime on advertising or promotion. Instead, he used Trapit to share relevant content, create a following, build awareness around the company, and generate sales leads. Here are a few of Henry’s tips – from one executive to another. 1. Be consistent: Post content to social networks regularly. Consider posting daily to LinkedIn and several times each day to Twitter. A 15-minute investment will pay dividends. 2. Don’t be boring: Curate only the most informative and interesting content that you can find. Make sure that your social sharing adds value to your social network. Give people a reason to follow you and engage with you. If you simply retweet already popular content or broadcast your company’s latest press releases, people will ignore you. And you won’t build your company’s brand or your professional brand. 3. Show your personality: Of course, you should share work- related content. That type of content should be the bulk of what you share. But it often helps to supplement business related content with content that is more personal. After all, as an executive on social, you want to humanize 7
  8. 8. HENRY NOTHHAFT’S TIPS FOR SUCCESS ON SOCIAL yourself and your company. And no one eats, sleeps, and lives their work. So, pick an interest or hobby and share about those topics now and again. 4. Acknowledge others: Mention people by using the @ symbol in front of their Twitter handle or in front of their name on LinkedIn. This is a great way to acknowledge a well-written article or a great podcast appearance. When done correctly, mentioning others can be a great conversation starter. 8
  9. 9. HENRY NOTHHAFT’S TIPS FOR SUCCESS ON SOCIAL 9 5. Interact with others’ posts: Social networks require interaction. If you only share content and don’t take time to react to what others post, you won’t be effective. If you’re strapped for time, favorite or like the posts you have read and enjoyed. Consider favoriting five to ten articles every day on LinkedIn and Twitter. This is an easy way to get social media users’ attention and start to build your social network. For posts that truly pique your interest, take the time to leave a comment. It’s a great way to demonstrate your expertise, as well as swap ideas with other thought leaders in your industry. 6. Minimize your workload: With tools like Trapit, you can automate tasks and schedule posts ahead of time. What’s more, busy execs don’t need to scavenge the internet, searching
  10. 10. MORE TIPS FROM TRAPIT’S CEO for the best content on the web. Trapit helps marketing managers select content especially for executives. That way, their social profiles are always fresh with content. If you have an executive assistant, you may want to rely on your assistant’s help to maintain your social presence and to pass potential leads to the sales team (more on this on page 13). 7. Don’t forget nights and weekends: Many people check social media at night and on weekends. By scheduling posts during off-hours, you can boost your engagement. But be cognizant of what people do when they’re not at the office. At 10pm on a Thursday evening, most social media users aren’t looking for a dense white paper to read. Instead, consider sharing content related to your interests or something that is easy to digest – like an infographic or SlideShare presentation. 10 8. Find the right content mix: Social media experts recommend that 80% of the content shared by employees come from third parties (other people’s blogs, industry news, interesting articles, reports, etc.). The other 20% should come from the employee’s company. As an exec on social, your primary goal is to serve your followers and customers. If you share only your company’s content, you lose credibility with your followers. They don’t want to engage with corporate parrots.
  11. 11. SCORECARD: CONTENT CURATION 11 CRITERIA GRADE Are you following the 80/20 rule? Best practices indicate that 80% of your content should come from third-party sources and 20% from your company. Don’t be a corporate parrot. A B C D F   Are you recommending content based on your audience’s needs and interests? A B C D F   Are you curating content from a variety of sources that your audience has not already seen? To attract an audience, you should share content that hasn’t made the rounds on social. A B C D F   Are you adding context and/or your opinion about the topic? In other words, are you doing more than sharing the title of the blog posts? Doing so will help you stand out. A B C D F   Are your social media updates written to stand out visually? For example, do they include images? A B C D F   Are you curating content on a regular basis (e.g. daily on LinkedIn and 5-10x per day on Twitter)? A B C D F   Are your updates written for each social network? For example, do you avoid using hashtags on LinkedIn because LinkedIn doesn’t support hashtags? A B C D F   A = Outstanding, B = Solid, C = Average, D = Mediocre, F = Failing Simply put, content curation is the selection and presentation of content. Are you finding articles that your viewers want to read? Are you writing different posts for each social network? Use the scorecard below to evaluate your performance.
