With hundreds of millions of posts being published every day across social media, it is becoming increasingly difficult to stand out. There have been over 50 billion photos posted to Instagram alone. Because proprietary algorithms govern who sees each piece of content you post, users are losing control over whose attention they can capture.
As social media has evolved, businesses are realizing that vanity metrics such as follower count and like count are not increasing the bottom line. Although social media is a great place to identify prospects, build rapport and move these prospects down the sales funnel, social media managers and business owners have surrendered to the algorithm to decide what relationships businesses have access to.
Using the following engagement tactics on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter, entrepreneurs and social media managers can successfully build an engagement strategy that leads to sales appointments:
Instagram is a great platform for engaging due to the visual nature of the content. When utilizing Instagram for sales engagement here are 3 tactics you can use to help yourself stand out from the crowd. The key is to be consistent as just a single engagement will not cut it… you must follow up!
The ‘Like + Personalized comment’ is an effective social media engagement tactic to begin to build rapport. A ‘Like’ alone will not stand out compared to adding a comment. Your comment should be 4+ words long (not including emojis) and should be focused on leaving unsolicited praise, interest or perhaps disagreement in a respectful manner. By liking and commenting you will show up with two separate notifications. With a personalized comment that coaxes a response from the user who posted the content, your profile will begin to stand out to that prospect. If you do a good enough job with this engagement tactic, they may venture to your page to learn more about you.
With over 250 million stories posted daily, there is a good chance your prospects are active on their stories. The reason ‘story replies’ can be an effective way to engage on social media is that when you reply to a story, your reply shows up the same way a direct message shows up in your inbox.
Compared to a cold direct message from a stranger, a story reply is a less intimidating way for you to build a relationship with someone you do not know without coming across as salesy. This engagement tactic can lead to a direct response and a conversation started in the dm’s!
We do not recommend sending a DM as the first point of contact. However, once you have built rapport and familiarity with a prospect that you have been engaging with on a regular basis, a DM will be more likely to be opened and responded to. Similarly to building your credit to get a loan, social media engagement tactics such as comments and story replies build your credit so that you can send a DM that leads to a conversation. Remember, focus on conversation over transaction when sending direct messages pertaining to selling.
An audio dm takes your personalization to the next level; your prospect knows that it isn’t automated. 99% of the time they will listen to the audio… who wouldn’t? Be intentional and compelling with your audio message; this tactic will work!
With an insanely large user base of over 2.7 billion people, Facebook is a great place to engage and build strategic relationships from a business to consumer perspective. Because Facebook owns Instagram, there is some overlap in engagement tactics, however, due to its desktop features, audience demographic, group capabilities and diverse content some tactics work better than others on Facebook. Here are a few of our favorites:
Unlike Instagram, Facebook allows you to react in a variety of ways to a post compared to a simple like. Take advantage of this fact and pick a reaction that stands out compared to other engagers. Additionally couple this reaction with a comment that explains your reaction. For example if you react that you ‘love’ the post, go on to personalize a comment that explains why you love the post.
Facebook groups are phenomenal places to identify relevant prospects and content to engage with. If you are selling to Realtors, engaging on content in a realtor-specific facebook group is a wise tactic that can pay off. While we still recommend ‘reacting to post + personalized comment’ when engaging in a Facebook group, be sure to take the poster or a commenters page in your comment so that they receive a notification from facebook showing that you tagged them in your comment. This will not only make you more memorable, but it will also ensure that the person the comment is intended for will actually see the comment.
Messenger is very similar to email. Although cold outreach tactics can be effective if the message is personalized and compelling, messenger requests are best received when preceded by social media engagement tactics such as personalized comments and post reactions. Keep your messenger outreach short and to the point. Ensure the message prompts a response. By asking a question, referencing a common connection or mentioning a piece of content the prospect posted recently, you can generate higher response rates and form stronger connections with prospects.
Linkedin is a great place for building relationships via social media engagement, however, as of late many Linkedin users have exploited this process with automation and transactional, volume based engagement compared to specific, value adding, personalized interactions. This has led to people beginning to believe that “Linkedin isn’t what it used to be.” On the contrary, we believe that no matter the platform, intent, thoughtfulness and specificity when prospecting will lead to sales qualified leads and paying customers. Here are our favorite social media engagement tactics on Linkedin.
Similar to Facebook, Linkedin allows you to react to a post as opposed to liking. Take full advantage of this! Because Linkedin posts oftentimes have significantly less engagement than platforms like Instagram or Facebook, leaving a personalized comment on top of a post reaction can be a home run in terms of standing out.
Never underestimate the power of the profile visit on Linkedin. Because Linkedin users get notified and can see who visits their profile this can be a less intimidating engagement when building trust with a prospect. Conditioning them to know that you are taking an interest in them will lead to reciprocation in the form of message responses and an interest in you as the seller.
Similar to an audio message on Instagram, a video message on Linkedin can really set you apart from the pack of hungry sales people hanging out on Linkedin. Recording a 30-40 second video highlighting why you reached out and what is in it for the prospect if they respond can lead to great things. Businesspeople on Linkedin want information quick, they don’t want a runaround about your motives as a seller doing cold outreach.
Once you have softened up your prospect on Linkedin with micro engagements like profile visits and comments, try sending a personalized video dm natively from inside the direct message inbox. Don’t forget to smile!
Twitter is the wild west when it comes to social media engagement. Due to the punchy and quirky nature of Twitter content, it is important to come correct or you will be exposed. Twitter is all about honesty, value and of course humor. Here are some of our favorite Twitter engagement tactics:
Responding to a tweet is similar to commenting on a post on Instagram, however, only a tiny fraction of Twitter users do this because it seems more personal than commenting. Use this social awkwardness to your advantage.
If you see a tweet from a prospective customer with little to no responses… RESPOND! Challenge their position on a topic or link to an article or simply leave a witty remark. These engagements feel human and build relationships.
Mentioning in a tweet is something that we reserve for people especially hard to get ahold of. Oftentimes people are stingy with the tweets they publish, but as Wayne Gretzy said, “You miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take.” If you are struggling to stand out mention your prospect in a compelling tweet.
Asking a question, calling them out or stating your position on a topic that is extremely relevant to their business or interests is a great way to coax a response. Because these mentions are perceived as extremely public, users tend to respond if the tweet stands out from the cacophony that is Twitter.
Direct messages are your friend on Twitter. Compared to Instagram and Linkedin direct messages, Twitter DMs fly under the radar. Ensure that your prospects are active on Twitter or their inactivity can skew your data. With that being said, sending targeted and personalized direct messages on twitter to engaged users is an effective tactic. If fact, many users specify in their bio that their “DMs are open.”
Social media has no shortage of mechanisms for personalizing engagement. In the dm inbox of all four major platforms you can natively record audio messages, video messages, send GIFs and text based messages. Most people don’t use these tools because they “don’t have time.”
That is another way of saying “they don’t have process.” Engagement on social media has a bad reputation of being untraceable and aimless. This is why we created Social Cycle, the first social media tool built to organize and prompt personalized sales engagement on social media.
We were tired of being at the mercy of the all powerful “algorithm” to show content to the right people and hope that they were compelled to reach out. We are in the business of taking back the power of social media from the grasps of cheap automation tools and the men/women behind the curtain of the algorithm. Social media is bigger than growth hacking and content designed to go viral. Social media is about tapping into relationships you otherwise would not have access to. Use these social media engagement tactics discussed, but don’t abuse them. Welcome to the age of social selling. Welcome to Social Cycle.