Hashtag Team: Hunting for prospects on Twitter, succeeding in B2B sales

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It’s time for B2B News Network’s weekly Hashtag Team report, wherein we deliver a roundup of what’s making noise about B2B on Twitter. We use the cutting-edge social analysis tool Nexalogy to sift and sort through countless tweets to bring you the best of the B2B buzz.

This week, we’ll take a look at strategies to improve the effectiveness of your B2B content marketing, how to engage in creative prospecting using LinkedIn and Twitter, a cautionary tale about social selling gone bad, and more.

TRENDING TOPICS 

B2B Content Marketing

Michael Cunningham at Marketing Buddy examines four strategies to improve the effectiveness of your B2B content marketing. First, let marketing operations help define your content marketing strategy. Developing and documenting content marketing strategy and workflow processes is one of your key operational responsibilities.

Second, hone your collaboration and communication skills. Collaboration pays—fully 61 percent of effective marketers report holding regular meetings.

Third, avoid trouble with your content marketing by strictly adhering to marketing compliance. You should keep your team informed of basic regulations, even if you have a legal team or compliance officer on your payroll. Finally, streamline your content marketing process through review and approval workflow.

B2B Social Media 

Jack Kosakowski, the “SaaSaNova” of marketing automation, says that prospecting is the most grueling part about being in sales. But social media can be a great prospecting tool and Kosakowski lists four creative ways to prospect with LinkedIn and Twitter.

1- Mine your customer networks. If you’re using LinkedIn, you can see who your customers are connected to and go social hunting crazy! Compile a solid list of leads, research them and narrow that list down to relevant potential prospects.

2- Reach out and trade referrals with your social network. Whether you’re using LinkedIn, Twitter or both, find other sales professionals in your network who you’ve engaged with over social channels and ask to see their products.

3- Mine your lost opportunities network. Get the appropriate returns on the time you spent learning about prospects and their industries by prospecting their competitors. Dive into your lost opportunity connections on LinkedIn and see which brands they’re following too.

4- Start prospecting from your retweets. This is a great way to gauge who is engaging with your content. There’s prospects in them there tweets; get digging and you could might just strike gold!

B2B Social Selling

Social selling evangelist Jill Rowley, never one to shy away from speaking her mind, says too many people working in B2B reveal themselves to be socially stupid. They’re too eager to use social media to sell, and they often scare away potential customers by being socially overbearing.

“People can read between the lines,” says Rowley. “Your motivations are transparent.” Rowley compiles a list of social media faux pas, including coming on too strong, being little more than a mouthpiece for your business, promoting yourself too much, and acting unprofessionally.

“First you have to listen,” she advises. “[then] hopefully amplify their message and help their success.”

Don't just bullhorn your business to your fans, advises Jill Rowley Flickr photo via Jason Hargrove https://www.flickr.com/photos/salty_soul/4737400406/sizes/z/
Don’t just bullhorn your business to your fans, advises Jill Rowley
Flickr photo via Jason Hargrove https://www.flickr.com/photos/salty_soul/4737400406/sizes/z/

TOP MEDIA

B2B Webinar

Forrester Research hosted a complimentary webinar on developing B2B content that truly engages your buyers. In an age when buyers are more empowered than ever, B2B marketers must respond with a powerful content arsenal so they can achieve their goals.

This webinar instructed B2B professionals how to identify the content needs of their prospects at each stage of the customer life cycle, how to include the right voices and formats in their content arsenals, and how to measure and increase the impact of those weapons.

The webinar was hosted by Forrester Research VP and principal consultant Daniel Klein, Forrester senior market impact consultant Varun Sedov and Rackspace enterprise marketing manager Aquila Frazdaq.

B2B Infographic 

Kosakowski is at it again with this intriguing question: How do the best B2B sales professionals succeed in an era in which it has become much harder for B2B customers to agree on what they should purchase? The challenge for sellers is to always bring their ‘A game’ to customer conversations. Manager coaching and reinforcement are also prerequisites for hitting sales targets. Using video for coaching and sales performance is particularly effective, as a new infographic reveals.

gamewinning

If you missed last weeks edition of Hashtag Team written by Sarah Dawley, head here to check it out. As always, if you have any B2B content we think we should share next week, let us know below or via @b2bnewsnetwork.

Photo via Flickr user USFWS Headquarters

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Brett Wilkins

Brett Wilkins

Brett Wilkins is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for U.S. news. Based in San Francisco, he is the editor and publisher of Moral Low Ground and is a Yahoo! Featured Political Contributor.