SHARPENING SOCIAL SELLING SKILLS
SHARPENING SOCIAL SELLING SKILLS
With the continued rise in social media use, the phenomenon of social selling has almost replaced cold calling – and salespeople and customers alike would be happy to see the cold call go by the wayside. Like a cold call, social selling also starts as prospecting but nurtures the lead into an opportunity in a less intrusive way creating a sales funnel by building an organic social media relationship. It is not the same as social media marketing or advertising because it focuses on making real connections with your prospects and building trust. The Search Engine Journal reported that in 2021 there were 4.55 billion active social media users globally. Of that, a staggering 35% say they use social media to do brand research on the products they buy. So, we’ve collected some of the best practices to follow for Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn when embarking on your social selling journey.
Facebook is still the social media market leader with over 2.8 billion daily users who spend more than 30 minutes per day on the app. There is no denying the influence that Facebook has over the marketplace. Here are three key ways to tap into that.
- STRONGER IN GROUPS
There are thousands of industry-specific communities within the Facebook platform.
By joining and taking an active part in the conversation within these groups, you build rapport and establish credibility. If you want to go further, start a group, and stand out as a leader in your segment.
- AUTOMATED ADVANTAGE
Using automated tools like a scheduler or post planner to get the correct information on your page is a time saver. Some of these tools allow you to sift through millions of conversations across social media platforms allowing you to better understand the sentiment within your audience around specific topics. This is incredibly important for social sellers because it will enable you to craft content that speaks to more significant ideas and trends discussed in your industry, which helps you position yourself as a true thought leader within your market.
- POST OFTEN, AND POST WELL
Users only stop scrolling for quality content. Be sure to use well-written, efficient copy for your posts. Include all industry-specific milestones, blog posts, and relevant news, as this will organically increase your brand’s credibility. Be attentive and always respond to anyone who comments on your company’s Facebook page or ads. The more conversation you generate, the more your prospect list will grow. Respond to specific posts in Messenger to continue to build on the relationship.
Instagram is the fastest growing social media network; its users engage twice as often daily as users of Facebook. Hubspot recently reported that 58% of users say they’re more interested in a brand after seeing its Instagram Story. Although Instagram was historically considered a B2C marketing platform, The Social Media Examiner states that 53% of B2B brands also have an Instagram presence.
- IMPORTANCE OF VIDEO
Video is an essential part of any Instagram social selling strategy. You can go behind the scenes with Instagram stories and give viewers a look at your brand culture or even produce mini commercials to get more eyes on your product. By covering industry-specific events and conferences, you’ll demonstrate that you are an active participant in your industry and grab people’s attention. Keep in mind organic material is king on Instagram. Stock videos and photos do not get the same views, so make sure you use real people for your posts.
- ACTIVITY IS VITAL
It is crucial to have an active account on Instagram to project authenticity and industry knowledge. Posting at least once per day can help increase your follower count. The more active you are, the more natural your outreach will appear. So be sure to follow profiles relevant to your sector.
- DON’T KEEP YOUR COMMENTS TO YOURSELF
You can create organic traffic on your page by responding directly to each person who comments on your posts. Replying to comments opens the door for one-on-one communication via DMs; then, the DMs will shift to an email or onto your site for purchase. Likewise, if an influencer tags your product in one of their posts, be sure to like, comment and share.
LinkedIn is one of the most effective networks for social selling. The majority of the selling done on LinkedIn is B2B. Since it’s a network of professionals, people are prepared to talk about their industries; however, relationships in LinkedIn are essential, so there are specific ways to approach new prospects.
- WHAT DOES YOUR PROFILE SAY ABOUT YOU?
When you use LinkedIn as a social selling tool, remember, you are not looking for a job so your profile should not read like a resume. Customize your profile with a professional photo; profiles with photos are 11 times more likely to be read than those with a logo alone. Include a compelling headline that includes your current brand, position, and company tagline. Everything else should be a summary of the essence of your brand. Write an intriguing story and add appropriate videos, blogs, and news articles.
- MAKE YOUR NETWORK WORK FOR YOU
People are five times more likely to engage with you if the outreach is through a mutual connection. See who within your network is connected to your 2nd or 3rd-degree connections and request an introduction.
- COMMITMENT TO COMMENT
If you are connected with your customers, their public activity will appear in your newsfeed. Keep tabs on your contacts’ interests and updates, so you can remain top of mind and provide the necessary information. Comment on the relevant posts and eventually communicate with them through InMail. LinkedIn reports that sending a follow-up 1 to 2 weeks after the first contact increases the response rate by 500%.
Sales are about building relationships and offering prospects the right solution at the right time in their customer journey. Social selling helps sales teams do that in a new, productive way. Maximize the benefits of existing relationships and find prospects ready to hear from you.