Social selling is all about developing meaningful relationships with potential clients using social media. Here are 5 ways you can engage your customers better.
Living in our FAANG dominated world, literally everyone and their mother is on social media. Which means that for businesses, social selling is no longer optional – it’s a necessity.
But what is social selling and how does it work? Find out that and more below.
What is Social Selling?
Social selling is all about building and nurturing relationships that will eventually lead to a sale. It is a lead-generation technique that involves finding and engaging with prospects on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Why is Social Selling Important?
It is expected that by 2021, 3.02 billion people in the world will be using social media – a figure that businesses of all sizes would be foolish not to tap into.
On top of that, according to Hubspot, social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate compared to standard outbound marketing. This is down to the fact that social selling puts helping the customer before trying to make a sale. In short, it’s a softer sales approach – and one that’s all about building long-lasting relationships.
How Does it Work?
Unlike cold calls which are, by nature, intrusive, social selling works by establishing trust and rapport with the client over a period of time – two elements that make a customer far more likely to buy from you.
By taking the time to answer questions and provide useful, quality information for your clients, you are encouraging friendly, low-pressure engagement while establishing a trustworthy relationship with them. This not only warms them up for the day that they are eventually ready to buy, but also increases your chances of retaining customers in the long term.
After all, people don’t buy from companies, they buy from people. So, regardless of your end goals, be sure to focus your efforts on building better customer relationships.
Now that you know the basics, you might ask how to go about implementing a winning social selling strategy? Here are 5 ways to start.
5 Ways to Engage your Customers Better
1. Pinpoint the Most Relevant Social Network for your Brand
Just because it’s recommended that you promote your brand on social media, that doesn’t mean that you should spread the net. Like most things, social media is not a one size fit all marketplace. Not every social media platform is a good fit for every business. Before deciding on a platform, first consider:
1. Who is your target audience?
2. What are your overall business goals?
3. Is your business B2B or B2C?
4. What are the top social media platforms in your market?
The idea is to focus on the platforms which encompass the bulk of your customer base plus the prospecting ones. For instance, a millennial skincare brand like Glossier would focus the majority of its efforts on Instagram as this is where its target demographic tends to hang out. Whereas a B2B company like Dropbox or Microsoft would be better suited to professional networking site LinkedIn, which accounts for a whopping 80% of B2B leads vs. 13% on Twitter & 7% on Facebook.
2. Social Listening
Social listening is the process of tracking social mentions of your brand, competitors, and industry on the Internet. By analysing related keywords, phrases, and trends, you have the opportunity to find relevant conversations, engage customers, and develop authentic relationships with potential clients. On top of that, you can also track your competitors, discover new leads, find crucial pain points, and use those newly found insights to fine-tune your strategy going forward.
3. Approach your Customers with Authenticity
As mentioned earlier, trust is a vital component in social selling and authenticity is what mediates that trust. To this end, your social media presence should be built upon genuine and relatable content.
Gone are the days when we fawned over overly stylised, perfectly curated content. Marketers today should always aim to show the real side of the business. Here’s are some tips to get you started:
1. Be honest, and transparent – kids today can spot inauthenticity a mile away! Be as open about your failures as you are about your successes.
2. Always personalise your outreach and make it a point to have tailored, one-on-one conversations with your followers. There’s nothing worse than receiving a cold, formulaic response.
3. Practice social listening! Read, understand, and respond to comments in your feed with valuable and timely insights.
4. Finally, if you mess up – fess up! Don’t delete it! Covering up a mistake in this day and age rarely goes unnoticed in this day and age. It’s far better to own it, work to correct it, and move on. You’d be surprised at how well followers react to a sincere apology. It can humanise your brand.
4. Build Credibility. Establish your Brand as the Expert
Consumers want to feel like they are in safe hands. That’s why it’s crucial that you regularly position yourself as an expert in your field.
Having said that, a reputation of credibility is not born out of thin air. Instead, it is derived from consistent, insightful content. As proof, call tracking software brand Convirza (previously known as LogMyCalls), reportedly garnered 400% increase in leads within 90 days following their aggressive “150 Blog Posts in 50 Days” initiative. Evidently, consumers appreciated the effort and found these updates of marketing case studies and White Papers both intriguing and valuable, improving their trust in and connection to the brand, and increasing the likelihood of them moving down the sales funnel.
To build your credibility, consider these tried-and-tested strategies:
1. Publish free content (and lots of it!)
2. Get active on social media
3. Guest post on the right sites
4. Create videos and podcasts
5. Attend and host events
6. Become a keynote speaker
7. Create research papers
8. Write a book!
5. Optimise your Profile with Relevant Content
The requisite of putting out compelling, relevant content should go without saying. Be sure to swap out your grainy, 8mm vibe profile pictures and substitute it with hi-res, professional ones. As the saying goes, first impressions count.
It might also be advantageous to create more video content and work on refining your copy-writing strategy.
Last but not least, allow us to offer a tip – when writing headlines, bios, captions, etc., always frame them as value propositions. Consumers are under no illusion to your end goal, which is to sell them something. So you might as well put it front and centre by clearly and directly informing prospects as to how you can be of assistance. Uber’s recent post on Instagram could serve as an example of what a direct value proposition looks like. It is engaging with consumers’ topical needs while enumerating all the services it could provide to meet those needs.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to the capacity to look further into the horizon and not get too bogged down by short-term objectives. You might not see results immediately but as they say – Good things take hustle. Great things take time.