Are you eager to boost your sales game, this blog is for you. Social media has become an integral part of our lives, and it’s time to tap into its power to drive your sales through the roof. By mastering the art of social selling, you can achieve incredible results.
If you think social selling is for smaller entrepreneurs, then see these statistics:
-IBM witnessed a staggering 400% increase in sales thanks to their social selling program.
-Dell made a whopping $6.5 million by connecting with their followers on Twitter.
-Xerox brought in an astounding $1.3 billion by implementing effective social selling techniques.
In fact social selling is for every business. It helps you find a targeted audience that’s more likely to buy from your brand.
It also builds a genuine relationship with your clients, hopefully improving your sales from social media. Here’s everything you need to know about social selling and how to implement it yourself.
Table of Contents
- What is social selling?
- Why your brand should use social selling
- 3 Common social selling mistakes you should avoid at any cost
- 5 Expert tips for social selling for beginners
- Wrapping up
- Frequently Asked Questions
Social selling can be defined as the practice of connecting with prospects through your business’s or brand’s social media channels. These connections are used to build relationships with potential leads, making them more likely to choose your brand over your competitors.
By being an active part of a buyer’s online community, you’ll increase your chances of being the business a prospect chooses when they’re ready to purchase. Social selling is now replacing cold calling and is a brilliant alternative to outdated relationship building.
When defining social selling, it’s important to understand how it differs from social media marketing and advertising. Social selling is about building trust and a relationship with your audience, whereas social media marketing focuses on promoting and selling certain services. Effective social selling may not even contain posts about your products; instead, posting content can make you a trusted brand in your industry.
There are many great reasons why your brand should start to adopt social selling more. You’re likely already using some forms of social selling in your strategy without even realizing it. Still, by making a conscious effort, you can see some drastic improvements in your performance.
1. Social selling works
When looking at the statistics between brands that use social selling against the ones that don’t, you’ll see that social selling improves performance in multiple metrics.
According to research and data published by LinkedIn Sales Solutions, businesses can create 45% more sales opportunities through social selling, and companies that use this strategy are 51% more likely to reach their sales figures.
The reason why social selling works are because the practice builds trust and association. Brands that constantly post valuable, useful, or entertaining content will become more embedded into a target audience’s mind, making them the first brand they think about when buying a new product.
2. Build real relationships
A brand that follows good social selling practices will become a social channel where users look forward to reading their content. Posting and sharing relevant content can help you build a relationship with your audience, increasing brand awareness and loyalty.
Here’s what Anthony Martin, CEO of Choice Mutual, had to say about social selling: “Social selling is a great way to connect with your audience and garner their trust. Having a social presence focused on valuable content has helped our brand become a leader in the industry.”
3. People are already buying from social
Over the last few years, social channels like Facebook and Instagram have added functionality where users can buy directly from businesses without leaving the app. This ease of use means that social selling can help you get more sales with less effort.
Instead of having to attract customers to a website to purchase items, you can post content that lets them buy directly from the platform, removing steps from the marketing funnel where you could lose sales.
Increasing your reach through social selling can help you sell more items to engaged customers, allowing you to boost sales.
Many marketers get social selling wrong when they first try implementing the practice into their strategy. Here are a few things you should avoid to make sure that it’s effective from the moment you start:
1. Cold dming clients
If you are social selling on platforms like LinkedIn, one of the biggest things you must avoid is private messaging potential clients, especially if they have yet to show prior interest in your brand or service.
Most of the time, this practice doesn’t work, as recipients will often just be annoyed by the approach and ignore it, leaving the interaction with a less-than-positive impression of your brand.
Instead, the better thing to do is to let potential clients approach you. You’ll have more success by posting content on your channels that demonstrates your expertise and builds trust.
Regarding cold DMing, Tom Goloubovich of Ninja Transfers says, “Cold direct messaging is just the online version of cold calling. It’s annoying, invasive, and may do more harm than good. There’s nothing wrong with conversing with prospectus clients, but you first need to share posts and content with your network so that they can understand who you are and how you can solve their needs.”
2. Adding anyone to your network
When deciding which audience you want to do your social selling to or who you want to add to your network, you need to be cautious that you are adding or marketing to people of value to your brand. It’s one thing to have a wide potential audience reach on a post, but if that audience isn’t well suited to your products or brand, they may not engage with the content.
For example, if you’re a beauty care business for women, targeting men and adding them to your network may not be the most effective solution. Instead of getting a broad, varied audience, nurture one that matches your brand.
3. Sharing irrelevant content
Your content needs to be fine-tuned to suit not only your brand and business identity but also the interests of your target audience. Posting content that doesn’t line up with your business can confuse and alienate your potential audience, and if you go too broad with your content, some users may not find it valuable.
Stick within your niche when social selling, and only post stuff you know will resonate with your audience. One of the best ways to know what to post about is through market research. Knowing your audience inside out can help you tailor your content better, leading to more engaging social selling.
For brands and marketing teams starting social selling, here are some things you should implement to ensure you’re successful:
1. Build credibility first
The best way for a brand to be a good social seller is to take steps to become a leading personality within its niche or industry. Each post, article, and comment helps build your brand’s reputation, and after a while, you’ll appear as a credible brand in your field that knows what they’re talking about.
