If have a business that sells products or services to other businesses (B2B), you’ve probably heard the term social selling. Its popularity has been growing over the past few years and there are many reasons why.
Implementing a social selling campaign is not difficult if you do a bit of strategic planning in advance. The following guide will acquaint you with all of the essentials that will help you make all of the important first steps in effective social selling.
Why Social Selling is Important
Social selling is the utilization of social media for the purpose of interacting directly with prospects. Not only does it provide valuable information, it boosts engagement and speeds up the sales process.
In today’s hectic world, people don’t have the time to go through a lengthy and convoluted process when they want to inquire about a product or a service. Thus, going to the social profiles of a certain brand and getting their question answered appeals to most.
Through social media, salespeople can interact effectively with prospects without being disruptive or annoying. The audience has control over the interaction, which is a big difference between using social selling and relying on cold calling for the purpose of maximizing sales.
Social Selling Statistics & Results
The simple definition of the concept suggests to some extent just how important it is. To understand the scope of social selling and the degree to which it has been embraced by brands, however, it’s a good idea to take a look at some numbers.
As far as social selling goes, there are many other impressive numbers to look at:
- According to a LinkedIn survey, 90 percent of top sales people use social selling
- At the same time, cold calling has a success rate of a mere 2.5 percent
- More than 60 percent of sales professionals who don’t use social tools miss their quota
- Almost 55 percent of all buyers do their research by visiting social media channels
A Strategic Social Selling Implementation Guide
Getting acquainted with social selling will require some time and effort. Creativity isn’t the most important goal, strategic thinking is. If you’ve never attempted to utilize social channels for sales in the past, you may want to give the following five steps some thought.
Determine Your Goal
To get results, you have to know what you’re trying to accomplish. Before doing anything else, you should figure out the outcome that you want from your social selling campaign. When you narrow down the goal, you’ll find yourself much more capable of choosing the right channels and techniques that will deliver the best results.
Think about the way that people use social media for purchases. Initially, they start with a discovery process. If they become interested in something, they’ll want to find out more. They’ll ask questions or engage with brands to get additional information. In case they’re satisfied, people will buy and use a product/service. Eventually, they may leave online reviews for others to benefit from.
Based on this behavior analysis, you can pinpoint a couple of goals. You may want to increase the credibility of your brand and its reach. You may want to increase the number of profile visits and inquiries you’re going to get. Ultimately, you’ll be looking forward to increasing sales and maximizing customer satisfaction. Happy clients will fuel the cycle and make it much easier for others to discover your brand, as well.
Incorporate Social Listening
You have your goal and you know your target audience. Now is the time to engage in some social “listening.”
The term refers to learning from prospects themselves. What are people looking for? What are their primary problems? How can your product or service address these issues? What content can you use for the purpose of building a long-lasting, meaningful connection with a certain group of people?
Social listening will give you the data to base your social selling campaigns on. You can explore your own profiles, as well as the social presence of the competition. This way, you’ll acquire tons of valuable insight about prospects.
Demonstrate Your Expertise
You know what people want and you’ve built your social channels. Next, you’ll have to establish yourself as the authority in your field to differentiate your brand from the competition.
This goal can be accomplished through the regular creation of high quality, niche content. Invest time and energy in articles, videos and images. Incorporate a content creation and content curation strategy to regular provide value to your audience, the more you give, the more you’ll get in return.
Identify Events that Come before a Purchase
Trigger events are very important for social selling. These are the things that people typically do before hitting that “buy” button or visiting a store. Thus, building your online presence is great but you’ll also have to figure out what people do before committing to the final step.
People may be sending inquiries, reading testimonials, posting questions or visiting a company’s website before buying. Thus, the purpose of your campaign is to encourage such events. Calls to action and strategic content use are two great approaches that will help you accomplish goals. You can also rely on stimuli like coupons or discounts for the purpose of promoting action-taking.
Identify the Social Selling Metrics that Matter the Most
Social selling doesn’t end with a purchase. During the process, you will gather a lot of information. This information can be used to enhance your social selling efforts in the future.
You are engaging in a continuous process that can be tweaked nearly every step of the way. Thus, you have to monitor performance by identifying the metrics that matter the most for your brand.
If your goal is higher brand awareness, for example, you should examine the reach of the campaign. Sales are measured via conversions. If you want to encourage word of mouth promotion, track the numbers of likes and shares. Each metric tells you something and you can easily identify campaign gaps by regularly checking the numbers.
A passion for writing and content creation has been pushing Alice Clarke ever since the start of her marketing career. A writer with more than five years of experience, Alice bases all of her texts on the knowledge that she has acquired over the course of her practice.