Selling With Social Media – Case Study

This article is part of a case study on our strategy for B2B selling with social media. The series is published in our Front Office Box blog. In the series we’re discussing how we evaluated the opportunities, and the threats, arising from the explosion in new publishing tools, decided we had to be involved, and then developed a strategy for exploiting the first and avoiding the second

Our Sales Strategy for Social Media – So Far

by stevensreeves

in Sales Strategies and Tactics

Our business needs a sales strategy for social media. We decided yesterday. Now the hard work of defining what that strategy should be. Which media should we use for what content, and or engagement, and how often. Should we publish, or monitor and converse? Should we be proactive or reactive? How much time should we commit, and how will we know when what we’re doing is working and when it isn’t.

Given what’s going on with social media it’s likely everybody with a need to generate revenues is struggling with the same questions. That’s why we decided to start a conversation on the subject. This is our third post in as many days, building a series which explains how we’re working our way through the challenge.

What do you think? Are you doing the same thing? How are you going about it?

Elsewhere we’ve discussed a lot about sales strategies. It’s a pet subject, because we like winning sales and hate losing to somebody else. We also have an aversion to wasting time. So all up our philosophy is do the thinking up front and then change the approach to improve results.

There are examples of social media based sales strategy we can learn something from. Unfortunately they all seem to sell into the social media space – people who already get the idea and want to build their own businesses in the same way. We have three lines of business, none of which is like that.

Our Front Office Box business provides software to help the smaller businesses organise and operate more efficiently. It’s like an address book, a planning tool, and review process rolled into a single simple application. Most small business owner managers don’t spend their time watching the Twitter stream. They’re too busy satisfying customers and winning new ones.

Our Discovering The Highlands business is more typical but still not the same.

Avantrasara is mostly about exploiting intellectual property developed by scientists in research projects funded by the EU under Framework Programme 7 – FP7.

More complex than any sane person would choose, this mixture requires us to have a common approach to small business owners, tourists and scientists. Otherwise we’ll run out of time, and money. None of these are watching the web to spot ways of making money on the Internet. But in different ways they’re all using the same stuff.

Maybe we can subdivide into categories the people we want to connect with, based on their involvement with social media? Perhaps that will help us figure out a publish and engage model which works across the lines of business? That’s our starting point. Understand how people use our common facility and what that says about them. And how we can get their interest.

The categories we’ve chosen are these:

Content consumers

People who use simple Search to find the information they need. Just about everybody has a foot in this category. They don’t talk, just listen.

Network Wallflowers

Joiners and watchers, available to talk but not active.

Power Networkers

Mostly selling something, these people push themselves forward. They’re open for business offers but don’t contribute a lot.

Content Creators

The drivers of the Internet, these people self promote and don’t mind others doing the same.

We’re happy with this part of the strategy definition. The next question in what we do with it – Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, Blogs, Forums, Questions and Answers sites?

That’s the next article, when we’ve done the thinking.

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