Social Media Strategy

by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran No Comments

10 Rolling Stones Songs to Inspire Social Media Strategy

The Rolling Stones are truly an inspiration for any social media strategy, whether you are a small or large business! They are a great inspiration for how to continue to put out a relevant message no matter the channel—vinyl, Spotify, or Sonos.

Thinking outside of the box is key to develop your social media strategy. I invite you to dust off your old vinyl to find your Rolling Stones social media inspiration!

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by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran No Comments

The New Buyer Journey Revolution will Not be Televised

The new buyer journey revolution continues to evolve. It is happening without you and your participation. It will not be televised. However, it still happens in the digital world. Including social media.

The B2B decision maker’s native buying behavior is changing. Customers rely less on the companies from whom they are going to make a purchase when framing their requirements and narrowing down the choices. They are changing their native behavior with how they are making their purchases.

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by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran No Comments

4 Simple Plays To Jump Start Your Social Selling Game Plan

Social selling has clearly taken hold in the B2B world. Everyone is talking about it — especially your competition. Perhaps you still struggle with evolving into modern selling?

Sure, plenty of companies and sales professionals have a presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or other social sites. However, that disparate presence is a far cry for most sales teams to integrate social media and content marketing into their sales strategy. The question is — how can you begin to activate social media and content best practices into a powerful sales tool for your business? An even more significant qusetion is —  is the payoff worth the effort?

The Rewards of Social Selling

Much research supports these questions with a solid “yes.” The growing body of evidence demonstrates social selling delivers results — and organizations with an effective social strategy are reaping significant benefits. For example, an Aberdeen study reports social sellers significantly outstripped sellers who do not use social selling based on multiple sales effectiveness KPIs — including total team attainment of sales quotas, customer renewal rates, sales forecast accuracy and percent of sales reps achieving quota. Social Centered Selling reports that 72.6 percent of salespeople using social media as part of their sales process outperformed sales peers and exceeded quota 23 percent more often. And the list goes on.

With benefits like these, why don’t more companies embrace social selling? Uncertainty of the right approach ranks high for this lack of embrace. If that uncertainty holds you back, the following four strategies—used successfully to implement social selling at many organizations —offer a good place to start.

4 Easy Sales Plays to Start Your Social Selling Strategy

Creating a social sales strategy can be compared to making a birthday cake: just add the extra social media ingredient to each layer of your existing sales process.

Social Selling Is A Piece Of Cake

You can also think of it as adding new moves to the plays already in your sales playbook. The power of social selling will up your advantage at each stage of the game. Viewed this way, social becomes less intimidating and more fun. Here’s how it might look.

Social Selling Play 1: Integrate social into prospecting and preparation.

Why do it: At recent leading technology event, many enterprise software sales executives told me how tough it’s getting to break through the noisy sales clutter. In fact, InsideView reports that 90 percent of CEOs don’t answer cold emails and cold calls anymore, a trend also occurring with sales decision influencers. So what’s filling the gap? You guessed it—social media. For example, IBM reports that 75 percent of B2B decision makers use social media to inform their decisions, and blogs play a burgeoning role as well. The takeaway: layering social media onto the sales process helps you connect with the “unconnectable,” providing crucial access to prospects and targets you might otherwise never reach.

Social Selling Anatomy Of A B2B Decision-Maker

How to do it: Before you talk, it’s important to listen. What are your prospects tweeting, posting, or blogging about? What do they praise or decry? This information will help you know how to enter conversations later on.

  • Start by creating private social media lists of your prospects, then follow them using a social management site like HootSuite or Google Alerts. Learn which social influencers your targets follow, and follow their reports and influencers yourself.
  • Make it a daily habit to read industry publications and news your prospects wish they had time to read. Curate relevant content to develop diverse sources to draw on, and follow the hashtags your prospects associate with most.
  • You can also Google your prospects’ names with the word “blog” to see where they’re blogging, then set up ongoing searches through tools like Feedly or Flipboard to stay on top of their talk.
  • Search for their questions and answers on LinkedIn, and conduct keyword searches to find comments, discussions, and questions circulating in LinkedIn Groups.

