Does Social Selling Really Work?

May 13th, 2020 Mathias Lehnhoff

Social selling has been a hot topic for quite a while now. Some people say that the tactic helps salespeople outsell their peers by 78%, while others feel like the tactic simply doesn’t work. So, which one of these is true? Does social selling really work?

The Case Against Social Selling

When talking against social selling, most people cite a survey, which revealed that only around 1% of customers use social media when shopping for a new car. According to the same survey, social media usage while shopping was only 5%.

Using this example, many people try to show that social media is not used to aid purchasing decisions. Since the numbers are so low for car shopping, they have to below for other purchases too. That means you shouldn’t use social selling to talk to potential customers, right?

Not exactly. The problem with the study above is that it doesn’t really prove anything. As the New York Times best-selling author, Jay Baer, points out, car sales can’t be used as a measure of social selling. There are entire websites dedicated solely to car listings.

With them, why would you ever check social media to buy a car?

The Case for Social Selling

Social media is a huge factor for modern shoppers, especially for younger ones. Recent research suggests that social media platforms play a large part in the buying decision process. Both Millennials and Gen Z-ers are four times more likely to buy something if their peers recommend it on social media.

That research also shows what many people fail to realize: social media is a tool used to influence someone’s purchasing decision. Social platforms are not there for direct sales. Instead, it’s a tool that will help you build meaningful relationships with your leads and turn them into customers over time. 

How to Use Social Selling

Social selling is a slow process. You need to know your leads and be patient if you want to see real results. As Deb Calvert, the founder of People First Productivity Solutions says, you need to know which social media platforms your target demographic use the most.

For instance, if you’re operating a B2B company, you cannot expect that your leads are spending a ton of time on Facebook and Twitter thinking about business. Most business owners, however, are probably spending a few hours weekly on LinkedIn, which means that is the best network to target. For more on how to implement Social Selling on LinkedIn, read our 18 tips.

Here a couple of things you need to do if you want to get the most out of your social selling efforts:

  • Spend enough time identifying and targeting the right prospects
  • Build meaningful relationships with your prospects
  • Try to solve some of your customers’ problems
  • Be more customer-centric than your peers
  • Measure social selling success and find what works

Final Thoughts on Social Selling

The bottom line is: social selling does, in fact, work. However, it doesn’t work how many people expect it to. Social selling is a marketing tactic like any other. It can bring you lots of leads, sales, and money. You just need to learn how to use it properly.

We hope you found our article helpful. Do you have any experience with social selling? Share all of your experiences with the rest of us by leaving a comment in the comment section below.