Is it possible for a B2B company to get a client directly from social media?
A scenario where a business gets someone that is interested in buying right from a social media site is kind of a holy grail type of situation in business the last few years.
We hear about how social media can help businesses grow. And I’m a believer in that. The concept, though, is that you’re playing the long game with social media. Most often you’re connecting with people when they’re not in the buying zone.
Sales expert Chet Holmes found that people are only interested in buying something 3% of the time. That leaves 97% of the time when you can connect with your target customer and social media fits nicely into that zone.
But I’ve had it happen to me that you can get direct sales from new people on social media.
Let’s look at some ways that your B2B can get some sales from new clients using social media if they’re looking to buy or if they’re not looking to buy.
1. Listen & React
I have a business that writes blogs posts for businesses and organizations. I got my first client via referral some years ago. But the second client was unique.
I followed a few CEOs and businesspeople on Twitter and out of nowhere one of them mentioned that they needed a blogger for their personal interest website. It was a motorcycle blog and forum. I reached out and we made a deal and I got started writing.
That happened pretty quick. I got lucky in the fact that I was following this person and they just happened to be in need of a blogger.
You can do this on Twitter and probably on a few other social networks.
Setup a search on Twitter for terms and phrases that would indicate that your target client needs your service. It might not pop up everyday, but even one or a few a month can lead to some good additional growth.
2. Job Postings
Early on in the blogging business I would look at various job boards and if a situation looked like a good fit I would reach out and in a good number of situations it would lead to a deal.
For some reason, probably because I’m not that smart, I stopped doing that as the inbound leads came into the business. But recently I’ve been going back to looking at job postings again as a way to grow the company even more than what’s naturally coming in.
Many companies use social media to post jobs. This kind of overlaps with the previous point a bit, but it’s worth putting out on its own as well. LinkedIn a great place to look for job postings. They have a full job board setup. You can dig into who the business is and the people that work for the company and it’s a great way to find opportunities.
Twitter and Facebook work well too. Like I said, businesses will often share on social media that they’re looking for employees or contractors and in either situation it can present opportunities for you as a business to reach out to fill a need.
3. Friend Recommendations About Jobs
I’m thinking of Facebook with this one. I’ve talked to people that have had it happen to them.
I look at Facebook as something that is more person-to-person. It’s something that people use to connect with people they know and they do it usually around their personal lives. Work doesn’t usually come into the fray that much.
When companies are looking to hire or bring in a new business partner or something like that they often look internally and ask their employees. If you run a good business and have good friends any of those friends that work for a company that’s looking for a partner will probably refer you without Facebook, but they might also post something on Facebook about it. If you’re paying attention you can reach out and see if it’s an opportunity.
I would be careful with this one. You don’t want to send messages to friends all the time or things like that asking about opportunities. That will rub some people the wrong way, but if you’re listening and paying attention a few opportunities should come about.
4. Regular YouTube Videos
I like watching videos on YouTube that share business tips. Most of those videos are done by people that own businesses and offer a service. They brand the videos as being connected with the business and it’s a great way to bring some attention to the company, who you are and what you offer other businesses.
One I’m thinking about is a guy that does weekly 5-minute videos with sales tips. He shares examples of his. He shares tips. He doesn’t really talk about what his company sells and that’s a key. He offers to help his target audience and after that shares the details on what he does.
Once he’s earned their trust he knows that some of the viewers will look into his company more and they’ll reach out and become a lead for his agency.
I’ve seen this happen in different ways for businesses on YouTube over the years. It’s a solid strategy. It’s not easy, but if you commit to it the results usually come out in your favor.
5. Social Media Partnerships
With this one it’s about looking at others that you can partner with strategically on social media, but also in business as general.
One example might be a social media marketing company that really specializes in providing social media services for businesses. They might partner with a software company like Buffer, whose software allows for social media scheduling, to help each other on social media.
They might host social media chats. They might recommend each other when followers ask about needing a service that the other business may offer. There are a number of ways for businesses to work together on social media to help each other get new clients.
6. Look For New Projects By Complementary Businesses
Let’s say you sell analytics software to small businesses. A good strategy would be to follow a bunch of website design companies on social media. They often share posts on social when they launch new sites.
Now you know that a business has a new website that just launched. They are probably interested in seeing how that site performs so you know that they’re possibly interested in using your software.
You can use those posts as an indicator to reach out and see if a sale can be made.
7. Frustrated Customers Of The Competition
This one might feel odd and it can be tricky, but it can work.
You can follow your competition. And see if their clients ever tweet at them or mention them in negative ways. If it gets to that point then you know that things are probably too far gone to repair in the relationship. That can be an opportunity for you to reach out and see if you can fill in for what they’re missing with the competition.
Social media is tricky when it comes to business. Most situations on social media require you to provide content that will help your target clients before they know you exist and often before they even know they need your service. You want to take that strategy, but there are also ways you can make more direct and immediate sales. Hopefully some of the tips above are appealing and you’ll give them a try because I think they can really work if you commit to them.