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Case Study: The Secret of Social Media Success for Small Businesses

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Recently, I put out a request on LinkedIn to interview people that were not just using Social Selling but could quote a real Return on Investment (ROI). Was also interested in people that were using Social not just for Demand Generation but through the whole of the sales process. Jaz made contact with me and said he was using Social for pipeline creation / Demand Generation, but also to nurture leads through the pipeline.

During this blog I explain how Jaz is using Social, but we also cover the ROI, what has worked, what hasn’t worked for him. The blog ends with his “must have tool” recommendation.

Jaz’s Background and Company

It is one of those twists of fate, you start with a clear business plan, only to be successful at something at a complete tangent. Jaz started his own company www.makeadifference.org.uk in 1998, the objective was to help people get back into work and to helping small businesses be successful. After all, people who run businesses get bogged down in “red tape”.

To promote this new venture, Jaz turned to Social Media. What happened, was that people started coming to him saying; “You you seem to be good at Social, can you teach us?” If you check out his website www.makeadifference.org.uk you will see that his company’s mission now is to “Bring the benefits of Social Media to Your Business!” Jaz spends most of his time helping small business scale their own Social programs.

Jaz told me “we were so successful in our Social Media work to promote our company that people turned to us and asked us to do the same for them”, and “Now we are pretty much focused on helping people with their Social Media.”

Why Social Media works for Small Business

One of the “objections” I often get is that Social Selling is that it’s for big companies. Jaz’s target market is for Sole Trader and Small Business and he points out that (we talk ROI in a bit) that Social Media is zero cost. It only costs the time you invest. It also allows you to network online which means that companies with the small business can “punch above their weight” in terms of Marketing Budget.

(More on online Networking also in a moment).

Using Google+ and Twitter to create Leads

With all of the recent press that “Google+ was dead” I asked Jaz why that and not Facebook?

Jaz said “The objective of every business is to create leads. Inbound enquiries if possible. That means that every person and every business should have a Google Plus site. Why? Because it enhances SEO (Search Engine Optimization).” “Plus with the aggregated benefits of Twitter (Tweets being indexed) and use of Periscope. This all adds to your “Google Juice”. And Jaz continued “don’t forget this is all at zero cost, apart from your time.”

The Google+ Return on Investment (ROI)

Jaz is emphatic about the SEO enhancement that Google+ can give. I’ve certainly seen my SEO rankings through continued investment in Google+. Jaz explained one of his clients provides Excel training services and when he came on one of Jaz’s training courses he was ranked on page 26. Over a ten week period, posting 2 or 3 times a day, he was able to uplift that to Page 1.

I asked Jaz if there was any “secret sauce here” and he said “Don’t just push any material out, this has to be high quality sharing”, he then explained, “Google’s algorithm is looking for engagement, just firing stuff though Buffer, just doesn’t cut it.”

The Twitter ROI

If you are a regular reader you will have seen my article: Using Twitter to get C-Level Appointments: A Case Study. Jaz has a 72 year old client who was spending around £20K per annum on advertising and getting a few hundred pounds worth of income. When he started to use Twitter via Jaz’s workshops for no expenditure on advertising apart from his time, he got over £2000 of Business in 2 weeks via Twitter and averages £500 a month via Twitter.

What can Jaz Teach us about using Social to Sell?

Jaz recommends you “know your target markets, listen, engage and interact with them. When you build trust with people, they will also open their networks to you.” Jaz then said what all successful sales people say which is “be proactive”. He also said, “Often on Social people forget to ask for the sale”. He was keen to say that you don’t have to be aggressive and asking for the business should just “flow”.

Is there a Programmatic Approach?

Jaz also uses different Social platforms through the Sales cycle. “Twitter is for connecting, look for the signals, then switch to DM (Direct mail), email or telephone”. This drives people to his workshops, he uses his workshops to upsell 1-to-1 sessions, building trust as he goes.

Once the person is connected, he links to them on Linkedin to stay in touch and nurture. You also get access to their networks. LinkedIn provides Jaz with referrals sales, which is becoming more and more the way he gets business.

Use “Tweet Hours”

Jaz fills 80% of his training courses from partaking in “Tweet Hours”. Not to be confused with the American Twitter chats. There are 400 Tweet Hours taking place each week in the UK. This is a time to pitch to 1.8 Million people and 500 businesses. “Often”, Jaz said “There are businesses with 9 of the 10 jigsaw pieces and they just need yours to make their proposition viable”.

What Didn’t Work?

Jaz did an experiment with Linkedin over a 10 week period. Just sticking to the home feed, he didn’t take part in any groups, he found that he needed an average of 400 actions including likes, shares, comments and new connections to attract an average 24 profile visits on a weekly basis. This is a lot of action for a small return. In 10 weeks out of over 250 profile visits Jaz notices that only 1% actually came via Linkedin Search, all the other views were via his activity.

Jaz’s view on LinkedIn is; “LinkedIn is about trust, people search for you (like a phone directory) to see that you exist. It isn’t somewhere I would see as a way to proactively drive leads.”

I certainly agree that LinkedIn is people’s shop window, but do know B2B sales people that do drive business via LinkedIn. But certainly understand where Jaz is coming from for his market. As is often the case with Social, there is no “one size fits all”.

Any Tool recommendations?

Jaz is a Nimble CRM user and recommends you use it before networking to “look somebody up”. Often he has done this as an event via the mobile version. He also uses the Social and Email capability to track and nurture people. What are my contacts talking about? When was the last time we connected? Etc.

If you want to make contact with Jaz his details are as follows:

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