Have you noticed how everyone is talking about social selling?
And for good reasons.
Consider these statistics.
- 1% of sales reps actively engaged in social selling spend 5-10% of their time on social media. (HubSpot)
- 78% of salespeople engaged in social selling outsell their peers using traditional selling tactics. (OptinMonster)
- 76% of buyers want social media conversations with a potential provider. (OptinMonster)
- 92% of B2B buyers are amenable to engaging with a sales professional who is a thought leader in their industry.
Yet, despite its name, social selling is not so much about direct selling. Instead, it’s about using social media to build brand awareness, generate leads and build relationships with potential customers.
Social selling is not the same as social media marketing either. But they work hand-in-hand.
In this article, we’ll answer 20 of the top FAQs to help you use social selling to grow your business in 2023.
1. What is Social Selling, and How is it Different From Traditional Selling?
- Emphasis is on making a sale. It involves more face-to-face interactions, even in our digitalized world.
- You secure a random list of leads and, using a sales script, make cold calls, send emails, or launch direct mail campaigns.
- Traditional selling is a cookie-cutter approach to closing sales.
- Use online social networking channels and company social networks.
- Target your audience.
- Create customer personas.
- Gather online intelligence.
- Personalized sales messages
- Buyer funnel content.
Social selling is a long-term strategy focused on building long-term relationships. Sales teams can develop more personalized human connections with prospects by offering valuable content and building trust through online interactions.
2. How Can Social Selling Help me Generate More Leads?
With a social selling strategy, you can laser-target your potential customers and build a relationship with them.
Social media enables targeting people most likely to buy your products or services. You’ll easily connect with individuals who match your customer personas by using advanced search and filtering options. By actively engaging with potential customers and developing a relationship with them, you’ll earn their trust and increase your conversion rate.
Additionally, you’ll drive revenue without expanding your brand’s marketing budget.
3. What Are the Best Social Media Platforms for Social Selling?
The answer to this question depends on your target audience and the services/products you provide.
In general, the top four social media platforms for social selling are:
Twitter is a highly-active short-form content platform that lets you connect with your target audience in real time. You can share quick updates about products or services, announce upcoming events, and respond to customer sentiment. It would be a good choice no matter your industry.
LinkedIn is the most trusted social platform, with over 800 million users. However, it is primarily a business platform offering opportunities to connect and educate your target audience’s decision-makers. However, today the line between professional and personal online use is not as rigid. In addition, our remote or hybrid ecosystem means that consumers often bounce around between social platforms throughout the day. So, even if you’re a B2C brand, you might want to be active on LinkedIn.
If you’re a B2C brand, you’ll definitely want to be present on Facebook. It’s the largest social media platform with the most expansive user base. But, unfortunately, algorithms can get in the way, so you’ll want to optimize your company page and create a brand community to succeed on Facebook.
Instagram consistently ranks 3rd in the number of worldwide users. It’s a visual platform ideal for showcasing your services and products. Instagram’s emphasis on video content, especially short-form (Reels), provides a unique opportunity to connect deeply with your target audience. With shoppable links, you can quickly draw potential leads to your website and continue to build authentic relationships.
4. How do I Build and Maintain Relationships With Customers on Social Media?
The short answer is authenticity, consistency, personalization, and persistence. By first defining your target audience and creating a reliable customer persona, you’ll be able to engage in conversations that result in long-term relationships with your customers.
Listen and engage with your audience.
Follow your audience to hear what they are saying on social media. Then, respond to their questions and concerns as quickly as possible in a way that lets them know you care. Don’t meet a negative comment with negativity. And resist the urge to erase negative feedback.
Share valuable and relevant content with your customers.
Today, everyone is worried about what the economic future will be. Your customers are looking for value and honesty. They don’t want gimmicks and unfilled promises. So, publish blog posts, infographics, and user-generated content demonstrating that you hear them and can solve their problems.
Appreciate your customers.
Create loyalty programs. One of the best rewards programs does not involve discounts or pre-sale opportunities. Instead, give your loyal customers a gift card that they can use at their favorite retail outlets. ‘They’ll appreciate the power you’ve given to spend your gift in ways that help them. Every time they use the card, they’ll remember your business.
Personalize your interactions.
Take advantage of tools that keep track of your customers’ interactions with your brand. For example, when writing to them, use their name and recognize previous purchases. Then, tailor your messages to their particular interests and needs.
Always follow up with each customer to discover their experience with your brand. Continue to nurture the relationship post-purchase and look for opportunities to improve their interactions with your brand.
5. How Can I Use Social Listening to Improve my Social Selling Strategy?
- Social listening tools reveal what your target audience is saying.
- The online conversations reveal their pain points and interests.
- You’ll also learn what they say about your brand’s products or services and how they feel about your competitors.
- Then, with these insights, you’re empowered to build authentic relationships with your audience.
- You can create personalized experiences and speak directly to your audience about their concerns and problems and how you can solve them.
6. How do I Integrate Social Selling Into my Overall Sales Strategy?
A successful social selling strategy requires a dismantling of the typical silos that exist in most businesses. Instead, your sales and marketing teams must form a collaborative partnership based on clearly defined goals and objectives.
Be sure everyone is on the same page with your social selling goals. For example, do you want to improve conversion rates? Generate more qualified leads? Or improve customer engagement?
What is your brand’s overall sales strategy? Do your social selling efforts align with this strategy?
What is your sales team hearing when they approach prospects? Are you incorporating this feedback in your social selling content?
By infusing social selling into your brand’s overall sales strategy, you’ll improve the effectiveness of everyone’s efforts and achieve better results for your business.
7. How Can I use Social selling to Improve Customer Service?
One of the most critical elements to improving customer service is being responsive and showing that you care. When you routinely monitor your social channels, you’ll be able to quickly identify and respond to customer concerns, questions, feedback, and other issues.
The personalized interactions that form the core of your social selling strategy build authentic relationships based on trust and customer satisfaction. As a result, you’ll secure repeat business and build a loyal team of brand ambassadors who share their positive customer experiences with their network.
8. How Can I Use Social Selling to Increase Brand Awareness and Credibility?
By establishing a robust online presence, such as creating a professional profile and consistently posting engaging and valuable content, you’ll be able to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
Your audience will see you as an expert in your field, think of you as a trusted source of the information they need, and will share your content with their social network. As a result, you’ll increase your brand awareness, attract more potential customers, and build trust with your target audience.
9. How do I Handle Negative Feedback on Social Media?
- Be sure someone is constantly monitoring conversations about your brand on social media.
- Decide who on your team will handle negative customer feedback on social media.
- Create a brand management response plan to use a guidebook for responding to negative comments about your brand.
- Act swiftly. Do your best to respond to criticism or problems within 24 hours.
- Offer multiple ways for the customer to converse with you about their issue.
- Maintain a positive outlook, no matter how hostile, or aggressive the poster might be.
- Don’t erase negative comments. The poster will see it and spread the word.
Social selling is a long-term lead-generation strategy designed to build trust and authenticity with your target customers.
Unlike traditional selling tactics that rely on cold-calling and product promotion, social selling leverages social media to engage with customers and generate revenue.
Social selling improves customer engagement, increases the generation of qualified leads, and boosts conversion rates.
A seamless collaboration between social selling and your overall sales strategy is the best way to grow your business.