Free Professional 10 Point Social Selling Account Review & Reality Check

By Thomas B. Cross @techtionary & @telecomreseller and many others

This is a free effort to help you in your social selling efforts.  For a limited time and limited capacity, we will review your Twitter account and give you a free 10-point review-reality check at no charge. We do not want or ask for access to your account. However, this offer may be removed or reduced without notice. You may not agree with the categories or the results, but we sincerely hope you find some new ideas for your own social selling efforts. The ratings will be green-good or yellow-needs improvement or red-not found.  We don’t have time to give you specific feedback on “needs improvement” though we can discuss ideas for improvement or you can do it on your own. DM via either account above to get started.

Here are the categories we will review:

1 – Thought Leadership – this is the hard part because people think they can write and post an article/block/podcast/video once and they are done.  Social selling is a marathon not a sprint, so if you want to do it, then get serious about adding content about your area of expertise every day or very often. I write a new post M-F and then reuse it again and again for months to come.  Writing is hard and while there are cheap blogging services who write bland blather rather than articles who can really target your customer and strategy. This is generally not useful for your own real purpose you can try them.  Professional writers do great work and its worth spending the money even if for fewer articles.  If you choose to do your own, writing doesn’t mean writing a novel, shorter is better.  My own benchmark is Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address which is 271 words considered by many including myself as the greatest speech in history for many reasons explained later.  If you write volumes, then break it into parts to give the reader something to come back for.  You can also write a series of small bits that bring the read along the journey with you.  Pictures complement any writing but need to be something that fits with the words – if you are writing about a factory then show a factory floor not just a picture of a factory worker doing what you are writing about.

2 – Call To Actions – No call to action = no traction – a CTA is a must-have if you want people to do anything.  Not that your “mouse trap” isn’t the greatest invention that people must-have but there are so many other ones they need as well.  And, more importantly, if they don’t know about your solution, they will buy from someone else or not at all.  It is always amazing for me when I talk with B2B-business-to-business companies they all know that great CTA’s are critical for B2C-business-to-consumer but don’t think they need them for B2B.  CTA’s are critical to all products all the time.  However, I am not a fan of discounters but a great fan of BOGO-buy-one-get-one or some variation of a “happy meal” combining a number of products together to maintain price and sell a complete solution such as maintenance.  If you discount, then you will just face the “race to zero” price faster and your own demise.  Here is a good example of a B2C CTA from Quaker Oats – NEW Fiber Check Tool & Savings Up to 30% on Products – and tickets to an interactive wellness festival.  Education, discounts on products and fun all together in a great CTA.  CTAs are hard as I have worked with many B2B companies and they just don’t know what to.  The real issue is they start with thinking that there can be only one CTA.  Not at all, you have a CTA of the day and change it tomorrow.  This makes great social selling posts and you can keep doing them again and again until you find what works and doesn’t.  Also, remember that the CTA’s that don’t work are worth looking at as they may work again (like in the spring or fall) if you rethink what the offer was.  CTA’s are great opportunities to engage, demonstrate and making social selling fun.

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3 – Content Links & Analysis – content links to your content is the gold standard.  What you are really doing is driving viewers to your website to see what else you are doing.  If you do nothing else, you post the same thing every day to get people to come to your website.  You can post the same content every day or even more.  Twitter has some rules about duplicate postings but change a #hashtag or add something else and you are good to go.  TV ads run multiple times every day even every hour so what are you waiting for.  Posting links to content on other websites is like sending business to your competitors and a seriously bad idea.  It really tells people you have nothing of interest to post.  When in doubt, reuse a post you did yesterday or last week to your website.  Indeed, what you will really find is that your website really sucks and should give you an idea of what you need to do to fix that – add more useful content not just content.  I spend a lot of my day helping clients with their accounts but also looking at other clients websites and find there is really a fundamental problem.  Most websites really don’t help customers figure out what they need in order to buy the product.  It is beyond the scope of this article but if you are in sales you hopefully know what people need to buy.  Given that most marketing departments could care less what sales people think, write your own article and put it on your own blog site.  Though it would be nice that spell and grammar checks really work, they really don’t.  I write an article and let it “bake overnight” and you will find many things you may have missed and get a fresh perspective as it’s not just important that you understand what you are saying but everyone else should as well.

4- Sharing – sharing is giving back to what other people are doing.  That is, you are recognizing that your ideas aren’t the only ideas in the world.  Sharing with your followers comes with a caveat.  Don’t just RT-retweet it but take the time to repost it of course with their Twitter account and link.  Add your own thought as to why this is important for others to read.  You may be truly amazed as to how much sharing of your post might get.  Then repeat and you are good to go.

