Social selling is nothing new. Successful social selling, well, that’s another story!
How many times have you connected to someone on Twitter or LinkedIn only for them to immediately send you a message selling something?
That is not social selling! That’s social spam!
If you want to use social media to sell your products or services, here are ten tips for doing it right.
What Is Social Selling?
When people or brands use digital channels, like social media, to create and/or nurture relationships with current and would-be customers, that’s social selling.
Selling on social doesn’t mean you’re pushing a product or service, either.
It can be as simple as:
- Engaging with a client’s social media post(s)
- Using social media to study a lead before your pitch meeting
- Endorsing or reviewing a client on LinkedIn
- Following vital accounts on Twitter
- Using LinkedIn’s advanced search to search for potential clients
Traditional sales methods are no longer the only way to connect with prospects. Using social selling can vastly improve your bottom line.
[source]Want to move from traditional selling to social selling? #ThinkConversation!Click To Tweet
Selling On Social Channels
According to CSO Insights, the social media channels or “tools” salespeople use most for social selling are:
- LinkedIn (84%)
- Twitter (38%)
- Facebook (28%)
Social selling tools are used for a myriad of tasks, as the chart from the same report shows below.
The top four spots belong to research and development of leads or ways to prep for calling or pitching a client.
These methods lead to both reduced contact times and an increase in the number of leads salespeople were able to produce.
Which brings me to tracking your social selling efforts. Here are a few questions to ask (or metrics to track):
- How do I measure the impact of my social selling efforts?
- How many new meetings have I booked from social selling this month? YTD?
- Are there new opportunities from our efforts? How many?
- Is our social activity impacting revenue?
10 Tips For Successful Social Selling
61% of organizations engaged in social selling report a positive impact on revenue growth. (Source)
Here’s how you can see growth trend upwards with social selling, too:
- First help, then sell. Jay Baer points out that helping vs. selling is critical in his book, Youtility. It’s imperative that you check your hard selling at the door when using social media to connect with potential customers. Also, do yourself a favor and start tracking which consumers are already interacting with your brand and START THERE.
- Choose your channels wisely. Where do your potential customers hang out online? Where are your competitors most present? Give your customers what they want, where they are (NOT where you want to be!).
- Always start with the low-hanging fruit. Cold calling doesn’t work. Start with your hot leads, then work through warm, and only go after cold if you must.
- Create GREAT offers. Stop giving away iPads, PLEASE! Instead, create an offer that sells something YOU do. Sell the experience or benefits, not the product — and don’t forget to create a sense of urgency.
- Original content wins. If you want to be noticed on your own social channels, you’ll have to put some thought into it. Nurture prospects with more content than just “me, me, me” or [your-brand-here] related content. Share tips, tricks, and behind-the-scenes content.
- Leverage reviews! Ask for reviews by using links in your email signature, offering incentives for reviews, and sending emails after a purchase. Share these reviews on social media as a form of “Social Proof.”
- Merge IRL with online. Show off what’s going on IRL (in real life) on your social channels. Highlight meetings. Humanize what you do – YOU’RE the brand, [your-brand-here] is the product.
- Make it meaningful. Use storytelling to connect with your audience and SHOW OFF (your personality, that is). Users want to see your brand personality — especially on Facebook.
- Don’t forget your CTA. Make sure the person on the other side of the screen knows what to do next. Ask them to click through, call, fill out a form, etc. …
- Be consistent! Just because you may not see engagement doesn’t mean people aren’t seeing your posts. Keep it at. Social selling is a marathon, not a sprint.
Where Will You Sell Next?
We’ve seen business leads come from nearly every social channel, especially Facebook, LinkedI, and Twitter.
Our blog and website have recently sent closed business our way, too.
We’re curious: Where are you using social selling and how successful have your efforts been? Let us know in the comments section below!
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Brooke B. Sellas is the in-the-trenches Founder & CEO of @HelloBSquared, an award-winning social media, advertising, and customer care agency. She's also the Co-host of The Marketing Companion podcast with Mark Schaefer, where they discuss jaw-dropping marketing trends. Brooke's marketing mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout!
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