You’ve probably heard of “social selling,” but what exactly is it? Put another way, social selling is a sales technique that combines traditional sales methods with modern digital tools. At its core, it’s about using social media networks to reach and engage potential customers in meaningful conversations.
By utilizing social selling, businesses can precisely identify potential leads and build trust-based relationships with them through popular online platforms. That said, it’s important to note that social selling isn’t just about posting on social media platforms. There are best practices to follow to ensure your efforts are effective.
Let’s look at some of the best social selling techniques and strategies to get ahead.
What Is Social Selling?
Social selling is an innovative lead-generation technique created to assist salespeople in forming connections with potential buyers via social media platforms. Some also say it is a sales and marketing strategy that combines traditional sales methods with the power of social networks.
Utilizing the process of “social listening,” salespeople can understand what their target market discusses online. This knowledge helps them create meaningful conversations that resonate most with their audience and foster authentic relationships through engagement.
By utilizing social selling, customers and companies can transcend the typical transactional experience of sales, resulting in more authentic relationships with prospective buyers.
Through the power of social media, salespeople can now foster relationships with their top prospects in a much more intimate manner. This has created an incredibly personalized one-to-one experience beyond what’s possible on the internet alone. Furthermore, this online connection can lead to face-to-face meetings and even closed deals when managed appropriately and quickly.
4 Major Benefits of Social Selling Tools
By leveraging social selling, sellers can experience these four critical advantages for their professional or individual brand.
1. It builds trust
Trust is the foundation of any productive transaction or sale, as customers prefer to work with someone they believe in. By connecting with them and strengthening your relationship with them on a deeper level through conversation, you generate an atmosphere of mutual trust that encourages customers to feel safe doing business with you.
This can be accomplished using social media networks like Facebook and Instagram, as these platforms help create a community where people are welcomed regardless of their size or stature.
2. It Yields Long-Term Results
Social selling isn’t just about getting a one-time sale. It’s about establishing a long-term relationship with your customer. By consistently and continuously nurturing relationships with prospective customers, it solidifies bonds that will continue even after they become paying clients.
3. It Amplifies Your Reach
Social selling through social media platforms can expand your network and increase your potential reach exponentially. It will even help you develop relationships with customers who may have yet to find out about you through traditional marketing tactics.
4. It provides insights into your customer base
Companies that actively pursue social listening and conversation with their customers gain valuable insights into what drives them. Social selling is a sales tool and an invaluable market research method.
Interactions from social selling can provide companies with important information about customer desires and interests—even without significant sales results. This information can be employed to create more targeted marketing plans, devise new product designs, or refine product descriptions for maximum appeal.
How Does Social Selling Work Across Various Platforms?
Considering the multifarious approaches to social selling—as people use diverse platforms in varying ways—it is essential that your methods are adjustable and tailored to the particular platform you’re utilizing and the prospect.
To this end, here’s some valuable advice on executing social sales successfully across various major networks.
1. LinkedIn Sales Navigator
LinkedIn is the leading B2B social selling platform, with half of all buyers using it as a resource to determine what they will buy. In other words, if you don’t have much time or energy to dedicate to your social selling campaign, this should be your go-to outlet. Remember these guidelines while using LinkedIn to make the right impression on potential buyers and customers.
Step 1: Build Credibility
Social selling should never come off as impersonal; your prospects should feel a sense of trust in you. Word-of-mouth is the best way to achieve this. Check out groups in the same industry as your prospects and add value to the conversations. Also, keep your profile updated with relevant job titles, company names, descriptions, and/or awards.
When it comes to social selling, understand who you’re targeting. Check whether you have customers with whom you have excellent relationships. And if you see someone, request that they provide their endorsement or recommendation on your profile. It will help solidify your authority and influence among new contacts.
Ensure that the abilities you receive endorsements for apply to prospective customers, not just future employers. A potential customer may not be interested in hearing that you’re experienced with particular software (unless it’s something they want to purchase), but an employer surely would.
Step 2: Discover Connections
LinkedIn provides multiple approaches to identify potential prospects—individuals that may derive value from your product or service. Use LinkedIn’s search feature to find skills, job titles, businesses, or even industry-related topics relevant to your ideal customer profile (ICP) and those who have shared connections with you. Leveraging this information, you can use this established relationship by sending a connection request and initiating conversations.
Step 3: Join Groups
Joining LinkedIn Groups is a great way to solidify your connections, as this initiates discussions that enable you to showcase your knowledge and experience in a particular field.
After LinkedIn, Twitter is another powerful social selling tool for B2B salespeople. Specifically, the platform’s Lists feature enables you to pay attention to content from specific accounts or groups. If you’re looking to bolster your sales strategy with Twitter lists, these three steps are essential:
Step 1: Find Prospects
To expand your prospect pool, search for potential customers or leads on Twitter and add them to a private list. This will prevent competitors from seeing who you’re targeting, but those on the list won’t know they’ve been selected as prospects. It’s a win-win situation. Monitor the content posted by your private list and interact when necessary. But don’t get too friendly, given that you don’t have a preexisting connection with them.
Step 2: Network with Existing Customers
A strong connection with existing customers is essential to making new sales. Utilize Twitter lists to keep up-to-date on their activities, such as what they post and the conversations they’re following. This can strengthen relationships or even open doors for new opportunities.
You can list your current customers publicly, but make sure you didn’t sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) or are in an industry that requires confidentiality.
That way, potential consumers can glance at the existing brands that have already done business with you and gain valuable insight into your services. Additionally, don’t just like their tweets for the sole purpose of being polite; rather, comment when there is genuine value to be added.