  12. 12. Determine objectives and how to measure success Set up and/or enhance social media profiles. (See appendices at the back of this guide.) Identify which traps in Trapit you will use, or arrange for a curator to build and manage appropriate traps for you. Decide whether you can split your responsibilities with an assistant. PREPARING FOR SOCIAL Before you start posting to social networks, lay the foundation for success by completing the following checklist. Discuss the company’s social media guidelines with the marketing team Establish “no-fly” zones (e.g. religious and political viewpoints, which may not be appropriate unless you work for a religious or political organization). Create a list of topics that each exec wants to discuss on social. Identify the right mix of third-party and company- created content. Define and select the social networks that you will use. Identify the right topics and tone for each network. 12
  13. 13. LEVERAGING EXECUTIVE SOCIAL FOLLOWERS FOR B2B SALES Every company has several executives who attract large numbers of social media followers. By choosing to follow the executive, these people have expressed interest in your company, and they can be a lucrative resource for your sales team. But how do you harness the power of an executive’s social followers and turn them into sales opportunities? The right approach can lead to highly engaged social interactions with prospects. Here are our recommended best practices for handling the follower of an executive: 1. Have someone in marketing actively monitor the new social media followers of your company’s executives. Whenever a new follower fits your target profile, the marketing department should pass the company name and the follower’s name to your sales team. 2. Each new follower is assigned to a rep in the company’s CRM. The sales rep uses LinkedIn and Twitter to research the new follower, the company, and the employees at that company. The rep should try to locate the most senior decision maker at that company. It might help to create an organization chart. 13 Let’s say that your team sells to marketers. They’d want to locate the most senior members of the marketing team who are socially active.
  14. 14. 3. Your sales rep begins to engage with the most socially active of the decision makers by reading their posts, understanding their interests, and liking, sharing, and commenting on their posts where appropriate. 4. Your sales rep uses traps in Trapit to find content that matches the decision maker’s interests. Then, the sales rep shares that content in a way that catches the decision maker’s attention. For example, they might want to post the link in a comment responding to one of the decision maker’s posts. 5. Once your sales rep has gained credibility, the sales rep reaches out to the decision maker directly via phone, email, or direct message on social media. The sales rep highlights common ground, possibly noting any relevant social engagements and connections. The sales rep should ask the decision maker for a referral to someone else in the company. After all, the most socially active decision maker may not be the person who’s responsible for early-stage vendor evaluations. 14 6. The sales rep reaches out to the referral, noting that they were referred by the target company’s decision maker. 7. The sales rep logs all activity in CRM, including social engagements with the company’s executive, their interactions with the target company’s decision maker, calls, and emails. LEVERAGING EXECUTIVE SOCIAL FOLLOWERS FOR B2B SALES
  15. 15. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? After reviewing this short guide, we hope that building a strong social presence seems more manageable and that you’ve identified a workflow that will convert followers into sales opportunities. With time, your company’s workflow will become second nature, and you will have a better understanding of what works for your executives, your sales team, and your buyers. Good luck! 15
  17. 17. LINKEDIN PROFILE TIPS Your LinkedIn profile is important. Just as you research people using LinkedIn, so too do your buyers research you. Here are a few tips to get the most out of your profile. Photo Include a professional photo of yourself. Profiles with photos receive a 40% higher InMail response rate because people like to see to whom they’re speaking. Headline The text underneath your name is your headline. After your photo, it’s the first thing people see when looking at your profile. Many people use their job title as their headline, but don’t follow the crowd. Be different. Explain how you help your clients (e.g. “Helping financial services organizations transform their hiring practices”). Bonus tip: Use keywords that your buyers may search for. Customize your URL Each profile has a has a public URL (a.k.a. web address). By creating a custom URL, people can find you more easily when they use search engines. Plus, your URL looks great on a business card. Here’s an example from Trapit’s CEO: http://www.linkedin.com/in/ hnothhaft Need help? Check out this resource from LinkedIn. 17
