The Evolution of Social Selling in 2014

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In recent years, sales teams have successfully leveraged social media to build and strengthen customer relationships. And as 2014 ramps up, new trends in social media will shape how these sellers connect with new customers and continue the conversation with their current customer bases. In the infographic below, explore the 10 defining moments in the history of social media. Then, as social media continues to evolve, explore Business 2 Community’s predictions for social selling in the New Year.

As 1to1 Media’s infographic depicts, social media has come a long way since Ted Leonsis first used AOL Instant Message to send a short note to his wife. Since then, we’ve seen top platforms, such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter explode in popularity. And now, as the infographic reveals, even the Pope is using social to connect with his followers.

With so many people across the world connecting to one another through these various social channels, it’s no surprise that companies are creating their own social strategies to help acquire, retain, and grow their customer bases. And as these networks evolve, companies will need to ensure that they are keeping up with the latest trends in order to effectively meet their customers’ social expectations.

A recent article published by Business 2 Community outlines predictions for social selling in 2014, in order to help companies prepare their sales teams for the newest trends in social media. Here are five of their predictions:
  1. In the New Year, it is anticipated that sellers will be required to maintain a social presence of their own. As the value of socially enabled sales teams continues to climb, they will be responsible for representing the voice of their companies within the marketplace.
  2. In 2014, social media will make it easier for sellers to continue the conversation with their customers. Gone are the days when the seller-customer relationship ended when the customer data was fed into the marketing automation system. In the New Year, sellers will continue to build these relationships past the initial sale to encourage future spend.
  3. There will be a stronger emphasis on Twitter in the New Year. In the past, most sellers focused on LinkedIn as a way to build professional networks. But as more professionals join Twitter, sellers will need to focus more attention on this network to continue these valuable relationships.
  4. Sales and marketing will merge in 2014. As sellers continue to arm themselves with a social presence, marketing will provide them with content that they can use to deepen conversations with customers. This will allow sales teams to strengthen the impact of marketing messages while helping them maintain a professional presence on social.
  5. Mobile will be key to connectivity in the upcoming year. Since it is important for sellers to interact with prospects and current customers in real-time, sellers must have access to their accounts at all times. By connecting their mobile devices to their social channels, sellers will be able to answer questions, start conversations, and push content from virtually anywhere at any time.

Explore more predictions for the future of social selling by reading Business 2 Community’s full article here.