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In recent years, the industry has pivoted to the digital realm, and most social selling now relies on social media platforms to create that trusting, organic connection with potential customers. Social selling uses the trust built through friendly connections to sell products or services.
Social selling works effectively when your company engages in actual conversation with potential new clients or business partners. As you build trust and establish relationships, you can eventually move the customer through the sales funnel toward lead generation and a successful deal.
Firstly, let’s define what is social selling.
Social selling is a sales and marketing strategy that prioritizes building relationships with potential buyers and partners on social media. Social selling emphasizes a relationship between merchants and their customers via various social platforms including Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or TikTok. This strategy is completely different from traditional advertising, it focuses on pushing products to potential customers by highlighting their benefits and how they can solve a problem.
Social selling offers three important key benefits to sellers or to professional brands who want to promote their brand and their products:
The first key benefit is that it builds trust. Trust forms the basis of dealmaking—people want to do deals with someone they trust. The work of communicating with your customers and building a personal relationship with them translates into establishing a baseline of trust, and by extension buying your product. For instance, if you use a social media platform like Instagram or TikTok, you can build a community around you and your brand that gives people a sense of belonging.
The second benefit is that in return, you receive long–term rewards. Social selling steadily and progressively builds strong relationships with potential new customers, and its aim is to maintain this relationship even after when the customers proceed with a purchase. For example, if you sell beauty products you can assign each customer to leave a review for the products by giving them a discount on their next purchase.
The third, but not least benefit is that social selling gives you insights into your customer base. For instance, when a company commits to social listening and robust dialogue with customers, it learns a lot about what motivates those customers. Social selling is a market research technique. Even if a social interaction does not yield a sale, it can still provide the company with valuable information about customer wishes and interests. Companies can use this information to shape future marketing campaigns and develop new product designs.
Now you may be thinking, how do I know which social selling platform is right for my brand? Below we will have a look at how you can decide which social selling platform works best for your brand. To start with, choosing a social selling platform largely comes down to an honest self-assessment of your brand.
One of the most popular social selling platforms out there is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is great for business-to-business interactions. LinkedIn is a B2B platform, where people refine their personal brands to pitch themselves as employees or business partners. It features a proprietary tool called the LinkedIn Sales Navigator that helps you target business customers. (Have a look at our last article to learn more about Advanced LinkedIn Sales Prospecting Tips)
-Instagram is one of the largest platforms with an extremely dedicated user base, with over 200 million users who use it every single day or even every hour. Most recently, research showed that 70% of day shoppers consider researching a product via Instagram and eventually buy it. Instagram’s presence can help companies to grow and sell their products faster.
-TikTok is one of the most popular platforms amongst younger audiences, due to its quick virility. TikTok uses a unique algorithm that offers to social sellers the opportunity to go viral, quickly and often sell out in a matter of days.
-Facebook promotes both discussion and sales. The company is trying to tap into this trend by rolling out Facebook Shops. Facebook has its own in-house e-commerce platform which makes it a one-stop shop platform for learning about a product and then purchasing it. Facebook is also known for lengthy discussions in its comment threads, including those by-product enthusiasts sharing their experiences on a brand’s official Facebook page, this can foster engagement and it is a key facet of social selling.
-Twitter is not as popular as the other social selling platforms but is important for customer service. Is a highly influential discussion forum, and social sellers prefer to use it for product discussions and fielding feedback.
-YouTube is a unique platform whilst it keeps the audience informed and connected. Many major brands operate a YouTube channel where they showcase their products and provide useful content that might interest their customer base. The secret to social selling on YouTube is that its engages authentically with the audience, by giving general-purpose information, and over time it makes sales that come organically.
If you are planning to embark upon your own social selling campaign and succeed, read the useful tips below:
First, you of course need to create your own professional brand if don’t own one already. Get fully certified in your industry, maintain a website, and offer prompt communication to your potential customers.
Then, you need to consider and check your social selling index. For example, LinkedIn pioneered a tool called Social Selling Index, or SSI, which measures social selling success and relationship building based on four broad criteria. This tool can guide you to check your social selling index score, and it can also help you create a unique and successful social selling campaign.
Then, you need to focus on the right prospects. In social selling, a key advantage is that you connect with customers who genuinely care about your product. You need to always remember and be aware to engage with people who truly seem interested in the product and not with people who will never proceed with a purchase.
Of course, another key tip is to build trusting relationships. Engaging with potential customers in genuine conversations about their needs is a very important factor if you want to succeed. Engage with customers, listen to them, treat them with respect, and feel confident that you will reap sufficient rewards as time passes. And the final tip is to use analytics. All the social selling platforms provide sellers with analytical insight that may be very useful for future campaigns. Analytics can find insights into which types of people are engaging with your profile. The most successful social sellers make use of these insights and then accordingly refine their messaging and outreach.
The above tips can help you promote your brand effectively through social media, resulting in loyal customers and increased conversions. The only thing you need to do now is to develop a comprehensive social selling strategy that will help you make the most of these ideas.
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