  18. 18. LINKEDIN PROFILE TIPS Spend time on your summary After your photo and headline, your summary (a.k.a. your bio) is the most commonly read portion of your profile. Use this area to tell your story to your customers– not a hiring manager. Your buyer doesn’t care about your management style. Instead, your buyer wants to know how you can add value and what insights you can offer. Focus on those questions. Add your contact information Once you connect with a prospect or colleague, you’ll want to make it easy for them to contact you. Add your company email address and phone number. And don’t worry about spammers. Your contact information is visible only to your connections. Add links and rich media to your profile Your marketing department has created fantastic content for you. Make your LinkedIn profile one more place where potential customers can access and download ebooks, presentations, and success stories. Upload files from your computer or link to them. 18
  19. 19. REQUESTING CONNECTIONS To build your professional network on LinkedIn, you have to send connection requests. If you’re not careful, LinkedIn will send a generic request that reads, “I’d like to add you to my professional network.” Unfortunately, the default message fails to offer context, and some people refuse to accept connection requests that use the generic message. So, take the time to send a personalized message to the members of your network. 19
  20. 20. LINKEDIN UPDATES VS. PUBLISHING POSTS On LinkedIn’s homepage, you have a few options. Two of them throw people for a loop: “Share an update” or “Publish a post.” “Share an update” is for when you want to write simple, short messages. For example, you want to share a link and a few comments about that link. “Publish a post” is for longer updates – a couple of paragraphs. Think of this option like a blog post. Quick tip: Educational (“How to”) and thought-provoking articles typically go over well as LinkedIn updates. When you share a link, try to add some context. Tell your connections why you are sharing the link. Do you love the article? Say that. Is there a quote from the article that you love? Copy and paste it. Do you want to see if your followers agree with the link? Ask them. Did the article make you think of someone? Tag that person in your update. A WORD ON UPDATES 20
  21. 21. SAMPLE LINKEDIN UPDATES 21 If your company has a formal social selling program, your marketing team will pass sample messages to you. But in case you want to try your hand at writing your own updates, here are a few examples. EXAMPLE #1: SHARE A QUOTE FROM THE ARTICLE:
  25. 25. WHY TWITTER? Before we jump into using Twitter, it’s worth mentioning why Twitter is important for social selling. Often times, people believe that LinkedIn is the only appropriate network, and that’s simply not the case. For buyers who are regular Twitter users, Twitter will be a better way to engage with them than LinkedIn. Connecting is easy On LinkedIn, you have to send connection requests. Twitter removes the hoops. With Twitter, potential customers simply have to click on the “Follow” button and presto! your tweets appear in their timeline. Heck, potential customers don’t even need to hit the “Follow” button. Once they locate you on Twitter, they can immediately see your thought leadership updates. Well-rounded people Since LinkedIn is the professional network of record, people tend to present a buttoned-up image of themselves. Twitter, on the other hand, doesn’t have the same professional expectations. So, people aren’t afraid to show off different facets of their personality when they use the network. People discuss everything from industry news, to their hobbies, to their daily musings, and pop culture. Buyers like to know these tidbits about you. They help humanize your brand and build deeper relationships with your customers. 25
  26. 26. WHY TWITTER? The hashtag Twitter has a built-in conversation finder. It’s called the hashtag. For instance, there are countless tweets about #SocialSelling every day. By using hashtags, you can make yourself known. People can find your tweets and jump into conversations with you. Likewise, you can see who’s using hashtags about your industry and strike up conversations with them. Twitter users are more active Pew’s research suggests that you’ll have an easier time reaching your buyers who are Twitter users– compared to your buyers who are LinkedIn users. Why’s that? Compared to LinkedIn users, Twitter users log in more frequently, making it more likely that they will see one of your tweets and interact with you. The need for news Twitter users love the news. As a salesperson, you can become the go-to resource when it comes to your industry. Routinely sharing relevant pieces about your industry will make other people notice you. 26
  27. 27. TWITTER PROFILE TIPS Your Twitter profile is important. People use your profile to determine whether they want to engage with you. Here are a few tips to get the most out of your profile. Username Remember that you are creating this Twitter account to engage buyers. Names like “CoffeeLuvr79” aren’t going to cut it. It’s usually best to use your name (or some variation thereof). Photo Include a professional photo of yourself. But keep in mind that Twitter is more laid back than LinkedIn. Your rigid corporate headshot may not be appropriate. Bio Twitter gives us 160 characters for our biographies. That doesn’t give us much space to capture someone’s attention and gain trust. Here’s a simple formula you can use: VP at @CompanyName. I love [2-3 nouns]. I tweet about [2-3 topics you tweet about – Use hashtags when appropriate]. By listing the things you love, you humanize yourself for your buyers, and by listing what you tweet about, you establish your expertise. Moreover, you create a pact with your followers. If they follow you, they will get info on the topics mentioned in your bio. 27
