Why an “Hour a Day” Doesn’t Work on Social Media

You’re consistent. Diligent. You spend your hour a day on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ or Twitter. And then you get back to something that might actually generate a lead or sale. Like cold-calling. You know, that “dead” strategy that is difficult these days—yet still gets you paid!

You’re consistent. Diligent. You spend your hour a day on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ or Twitter. And then you get back to something that might actually generate a lead or sale. Like cold-calling. You know, that “dead” strategy that is difficult these days—yet still gets you paid!

Being consistent with social media is not working.

For most of us, there are too few leads coming from being diligent. So why, then, do you continue to post updates, share content, re-tweet?

Maybe you still believe in LinkedIn or Twitter and realize success (at anything) requires diligence. That’s true. Good for you. Or maybe because your boss expects you to—and you continue despite the lack of outcomes.

Despite having a reliable process. This process.

Having a Process Always Gets You Paid
Can’t find time for social? Don’t want to invest time because of lack of results? Your process is wrong. Stop focusing on being consistent. Instead, get a few small results, then build on them.

Be diligent. Be consistent. Most of all, be sure you have a chance at getting early results that you can build on.

Let’s be honest. Getting early results is all that matters. This isn’t about doing things to feel accomplished or satisfy management. Time investments on social media should pay you in these terms:

  • more appointments in less time
  • moving through your prospecting list faster
  • leaving fewer voicemails
  • less time asking for demos—more time giving demos to pre-vetted leads

How can you get these kinds of early results? Follow a proven, effective system.

  1. Attract Attention by saying something bold, new.
  2. Spark Curiosity in what you have to say by holding back details.
  3. Provoke Response by using words that trigger immediate reactions.

The Process Must Make Sense to You
Don’t just follow a system blindly. Make sure YOU believe in the system. Most of all, make sure the approach you use has a high probability of paying off—producing want you want in the near-term.

“In general I like the approach you are recommending, Jeff, because it really makes sense and its something I can relate to and believe in,” says IBM Digital Sales’s Johan Hoffert.

In fact, in a matter of a few days Hoffert tested this approach on a non-responsive prospect he was struggling to reach. He turned it into a lead. What changed his luck? Process, not diligence.

Beware: If it feels like a waste of time it is. Trust your instincts.

You’re an Idiot, but I Have a Cure for That
“When was the last time you bought something from someone who said, ‘You’re an idiot, but I have a cure for that?” asks Bruce Johnston, a respected provider of outsourced LinkedIn lead generation services.

Johnston is concerned with many social selling experts and trainers—their approach to helping reps who need guidance in this area.

“Underestimating your customers’ intelligence and using a fear based approach rubs me the wrong way,” says Johnston who blogs at www.practicalsmm.com.

In a recent email exchange, Johnston told me the message he tries to get across respects his customers and tones down the revolutionary hyperbole. Specifically, social selling, when combined with what you are doing now, is a sales accelerant.

“What many of these ‘experts’ are doing is pushing an ‘if you are not doing social you are a Luddite’ point of view,” says Bruce Johnston. It’s time to tune them out!

What Sellers Need to Know—Versus What They Want to Hear
The truth is this “hour a day” idea is a lie. It’s an excuse to be lazy. The act of “sharing valuable content” with customers is not effective. These ideas are what we want to hear—not what we need to know.

It’s natural for us to want shortcuts. But when you’re a front line seller you can’t afford to waste time. And if you manage a team of sellers you had better pay attention!

“The experts” all agree: Diligent use of social media is the key. An hour a day.

But they’re wrong. Dead wrong.

Evolution, not Revolution
Can you generate leads by regurgitating information (“sharing valuable content”) and Liking prospects’ posts in an hour a day? Is this a revolutionary idea? No and no.

Success is rooted in sales fundamentals—not digital time-wasters coming from people who have never actually sold a B2B product or service!

Your/your team’s success depends on evolving to use what we already know works with the new tools. It sounds trite, obvious. But most organizations have yet to put the obvious to work for sellers. Now you have the key … the process. Good luck!

Sales: That’s How Social Media Beats ‘Big Data’

The truth is your target market probably has five big objections you must overcome to win them over—to earn a new customer relationship or grow an account. If you’re a smart marketer (and I know you are) you’ve got to ask yourself: How will this new “big data” trend help me overcome these objections and sell more, more often? Can big data help you get the job done? Should you invest in it with this expectation?

The truth is your target market probably has five big objections you must overcome to win them over—to earn a new customer relationship or grow an account. If you’re a smart marketer (and I know you are) you’ve got to ask yourself: How will this new “big data” trend help me overcome these objections and sell more, more often?

Can big data help you get the job done? Should you invest in it with this expectation?

I’ve been the biggest social media skeptic I know. Yet, I’m living proof: Social media has the power to help a B-to-B brand create leads and sales like few other sales or marketing tools can—even better than big data which, at its core, amounts to educated guessing. I dare say the rush toward big data sometimes feels like another solution looking for a problem!