Social Selling Play 2: Use social to make the first contact.

Why do it: With fewer people responding to calls or emails—and buying organizations typically completing 65 to 90 percent of the sales cycle before approaching a supplier — social media may well be your best bet for connecting with prospects. Customer-centric social media provides a comfortable, convenient way to learn your qualifications and credibility — in an unbiased environment on their terms. This opportunity makes the case for your brand in a less direct, yet far more effective way than traditional sales approaches.

Hitch A Ride | | @GerryMoran

How to do it: A simple three-part strategy can streamline your path to successful social connection:

  • Don’t jump the gun. Before reaching out on social, get your ‘ducks in a row.’ Identify the network(s) where your prospects are most active, and establish your presence there with a polished, complete profile. Then use the engagement strategy most suited to each location. For example:
  • On LinkedIn, “get introduced,” engage in a group they belong to or ask them a direct question relevant to a group discussion or their area of expertise.
  • On Facebook, like, comment on, or share a prospect’s post.
  • On Twitter, retweet, reply to, or “favorite” a prospect’s tweet; mention the prospect in a tweet; tweet a question to your prospect, or list them.
  • On your prospect’s blog, comment or reply to a comment; on your blog, you can ask a question or request recommendations, leverage LinkedIn or Twitter, or mention your prospect’s blog.
  • Play nice. Remember, how you say things conveys as much about you as what you say — so be helpful and honest, friendly and polite, professional and relevant. And as your mother always told you, etiquette counts. Follow group or site rules, never send spam, don’t ask to add people you don’t know, and keep your exchanges focused on others (no one wants to listen when it’s all about you). Finally, pay attention to your spelling and grammar; careless or sloppy language suggests that you might be, too.
  • Stay in the game. The way you follow up on initial connections can determine whether you launch a conversation or nip it in the bud. If your prospect responds, be sure to reply within 24 hours. If not, wait five days before initiating another contact (just like in dating, overeager pestering can kill interest faster than a dad with a shotgun). Once a conversation gets going, establish yourself as an available resource by maintaining contact … with your contact by setting up alerts on your prospect’s activity to ensure you don’t miss any of their input.

Social Selling Play 3: Nurture warm prospects through social.

Why do it: Social media not only offers an excellent way to make non-intrusive contact, it also lets you differentiate yourself while your prospects are still in the early stages of information-gathering. Think of social as your online golf course: on the surface you’re just pleasantly chatting while you bat around some balls, but at a deeper level you’re building relationships that can pay off over the long haul.

10 Social Selling Touch Points

How to do it: The key to effective nurturing is simple: add value. When you join groups and conversations, enter with your hands full. Contribute relevant, non-sales-oriented insights to blogs, groups, and sites that customers frequent. Offering knowledge or subject matter expertise that addresses their pain points and concerns is more likely to cement connections than pitching your products or services, so listen for the major issues through Google Alerts and similar sites. If your prospect tweets about a problem, tweet back with solution-oriented YouTube videos, links to white papers or blog posts, or other helpful content relevant to their issue. And don’t forget to share the love. Retweet and like your prospects’ posts and tweets, and mention them in your tweets; monitor their social media accounts to discern follow-up, blog, and comment points plus content to pass along.

Social Selling Play 4: Make your brand easy to find through social.

Why do it: When prospects start their purchasing cycle, having an established, highly visible social presence ups your chances of being in the right place at the right time—when they’re ready to buy. That accessibility also goes a long way to ensuring you’ll make their short list when decision time arrives. What’s more, it’s an excellent way to extend your reach and build your brand without heavy legwork, since a valuable social identity represents a one-to-many resource that can engage prospects 24/7 without your constant, direct presence.

