In the contemporary world, attaining a competitive edge and building sustainable relationships with customers is tricky. A maximum of individuals spend half of their time on social media.
However, just opening business accounts on social media will not be profitable.
Owing to the changing dynamics of the customer experience, businesses should focus on building their presence with a proper strategy.
Here comes the role of social selling, also known as modern selling. As per the below research conducted by LinkedIn, around 51% of brands involved in social selling have the advantage of fulfilling their sales quota.
What is Social Selling?
Social selling is the strategy used by brands for connecting and building a relationship with customers across social networks. However, currently, sellers are also utilising sales technology platforms like LinkedIn sales solutions for connecting with potential buyers.
Traditionally, cold emailing was one of the major sales techniques used by brands for connecting with prospective buyers. Consequently, in this era, social selling has given a more personalised touch to these older sales techniques.
As per HubSpot, around 56% of the people in sales are leveraging their presence on social media for interacting with potential buyers.
Further, as per LinkedIn sales solutions, brands having an excellent social selling index have the opportunity of generating 45% more sales.
Now, what is the social selling index?
Social Selling Index (SSI), is a metric or a tool that assists in assessing a brand’s ability to sell products via social media channels.
More the SSI, more the capability of hitting the sales target!
With the growing pace of digitisation, social selling has become more relevant. And please take note! The importance is going to increase exponentially.
So, start investing your time in creating a robust social selling strategy.
Social Selling and its Relevance in Current Years
Are you still confused about deciding on the application of social selling in your business?
You should know that it is the key to maximising your Return on Investments (ROI).
Let us read through some social selling insights for a better understanding.
- Brands whose sales professionals are extensively utilising social selling have been closing around 40 to 50% of new deals in business
- Prospects that receive brand messages via LinkedIn have around 6x more conversion rates
- As per data collected by Social Sprout, in 2021, around 68% of the buyers bought at least something from social media.
- 40% customers succeeded in finding products through organic posts made by a particular brand
- By the year 2025, social media will essentially generate around $1.2 trillion in transactions.
Now, as we have read through the revolution brought by social selling in the current years, let us focus on identifying some of its concrete benefits.
Benefits of Social Selling in Lead Nurturing
Here are 3 benefits that your brand can enjoy by integrating a strategy for social selling:
- Real-time Relationships With the Customers:
Authentic trust building is the key to building real-time relationships between the buyer and the seller. This is built through social selling, as customers are already utilising social media platforms.
You have an existing customer base who are interested in buying your products or services. You can use the tactic of social listening for assessing the buying patterns and insights of your target customers on social media channels.
Let us take the example of Spotify. The brand has an active account on Twitter and it uses the handle @SpotifyCares for social listening.
Via @SpotifyCares, the brand makes an active effort to understand the psychology of the users through consistent interaction.
You can use social selling for building real-time relationships with your buyers too!
- Improved Visibility of the Brand:
Consistently increasing brand visibility is the ultimate goal of a business. It offers a better competitive advantage.
As per research by Content Marketing Institute, around 70% of B2B organisations changed their messaging strategy. Further, around 40% of them improved social media inputs for better customer lead generation and attraction.
Thus, frequent sharing of the brand’s activities across social media channels will add unfamiliar buyers to your networks. Thus, leading to better brand visibility and improved lead conversion rates across both B2B and B2C platforms.
- Sales Cycle is Reduced:
Instead of selling your products and services across business industry events, your brand will develop the capability of generating organic leads.
As per Instagram’s research, around 200 million users are scrolling through a business account every day.
Further, it is also observed that 83% of Instagram users technically research their desired products or services via a business account.
Thus, owing to the frequent interaction between buyers and sellers across social media channels, your brand ultimately enjoys a shorter sales cycle.
Strategies to Optimise Social Selling Across Major Social Media Platforms
As LinkedIn is used extensively for B2B selling, here are some strategies for social selling across the social media platform:
- Focus on building credibility by requesting your clients to endorse you. But, do ensure that the endorsements align with the brand’s product or service.
- While you prepare your headline, highlight the value you are going to offer to the customers. Include a summary where you represent your value proposition and attach a CTA for your buyers.
- Make your account visually appealing and focus on highlighting how you have helped your customers. Discover new connections by joining new groups.
Twitter is a great platform for social listening, hence, here is how you can optimise the channel:
- Search for new Twitter accounts and engage with them privately. Do not let the list be accessible to your competitors.
- Improve your networks with existing customers and offer real value to their lives.
- Consistently analysing your competitor’s actions is the key to developing better social selling strategies
Facebook has been used extensively for social engagement for many years. Integrate the following strategies for social selling on Facebook:
- Continuously write marketing content that will spark buyers’ interest to a large extent.
- Engage with both businesses and your followers by commenting and mentioning your brand’s name.
- Interact with the followers by striking interesting conversations in your posts and indirectly promoting your products and services.
Opening online business accounts for allowing customers to shop is the current trend. Follow these strategies for leveraging the benefits:
- Open up a business account and list your products or services. Do not forget to add product tags!
- Based on your customer’s needs assessment, promote your offering extensively through reels. Do provide your customer reviews for building brand loyalty.
- Utilise social listening for collecting customer feedback.
Tools Used for Social Selling
Take note of some tools that brand can use for social selling:
- Hootsuite Inbox: Use this tool to organise all your social media conversations in a single place. You will have the option of quickly responding to any message or query. Features like filters and saved replies will be your saviour.
- Vidyard: You can upload custom videos by utilising the templates available with any version of the tool. Thus, your sales team can easily create professional videos for better social selling.
- Amplify: This application will help your brand in increasing its internal visibility. You will be able to share your company’s campaigns and events for better employee engagement. Better is the employee engagement, better the rate of customer satisfaction!
Best Social Selling Practices
While utilising the above strategies and tools, you can integrate the following best social selling practices as well:
- Strategic Usage of Social Listening:
Identify and address the pain points of your target customers strategically and leverage the benefits of social selling. Do not forget to share valuable content with your prospects.
- Focus on Providing Value Proposition:
Your customers should be well aware of the value your brand is offering in comparison with the competitors. Focus on highlighting your USP and interacting constantly with the customers.
- Being Authentic is the Key:
Utilise social selling for personalising relationships with your buyers. Do not just share the same content with all your buyers. Understand the needs and requirements of the buyer and connect on a real-time basis.
Social selling is not a synonym for social media advertising. Social media is just a part of this evolving concept. Thus, it is widely associated with the overall digital strategy of a brand.
Sales are all about providing your buyers with the best value proposition in the market. The ultimate objective of sales is to attain a competitive advantage and build better relationships. Yes, social selling will help you attain that with efficacy.
Here you go! Happy Social Selling!