Social media has revolutionized networking not only for individuals but also for businesses, small, family-owned start-ups, particularly. Nowadays, a business venture has to come with a social media presence in order to make a dent in the market. But social selling is more than just selling using social media.
As with everything in setting up a business, social selling needs to be carefully planned and executed to ensure success. Otherwise, it’s wasted money, time, and effort down the drain. If you’re unsure about what social selling is or how you can improve social selling if you’re already doing it, you’ve come to the right place.
Social selling is the practice of using a business’ social media accounts across a variety of platforms to connect with its audience, network with prospects and potential leads, and reach their sales targets. It also entails targeted marketing and establishing relations with future customers as opposed to just churning out advertising and promotions in the hopes of catching a bite, so to speak.
Basically, social selling is a more nuanced way of selling via social media. This is because it calls for building relationships with prospects and positioning your product and/or service based on their actual needs, effectively getting rid of outdated tactics such as cold calling. It’s not only a more effective way of making a sale but it’s also key in forming lasting associations with customers. To get you started, here are 8 techniques to improve social selling in business.
Before you can hope to carve a niche in the market using social media, you need to create a foundation for your brand – your online image. Make sure your pages perfectly match your company’s mission, vision and values. Ensure that your product and/or services are at the forefront of your every post. Demonstrating how they add value and enrich the lives of customers is the first step on how to sell on social media.
Invite your current clients and customers to write reviews and testimonials to attest to your brand’s efficacy and reliability and how partnering with you has enriched their lives. Create posts that are interesting and engaging, touching on your prospects’ and customers’ pain points and highlighting how you can help. Once you’ve established your profile, make sure they’re all updated regularly, in a timely manner and improve social selling. Your audience will expect nothing less from you.
Apart from mainly selling, what do you aim for your page to accomplish? Take the time to get to know your product or service and ask yourself the following questions:
● What are you offering?
● What can it do?
● How can it make people’s lives better or easier?
● Who makes up your demographic?
● Who belongs to your target audience?
Then, craft your social selling strategy. This is the bulk of how to improve social selling. How will you hook people to visit your page, check out what you’re offering, and actually buy your product or avail of your service? If you’re not familiar with or sure of how to strategize social selling, get someone who knows how to execute your goal for your page.
As tempting as it may be to just post whatever, whenever, rein your urges in. By now, you would have a designated person to take care of your social media pages. If not, you should have an idea of the frequency of your posts apart from what you would post on your pages and when. Mix things up by coming up with a combination of organic and curated posts.
Make sure that images are clear and high quality, relevant to your business, what you’re offering, and your audience. You can also make your posts more fun by inviting your customers to submit photos of them using your product and/or service so you can post them. This will help establish your brand’s reputation, earn and build trust while bolstering your social selling profits.
Social media is a great way to hit two birds with one stone, so to speak. You can prospect, resolve your customers’ concerns, answer their questions and do some social media selling while you’re at it. The beautiful thing about it is, with enough practice, you can do one and the others smoothly. Granted, this type of system is developed over time, but you will get there eventually. You just have to think of your pages as a one-stop-shop for everything customer-related.
If you engage your customers in a fun, collaborative, and creative manner, you’ll be able to connect with them better, transcending a professional, even transactional, relationship and turning it into a personal, more genuine one. Your teams will also be more efficient – whether it’s your sales, customer service, or marketing teams.
It’s all over social media nowadays: live chats, widgets, and webforms to make customer service and overall engagement more manageable for both the customer and the business. Oftentimes, you get an inquiry or concern in the middle of the night, and by the time you get back to the customer, they would have changed their mind or become more aggravated by waiting. Live chat features can help with this with canned replies and callback options.
Widgets and web forms help a ton in the way of generating and capturing leads from your socials if you want to improve social selling. You’ll be able to take better care of and consistently provide value to your current customers, collect leads and become successful at social selling with the help of a few modernizations. You can also use technology to watch your social selling index go up and up and up!
You can’t put in all the work and not pay attention to how it’s impacting your sales, engagement, and overall online presence. First, in order to improve social selling, you have to monitor and track the results of your social selling efforts. Collate insights and other data relating to your current initiatives to see which ones are getting your business your desired results and make changes from there.
Next, monitor conversations so you can collect leads and see trends for demands and possible customer care issues before they become full-blown events. How to sell on social media involves using various platforms to your advantage. Last, use social media monitoring tools to keep track of conversions from leads to actual sales to see where you can make changes to either increase the number or keep the trend from plateauing, see what your competitors are up to and what the current trends are.
This is the basic tenet of social media: networking. Use your pages to network with prospects so you can nurture the relationship until they’re ready to purchase. They might have questions and concerns about your product and/or service and you can secure a sale better and faster by being there for them. Network with other businesses as well. It helps immensely if you want to be updated on what's new as well as up and coming in the market.
Networking also gives you the opportunity to connect with other businesses within the same industry. You may learn a thing or two from the way they do things to improve social selling for your business. You can also have a better chance at seeing what your competitors are up to so you can either match their efforts in social media selling or try a different tack to collect and convert more prospects.
Selling is easy but retaining customers and having a loyal following is more of a challenge. Some businesses consider a sale to be the be all and end all but it’s actually just the beginning. Your customer is handling, trying, and living with your product and/or service out in the real world. Based on how it’s built or delivered, they will have an opinion about your offering which can either be good or bad for your brand.
You can make a difference in the after-sales care you provide them. A short call to check in or a simple email to confirm their satisfaction can do wonders. They might have questions or concerns or may just want to be appreciated for their support of your business. It’s the little things you do after a prospect becomes a customer that raises your social selling index, cements the relationship, and anchors them to your brand.
Social selling has more components and moving parts than originally thought but that’s what makes it interesting, pleasant, and rewarding. You have a bigger arena to find prospects, convert and build a loyal customer base in. If done well, social selling can open a new door of exciting opportunities for your brand.
Remember to stick to the tools that work best, organize your prospects and leads and be responsive to customer complaints and concerns. Also, although it’s been said that you should never fix something that’s not broken, it’s never a bad thing to improve on what you already have and learn as you go along. Now, go out there and get those prospects!