LinkedIn Profile | | @GerryMoran

How to do it: There are myriad ways to strengthen your social visibility. Don’t neglect the obvious ones, like including links to your social accounts in your email signature, updating your social profiles regularly, and staying engaged in the major prospect forums. Adopt these strategies as well:

  • On your blog, use SEO keywords and include links, and be sure to comment on other blogs as well. Focus on discussions that interest your prospects and targets.
  • On LinkedIn, perfect your profile, use keywords, and list multiple contact touchpoints to make yourself easy to reach. Include a custom URL to make your digital identity more memorable.
  • On Twitter, use your full name in your handle, include your location, and incorporate keywords and links in your bio. Make sure to tweet and retweet frequently and at the right volume.

Do you have a quick-start social selling tip to share? If so, please add below. Or, contact me directly at, Twitter or LinkedIn.

5 Other Interesting Social Selling Posts

Sometimes you just need a few simple suggestions to understand how you can activate a strategy, like social selling. You can start using each of thse four plays today — and start seeing results in no time!

by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran No Comments

10 Customer Experiences You Need To Deliver Today!

The customer experience is your next competitive battleground. Are you prepared to win it?

You can claim victory by way of this competitive differentiation war by offering the lowest prices or providing a superior, surprising and spectacular customer experience! You may win the price battle, but that is only a short-term solution. However, you will always win the customer experience war. Providing a spectacular experience is more sustainable!

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What Is Customer Experience And Why Is It So Important?

Customer experience is your customer’s perceptions of his or her relationship with your brand. These perceptions result from the collection of their interactions with your brand’s touch points during the customer lifecycle.

The rules change daily. Customer expectations of experience are set and improved by the best in class in an industry – Google, IKEA, Subway and many others. So, with every new improvement or introduction of a new way of doing things, your customer raises the bar and increases your pressure to deliver. Think Amazon’s user experience setting expectations for a B2B software company, or that Apple sets expectations for a retailer, and you start to connect the dots.

5 Key Customer Experience Facts

  1. 80% of U.S. consumers would pay more for a product or service to ensure superior customer experience. Source: White House Office of Consumer Affairs
  2. 68% of businesses plan to increase their spending on customer experience. (Source: Call Center Executive Priorities)
  3. 44% of consumers consider customer loyalty to be a relic of the past (Source: Avaya and BT Research)
  4. Shoppers use an average of 10.4 sources of information to make a purchase decision (Source: Google)
  5. Referred customers deliver 16% higher lifetime value (Source: Wharton School of Business)

Connect The Dots In The Customer Journey Touch Points

Each customer journey includes touch points – dots you need to connect to draw a holistic experience. You need to increase the value of your relationship currency with at every section of the sales funnel – using social media, content marketing and traditional interactions to connect these dots. The question is, do you have the resources and know-how to connect the dots to draw a winning solution or a scary picture?

Connect the dots puzzleThe Customer’s Customer Requires 10 Key Experiences

Customer experience manifests in social selling, content marketing, social media and every touch point on the customer journey. Your customers don’t want it. They require it. Here are ten experiences your customers demand in today’s economy.

1. Keep the experience simple and easy.
Forest Gump couldn’t have said it any better – “Simple is as simple does.” Brands providing an integrated experience across channels make it simpler and easier for customers to engage. Whether it’s the one-off Google search experience or ordering a sandwich at Subway – two of the most highly ranked ’simple’ brands – a simple and easy experience differentiates your business from the competition. Making it easy to find your brand and consume your content is the key to winning their heart!


Google delivers a simple and successful customer experience for users searching for results!

2. Educate and communicate with your customers.
Your customers do not want to be sold your stuff. They want to be educated on how your stuff can help them – then they will buy! The Home Depot builds a great customer experience by giving away their expertise during their Do-It-Yourself, Do-It-Herself and Kids Workshops! And, Stitch-Fix, the woman’s subscription clothes service, presents possibilities by providing custom combinations printed on in-box instructions. Customers are self-educating, so integrate education and relevant content into their experience. 82% of U.S. digital buyers prefer to research products from multichannel retailers on the internet (Source: March 2014 study by UPS, ComScore, and the E-tailing Group). If you don’t educate your customers, then your competition will! Take the teaching approach with your customers instead of selling to them and they will make you a trusted advisor – with sales becoming an exponential by-product!