5 – Imagery – videos are on the rise, however, they are really too complicated or inexpensive to produce nor necessarily for most articles.  Certainly, if you have a car than transforms itself into an airplane or reverse then by all means post the video.  However, adding at least one (you can add up to 4) picture is a must-have for any post.  I find that adding two pics is a good idea.  However, with any picture it must be relevant to the post.  Pictures you have used in your article in your Twitter post is a great idea.  Key is not stealing pictures without permission.  That is, it is illegal and frankly just bad form.  There are many royalty-free picture websites like istock and my fav is 123rf.com which if you get a subscription you can get a high-resolution image for less than $.50 each which really improves your visibility and engagement.

6 – Sales Engagement – is a proactive process to reach out as an outbound process and touch a current follower or potentially new follower.  You can search by #hashtag or just subject in the Search bar and you will find all kinds of great content and people to follower.  Don’t ever expect them to follow you back and you don’t need to DM-direct message them aka spam them with your latest offer.  Get to know them as you would any potential customer.   Sales engagement is why you are here and, of course, use the network to post and offer your solutions which you are doing as part of your thought leadership and CTAs.  You can and should let people know specifically what you sell and using your articles direct the potential buyer to the specific (website landing) page.  You can also post “DM me for private consultations and questions you may have regarding our products as our website xyz.com can be quite overwhelming.”  Engagement is not a “one call close” either.  Other than buying a cup of coffee every day most people take a long time to buy and if an enterprise customer it is 3-5 years or longer, if ever.  Yes, that is true.  Even if you have a solution for the latest cyberattack, there are a lot of other solutions and companies will review all their current vendors before looking at a new company. You should also realize that getting on these companies approved-vendor list can take months.  Yet, why is it so hard for sales much less sales leadership to realize that enterprise even SMB that most sales is a very long process?  This makes your social selling efforts even more critical as you can show the potential customer you can here for the long-haul because you realize this process is equally hard for them.

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Feedback is part of sales engagement. Feedback is receiving  information from others.  Engagement is outbound communication.  Feedback is inbound communication you will likely receive from all kinds of people.  If you are selected for an account review, we will ask for a few screenshots of your DM communications (only if you choose to) to see what you are receiving and saying.  If you choose not to share this will not be included in the review rating evaluation.  What we are looking for is what kind of interaction you are having with others.

7 – #Hashtags – there is a balance of using #hashtags tags in post.  In conversations with people at Twitter fewer is better as it is not Twitter’s job to make sure you post in the vast array of categories you would like to see your post included. Remember there is a Twitter “secret algorithm” that places your posts in both your follower’s accounts and the #hashtag search.  Seriously your posts are not always seen by your followers or in #hashtags lists.  In other words, Twitter has its own biases for user posts.

8 – RT-retweeting – If all you do is RT what other people are posting, then your account evaluation rating will be reduced and as mentioned above, your posted may not be shared with your followers.  If you have nothing to say is one thing but just RTing other posts just shows you are lazy.

9 – Action Plan/Tools – It is way beyond the scope of this account review to evaluate your use of all the marketing posting applications and tools.  We know many and have used them but the real results you are looking for is whether people are engaging and buying from you.  Spending time reviewing all your posts and micro-managing them does not achieve any real results but can certainly waste a lot of time.  We have worked with companies who jump from one marketing tool to the next and selling strategies as well.  The problem is not the tool but the content strategy.  It is that sales/marketing leadership are often siloed and operating dysfunctionally reducing the desired results as well as impacting the sales force resulting in higher and higher turnover.  We will ask you about the tools, if any, you are using and adjust your rating based on not what tool but how you are using the tool.  More importantly, your score will improve if you are using a calendar for your posts even if it is a wade of paper.  Having an edcal-editorial calendar is really critical and vital to coordinating all your content.  An edcal can really help you plan and look ahead as to what should you be doing now for selling skies in the winter or motor homes in the spring.  Marketing nearly always needs to take place 6-9 months ahead of the event, product or CTA.  Marketing for Christmas movies begins in the summers, so why not your product.

10 – Citizenship – supporting charities, causes, people and fund-raising events is always a good way to show you are more than a huckster or snake oil sales person.  Support your favorite cause is a great way to pay-it-forward, giveback, show gratitude or any kindness you want express. The good news is you can support your cause every day and, in this situation, RTing is encouraged.  This is one of those rare situations where “more is more” so post on and on !

Bottom-line – Whether you need a checkup, tuneup or just a news tip, there is always much more to learn about social selling.  Just as learning classical sales training is not just a “show up and throw up” nor is social selling.  We find that is work “if you work it” and like any kind of sales, it is really hard but so is any other job.  As Hunter Thompson said, “when the going gets tough, the weird to turn pro” – we hope this will really help you be a true social selling processional.

Of course, my CTA is that if you are serious about social selling, then get social selling smart for your sales team and sales managers.  If you want ongoing aka daily social selling and/or coaching for company account(s), this would be considered after the students have attended the seminar.

Click on the image below and the 1st student is free to get the Social Selling Smart Seminar if you use promo code TR-TC.

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