With the significant role that social media plays in our lives, there’s no doubt that many purchase decisions and triggers also take place. Even if the actual purchase doesn’t take place through social, it still helps to bring in new prospects as it effectively expands your reach.
In fact, social sales contribute to 50% of the revenue for businesses across 14 major industries. Moreover, social selling isn’t just for converting B2C buyers, as social media influences the purchase decisions of 75% of B2B consumers and 84% of C-suite executives. Given the impact of social media on driving revenue, it’s time to pay closer attention to your social selling strategy.
If you’re unsure where to start or feel a need to top up on your knowledge, we’re here to help. We’ve looked at tactics that will help your salesforce have an engaging social presence, bringing more interest to your brand as well as extra leads and sales.
Before you start sending out Tweets or displaying Instagram ads, make sure your target audience is clearly defined. This will give your social selling strategy a better sense of direction. Fine-tuning your buyer personas and establishing a defined territory plan will ensure your team are targeting and connecting with the right people.
When you have a definitive idea of whom you’re trying to reach, you can effectively develop messaging that aligns with their needs and interests while addressing their pain points.
Use an audience intelligence platform like Audiense to create tailored audiences and fine-tune your targeting. This allows you to get really specific with your targeting by narrowing down your audience based on 175+ different attributes.
You can go beyond the basic demographics data and target audiences based on what they’re interested in and what kind of personality they have. This would then help you develop personalized messaging and deliver them to the most relevant audiences to improve your social selling impact.
People will often research a company or service long before directly engaging with anyone from that company, so be aware that they may be looking at you long before you speak to them.
Don’t go overboard with self-promotion, but encouraging employees to post about what your company and industry offer will help to answer questions that potential customers may be forming in their heads.
Delivering your message through real people helps to humanize your brand and adds authenticity to your social selling efforts. In the words of Michael Brito, employee advocacy is a form of participation marketing, where your employees actively participate in promoting your brand and your products. This works because your employees can tell better stories than you do. With the trust they’ve built within their network, they can make peer recommendations that are trustworthy and impactful.
Moreover, even just the ability to get your message in front of your employees’ audiences is a great way to expand your reach. Several studies have also found that employee advocacy delivers better conversion and retention rates.
What is your audience talking about? What topics are they interested in? Are they expressing any unaddressed pain points? If you want your social selling strategy to make an impact, it’s important to listen in on what your audience is saying.
Look at the conversations they’re participating in and try to understand the content of those conversations. What motivates them and what ails them? Who do they look up to and consistently engage with?
By listening in on these conversations, you can get a better understanding of who your audience is, what their interests are, and who influences them. This will then help you develop relevant offers and messaging that resonate with them. In fact, you may even be able to key influencers that your audience looks up to.
Taking the time to check out what a key contact has to say can help you understand more about them as an individual. Is there a sports team you are both interested in, a show you both watch, or another topic you have in common? Finding out three non-work pieces of information about a contact could improve your team’s chances of getting onto their radar by having a more natural conversation with them.
While you need to be consistent in your communications when talking about your company’s services, a copy and pasted LinkedIn pitch moments after a connection is obvious. It’s unlikely to lead to a sale and will reflect badly on both you and the company. So, research people before contacting them.
This is where your social listening will come in handy as you can see what someone has done, what they’re working on, and formulate some questions about what they do that aren’t immediately related to your business. You can also see what level of language to use with them to build a rapport and make the correct impression.
When you introduce yourselves, you can then use this knowledge to show you are genuinely interested in the person. Unlike a generic sales pitch, a warm start like this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Part of social selling is establishing that people can trust you and your business. If you’re regularly taking days to get back to people, how can someone trust that your company will care about an issue they may have as a customer? Setting targets for response times will help to ensure you don't drop the ball.
Consider leveraging chatbots to further improve your response time even while your team is away. These chatbots can be programmed to deliver prompt resolutions to common issues. You can even utilize them to help prospects schedule a follow-up call from your team. Prospects just have to select an available time slot and the follow-up will be automatically scheduled in your team’s calendar.
Regardless of whether you’re selling to individuals or to other businesses, at the end of the day, you’re still selling to humans. This is why it’s so important to develop human-to-human connections that will help your audience form a stronger bond with your brand.
Skip the robotic copy-pasted messages and the impersonal stock images. Instead, put authenticity at the centre of your social selling strategy to win the trust of your audience. Take your audience behind the scenes, show them the faces behind your brand, don’t be afraid to own up to your mistakes, and let them know they’re dealing with real people.
Implementing these practices within your team will help to create meaningful relationships with leads that are exponentially more likely to become loyal customers. What have you found to be the most successful techniques for social selling?