3. Quickly resolve the bumps in the road.
You can’t make all of your customers happy all of the time. However, you can resolve most of their bumps in the road – the wrong-sized Boden pants, the missing button on your Stitch-Fix jacket, or even the Amazon Prime order that missed your deadline. Your customers expect resolution – from an under 60-minute response on Twitter to reading a blog post to help self-resolve an issue! Respond to social media outreach and make it easy for customers to easily find content at 2AM to resolve their issue and your will quickly become a part of their ‘family.’


4. Personalize the customer experience.
Smart, connected customers, expect personalized experiences. From REI’s persona-based content marketing strategy targeting (tongue-in-cheek) narcissists who love biking to Nike ID’s custom footwear, customers require an experience that is all about them! A data and analytics strategy gives brands a single-view into individual customers – enabling a positive customized experience.


5. Make it easy to #humblebrag!
Customers love to #humblebrag since it validates their purchase. It’s part of their brand experience – both with you and their community. Brands who strategically integrate a video, pictures and hashtag strategy into the customer experiene score the most points – and social referrals!


6. Deliver a safe and secure experience.
Customers’ heads are spinning with cyber-security breaches. People will share their details to enable a great experience. Just make sure you explain how you are going to securely handle their identity.


7. Surprise and delight your customers.
Marketing automation has created this ‘bland-compliant’ messaging. The customer wants a little personality and delight with their relationship with you. You have to work hard to differentiate yourself from the competition. Surprising and delighting can be as simple as Netflix’s season two House Of Cards Tweet chat with the actors to Mastercard’s #PricelessSurprises campaign featuring Justine Timberlake! Brands can combine a little bit of big data and creativity to create a priceless connection with customers!


8. Be ‘always-on’ to be in the heart and minds of the customer.
FOMO (fear of missing out) is the Millennial’s number one fear. So, you want to be always-on with cross-channel access to your brand – on Instagram and Snapchat –  so they never miss out on not missing out. Gartner predicts that by 2017, 50 percent of consumer product investments will target customer experience innovation, so investing in an always-on and brand-to-demand strategy makes sense. Translated to the Gen X – it’s staying on top of the newest ‘thing’ to ‘keep up with the Jones’. BirchBox does this well!

Screen Shot 2015-05-03 at 2.40.40 PM

9. Mobilize your experience.
With smartphone adoption reaching 70% in the U.S, reported by Asymco, providing a mobile customer experience is not an option, but a requirement! From mobile banking experiences like TD Bank offers or content updates from the Wall Street Journals app, customers want mobile access to your brand. As the man in the old Verizon commercial says “Can you hear me now?”


10. Create the circle of trust for your customers.
88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, reports Bright Local. The fact of the matter is many customers begin their customer journey amongst their circle of trust. This activity means you need to build a trusting relationship with a great brand experience – using social, mobile, analytics and cloud technology – making it easy for others to communicate their trust. Consumers will continue to build up their trust by using Yelp, Trip Advisor and Amazon Reviews, and their social media networks. How do brands build trust? Listen, respond, and do what you say you are going to do – just like any good relationship.


Do you have another customer experience you think customers require? If so, then please share below. Or, contact me directly at or


As Jimi Hendrix kind of said, “Are you (customer) experienced?” If you aren’t, then you aren’t adding value to your customers, and you will lose the battle and the war with your competition.

by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran No Comments

Stop Being Snubbed On The Buyer’s Journey!

If you were a hitchhiker on the B2B highway, would customers pick you up?

Or, would they stick their disapproving and down-turned thumb out?

Many new prospects and consumers might consider you a traditional selling stranger – who will scare, bother and inundate them with unwelcome emails – and an unworthy candidate to help them solve their business challenges.

Today’s sales reps need to be social selling and content marketing experts to help position them as a stop-over  on their customer’s journey.