The best way to build credibility as a brand is to have public conversations demonstrating your knowledge and unique perspective. About credibility, Morgon Taylor, Co-founder of Jolly SEO, says, “People are going to want to buy from you if it looks like you know what you’re talking about. Building a good reputation is one of the best ways to practice social selling, as it will increase the number of people interested in your brand.”
Another great way to build credbaility is to share positive reviews. Money saving app Piggybank does this really well, as they share positive reviews on their instagram. This helps build greater trust and resnonates more with the audience. Eventually, after building credibility, your domain authority will rise, helping you on the SERPs.
A good way to see how credible you are already is by tracking your brand mentions. If social users are already referring to your work, you can capitilize on that further by responding and adding more content. You can use Keyhole to help you monitor and track mentions.
2. Stay active online
You can only maintain an active audience and build trust with your social selling if you’re posting frequently. Long spells offline can ruin months of hard work, as potential prospects will be turned off from your brand.
Instead, plan your content and posts and schedule enough content to ensure it’s of value for your followers and audience. Great ways to keep active are responding and reacting to current trends and commenting on other posts. Another way to stay active is to complete competitor research to see what other businesses in your niche are saying, as you can build on this to create even better content.
A good way to stay active is to aslo capitlize on social media trends. This includes things like using the most popular audio for your video content, jumping on viral challenges, or even reacting to current events.
For example, Oreo was able to stay active and use a trending topic to stay relevant by making reference to a blackout that occurred in the 2023 super bowl.
One of the best ways to stay active is to plan ahead. You can do this with a content calendar. Keyhole offers great content calendar functionality that allows you ro schedule posts on all sorts of platforms.
3. Go to where your prospects are
If your social strategy is to post on all the social platforms available, you could give yourself more work for little or no reward. It’s well known that certain demographics use certain platforms over others, so to practice good social selling, you first need to identify where your target audience is most active and, crucially, where they’re not.
For example, if you’re a business tailored for young mothers, you’ll likely find them more on Facebook and Instagram than LinkedIn or Twitter. Don’t try and force your audience to come to you; go to them. One way of finding your audience is to use social monitoring. Seeing where you’re being talked about can help you find great channels to post content to.
Once you know where you prospects are hanging out, you can engage with them by allowing them to be part of your own content. Many companies do this by sharing User-generated content, and it’s excellent at making your commumlty appear vibrant and engaged.
Go Pro is a brand that’s excellent at this, as they encourage users to share their content captured with their video devices.
4. Only use relevant online communities
Linked to the previous point, once you’ve found the best platforms to use for social selling, try and embed your brand into the most relevant communities on there. This could be a LinkedIn Group, Twitter Space, or a Private Facebook Group. Whatever it is, get your brand or brand ambassadors into these spaces to listen to the conversation and involve yourself in the discussion.
Fernando Lopez, Marketing Director of Circuit, says about online communities, “Online communities can be a powerful tool for social selling. In these spaces, you can learn more about your audience’s issues and pain points and address them in your content. Constantly having the solution will increase the trust in your brand and encourage more sales when these communities are ready to buy.”
To be good at social selling, you need to track your previous efforts to know how well it’s working and understand what you can do to change and improve your outcome.
Gerald Lombardo, CEO at CauZmik, says, “Without tracking, you’re basically shooting in the dark. Knowing how well your previous efforts have performed can help you figure out a new strategy to get even better results.”
Social tracking isn’t just about your own performance. If you’re using influencer marketing alongside social selling, you must also track influencers to see their effectiveness.
Keyhole is a great at tracking your audience to see how your efforts are performing. With the software, you can see how your audience numbers fluctuate and compare it to your output to see if an increase in social selling efforts lead to an increase in leads or audience members.
Social selling is a marketing tactic that can improve your prospects and increase online trust. Follow these tips to ensure you engage with social selling property and reap the rewards that can help you sell more to engaged and loyal customers.
To ensure that you do social selling the right way, make sure to use Keyhole to perform social listening as well as other functions so that you know how your audience feels about your brand and your prior efforts.
Take your social selling to the next level and get started with a free trial so that you can make better, more impactful connections with your audience
Anthony Martin, CEO and Founder at Choice Mutual. Nationally licensed life insurance agent with 10+ years of experience. Official Member at Forbes Finance Council. He is obsessed with finances, building tech and collaborating with other successful entrepreneurs.
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Frequently Asked Questions
The best networks to use depends on your audience and should be influenced by your target audience and where they're most active. Twitter and Instagram have been popular places for brands to interact with customers, but also consider LinkedIn for more professional brands.
The biggest challenge of social selling is clearly defining your audience while finding the right channel to do your social selling on. Taking the time to figure this out before you start can help you become more successful. Plus, another challenge is not tracking your effort correctly. Using the right KPIs, you can perform social selling well.
Social selling gets results, so it's worth it if you're willing to put in the effort. Social selling can help you increase quality leads who are interested in your brand and reach a wider audience, helping you sell around 50% more than brands that don't use the technique.