  28. 28. TWITTER PROFILE TIPS Header image This is a background photo that sits behind your profile picture. Some sellers chose to use a company logo (usually provided by their marketing team). Others choose to be creative and share an image that expresses their personality or indicates their geographic location. Website Twitter allows you to include a URL (i.e. public address). Often times, sellers will link to the company website. Other times, sellers choose to link to their LinkedIn profile. Either one works. Not sure what a good Twitter profile looks like? On the next page, you can see a screenshot of a Twitter bio. It’s from Trapit’s CEO, Henry Nothhaft. Through imagery and 160 characters, he gives you a pretty good impression of who he is, don’t you think? 28
  30. 30. THE BASICS OF TWEETING Twitter is the virtual water cooler. It’s a powerful tool for researching your buyers and building rapport with them. That said, Twitter can be somewhat confusing at first. So, let’s cover some of the basics. Consistency Because Twitter is fast-paced, it is important to tweet regularly. Without regular posts, your tweets get pushed down your followers’ stream by more recent tweets. Don’t worry. You don’t have to spend your entire day tweeting. Take a few minutes to schedule tweets using the social selling tool that your company has provided. Be concise You have 140 characters on Twitter, but usually, you don’t want to take up all 140 characters. Research has shown that the ideal length is between 100 and 130 characters. Use hashtags These symbols have become synonymous with Twitter, and they are used to categorize tweets by topic, making it easier for users to find your tweets. Ask your social selling leader for a list of hashtags that are commonly used in your industry. But don’t go overboard. Try to use only one or two hashtags per tweet. 30
  31. 31. THE BASICS OF TWEETING Include the user handle If you’re sharing a quote, stat, or article from a brand or user, be sure to include the user’s handle in the tweet. This increases the likelihood of them seeing your tweet and retweeting it to their own audience. The more your tweets are shared, the more following you’ll gain, and the more your message will spread. 31
  33. 33. A FEW WORDS ON FACEBOOK With over 1 billion active users, Facebook is one of the largest social networks. It is also one of the most personal social networks. Typically, people use Facebook to connect with their friends and family – not their business contacts. Nevertheless, in some industries like Financial Services, some people rely heavily on Facebook to engage with their clients. So, here are a few tips for engaging with people on Facebook. Understand the Difference between a Company Page and a Personal Profile A Facebook Profile is a personal account. When you sign up for Facebook, you get a Profile. This is a place where you can add friends and family members, communicate on a personal level, and share photos. A Facebook Page is a business account that represents a company or an organization. Let’s say that you are an insurance broker-dealer. You have a few options. You could create a business page for your office and communicate with your customers through the page. But if you’d like a more personal feeling to your interactions with your clients, you can use your Facebook Profile and ask your clients to “friend” you or “follow” you. On the next page, we’ll look at a Facebook Page and a Facebook Profile. 33
  34. 34. A FEW WORDS ON FACEBOOK 34 Joe Pulizzi uses his Profile to connect with people in the marketing community. Joe Pulizzi’s company, Content Marketing Institute, also has its own business page. A PERSONAL PROFILE A COMPANY PAGE
  35. 35. Share Visual Content When sharing content to Facebook, include photos, videos, and infographics. Those types of content resonate well with Facebook users. Don’t Go Overboard Be warned: If you flood your followers’ feeds with posts, they may unfollow. No one likes to be bombarded on Facebook. So, best practices say that you should post between one and two times per day. A FEW WORDS ON FACEBOOK Segment Your Friends via Facebook Lists If you decide to use your personal Facebook Profile as a way of communicating with your customers, consider using Facebook lists to organize your friends into groups. You might have one list for your friends, another for your family, and yet another for your clients. That way, you can choose the right audience for your Facebook posts. Insurance-related updates can go to your clients, and photos of your kids can be seen by your friends and family. 35
  36. 36. 36 VISIT US AT TRAP.IT Trapit increases sales revenue and brand reach by making it ridiculously easy for executives, salespeople, and employees to engage in social selling and employee advocacy. Built on proprietary artificial intelligence, Trapit enables users to share content that delivers value at every stage of the buyer’s journey. Our platform flattens barriers to adoption of social networks, scales quickly, and provides detailed reporting for sales managers and content planners. Trapit’s customers include Microsoft, UL, and New York Life.