Beginner’s Guide to Social Selling
If you aren’t using social selling within your business, you are losing out on potential revenue generation. Social selling is finding potential customers online and building relationships by engaging with them. According to LinkedIn, 78% of social sellers outsell peers who don’t use social media. If you do social media right, it can boost your sales beyond your expectations. If you don’t do it at all, you are missing out on sales and letting your competitors leave you in the dust.
Why Does Social Selling Work?
We are living in a time where social media is used by 71% of Americans and 54% of the world’s population. Those numbers are astonishing. Especially when you pair those stats with the fact that they are using social media for an average of 2 hours and 25 minutes each day.
All of the mainstream social media sites (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest and Tiktok) have their own insights you can utilize. You can find out who your followers are, where they live, their ages, what time of day they are most active and what content they are most interested in. Having this information given to you at no cost is incredibly useful in targeting your ideal customer. If you want more in-depth analytics you can also purchase customer relationship management (CRM) software, as well.
How Does Social Selling Work?
By building relationships and providing your followers with useful information, you are gaining their trust, and trust leads to sales. But how do you build these relationships? You do so with consistency and meaningful interactions. If you have a consistent posting schedule on your social platforms, it shows that you value your followers and that they can count on you. If you haven’t shared a post or a story in 2 months, people will start questioning why they follow you, and losing followers equates to lost sales.
Interacting with your audience in a genuine way is also extremely important. Answer their questions, conduct polls, respond to direct messages and let them know that they are more than just a follower to you. When people feel a connection with your brand, they are more likely to turn to you when they need what you offer.
Another important part of social selling is to not spam your followers with unsolicited messages. No one finds that appealing and it will instantly turn potential customers away.
How Do You Get Started?
It’s likely that you already have a business account set up on at least one social media platform, or maybe more. What if you don’t? That’s not a problem! Starting from scratch has its own advantages, too.
Whether you have an existing social media presence or you are just getting started, there are a few things you need to think about before you start “selling”. First, develop your brand identity. This involves the elements of color, design and anything visual that customers can use to quickly distinguish you from your competitors. Brand consistency across all platforms is important. You can hire a professional for this or you can easily use basic editing tools and apps available on your mobile device.
Next, let the world know you exist. One of the easiest and most cost-effective (actually free!) ways to do this is by simply asking your friends and family to follow or like your page. If they want to share it, even better, but simply having a few followers and page likes can entice others to follow suit.
Of course you are going to primarily use your platforms to share your products and services and convince everyone of how amazing they are, but should you do that 24/7? No. People will grow tired of this content quickly if that’s all you have to offer. That’s what your website is for. So, if you aren’t talking about your company, then what exactly should you talk about? This is where industry adjacent content comes to the rescue. This consists of information related to your industry that can pique the interest of your audience and enhance their knowledge. Instead of a restaurant posting their specials for the day, they could discuss the produce sold at a local farmer’s market. A real estate agent could share information about low interest rates rather than another listing they just put on the market. By doing this, you are providing your potential customers with valuable information related to your industry. Now they are interested in what you have to say and view your brand as more valuable.
How Do You Find New Prospects?
Come up with a list of companies you want to connect with. This could be companies similar to your existing customers or companies you think could benefit from what you offer. LinkedIn offers one of the easiest ways to accomplish this by showing you a list of affiliated pages and similar pages when you view a company’s profile.
Hashtags can also be a fast & simple way to connect with others. There are hashtag generators available that will help you determine which ones are best suited for your industry. The hashtags you use will help users find you, while the hashtags they use, can help you find them.
Joining groups targeting your industry on Facebook or LinkedIn will allow you the opportunity to connect with like-minded professionals, while also scoping out potential customers. Posting in a group full of people with the same interests can quickly guide members to your socials or your website.
Ads are a great (paid) marketing tool used widely on social media. To ensure only those who would be the best fit for your business are shown the ad, you will narrow down your audience when setting up your ad. You can choose the audience based on age, gender, demographics, interests, etc. The analytics for your ad are beneficial when planning your next advertisement. What worked? What didn’t work? How many people clicked on the link? The answers to these questions contain critical data.
Prioritize Your Social Media
By using social media to promote your business to customers, or other businesses, you’re going above and beyond the tried and true promotion strategies of years past. While social media itself isn’t new, it is relatively new in the world of sales. If you stay active, provide value and engage in a meaningful way, you will reap the rewards. There is no better way to inexpensively increase sales simply by sharing what you do.
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