In the past several years, we’ve seen an increased focus on B2B social selling in the cannabis industry, and for good reason. This is an industry built on relationships, and social selling is all about building relationships through the use of social media platforms. In fact, the rules that make social media marketing for cannabis businesses so difficult don’t apply when it comes to networking and warming up B2B sales prospects. That’s exactly what social media was made for.
Today, social media is a valuable channel for sales outreach and lead nurturing – to generate brand awareness and build relationships that lead to sales. Here are some of the key ways to integrate social media into your B2B sales tactics.
Direct Sales Outreach
The first steps to develop and execute a successful social selling strategy are to identify your target audience buyer personas and determine which social media platforms are most appropriate to reach out and build relationships with those audiences. For B2B cannabis industry sales outreach, LinkedIn is typically the best choice.
However, don’t forget that B2B buyers are likely to be active on other social media channels like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and so on. Do your research to determine if the type of content you want to share and conversations you want to have in order to directly and indirectly promote your business are appropriate for each platform before you get started.
For example, if your prospects aren’t discussing anything related to your business on their Instagram profiles, then you’ll likely get better results on the social media platforms where they already discuss these topics.
Once you determine where you should conduct sales outreach, get active. Reach out through direct messaging. Use LinkedIn InMail to connect with people you don’t know, and follow the tips in the “Use the Right Tools” section below to learn how to quickly find and easily connect with cannabis license holders on social media platforms.
LinkedIn Groups and Facebook Groups can both be powerful places to network, build relationships, and connect with sales prospects. With that in mind, search for groups where members are likely to discuss topics related to your business, products, and services.
A great trick for LinkedIn networking is to join groups where your prospects spend time. If you’re a member of the same group as a prospect, you can connect with them and direct message them rather than using the limited number of LinkedIn InMail messages your account gets. To increase your InMail limit, consider signing up for LinkedIn Sales Navigator.
Once you’re a member of relevant groups where your target audience spends time, you can look for people to connect with personally, publish useful content, ask questions, answer questions, and more. This is also a great way to spread your own content to larger audiences to build your personal brand as an expert in your field. The goal is to be a trustworthy source!
Keep in mind, most groups don’t like it when members publish promotional posts. The key to successful group participation is to raise awareness, make connections, and find prospects. At the same time, your participation can build trust and strengthen your relationships with group members, and of course, relationship-building plays an important role in closing sales.
Commenting and Sharing
If you join a social media platform and spend all of your time promoting and selling, no one will want to connect with you or read anything you publish. Social selling is all about focusing on the right prospects, providing useful insights, engaging, and building relationships based on trust.
Sales outreach without prepping your prospects is unlikely to work through social media. Therefore, publish your own useful posts and spend a significant amount of time commenting on your prospects’ posts and sharing their posts. Follow these three steps:
- Get on the radar screens of your target audience.
- Add value to the conversation and prove you’re worth listening to.
- Try to sell.
You can also tag people in your posts in most social media platforms, so they’re notified when you mention them. If you can’t send a direct message, tagging can work well to get on someone’s radar screen. Just don’t publish a sales-related post on your public profile and tag someone. Instead, the post should be useful and relevant to them. For example, share something they published, share a link to an article you think they’d like, ask them a question, or answer a question they asked.
Use the Right Tools
To be successful using social media for social selling in the cannabis industry, you need to use the right tools to find relevant leads, listen to what matters to your leads, and effectively communicate with leads.
Finding the Right Leads and Connecting with Them on Social Media
Finding leads through social media can be time-consuming and challenging. If you’re looking for cannabis and hemp license holders, you can eliminate that time by subscribing to the Cannabiz Media License Database.
The License Database includes direct links to social media profiles in company, license, and individual contact records. For example, the image below shows a contact record in the License Database with available social media links included next to the contact’s name.
The links lead to the contact’s social media profiles. Just open a prospect’s record in the License Database, and click on the links to visit their LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or other social media profiles where you can connect with them, start building a relationship, and ultimately, try to sell to them.
Listening and Communicating with Leads on Social Media
To be a successful social seller, you also need to use the right social media listening and communications tools. It can be very time-consuming to find content to share, posts to comment on, conversations to join, and so on that are so important to building relationships and warming up prospects. To save time, use a social media management tool that automates some of the processes for you.
For example, use tools like Hootsuite, SproutSocial, Later, or Agorapulse to monitor social media platforms for posts that use specific keywords which could signal a prospect. You can also monitor social media for posts published to specific groups or by specific people. This way, you’ll always have a pipeline of useful posts to share, see when and what your prospects post, and know when to join in the right conversations.
Key Takeaways to Use Social Media for B2B Sales Outreach in the Cannabis Industry
You can be a successful B2B social seller in the cannabis industry if you approach the process of connecting and communicating with people on social media strategically. You need to build relatinoships before you try to sell or people will think you’re inauthentic, or worse, a spammer.
The cannabis license holder prospects you’re looking for across the supply chain are accessible in the Cannabiz Media License Database, and from there, social selling is just a click away. If you want to close more deals, make sure sales outreach to targeted leads through social media is part of your sales process. Schedule a demo to see how you can do it with the Cannabiz Media License Database.