Social Rocks at Overcoming Objections of Customers
At risk of bursting your big data bubble … your customers likely have the below objections and your butt is on the line to get more prospects past them. Your prospective customer does not:

  • Understand your thing (product or service)
  • Want to value your thing
  • Believe YOU—that your thing will do what you claim
  • Think they can actually DO what you want them to take action on (use your thing to create the needed result)
  • Feel like they can afford it

What’s the common element that could solve the above problem? What’s the killer ingredient that changes everything for your prospect?

Confidence.

Confidence + Trust = Leads
The key to effective B-to-B selling has always been helping customers believe, not in the product, but in themselves—so much that they pull the trigger and buy. Social marketing offers powerful tools to:

  1. create irresistible curiosity in your product or service;
  2. help customers get confident—help them feel like they CAN get what they want, on time, without any heads rolling and even with a sense of joy and accomplishment.

Even more exciting, once customers believe in themselves, they trust the source of that confidence. That source can and should be you.

This is where a social selling expert not only shines but brings home the bacon!

Hire Social Selling Experts
Bottom line: What’s being called big data is a lot of hype, in my opinion. We’ve seen it before in the rise of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), for instance. The mad rush into ERP investment has been a huge bust for many businesses. The rush toward big data is dangerously similar. B-to-B marketers have many big data challenges to overcome—from privacy to the idea itself being proven out more substantially.

So you’ve got to ask yourself, “Where should we be investing precious budget dollars?”

If you’re a social media or content marketing believer like me, it’s probably time to do battle with big data. How?

Focus on leads and sales. Hire and/or become a social selling expert. Prove that combining LinkedIn with blogging, Facebook with blogging or YouTube with email can create that needed confidence, break down those barriers to selling stuff and identify precisely when and where customers need help in their lives—better than the unproven idea of big data can!

Realize and take action on how social media enables that critical transference of confidence that helps your target:

  • understand your product or service with total clarity;
  • develop meaningful appreciation for your thing through what you prove to them BEFORE they buy it;
  • trust you—that your product will do what you claim if they buy.

That’s what being a social selling expert is all about. What do you think? Are you a social selling expert?

2013: Year of the Social Selling Expert

If social media and content marketing managers are to survive the meteoric rise of “big data” they’ll need to become social selling experts—pronto. Like any new marketing trend, few can actually agree on what big data is. Yet the drumbeat of its promise is quickening and becoming louder. The role of the CMO is increasingly coming under pressure to techno-fy, automate and focus on bridging the gap between marketing and sales teams.

If social media and content marketing managers are to survive the meteoric rise of “big data” they’ll need to become social selling experts—pronto.

Like any new marketing trend, few can actually agree on what big data is. Yet the drumbeat of its promise is quickening and becoming louder. The role of the CMO is increasingly coming under pressure to techno-fy, automate and focus on bridging the gap between marketing and sales teams.

Facebook, blogging, Twitter, LinkedIn? Inbound marketing, content marketing?

“Yup, we’re on it.”

B-to-B marketers are “just doing it.” Growth is slowing. The love affair with social media and content marketing is nearly over. Everyone’s all gaa-gaa over big data.

Social Media Marketing: A Necessary Evil?
We’ve seen this kind of stagnation before in the days of online affiliate marketing. It didn’t take CEOs and vice presidents very long to go from boasting about how many thousands of affiliates they have to completely ceasing to talk about affiliate marketing.

Suddenly, behind closed doors, executive leaders started calling their affiliate marketing programs “a necessary evil.” Today, it’s a check on a checklist of mundane strategies that aren’t customer acquisition channels at all. At best they’re over-priced customer retention devices.

Social media and content marketing are at risk of suffering a similar fate: not being strategic. Will social media marketing end up being seen as a necessary evil, just another check mark on a list of ho-hum marketing strategies, more ways to spend money?

Said more bluntly: Will you be seen as a money spender or a money-maker in 2013? Will you get caught up in Doug Kessler’s “crap storm” or will your content produce leads and sales?

Because ultimately the difference between content that’s crap and content that isn’t is simple: Its ability to create a business lead.

The Rise of Social Selling Experts
For a select few large brands and small businesses social marketing is surviving and, in fact, thriving—powering businesses forward. These places are where we see today’s social selling experts emerging. These savvy pros see the rise of flash-in-the-pan trends as good news—a time to dig in and create bottom-line impact. Leads and sales.

One such pro is Ed Worthington of Action Business Systems, a provider of document management products and services.

You might be thinking, “Sure, Molander but Ed is a traditional sales professional, I’m a marketer.”

Yes, but that’s precisely the point.

Especially in the world of B-to-B marketing, the last few years has seen the meteoric rise of marketing automation, sales enablement—whatever buzzword term you want to use it amounts to one thing: The bridging of sales and marketing through technology-driven processes.

Today’s most successful online marketers are online SELLERS. These people aren’t afraid to be held accountable for leads and sales. Heck, they thrive on the chance to sing for their supper. They know success is all about applying specific skills like coming up with blog content that creates leads.

Maybe you’re asking, “Why is now the time … why should I be considering rising to the ranks of a social selling expert?”

Because the trend toward investing more on “big data” must be met by big change. If you’re going to keep your job or client relationship (or GROW it) you’ll be wise to become a social selling expert. Reach beyond engagement and become a money-maker, not just a money-spender.

What do you think?