Sales are easier when it is not forced. In other words, it is easier when you employ strategies that project you as someone who cares about customers.
One such strategy is social selling. In case you are new to the concept or if you need updated knowledge on what social selling is and how it works, you’re in the right place.
The term social selling has long gained prominence in the marketplace. It emphasizes building personal relationships with prospects and using meaningful content to drive engagement on social media networks.
It is a powerful tool for generating leads and increasing sales when done right and many organizations have come to that realization. Furthermore, it is a strategy that has come to replace traditional cold calling or emailing.
This article explores social selling, its importance, its strategies, and how to maximize your social selling strategies.
What Does Social Selling Mean?
Social selling is a social media marketing strategy that involves generating leads and driving sales by building personal relationships with prospects. In other words, it entails the use of social tools to drive interaction with prospects in a bid to make them customers.
Through social selling, you can deal with customers on a personal level on social platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
In addition, some of its strategies are providing guidance to prospects through your content, answering their questions in the comments section, reposting user-generated content, or even through one-on-one outreach.
Furthermore, it is important to note that social selling is not social media advertisement or direct selling. While social media advertisement aims at reaching out to many audiences at a time, social selling focuses on cultivating one-on-one relationships.
Also, it is more inbound and less direct. What this means is that you don’t have to approach customers with a sales pitch to sell to them rather you reach out to them to build a relationship, however with the goal of selling to them.
Equally, you gain their trust and make them repeat customers.
Importance Of Social Selling
You may wonder what the craze behind social selling is. Here is a list of reasons why it is an important strategy for businesses to adopt:
1. Your Prospects Are on Social Media
It is no more news that the community of social media users is large and will continue to increase. Therefore, you will be leaving a lot of money on the table if you are not leveraging all the opportunities for money-making that it brings.
Many individuals, as well as businesses, make their buying decisions from social media.
What this means is that you should optimize your brand for social media relevance through helpful and meaningful content, develop an excellent profile, and share things that will make customers engage with your brand.
Through these prospects can grow to trust your brand and consider patronizing your business.
2. Nobody Likes To Be Sold
The statement that nobody likes to be sold holds through. This is because as humans, we all care about our personal interests and we are naturally wired to avoid whatever will make us lose money unless we can justify it.
Hence, since social selling involves building a relationship firsthand before selling, you may subtly bring up conversations or ask questions that would allow prospects to share their problems with you. You may then suggest your product as a solution to their problems.
This way, you won’t seem like you’re about to rip their money off, rather they will see you as a friend who cares. Instead, it will be easy for them to patronize your brand and further become repeat customers.
3. Saves Cost, Time, and Effort
Rather than expending all of your efforts on cold calling or sending cold email outreaches, you can easily send inMails to prospects on LinkedIn or a message on Facebook or Twitter.
The uncertainty of cold emails is that your email might not reach the business manager who is your target audience. Furthermore, many individuals are cold towards cold calling and this can be frustrating.
But with an inMail on LinkedIn or a direct message on Facebook, you are sure to connect with your target audience quickly, thereby saving time and effort.
4. Identify Your Target Audience
You can easily identify your target market by noting the activities of people on social media. For example, insight into what type of content they comment on, their Facebook feed, LinkedIn or Instagram posts, and the people they follow, are excellent information for you to know if they are your target audience.
Furthermore, you can look into their Twitter or LinkedIn profile, or Instagram bio and this will help you identify if they are the kind of audience you are looking for.
In addition, all this insight can help you while developing strategies and content to reach and engage them.
5. Stay Ahead Of Competitors
Research has it that organizations that use social media tools enjoy more patronage than those that don’t. This is because buying the buying process is easier for individuals when they grow from knowing those brands to liking them to trusting them.
And the best way to get people to know, like, and trust you is through social media because that’s where most people, particularly millennials, spend most of their time.
Therefore, you need to show up with meaningful content that people will love to engage with, strike conversations with people in the comments section, post about your organization’s activities, staff, and encourage employees to post content about the organization too.
Also, social media is a great way to show up in people’s faces all the time. The more people see you and what you do, the more you stay top of mind. And you’re likely to be the go-to business during the buyers’ consideration stage.
Social Selling Strategies
1. Social Prospecting
This is the process of scouting social media networks for potential customers. Metrics such as individual interest, immediate buying intent, age, gender, role, location, etc, are all relevant for social prospecting.
