The term “social selling” has gained some serious popularity in the recent years. Still, few people understand how to build social selling strategy that works and what it takes to implement it.
To simply define social selling,
“it’s about using your strong personal or business brand to get your social connects turn into prospects and customers.” Great social selling technique may involve both online and offline networks to develop and nurture relationships that would later turn into sales opportunities. The way consumers are relying upon social media to make their buying decisions, networks like facebook, twitter and Linkedin are making an important elements of social selling.
“[tweetherder]Aberdeen Research Group found that sales representatives that take advantage of social selling are 79% more likely to reach their sales targets.[/tweetherder]”
Social selling is a subtle yet effective option because the social B2B buyer is more senior, comes with a larger budget, makes purchases often, and has more control over the decision. By implementing social selling strategies properly, you can cut larger deals through shorter selling cycles – and this can increase revenue up to 15%.
In fact, it was published in Forbes that 78% of sales reps who use social media outsell their peers. Similarly, LinkedIn recently mentioned that social selling leaders have 45% more opportunities to make sales. You can make things work for you if you approach the whole process in a systematic way. Here are some easy to implement social selling tips to get you started.
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1. Be Clear About Your Social Selling Strategy
You need to be clear of what benefits you want to achieve through your social selling approach. Understand that a good social selling strategy is about a genuine effort to share valuable information and content before you even engage anyone in any sales conversations. Social selling is more about encouraging the readers and get curious to know more about you – naturally. It is more about pull factor, not push strategy.
You are not going to get anywhere if you spam sales messages on Facebook, Twitter, or another networks. You have to make use of relevant videos, images, news, and snippets of information to connect to your social network community. Once you build the brand loyalty, you can then cash in on it and start sales conversations.
Looking at your available resources, time, money and the need of your target audience will be a good starting point to an effective social selling strategy and goals.
2. Display the Product in Action
One of the best things about using social networks is that you can show your product in action. So many people browse through Instagram, Facebook, or other social media networks without any idea of making a purchase. Their buying decisions are usually spontaneous – something catches their eye, they like it, and decide to make a purchase. Social media networks give you the opportunity to share a product’s image against plain white background and share an image or even a video that shows how your product works in the real life.
Adding real people experience will make this public display even more convincing and real to favour your brand.
3. Understand Prospects through Competition Analysis
Listen to your clients and analyse what your prospects are saying about any products you are offering. Monitor their social media conversations across different networks. You shouldn’t even mind to identify your competitors’ strong and weak areas and what people are talking about them. Needless to say, you must do your own brand’s SWOT analysis first.
This helps you identify most liked news, top influencers in the industry, and interests of your target audience. Perform a consumer analysis to identify the platforms that has the most potential for your business and where most of your prospects hang out. Check how other companies in your space are conducting their campaigns.
4. Prepare a FAQ and Address It Well
Creating a thorough FAQ, so far, is one of the most profound social selling tips you should consider. By spending some time on social networks and following what your target audience is saying about your products or service, you will be able to make a list of issues they most often face. Be sure to answer all these frequently asked questions one-by-one in a series of videos or all at once in a blog post published on your website/blog with a link in your posts. Rectifying these issues and concerns will help build reputation and increase brand loyalty. Not only it makes them feel easy and clear about your product but also leaves a transparent and genuine impression about your brand.
5. Offer Incentives Based on Sharing
Encourage your past customers to share their feedback on your social media channels. Experiential marketing is another important key element of a successful social selling technique. Happy customers are more likely to share pictures of their purchases, but you can encourage them more by offering some incentives without looking offensive to their ego. Both past customers and potential buyers love when brands engage with them. Make them Hero because they’re the Heroes of their brand.
One simple way to get a response is to reach out to them with a special discount coupon for their network or another incentive that inspires them to make another purchase. When others notice there is an incentive for sharing, they are more likely to react. Running a social media contest, especially on Twitter or Instagram, may prove extremely beneficial for building a brand and improving your reputation that you can use to get more selling opportunities.
6. Your Linkedin Profile is Your Social Selling Card
When people research your company or products through social media, they never forget LinkedIn. A CEB study shows that about 57% of a purchase decision is now made before potential customers even contact a supplier. It is therefore important to complete and keep your LinkedIn profile updated to ensure it leaves a positive impact on your target audience and inspires them to engage with you for more information.
Once you have updated your profile, be sure to make use of LinkedIn’s cool communication and engagement tools – you create relationships using InMails, confirm a relationship using Connection Requests, and leverage a relationship using member Messages. Take full advantage of all these social selling tools.
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7. Take Part in Twitter Chats on Industry Topics
Active participation in Twitter chats will help you run your social selling campaign successfully. It works as a subtle recall value when people see you interested in listening without an intention to sell aggressively. This further helps because comments and likes on posts help build a knowledge base of ideas and topics you can use to create engaging content in the form of images, videos, and articles at a later stage. This analysis can even help you understand why some people post more on certain topics and what makes some posts/comments get more likes.
With knowledge about this, you will be able to participate in Twitter chats with more authority because you would know what you should talk about and what to avoid. When on Twitter, be sure to leverage interesting tools, such as TweetAdder, which helps you find new people and ManageFlitter, which helps keep your account free of the dead weight.
[Tweet “Use Twitter Polls to make your target audience think & remind of the challenges they even might not know. #socialselling #sunitabiddu”]
8. Help Others with Social Sharing and Selling
You cannot just take part in chats and discussions and hope to make sales and connections. It is important to help others with social sharing and selling to expand your reach and improve your relationships with others.
[Tweet “Never underestimate the power of extended networks. Their smart use can amplify your social selling. #sunitabiddu”]
Look for other businesses who may be related to your industry and share their interesting posts. Offer help and be willing to go to an extra mile to be of value to them. On Twitter, look for influencers and favorite their posts. Sharing good thoughts and relevant opinions, retweets will also help establish you as an active person on social networks and help you raise awareness about your own brand in the process.
Be interested to get interest from others. That’s the key to getting “social” & do the selling.
9. Combine social selling with other prospecting activities & non profit activity
While running a planned social selling campaign definitely has its advantages, you should not take it as a core direct sales channel.
Your blog, site, Facebook page, YouTube channel, Twitter profile, Blab conversations, Instagram page, Pinterest boards, and Periscope sessions all create opportunities to delight, inspire, entertain, connect, and inform your audience. Just be sure to do it right and establish your authority first to generate revenue and sales for your brand, products, and service. Any doubts? Don’t take chances; seek help of a professional or social media consultant to use social selling in your current marketing plan.
[Tweet “Remember that social selling is selling later and getting social first. #sunitabiddu”]
How is social selling working for you? is there a way I can be of help. Please feel free to ask. Let’s discuss and make it work for you.