What is Social Selling and How to Use It
What describes the modern consumer is that they are well-informed and independent. They use social media for their product research as well as making recommendations to other people. This Hubspot research shows that up to 74% of B2B buyers inform themselves about products online before they make the purchase. It’s not a secret that online purchasing via social media is becoming more and more common. Marketers who made online social selling available to their customers are doing so much better than the marketers who didn’t implement this sales method. It’s an important approach when it comes to selling your product to the targeted audience (with which you built up your sales network) and gaining the trust of your customers.
What Exactly is Social Selling?
Social selling represents a way of using social networks to find, connect with, nurture, and understand potential sales prospects. It’s an excellent method for building relationships with potential customers who are following your brand so that when they are ready to buy, you are the first thing on their mind. On the other hand, social selling is the total opposite of social spamming, meaning that it isn’t about constantly spamming people with private messages, aiming to convert them to your customers. Spammers are annoying, and you would be doing yourself a huge disservice if you were to choose to replicate their tactics.
How to Implement a Social Selling Strategy?
First of all, avoid using automated commenting and liking tools. They will just harm your reputation, both personal and brand. It’s easy to include social bots for marketing and customer purposes, but that doesn’t work with selling because it’s important to show up and be authentic. You need to engage with people, show them who you really are, and let them know you better. This is a point where you need to build relationships with potential customers, and you can do it by making yourself more approachable to them. Since you won’t be alone when performing social selling, it’s crucial that your profile shows up when people are searching for expertise in your industry. That way, they will recognize you as a valuable contact in your industry. Also, remember to optimize all of your social media profiles on all platforms to get the most out of social selling marketing.
The second thing is that you need to hear what your potential customers have to say. They are already sharing all sorts of relevant information on their social channels, about their wants, needs, and preferences, so use that to your advantage. You can use social lists to keep track of what people are commenting about your brand, your competitors, and your industry. All of these can give you an opportunity to provide the right solution to their problems. Make sure that you check what they are following as well as who is following them before reaching out to any of the leads you identify as qualified. If you have any mutual connections, ask them for an introduction. Of course, it’s important to send customized and authentic connection requests.
The next thing is to provide valuable insight to the right prospects at the right time. Simply being present as a salesman is not enough, you have to make it count. When you interact with potential customers on social networks, the key is to provide valuable information and knowledge, which will establish you as an expert in your niche. Consider writing posts in which you share your expertise, but don’t hesitate to share relevant posts from other experts as well. Always add a short comment when you share someone else’s post where you talk about how it can be implemented in your line of work. And don’t make your posts all about presentation, as your goal is to build a strong relationship (that will eventually lead to closing a sale).
And as we mentioned above, a well-implemented selling strategy is based on building meaningful relationships with your customers. You need to stay in touch with your contacts. Always keep an eye on what they are posting, and inform them that you are present with a comment or like, just to let them know you appreciate what they have to say. If someone from your network is asking for advice or help, be sure to give them a meaningful answer, even if it doesn’t have to do anything with the promotion of your product. By helping them, you present yourself as a leader, a relevant person in your industry, someone that they will contact when they want to buy.
Social selling is not that different from typical selling. You have to build credibility, relationships, trust, and provide the right answer to a problem at the right time for your prospects. Social selling just uses different tools that can help you focus on the most important parts of the sales process. Now, take some time to create a good social selling strategy, and make the most out of social networks.
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