Like the name depicts, Social Selling is when salespeople use social media to reach their target audience, connect with prospects, and give them the value needed. It is not about aggressive marketing where you connect with a prospect and make it glaring you want to sell something with them. But this is about engaging your buyers to ensure a long term relationship that will pay off someday.
First of all, you need to know about social buying, which describes the method a buyer uses to source information about a product they are about to purchase. The buyer uses social media to make research on the products before even contacting the salesperson to make a purchase. For this reason, it is essential for a salesperson to be in a strategic position to make it easy for the buyer to make contact.
Using social media as a salesperson is a plus for you. According to LinkedIn research, 78% of people who use social media outsell their colleagues who are using other strategies. With social media, you can monitor your prospects and customers closely, know when to identify an opportunity to reach out to them. You also know when they are drifting away and take steps to bring them back.
It is easier to maintain relationships and remain relevant in the eyes of your customers and prospects when you choose the social selling route.
If you choose to sell on social media, then you must have two things in mind- make connections and create quality contents to share. You can never go wrong if you get these two right. Here are some of the right ways to social sell:
Identify the social media platform your targets make use of and connect with them. And before doing this, ensure you have optimized your social media profiles so that it shows up when prospects are searching for people related to your industry. Ensure that all the social media networks you have an account with carries the same tone and looks professional.
Your profile should also make prospects can see you as a credible professional that has all the answers to their questions. But that is not where it ends. You need to ensure you engage with them so that your services will stay at the top of their mind.
Avoid using automated tools to help you like and comment on their comments because they can sense the difference and view you as a self-absorbed kind of person. This kind of view can cause damage to your brand and make you lose quality leads.
Always engage personally with your audience to naturally build rapport and a long term relationship that will help your marketing strategy. Even when portraying yourself as knowledgeable, remember to be approachable. Let your followers know they can argue with you without feeling belittled.
Observation is always the key to success, whether you are starting a business or trying to know the next steps of your prospect. Pay attention to the information your prospects are sharing on their network to deduce what they want.
It doesn’t mean you have to manually check all their profiles to get a lead of what they want. You can always use social lists which help you monitor what people are saying about your company, competitors, and the industry as a whole. Reach out to these people through a customized message made personally for them.
To make it easier to craft the kind of message that doesn’t make you look creepy, check their profiles if you have any shared interests or other information you could use to strike a conversation. You can also check if you have any mutual connections with them and ask for an introduction.
The mistake some social sellers make is trying to be too salesy and pitchy, which irritates their customer’s over time, resulting in an unfollow. As a salesperson looking for ways to stay relevant, you have to create original contents with valuable information to post regularly.
You can also source for contents from other known and trusted sources which shows you take out time to read and increase your knowledge.
Create a brand of being a thought leader in your industry, and this involves insightfully sharing your opinions and ensuring you contribute to conversations on industry topics that will depict you as someone that is an expert in the field.
Of course, from time to time, you can make mention of your product and services, but this should occasionally be so that you don’t come as someone who has no sales and is desperate to make one. Most people would rarely purchase with that kind of attitude.
Remember that your number one goal is to develop and maintain relationships rather than shoving your products down their throats. So you need to take the extra steps to ensure your contacts feel the impacts of such relations.
Find out how you can help by observing their posts. Proffer advise when needed and congratulate them if they’ve gotten a new job or position. Warm your way through their hearts, and they’ll have you in mind when they want to purchase anything related to your industry.
Writing comments and liking the post on the pages of other businesses also helps you in social selling. It doesn’t have to be your competitors, so don’t get panicky.
For example, if you have a fitness page on Instagram, you can always relate to a business that sells hair products. Probably make a post on how the products helped your hair to grow and so on. Conclude by tagging the person’s handle.
People on your page who want to keep fit might also have hair problems which they need solutions. By reading your post, they can go and check out the other’s person’s page, which means you’ve helped business and your followers as well. The favor might get reciprocated some day. After all, it is all about social selling.