You’ve most likely heard of social selling. If not, we’re here to fill you in on everything you need to know.
It’s not the same as social media marketing or advertising, even though it contains the word “social” in it. However, it has everything to do with people, namely your targeted prospects, and developing relationships with them via social media.
Do you want to know if this technique will work for your company? This tutorial on social selling will show you how beneficial it can be to your business.
Let’s get this party started!
What is social selling?
Social selling is a sales technique that involves connecting and engaging with your target sales prospects directly via social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.
It’s a popular technique to form deep relationships with potential clients, and it’s taking the place of cold calling. It does not, however, include any hard selling or direct selling strategies.
Social selling involves channelizing social media engagement and activity toward the sales cycle. Nurturing two-way communication, it embraces relationships and helps close bigger business deals compared to traditional digital marketing strategies when it progresses well.
Benefits of social selling
The way we sell has changed over the years. It’s all about developing strong and trusting relationships with your customers these days. When you use social media to sell, you show that you’re an expert and authority figure in your industry. It gives you an advantage over your competitors who still rely on traditional sales approaches.
Social selling uses social media to reach out to relevant prospects and form relationships with them. It keeps you at the forefront of your potential customers’ minds, making you the first person or brand that comes to mind when they’re ready to buy a product or service like yours.
Besides, it’s the key to brand building, recognizing your target market, establishing relationships, and having a shorter sales cycle.
Of course, social selling isn’t a new concept by any stretch of the means, but it’s a genuinely undervalued, underutilized, and underappreciated sales and marketing approach … that you should definitely put to some good use!
I mean, look at these recent social selling stats from OptinMonster:
- 76% of buyers want to have social media conversations with potential providers;
- 78% of salespeople who use social selling are outselling peers who aren’t;
- 84% of C-Level executives use social media to make purchasing decisions.
According to the Digital 2021 October Global Statshot Report co-published by Hootsuite and We Are Social, more than half a billion people joined various popular social media platforms during COVID-19, leading to a total of 4.5 billion social media users.
Not convinced yet? Let’s take a look at some more statistics on how social selling can scale your business to prove the point.
Although social selling is a critical component to any modern sales strategy, the key to success is focusing on the social, not the selling. To help you do just that, we have a round of handpicked, custom-curated social selling tips for you to consider.
But let’s pick a social platform first.
What platform to use?
This decision is made based on the product you are selling and the right audience.
Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn reports that 94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn as a content distribution channel, compared to 89% on Twitter and 77% on Facebook and YouTube.
While each platform offers its audience reports and sometimes business opportunities, LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator tool provides personalized communication and in-depth performance analytics.
Meanwhile, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are great platforms to nurture two-way communication with your audience and convert them to customers. Create actionable and meaningful content for your audience to interact with and go to the root of their pain point to solve it. Customer loyalty is bound to increase.
Tips and strategies to get started with social selling
To begin, create a company account on the social media networks your target audience uses if you haven’t already.
Get in there and start selling on social media once you’ve finished setting everything up. We have collected some valuable tips and tricks that can help businesses approach the larger target and establish a rapport through social selling:
1. Network effectively
The more social platforms you use, the more potential customers you get. There are chances that loyal customers will share your webpage with potential clients. So, create presentations, landing pages, videos, and audio and post them on all social media platforms your company is present on.
2. Serve first, sell second
Showing you’re human and developing a relationship are excellent social selling strategies. Still, professional salespeople must deliver value before others will believe what they’re saying. Just because someone opted in or expressed an interest doesn’t mean they’re begging you to sell them stuff.
Serving before selling entails freely disseminating important information. It involves finding answers to problems without putting a monetary value on them. You’ll be on the correct route if you ask, “How can I help you?” rather than “What can I sell you?”
3. Don’t overlook existing customers
Many businesses use social selling to focus solely on forming new contacts. However, it’s also critical to maintain relationships with your existing consumers.
Getting a new customer might be five times more expensive than keeping an old one. And, if a person buys from you once, they’re more likely to buy from you again … as long as the relationship is maintained.
Encourage your existing clients to follow you on social media networks if they haven’t already and engage with them regularly!
4. Channel digital marketing efforts
Once you’ve created a social network page to increase your audience, you will see good traffic generated. Loyal and potential customers will engage with your content and share your webpage, leading to better brand visibility and recognition.
To maintain this traffic, you should ensure you’re responding to all comments and queries to function smoothly.
Also, make it a point to learn how to use other different types of marketing together with social selling to support your business growth.
5. Pay attention to what others have to say
On social media, people enjoy ranting about their lives. Their raving could be an excellent opportunity for you to step in and fill in the blanks.
Your followers are likely to share information about their wants and needs. Look for tips and pain points in messages and mentions. Being able to help others with these issues will provide you with a realistic chance for social selling.
6. Make a list of companies you’d like to work for and keep track of them
Do you ever fantasize about landing a big-name client?
I sure do.
It doesn’t have to be only a dream, though.
Small businesses and major enterprises can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn through company profiles or accounts. You can stay up to speed on corporate news by following these brands, such as when they win an award (and you can send them a “Congrats!” message) or when they ask for product recommendations (and you can send them an invite to a demo).
If you’re a marketer, this is similar to how you’d approach your account-based marketing plan.
Here are some options. Make a list of 5 to 10 dream companies active on social media and start following them right now. When you can, like, retweet, and comment on their status changes. It’s possible it won’t be a dream for much longer!
