Social media is fast emerging as the go-to channel for salespeople looking for new possibilities. According to LinkedIn, 78% of social sellers outlive their peers who don’t use social media.
At its most basic level, social selling comes down to finding the right leads and leveraging social platforms to build important relationships. By creating your own social sales strategy, your sales team can be one step ahead of the competition. But don’t let all that strategy go to waste. You need to know what metrics you should focus on when measuring sales success on social media.
In this article, we’ll walk you through 8 social selling metrics to pay attention to.
1. LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index (SSI)
You can’t talk about social selling without mentioning LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index (SSI). LinkedIn assigns the index a score on a scale of 0-100 based on what it determines as the four most important “pillars”:
- build a professional brand
- focus on the right possibilities
- connect with insight
- build trusting relationships
By focusing on these four areas, the company found that a higher SSI is correlated with 45% more sales opportunities and a 51% greater chance of hitting a quota.
2. Inbound Connections and Network Growth
By 2025, Gartner expects “80% of B2B sales between suppliers and buyers to be in digital channels.” Social selling is all about building relationships. If you build your professional brand with thought leadership in mind, you will find that people will actively seek to build a relationship with you.
But, you cannot establish thought leadership without network. Network growth itself is a vanity metric, meaning you may have hundreds of followers on your social media platform, but only a small percentage have the potential to be a true prospect.
If you look at both inbound connections and network growth together, you will understand how wide your network is and how impressive it can be.
To find the right connections, you need to be where the buyers are. On social media, this can include joining professional groups and interacting with industry leaders. By regularly posting and engaging with potential leads, they will start to associate your name with the brand positively. This will help you build a valuable network.
3. Content Engagement Rate
One way to establish thought leadership is by sharing content that is relevant to your audience. Check out your engagement rate performance to find out if your content is relevant to them.
If you use software to execute your employee advocacy program, this metric should already be available. Get information about team or individual performance, depending on how detailed you want this metric to be. Sprout’s employee advocacy software Bumbu provides reports like this and more.
To get the most out of your content, see what other B2B buyers are using for distribution. A study on B2B buyer content preferences found that 71% of survey respondents used LinkedIn to share business-related content. After email, two more social networks are used by 43% of the respondents.
4. Follower Engagement Rate
While the content engagement rate looks at the content you post, the follower engagement rate tells you how interested your audience is.
The easiest way to calculate this is to divide your total number of engagements by your total number of followers. However, this is a rough calculation as the number of engagements includes both followers and non-followers. For example, if your post goes viral, you’ll receive comments and shares from people who don’t follow you.
Using employee advocacy and social sales tools, you can see how engaged your current followers are.
5. Prospect Referral
Referrals are gold for any business.
More than 75% of B2B buyers prefer to use recommendations from their professional network. Searching for 2-degree connections to your network on LinkedIn is one way to spot potential leads. If you can, ask your connection to refer you or mention the connection in your first message. Mentioning a mutual relationship also increases the chances of an appointment by 70%.
To track this metric, use your social selling tools or ask your salespeople to input your lead sources into your CRM.
6. Click-Through Rate
The click-through rate (CTR) or link click metric is measured for the content you post.
When you’re sharing content like informative articles, link clicks are part of the content engagement metric. Watching link clicks specifically tells you how engaging a piece of content is. They could only read the headline and hit the like button. But what if they clicked? That association is worth even more.
You have a few options to track this. You can use URL shortener to create unique links, telling you the number of times each link was clicked. To determine the CTR, you need to divide it by the number of views or links received.
A more straightforward solution is to look at your social selling analytics. One of the benefits of Bambu is being able to curate content for your employees to share. Once they do that, metrics like CTR are tracked automatically at both the content and individual post levels.
7. Number of conversations started
We already mentioned inbound messages, but what about the messages you send?
Not every social media post is going to generate leads. But over time, you build trust. And trust is a big component of social selling. The conversations you initiate on social media can lead to conversions later in the sales cycle.
Using a tool like Sprout, you can quickly count the number of outbound messages you send. But even better, you can view your conversation history to completely personalize each conversation.
One way to start a conversation is to use social media monitoring. Use relevant keywords to keep track of conversations for people to follow and see.
8. Message Response Rate
It’s simple: the faster you respond, the more connections and qualified leads you make. With proper training, your salespeople should be able to navigate social selling software with ease.
The message response rate metric is calculated automatically in Sprout. The analysis will tell you how quickly someone is responding by the hour and day of the week.
social selling vs social media marketing
While both take place on social media, social selling and social media marketing are not the same thing. Social media marketing usually comes from the brand, whereas social selling comes from the seller.
Goals may also differ. Social media marketing goals include increasing brand awareness and engagement at the brand level, whereas social marketing is very focused on the sales cycle. Every post you make and every connection you reach is intentionally done to create a relationship that leads to a sale.
Track your social selling metrics
Social selling has become a powerful tool for many industries in today’s business world. As businesses increasingly resist outbound sales methods, social selling helps build relationships that establish trust and drive repeat conversions.
Additionally, B2B marketing and sales don’t need to be overwhelming. If you are already using social media for B2B marketing, then it is time to convert your social data into a revenue driver.
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