Navigating your social media sales strategy during an unpredictable and highly reactive news cycle can feel like a high-stakes tightrope walk, 20 stories above the ground.
Social strategists understand what content resonates with their customer base, but what if those touchpoints change overnight? Between a global health pandemic and the volatile political landscape in the United States that defines early 2021, social strategists across all industries are left with questions about how to adjust.
Now is not the time to abandon your social sales strategy completely. Most of the time, issues are resolved by constantly evaluating if real-time adjustments are needed. One of the central tenants of any successful social strategy during a heavy news cycle is flexibility. We tapped our sales experts to share the five considerations that all social sales strategists should digest to support successful sales in 2021 and beyond.
Put your sales needs at the center of your business strategy. Sales and marketing experts at Harvard Business Review call out that the way companies manage their sales organizations during a good economy does not cut it during a recession. Sales should be a top priority because even though the economy has shrunk, there is an opportunity to reach new customers that have emerged driven by changes to their professional and personal lives.
Assume your customers are struggling: Even as we write this, the status of politics and the pandemic in the U.S. is changing by the hour. The truth is, everyone is struggling in some way, aggravated by the divides that have formed over the past year among families, friends, and business associates, both physically and philosophically. Today, your sales strategy is aimed at fractured workforces working in less than savory conditions. According to Sprout Social, even the times of day most ripe for engagement to sales messaging on social media have changed over the past ten months. It is essential to rethink how your customers’ priorities and challenges have changed to tailor your social sales strategy accordingly. Social Media Today’s experts urge authenticity and that “honesty, empathy, and social consciousness will win on social.”
Be wary of scheduled posting: Scheduling social posts to keep up your social selling strategy going at an appropriate cadence is often necessary, but with a rapidly moving news cycle, it is vital to continue to evaluate the language of all copy to make sure that its meaning hasn’t changed, compared to social conversations and breaking news that can emerge in an hour. Video continues to reign as a favored medium for brand communication, but with it comes the need to evaluate your audiences’ sentiments at the time of posting to ensure it still rings true.
Don’t forget the basic tenants of individual social platforms. While so much has changed, some things have stayed the same, including the importance of recognizing the different audiences that make up each social channel. Successful sales on social media are tailored to each channel, underlining the unique attributes of an engagement on LinkedIn versus Instagram versus Facebook versus Pinterest, and the list goes on. Despite the changes in your customers’ lives, content expectations on various social channels have not changed.
Update your sales experience. If you are doing everything right, but your sales are still not where they should be, consider your customers’ mid-funnel experience from social media to the sales vehicle. The way we communicate under the restrictions of the pandemic has gone entirely digital. Many American households began performing new tasks online in 2020; our digital realm has expanded. Take a new look at your customer experience through the view of the circumstances facing your customers today.
When evaluating your social sales strategy, always account for your industry's unique pandemic journey. Social analytics reveal that overall social brand engagement volume has fluctuated since this time last year. Since the pandemic began, many industries have increased the volume of social posts to address increased and changing needs and are seeing positive results. At the same time, other industries that struggle to stay afloat have decreased postings and, therefore, are experiencing reduced engagement. Know your industry and where on this spectrum you fall, and plan accordingly.