7. Use a geo-targeted search engine
Location-based targeting is available on social media platforms. This enables marketers and sales reps to distribute promotions to a specific group of people. They can offer gated content to customers and collect feedback through lead generation advertising or polls.
8. Offer special deals
Everyone loves free stuff, so try holding sweepstakes or doing social media giveaways. People adore promoting these types of campaigns on social media, and by incorporating an entry form, you’ll be able to collect valuable lead information.
Make sure to provide a means for people to share the offer on social media at the bottom of the form. This way, participants can spread the news to their networks, and you can continue to nurture the relationship by engaging with and acknowledging their postings with each mention.
9. Use a refer-a-friend strategy
Referral programs can be complex, but if you play your cards well, they can be a terrific way to engage your audience.
Referrals are an excellent method to break the ice with prospects, with 92% of customers believing the recommendations of their friends and relatives.
Create enticing rewards for both the referrer and the referees, such as a gift card or cash. It could be the final push your clients need to promote you to their friends and colleagues.
You can quickly build up a referral campaign that spans major social media sites with a social application coupled with your marketing automation platform, allowing you to grow your customer base quickly.
You’ll be able to watch the campaign’s progress and efficacy since each shared message will have a unique link that tracks replies at every stage of the conversion event. You’ll also be able to see how prospects are helping to spread the word.
Here’s an example of a referral campaign for Marketing Nation Online, our annual event. For a chance to win an Amazon gift card, participants were encouraged to refer their friends via social media.
10. Leverage social selling software
Social selling software gives you a nitty-gritty understanding of the lead age (creation date – conversion date) so that you can target them focused on their necessities.
With such software, you can learn about the changing requirements, which helps benefit and improve your product or service.
Here are some of the popular social selling tools:
LinkedIn Sales Navigator is the most powerful networking tool for B2B sellers. It expands the limits beyond regular LinkedIn accounts to see profiles and engage with them.
Search filters allow you to narrow down search results and enable salespeople to network with C-Level executives. You can also build your lists based on leads and accounts — the tags come in handy!
If you’d like to monitor client interactions and market trends, Mentionlytics is a great social media monitoring tool. Participate in client discussions and leverage opportunities for social selling. Help your buyers make an informed purchase decision and improve brand responsiveness.
Hootsuite’s customizable dashboard offers a single window to view a substantial amount of content across all social platforms. You can customize your social media channel posts and limit yourself to the content you’d like to see.
Besides, Hootsuite allows you to monitor and track what people are saying about your brand and provides an easy interface to respond to post comments and feedback instantly.
HubSpot’s monitoring tool lets you view all inbox activity, including new followers, track customer interactions, and integrate follow and follow back options.
Its social report tool offers reports on the audience, published posts, interactions, clicks, shares, impressions, sessions, new contacts, and top positions in the form of simplified graphs and charts. You can also attribute leads to specific sources, enjoying an extra benefit of Business Intelligence (BI).
Brandwatch Analytics is a capable analytics platform that includes features like extensive social listening and influencer identification tools. It’s a great market research tool for getting real-time analytics, keeping an eye on market trends, and identifying influencers to expand the reach of a campaign.
Brandwatch allows you to customize tools to meet specific needs, analyze and study conversations about your brand, and find new ideas, innovations, or opportunities.
Nurturing social selling efforts with the right platform and information would give you the upper hand you need for development and attainment. When your target audience is compelled to notice your content and learn more about your product or service, the number of leads generated will be tremendous.
11. Host a live occasion
Hosting a live event for your brand expands the horizon.
You can also utilize social media platforms to inform and attract potential leads in advance. Those brands are likely to grow faster who are socially interactive with their loyal and potential customers.
Live sessions don’t need to be a large vent or meet-ups. Creating a live chat session on the Facebook live page to answer FAQs is enough to increase brand recognition.
12. Create and share valuable content
Creating, distributing, and promoting valuable content is one of the best ways to attract prospects and skyrocket your sales. As a part of your social selling strategy, you can use content to engage your audience and boost interactions for the greater good of your brand.
To blend content and social selling, you can publish blogs and articles relevant to your target segment. Further, you can ask open-ended questions, post catchy infographics, respond to comments, and share freebies or downloadable content.
All these efforts, when done right, will help you attract more leads from popular social networks.
13. Set up references and tracking alerts
You can create reference campaigns to enter other social media platforms, gatherings, and groups through one social media page.
By tracking customers on different platforms, it’s easier to pace further and achieve the mission goal. Sending one message to other platforms through references and then following the reactions gives businesses a chance to build a prospective layout and content that helps create more and more traffic.
All set to leverage social selling?
The best way to overcome challenges while making it in your business niche is by mixing the sales and marketing strategies out there. Start experimenting with social selling and embrace learning as your core skill. Practicing the key social selling business strategies mentioned in this blog post will help you stand out from the crowd.
Though social selling and social media marketing seem similar, they’re pretty different. Both are powerful ways of converting customers and, together, could result in extremely high conversion rates for your company.
With a scalable approach like social selling, both small and large companies can achieve sustainable growth. To build a loyal community of your target audience does require hard work and a bit of creativity. The efforts, however, will pay off quickly.
Invest some time to think about your audience and its preferences. Crafting campaigns based on the audience’s interests will make enhancing brand awareness and loyalty relatively easy.
Make some informed decisions and see how you can leverage social selling strategies to promote your brand and fatten up your ROI.