Hitch A Ride | | @GerryMoran

The Social Selling Facts

  • 92% of customers would engage with their sales contacts who are thought leaders on some level (Source: LinkedIn)
  • 86% of clients would engage with a sales rep if they provided insights about their company, industry or category (Source: LinkedIn)
  • 17% of customers would engage with a seller if they reached out cold, indicating that cold calls are like jumping on a  car speeding by! (Source: LinkedIn)Social Selling Thought Leaders | | @GerryMoran

These facts suggest the best way for you to hitch a ride with the customer is to be a thought leader who can offer relevant insights. That’s your relationship currency to buy you a ticket  to join them on their buying journey.

3 Ways To Use Social Selling Picked Up On The Buyer’s Journey

1. Look The Part. Like any other scary 1970’s horror film filled with axes and leather masks, no one is going to pick you up unless you sound like you can help them! So, tune up your social media profiles to back up the content marketing and social selling value proposition you are offering.

2. Talk The Talk. Your customers expect to be engaged differently on each social media and content channel. Know how to pass on the right information on the right channel in the right way. Otherwise, you might look like a poser or at least not very authentic. Learn how to retweet, learn how to tweet and learn how us LinkedIn posts to help you build your customer credibility.

3. Be The Gasoline and the Roadmap. Use insights, knowledge and content to help fuel their research process and show them the direction in which they should be driving their buying decision. Use social selling and content marketing skill sets to develop a relationship with your customer. Listening, blogging, regular Twitter and LinkedIn posting and engaging with your customers on their networks will make it easier to jump on the buyer’s ‘ride.’ Increase your personal reputation to help build value to the customer.

Do you have another social selling tip to offer? If so, please share below!

The Big Buyer’s Journey Takeaway

By being consultative and providing relevant information you can become a trusted advisor, and be asked on the next trip before it starts! This way you’ll both have a smooth ride on the buyer’s journey, and you’ll have a successful social selling one, too!

P.S. Your Next Steps! I am the author of, a social media and social selling coaching blog. Please sign up for email delivery of my posts and pass this sign-up link to your friends and co-workers, who you think might benefit from reading these ideas.

P.P.S. If you want to get hold of me directly, please send me an email to or contact me directly on I read every email.

by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran No Comments

You Need To Stop Focusing On The Sales Process, Silly!

The buyer’s journey and the selling process terms are often confused.

However, the sales process focuses on how to push the customer to get them to buy from you.

While the buyer’s journey presents the client’s questions and needs that need to be answered and met.They need content and contacts to help them through their journey – at their own pace.


They need content and contacts to help them through their journey – at their own pace.

So, are you creating your business strategy based on the selling process or the buyer’s journey?

It’s important for you to rethink your content marketing and social selling strategy to sherpa the buyer through their decision making process.

Your Customers Are Researching For Answers To Help Them Buy

  • 70-90% of the buyer’s journey is complete prior to engaging a vendor, so it’s difficult to sell to someone who is not listening to your sales tactics. (Forrester)
  • B2B buyers engage with 11.4 pieces of content prior to making a purchase, indicating it takes multiple types of content are critical to touching your audience base. (Forrester)
  • 76% of buyers prefer different content at each stage of their buying research, so content marketers need to (Source: Pardot)

The research suggests that decision makers are self-sherpa their way through their buyer’s journey with content. They have their own content marketing strategy to guide their purchase suggestions, no matter what your selling process.

3 Key Steps To Use The Buyer’s Journey Instead of The Selling Process

1. Focus on Content Development For Each Phase Of The Buying Process. Creating customized content is the key to joining you customer on their buying journey!

2. Deliver Content To Where Your Customers Congregate. Social selling requires more than sending out Tweets and LinkedIn posts. Marketers who map their expertise, content and connection to customers in their watering holes will cross the winners line at the end of the buyers’ journey.

3. Use Your Employee Evangelists To Go Wider and Deeper. Activating your employees and their earned networks will help you consistently connect with an incremental network (to your company’s owned channels) of buyers at the various levels of their research and decision making.

Do you have another way to map your efforts to the buyer’s journey? If so, please share below!

The Big Buying Lesson

Companies need to put themselves in the shoes of the customers. Understanding questions they will ask will help deliver the expertise on their terms vs. trying to sell them something you think they need!

