Do you ever look at your daily Facebook memories and think, “I would never write that, let alone write like that now?” Social media changed the way we communicate from the start, but how we communicate using those platforms has continued to evolve, too, based on changing trends, opinions and innovations.
This constant churn and transformation can impact a business. Successful social content today may become irrelevant social content tomorrow. Such is the online, real-time world we live in.
One thing that hasn’t changed — and has only become more important — is the fact that social should be an integral part of a business’ communications strategy. If you’re in the growing minority of businesses not embracing social selling these days, whether due to a lack of focus or disappointing ROI in the past, the proven value is too great to ignore:
- 65% of salespeople who use social selling fill their pipeline, compared to only 47% of reps when not leveraging social as a resource
- 40% of companies have recently closed 2 to 5 deals directly due to social media
- Half of total revenue is influenced by social selling in 14 common industries, including computer software, healthcare, and marketing and advertising
- Social selling tools are known to increase win rates and deal size by 5% and 35%, respectively
Despite the facts, many companies — including SAP partners — do not yet apply a social strategy to better reach customers, business partners and prospects. That’s a problem. Not having a strong social engagement strategy is tantamount to not doing everything you can to grow your business. It’s leaving money on the table. Here are four reasons why:
1. The Buyer’s Journey Has Changed
You may be aware that more than 80% of shoppers conduct research online before buying. Simply put, buyers are more informed than ever. They often make a purchasing decision even before talking to anyone about the product or service. They’re proactively researching, relying on the information they find or receive as a basis for the next step. and if you don’t have a strong social engagement strategy, they may not be able to find the information they need to properly consider your offering.
2. Establishment as an Industry/Thought Leader
Social engagement can establish your reputation as a knowledgeable, informed source — someone to trust. That’s a great way to both build relationships and be seen as an objective voice that isn’t just out to make a sale. Sharing content that your customers will benefit from (yours as well as other creators’) goes a long way toward gaining a leadership position.
3. Customer Feedback
If prospects see that you answer questions and provide feedback on your social channels, they’re going to build an impression that you listen to customers. That can go a long way when a prospect is ready to make a purchasing decision. A recent study shows that 85% of Twitter users say online customer engagement is important. Social engagement isn’t just a means to release information — it’s a way to make conversation.
4. Put Your Customers to Work for You
One of the great things about social media is that once you create a piece of content, your customers and supporters can help spread it far and wide. People share for different reasons, but studies show they enjoy sharing content, particularly what they consider positive and helpful. And positivity breeds positivity. The more something is shared, the more likely that others will share it, too. Customers are the best source — and a more objective one — for helping your content go viral.
The Good News? SAP Virtual Agency Is Here to Help
There’s a lot to learn when it comes to using social technology to attract customers and grow your business. There’s also a lot to gain. You don’t have to know or do everything. Plenty of resources and services can help you along the way, with content, tips and tools to improve your social standing.
At SAP, that includes SAP Virtual Agency’s Social Posts Center, which houses more than 200 pieces of content to customize and publish, searchable by audience, vertical market, marketing segment, objective and product. To learn more about Social Posts and get started, check out this overview.