To sell products or services, social selling takes advantage of the trust established through affable relationships. The business has recently shifted its focus to the digital sphere, and the majority of social selling now depends on social media platforms to establish a trustworthy, natural relationship with potential customers.
Effective social selling entails having real dialogues with potential customers and business partners, whether offline or online. You may ultimately progress the customer down the sales funnel toward lead generation and a successful purchase as you build connections with them and earn their trust.
What is social selling?
Building connections on social media with potential customers and business partners is a priority in the sales and marketing approach known as “social selling.” The focus of social selling is building relationships with customers via different social platforms.
This is distinct from conventional advertising, which emphasizes promoting products to customers by emphasizing their advantages or how they address problems.
What’s involved in a social selling strategy?
It entails building trust points with potential customers, knowing about their ways, and figuring out how your products and services may help. The goal of social selling is to develop relationships and earn sincere trust from your clientele in pursuit of a successful transaction.
Here are four key components of a social selling strategy.
- Getting on the right social selling platforms
Social selling takes place on social networking platforms. Given their focus on conversation, Facebook and Twitter are popular among salespeople. Younger audiences may be reached on Instagram, TikTok, and Snap, while LinkedIn is excellent for professional networking. The comment sections on Reddit and YouTube often attract experts in the field or curious people. Companies keep these pages updated by posting content that is relevant to the perceived interests of their customers. Beyond only publishing, they engage and connect with their audience in the comments sections of blog articles and YouTube videos, in AMA (Ask Me Anything) forums on Reddit, and by retweeting a follower’s tweet.
- Using built-in tools to target potential buyers
Numerous web platforms provide social selling tools that direct businesses toward their ostensible target customer. These tools include lead creation and statistical analysis of your web pages. Social selling tools may have a significant influence on relationships between businesses and their customers, according to LinkedIn, which focuses on business-to-business (B2B) transactions. According to the business, 62% of B2B customers reacted positively to salespeople who were knowledgeable about their business strategy, goals, and pain points.
- Use third-party tools to expand your online presence
Tools for social selling are not restricted to a platform’s built-in features. Salesforce, Hootsuite, and Amplify are just a few of the organizations that have created tools that make it simple for businesses to engage with customers across a range of platforms. These tools are especially helpful when communicating with a single message, ensuring that the recipient receives the same message whether they see it on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or from a mailing list email.
- Listening first, selling later
It is beneficial to start your interactions with social listening, whether you are promoting a business brand or your own brand. This involves listening in on internet discussions to learn what people are saying about your product, noting any pain points or positive aspects of your business that customers have, and developing your message accordingly. You participate in these discussions and respond to inquiries from others without switching into salesman mode. Instead of trying to sell anything, the objective is to have genuine conversations.
3 benefits of social selling
For sellers promoting a corporate brand or their own brand, social selling provides three major advantages.
1. It builds trust
People want to conduct business with people they can trust; therefore, trust is the foundation of both dealmaking and the sales process. Establishing a foundation of trust with your customers and developing a personal relationship with them translates into making them feel at ease around you and, therefore, purchasing your goods or services. For instance, you may build a community around you and your company on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram that makes people feel like they belong, however big or small.
2. It yields long-term rewards
Social selling does not promote on-the-spot purchases. It cultivates relationships with potential clients gradually and methodically, and it keeps those relationships going even when they start making customers. For instance, the online audio store Sweetwater assigns each customer to a “sales engineer“, who follows up on every transaction with a personal message of appreciation. The result has been significant repeat business for the business.
3. It gives you insights into your customer base
A company may learn a lot about its consumers’ motivations when it actively engages in social listening and vigorous customer engagement. In this technique, social selling serves as both a sales and a market research technique. Even if a social encounter does not result in a customer, it may nevertheless provide the company with important insights into the preferences and interests of its customers. This data may be used by businesses to generate new product designs, improve product descriptions, and influence their next marketing campaigns.
How to choose the right social selling platform for your brand
The decision to use a social selling platform mostly depends on an honest evaluation of your brand.
- LinkedIn: is great for business-to-business interactions. To market themselves as potential workers or business partners, people on the B2B platform LinkedIn develop their personal brands. Similar to how Google and Facebook may help you target retail customers, LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a proprietary product that aids in business customer targeting.
- Instagram: has an extremely dedicated user base. Every single day, more than 200 million people use Instagram. Additionally, according to the company, 70% of modern consumers would think about browsing or purchasing a product on Instagram. An active Instagram presence might benefit businesses that target younger demographics since Instagram’s user base tends to be younger than that of many other platforms. For instance, the US Census Bureau ran a significant Instagram advertising campaign in 2020 to entice younger people to participate in the census.
- TikTok: offers quick virility and a younger audience. The unique algorithm of TikTok gives social merchants the chance to instantly go viral. Products also become viral on TikTok and often sell out in a couple of days, in addition to videos and memes. Although TikTok’s e-commerce approach isn’t as sophisticated as those of other social media platforms, such as Instagram, it is gradually improving thanks to a major collaboration with Shopify. By using TikTok to follow and participate in viral trends and using that information to create viral content of their own, businesses may reach a younger market.
- Facebook: promotes both discussion and sales. According to a June 2020 eMarketer survey by Bizrate Insights, 18.3% of Facebook users have bought anything on the platform. The company launched Facebook Shops, its own internal ecommerce platform, to capitalize on this trend. This may make the Facebook platform a one-stop shop for discovering a product and making a purchase. Facebook is also well-known for its extensive comment threads, which often include the opinions of customers who have shared their experiences on a product’s official Facebook page. Long, in-depth conversations are a crucial component of social selling and naturally promote social engagement.
- Twitter: is important for customer service. Twitter is a powerful arena for debate, particularly for customer service. Many social sellers use Twitter marketing to keep an eye on mentions and take additional precautions against unfavorable comments. Because Twitter has not made as much of an investment in e-commerce as Meta Platforms (owner of Facebook and Instagram), marketers mostly use it for product conversations and customer service.
- YouTube: keeps your audience informed and connected. Many large companies have YouTube channels where they promote their products and provide informative content that can be of interest to their target customers. Make lengthy television advertisements if you want to succeed at social selling on YouTube. Giving broad information and being genuine with your audience can eventually lead to organic sales.
5 tips for social selling success
As you embark on your own social selling effort, keep in mind that the trusting relationship distinguishes social selling from traditional advertising.
1. Create a professional brand
Obtain complete certification in your field, keep your website current, and respond to customer inquiries quickly.
2. Check your social selling index
The Social Selling Index, or SSI, is a tool developed by LinkedIn that evaluates the performance of social selling and relationship development based on four main factors. You may find out how you rank on the social selling index by using that tool and this tutorial. These recommendations may assist you in developing a unique and effective social selling campaign, whether or not you use the tool.
3. Focus on the right prospects
The ability to interact with customers who actually care about your product (if you’re promoting a professional brand) or your core abilities (if you’re promoting a personal brand) is a major benefit of social selling. The most self-aware and effective social sellers focus on those who seem to be really interested in what they are selling and avoid wasting their time on those who will never become paying customers.
3. Build trusting relationships
Genuinely conversing with potential customers and listening to their requirements and current points
4. Use analytics
The majority of social media platforms, like Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube, provide sellers with detailed analytical information on the kinds of people who are interacting with their profiles and platforms. Top social sellers take advantage of this information to modify their outreach and message as necessary.
Engage with your customers, pay attention to what they have to say, and treat them with respect. Be certain that you will get enough benefits over time.