7 Tips for Social Selling
July 01, 2019
According to Statista, the number of worldwide users on social media is projected to hit 3.02 billion active users per month by 2021. With nearly one-third of the world’s population engaged in liking, retweeting and sharing content, building a strong social media presence is critical for businesses to excel and increase visibility of their brand. With this influx in online users, and the number of engaged social media audiences projected to continue to grow, social selling has created a powerful shift in the way that customers are exposed to and engage with brands.
What is social selling?
Social selling allows brands to get involved in the buyer's journey by targeting and engaging with audiences through channels like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Companies and salespeople can utilize their social channels to boost trust and increase positive perception of their brand by responding to comments, answering questions, sharing content, and building relationships.
What are the benefits?
In today’s hyper-digital age, companies can increase sales and drive traffic to their business by capitalizing on this opportunity of incorporating social selling into their practices. In fact, companies and sales representatives who engage social selling into their marketing plan are proven to reach target audiences faster and sell more.
According to LinkedIn, leaders in social media selling create 45 percent more sales opportunities than those with weaker social selling strategies. Social selling leaders are 51 percent more likely to reach quota, and 78 percent of social sellers outperform those who do not utilize social media at all.
Ryan Napierski, president of Nu Skin, says “In response to the vast options of online venues, product information, and reviews, consumers tend to purchase products which have been endorsed by someone they trust — whether that be an influencer, celebrity, or friend selling a product through direct sales.”
So, with social selling proving to be beneficial, how exactly can you take advantage of it in order to drive more sales? Here are 5 tips for companies and salespeople who want to up their game in social selling:
7 Tips for Social Selling:
1. Create Instagrammable Moments - If social selling is something that you want to incorporate into your business practices, encouraging your employees to utilize social media is something that can both increase your brand perception and help your employees feel connected online.
“Providing ‘Instagrammable moments’ encourages our employees to utilize their social media to talk positively about the company online,” says Ritch Wood, CEO of Nu Skin. “During company events and initiatives, we see a spike in employees tagging Nu Skin and using event specific hashtags on their social platforms. We strive to develop a culture and provide a great work environment where employees are engaged, excited and proud to work. This creates a natural desire for them to take pictures and share with their followers.”
Even though employees don’t necessarily see social media as part of their jobs, it can play an important role in how your brand is perceived online, which can make or break your reputation and social voice.
2. Make a Good Impression - Your profile is one of the first things that consumers see, and it is crucial to make a good first impression. Success in social selling requires your profile to be a positive representation of who you are, therefore, your profile must be up to date and should present accurate and interesting information. Optimize your profile with good images and a bio that represents you well, and your online presence will continue to build because consumers will be eager to see what future content you share.
3. Utilize Tools - Using social listening tools like Spredfast and Synthesio allow you to analyze your content’s performance and optimize future posts according to relevant topics in your social sphere. You can use these tools to see what kind of content your audience engages with and which posts perform the best. Taking advantage of social media tools will enable you to keep track of relevant conversations which will continually enhance your social selling strategy.
4. Engage, engage, engage! - Engaging with your audience is central to social selling. Responding quickly to comments and establishing a consistent online presence builds trust and credibility among consumers. Liking, commenting, sharing, tagging, and participating in relevant groups will not only strengthen the online relationships that allow for trust in the products and services that you present, but it will also keep you relevant and increase your visibility for other people to be exposed to those products and services as well.
5. Stay Relevant - Social channels are constantly being flooded with content. As a social seller, it’s important to stay relevant by being active on your accounts and consistently sharing new content. Find gaps in the types of content that are being posted and fill in those gaps with new and original content and messaging. Target the right groups by following industry leaders and influencers. Stay up to date with trends and use relevant hashtags to target the content that you share to the right people. Without consistency, your content is likely to get buried in a sea of more relevant information.
6. Listen - Understanding what your audience wants requires you to pay attention to what they are saying. By reading and being attentive to what your followers are commenting on and sharing about the industry, you can customize your messages to fit those needs and concerns.
7. Be Real - Being real is the best way to connect with people online -- followers can spot a lack of authenticity from a mile away. Be yourself and make sure your posts aren’t all about pushing a product or service. Find a balance between posts that are about simply connecting with your followers and ones that are meant to convert customers. And even then, cut back on the hard sell. Show how you benefit from the products or what you like about them and let people ask you questions.
If companies and sales professionals want to set themselves apart as successful and customer-focused, social selling and digital media need to be a vital part of their efforts. Social selling is hugely important for customer acquisition and will continue to be a valuable part of social ecommerce, so focusing in on and improving your company’s social selling strategy is something that is more than worth the investment.