P.S. Your Next Steps! I am the author of, a social media and social selling coaching blog. Please sign up for email delivery of my posts and pass this sign-up link to your friends and co-workers, who you think might benefit from reading these ideas.

P.P.S. If you want to get hold of me directly, please send me an email to or contact me directly on I read every email.

by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran No Comments

You Need To Dish Out Delicious Content!

Are your customers sampling your small business from the comfort of their smartphone?

If not, then they’re positively salivating over your competitors’ Instagram, Twitter and Yelp pictures and posts. Much of this content is published by patrons!

So, let’s use a restaurant as an example for how small businesses can approach their content marketing strategy.

Picture this. Your customers are posting their smartphone snapshots and comments on their Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Yelp accounts while sitting at your restaurant’s table. What a yummy idea!

Are you helping your customers feed your small business’s bottom line with the right social media and content marketing strategy?

Small businesses, like restaurants, can set the table to make it easy to follow, engage and convert for the return visit; make it easy for customers work for them.

Research Indicates Customers Talk ‘Social Media’ Better Than Small Businesses

  • Only 10% of small businesses use Instagram to drive awareness and conversation around their brand. Customer usage is much higher, so fish where the fish are! (Source: Marketing Experiments)
  • When you or your customers, add a photo to social media posts, social media sharing and clicks increase by up to 35%, however, most small businesses are not posting visuals! (Source: Twitter)
  • Social media posts with hashtags have double the amount of clicking, commenting and sharing than those without, but small businesses have difficulty pulling off a solid hashtag strategy (Source: Buddy Media)

This research tells us that customers are talking the social media talk, while many small businesses are letting their child or college student handle the most important communication channel for their business! And this child or college student is challenges mapping strategy with best-practice social media and content use.

3 Ways To Serve Up Great Results On Your Social Channels

1. Make It Easy For Customers To Connect With You. I recently visited my new favorite Italian bistro in Lansdowne, PA, Patrone, where they do an excellent job collecting my email address for important updates. There is nothing more valuable than an opt-in email list (as well as the excellent food and service they provided!) But that’s only one-way communication. Focusing on social media channels will help build the groundswell of awareness. However, they promote that their business is on Instagram and Facebook, but do not make it clear on where to follow them. Many small businesses say “follow us” when they are really asking “search for us.’ So, make it easier for the customers to find you!

Patrone Italian Bistro

TIP: Spell out the exact name of your social media channels. Don’t make customers search for you!

2. Regularly Feed Your Channels With Great Content. Content is the food for your social media channels. So, feed your channels with significant content. For example, if you owned a restaurant you can post your daily menu on Instagram. If you own a craft beer bar, post your newest brew or daily tap list on Twitter, if you own a hardware store, post a how-to video of the day on Facebook! Or, just take a photo to display the evening’s ambiance!

Patrone Italian Bistro

TIP: Post daily photos on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

3. Encourage Customer-created Content. The ‘piece de resistance’ of a successful content marketing strategy is having your customer promote your place with their user-generated content (UGC). To encourage reviews on Yelp, Instagram moments and enjoying dinner with the one you love, make sure to ask your customers to share. And, make it easy for them to make their sharing on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram as hard as possible. Display the proper hashtags on your menu and in other smart, discrete and creative places!

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TIP: Encourage your customers to take pictures of anything in your business … remembering to tag your business in their post!

But What About Facebook?

Your small business needs to be on Facebook, but if you aren’t paying to get your message out, then don’t count on Facebook helping your business. However, when your customers share on their pages, your reputation and cred will have a greater chance of spreading and going viral.

The Big Lesson With Small Business Social Media and Content Marketing

As clear as you are with the descriptions on your menu, be that explicit in how to find, engage and share your business content. Your customers are your biggest fans and want to share their experiences with their friends. So, make it easy for them!

P.S. Your Next Steps! I am the author of, a social media and social selling coaching blog. Please sign up for email delivery of my posts and pass this sign-up link to your friends and co-workers, who you think might benefit from reading these ideas.

P.P.S. If you want to get hold of me directly, please send me an email to I read every email.