Step 3: Monitor Competitors
Monitoring competitors also helps you stay ahead of the game. Create a Twitter list that includes your competitors and other industry experts or influencers in your field. Analyze their content to identify areas where you can improve your services and differentiate yourself from them. Additionally, watch for changes in their strategies so that you can adapt yours accordingly.
3. Other Platforms
Undoubtedly, there are many other social media networks to browse, including Facebook, which has almost ten times as many users as LinkedIn. Still, typically, sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Reddit aren’t the best choices for sales-related activities. On these platforms, most users refrain from engaging with business issues, as they’re intended for discussing social issues and connecting with friends and family.
14 Best Social Selling Practices That Work
There are so many excellent social selling practices out there, but if you’re looking for the most effective methods that will help you see results quickly, here are some of the best:
1. Ensure Your Social Media Profiles Are Up-To-Date, Professional, and Authentic
Before initiating your social selling strategy, refine and update your social media profiles, whether on LinkedIn or Facebook. Prospects are unlikely to respond if they see an outdated or incomplete profile, or if their profile picture is blurry or unprofessional.
An excellent first impression is of utmost importance on social media. It’s also essential to be genuine and trustworthy to attract and engage a larger base of followers. We recommend you use a picture displaying your professional side and reflecting the real you.
Include brief details about who you are professionally at your company with links to where people can learn more about it. Also, describe your role there and the major projects or initiatives you’ve been involved in.
2. Connect with your prospects
Once your profile is updated, start connecting with potential prospects. Be sure to research the companies and people you are connecting with and send a personalized connection message before sending one.
3. Join relevant online communities or forums, such as LinkedIn groups
Joining relevant communities enables you to join the conversation about topics that are meaningful to your target prospects. You can join groups on LinkedIn and other platforms that follow trendy industry topics.
Besides, joining these groups will give you invaluable insight into their needs and how to meet them better. You can also initiate meaningful conversations if you want. However, avoid promotional comments and unsolicited sales pitches.
4. Post Content That Builds Your Personal Brand And Credibility
Strengthen your presence on social media and build trust with your customers by sharing compelling, original content. Share helpful articles related to the industries of those you want to contact. These tactics help create an impact on your audience and promote engagement. You can ask your followers to jump in and get the conversation going by engaging with you in the comments.
5. Track Comments
If you see posts with high engagement, explore the comments section and join the discussion. By browsing your prospects’ comments, you can gain insight into their perspectives and preferences. This can help you decide what type of content to share with them.
6. Share Success Stories
Consumers are more likely to trust individuals they can relate to. This is why testimonials from satisfied customers are important to win over prospects. If your customers have a positive opinion of your product or service, sharing their success stories on your social media channels will help build relationships with those who might still be on the fence.
Furthermore, demonstrating the success of your existing customers is an effective way to create credibility and increase engagement among prospective buyers.
7. Be Consistent
Although dedicating an entire day to social media may not be the most productive way to spend your time, you should maintain regular posting and engagement. Nurture your connections by following up with leads you have already connected with.
Congratulate them when they move to new roles or businesses, and interact with their content across social media. Even if it doesn’t promote your product directly, be available for guidance and assistance whenever necessary.
8. Monitor engagement
Monitoring your social media engagement metrics, such as likes, shares, and comments, effectively shows what content connects with your audience. Take cues from what works best so you can consistently convey the most relevant material to your audience.
9. Seek referrals
If you’ve identified certain stakeholders that you’d like to connect with, take a quick moment to review their LinkedIn profiles and see if there are any mutual contacts. You can always ask your mutual connection for an introduction, which will help you access those valuable leads.
10. Know when to take your conversations off social media platforms
If you aspire to close the sale, eventually, you’ll need to bridge your established connections on social media into a more tangible setting. After selecting an authentic relationship with your prospect through various online platforms, suggest hopping on a call or meeting in person so the conversation can continue without digital distractions.
By being more aware of your prospects’ difficulties and circumstances, you can gain valuable insight to help close the deal.
11. Start Blogging
Even though sales representatives don’t have to blog to be successful on social media, it can still serve as a useful tool for drawing qualified buyers. By blogging, you can earn industry respect and provide value-adding content that showcases your knowledge and thought leadership capabilities.
Make sure your clients and prospects are exposed to your most popular shared content. Your social selling campaigns won’t be successful if the right people don’t see your content. Use targeted campaigns to ensure maximum visibility for the content you create. Of course, you shouldn’t be aggressive.
12. Align With Your Marketing Teams
Most people overlook the importance of aligning social selling campaigns with marketing teams. But this can do more harm than good. By combining the marketing and sales teams, social selling has the potential to be incredibly successful.
For instance, sellers who create resonating content may utilize it across various channels and reach a larger audience when the marketing department provides advertising support.
13. Don’t be a robot!
The golden rule of social selling is to always act like a human. People appreciate it when you sound natural and casual, so don’t be afraid to inject some humor or light conversation into your posts. Also, avoid using the same exact phrases repeatedly, as this will make your interactions appear robotic.
Instead, add variety to the words you use and your communication style to make them more appealing to a broader audience. Reposting content without actually reading it, commenting on it, or verifying its relevance will make you look like a robot—and that’s not good.
14. Post Regularly and Avoid Low-Quality Content
Posts and content that aren’t regular or helpful will be a major red flag to your followers. Make sure that posts are scheduled regularly and that they provide value to readers. Post only quality content. Quality content matters when it comes to social selling, so always double-check before posting anything online. Spend time creating valuable content and thinking of ways to share it with your target audience. Anything else would be akin to spamming your followers.
There you go—these social selling tips can take your brand promotion to the next level on social media and create loyal customers while increasing conversions. All that’s required is the right approach, dedication, and consistency. So get out there and craft a comprehensive social selling plan with these concepts in mind—and let success follow.
What are your top tips for successful social selling? Share them with us in the comments.