It’s fair to say that social media runs the world. As of January 2020, there are 2.96 million social media users across the globe. The worlds of social media and marketing are heavily interlinked. Companies use their social media platforms to communicate with their consumers, attract new customers, and measure relevancy.
Many people have heard the term Social Selling. However, not many people seem to know that exactly social selling is. This is a pity as social selling is one of the most overlooked forms of marketing today.
Now, we’re going to take a peek into the world of social selling and see what all the fuss is about.
Social Media Marketing vs. Social Selling
Before we go deeper into what social selling is, we need to differentiate it from social media marketing. For starters, social media marketing involves using multiple platforms at the same time in an effort to boost your social profile and turn consumers into buyers on the spot. That involves using every social media tactic, including:
- Customized Facebook Ads
- Branded videos on Instagram
- Sponsored posts on LinkedIn
Social media marketing usually yields instant results. A person clicks on your advertisement, signs up for your service, buys your product, or subscribes to your email feed. Once that is done, your goal is accomplished instantly. Social selling, on the other hand, involves a lot more work and patience but pays dividends.
Social selling focuses more on nurturing and generating leads for your businesses. In doing that, it allows you to gain the trust of your prospects and turn them into regular customers. That’s why almost 80% of salespeople who use the tactic outsell their peers who don’t use it.
Finally, let’s talk about the specifics of social selling and see how the tactic can help you.
What is Social Selling Exactly?
Social selling is a subtle art form. Most companies using this tactic to promote their product don’t go for the sale right away. The entire process starts by building a relationship with a prospect. Nurturing the prospect is one of the most important aspects of social selling.
While other direct selling tactics like cold calling have just a 2% closure rate, social selling allows you to take things slow and make the sale seem more natural. That’s why salespeople who use social selling close over 50% more deals than their colleagues.
How does an average social selling interaction go? Here’s how:
- A salesperson starts interacting with a prospect on social media through commenting
- The interaction continues through further commenting and private conversations
- The interactions improve the salesperson’s credibility and allow them to build a relationship
- After the salesperson gains the trust of the prospect, they turn them into a customer
So as you can see, unlike hard closing tactics, social selling won’t give you a quick sale and allow you to move on to another customer. The reality is, social selling requires you to put in a lot of work and be patient with your prospect before you close the deal.
How to Successfully Use Social Selling
You want to try out social selling and see will it help you increase your sales as well but you’re not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we got you covered. Here are a few steps you can take to get started with social selling and improve your numbers as soon as possible.
1. Optimize Your Social Profiles
First and foremost, you need to make sure that all of your social media profiles are consistent across the board. That means, they need to contain the same information and similar pictures. Also, during this time, you need to pick which social network you’re going to focus on. LinkedIn should be the most obvious choice since 70% of people use the network for purely business purposes.
2. Share Your Success Stories
How will people know your company is successful? You need to provide social proof of previous interactions. Nine out of 10 customers trust peer recommendations. That means, your prospects will trust you more if they know that people who’ve dealt with your brand in the past are satisfied. Sharing a few customer success stories will give you the credibility you need to attract new prospects.
3. Be as Active as Possible
You need to be active on your social profiles if you want your prospects to notice you. On average, a buyer will view 3 to 5 pieces of content before contacting a salesperson. Therefore, make sure to share branded content so your prospects can notice it and interact with it. Lastly, make sure to answer every comment in a timely fashion in a conversational tone.
The Rules of Social Selling
Some sales reps are hesitant about social selling because, at first glance, it tends to seem a bit invasive. Most people don’t communicate with complete strangers. Commenting on other people’s posts and sending them messages afterward might not seem right.
The reality is, some people might come off intrusive when trying to engage a prospect but if you approach and engage correctly you won’t be amongst them. You should follow these rules if you don’t want to appear pushy and imposing:
- Never send generic messages to your prospects
- Only interact with people interested in your company
- Comment on posts talking about your content
- Wait until the prospect starts sharing/commenting on your posts
Keep in mind, your interactions on social media need to feel genuine. You will never gain anyone’s trust if your words and actions don’t seem genuine. Make the interaction natural for you and your target.
We hope you enjoyed our article and that you found it useful. Have you ever tried social selling? Make sure to share your thoughts and experiences with us by leaving a comment in the section below.