2. Personal Branding
This involves developing your social media profile in a way that demonstrates competence, credibility, and integrity.
You may also highlight personal information like your hobbies, voluntary activities, and interest that potential buyers can relate with to strengthen the connection.
3. Employee Advocacy
Employee advocacy means encouraging your employees to share relevant content, news, and stories about the company with their social networks.
This way they can gain authority in their fields, become thought leaders, and attract opportunities to both the organization and themselves.
Furthermore, it is easy to do business with someone who is perceived as an expert.
4. Social Relationship Management
It involves using social networks to nurture relationships with prospects. For instance, listening to customers online, responding to feedback, and reposting user-generated content about the company.
5. Social Listening
An important aspect of social selling is setting up social listening tools that can help you know what prospects are saying about your brand.
It helps to monitor conversations with relevant keywords, and competitors relating to your brand. This will aid you in developing strategies that can position you better on social media platforms.
Best Practices For Best Result In Social Selling
It is true that social selling guarantees sales when done right, but many organizations still get it wrong. As such, this part of the article shows you what steps to take in order to achieve success while implementing your social selling strategies:
1. There are two parts to social selling
Before launching out your strategies you need to understand that social selling is of two types which are inbound and outbound marketing.
Inbound marketing deals with generating leads by curating meaningful content. While outbound marketing is about getting insight into who your target audience is and where they are.
Properly identifying who your audience is, what social media platform they use most, and their interest would help you channel your efforts rightly. You don’t want to invest in social tools only to discover that you’ve been in the wrong place all along.
Lastly, content acts as your voice. It enables you to speak one-on-one with the tens, hundreds, and potentially thousands of those who are looking for answers and insights on a regular basis. This is a powerful social tool in your arsenal.
By creating content that educates and informs your prospects and customers with context, clarity, and creativity, you can start to build trust and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
2. Define your organization’s goal
The goal of social selling is to strike deals and make more sales. But the problem with many organizations is that forget about the process they need to achieve this and focus on the end result.
Hence, you need to establish relevant KPIs that are in line with social selling. You should start by asking questions like:
- What is the minimum engagement we want for each post?
- How many leads do we want monthly?
- What percentage of leads should we aim to convert to customers monthly?
This would further help in setting your key performance index. For instance:
- To get one hundred comments per post in our first month
- Attracting twenty-five leads monthly
- To convert at least fifteen leads to customers monthly
3. Choose a team
For you to achieve your social selling goals, it is better to appoint a team for the course. This is because it can be time-consuming and it requires consistency.
For instance, you’d have to regularly show up with the content on those social media networks you’re using, you have to respond to comments, become chat buddies with prospects, etc.
Hence, you need a dedicated team that will perform all these tasks so as to maximize your results.
4. Educate your team
Growth is dependent on education. Therefore, investing in training your social selling team and staff members on using social tools for social selling will go a long way in helping your organization achieve success in your campaign.
Through training in content creation, cold outreach on social media, communicating with prospects, and closing, your employees are sure to bring in more customers than competitors.
Furthermore, they can go on to become thought leaders in their field of expertise and attract better opportunities for themselves and the organization.
5. Encourage Employee Advocacy
Although you do not disturb employees from their jobs, you should encourage them to use social media networks to their advantage.
LinkedIn, for instance, is a great platform to become an authority, and connect with thought leaders and prospects through your content. Including Twitter and Facebook.
6. Track results and feedback
Lastly, upon exerting effort into your social selling strategies, it is important to regularly evaluate your results. This will help you know what to continue with and those things you should not do.
Furthermore, feedback from employees and prospects can help you in building better creative ideas for your social selling campaign.
Is social selling a must for business success?
No. It is not a must for business success. However, it speeds up the sales process.
Does social selling work?
Yes, social selling helps to build a one-on-one relationship with clients.
What are examples of social selling?
It includes building rapport with customers, creating meaningful content, answering customers’ questions, etc.
Social media marketing is no longer about driving traffic organically. It is about being top of mind in front of your prospects. It is now about community, engagement, and development and not about traffic generation.
So the crux of social selling is building long-term relationships with prospects. Also, through social selling cold audiences easily translate to warm audiences and can become brand loyalists. Hence, social selling is an empathetic and more reasonable way of selling.
Therefore, employing social selling in your marketing campaigns is something every organization and business owner should look into.
Finally, you may check the article on how to have better social skills to become better at interacting with people.
I hope you got value.
Thanks for reading.