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How to make social selling work for you

Author's avatar By Expert commentator 12 Nov, 2014
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A briefing on modern social selling

modernsocialsellingThe age of social selling is upon us, although one could argue that it's always been that way. When people make a purchase they tell others. When people have a good or bad experience with a brand they tell others. When people love your products or services they tell others. It's safe to say that people love to share, which is exactly why social networks are so popular.

Selling has always been social, but networks like Facebook and Twitter take that element and amplify it. Today's social selling is completely different, and when you implement it properly, it can do wonders for your brand.

 What is modern social selling?

The modern form of social selling involves integrating sale prompts or direct links via social profiles. For example, Amazon allows Twitter users to add items to their shopping cart by replying with '#AmazonCart' to tweets that contain an appropriate product link.

However, social selling is not just about jump starting the sales process via social networks like Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. It's about building a relationship with your customers through social content. It's about taking the concept of 'social' and using it to your advantage to boost your customer base.

Why social selling works

Customers are no longer using proprietary websites and channels to find out information about brands, products or services. Instead, they are turning to various social mediums, including discussion forums, social network threads, online communities and more. To put it bluntly, they are constantly vetting you.

In a way, the roles have reversed and customers have been empowered. A large majority of potential buyers now spend their time hunting and researching you and what you have to offer. Rest assured, if you make a habit of providing poor service, they will know about it. Don't believe us? Just do a simple web search on Comcast customer service complaints, and you'll find plenty of examples.

If you offer customers the information they are looking for across various social channels, it will provide more opportunities for your business to grow.

How to make social selling work for you

Before diving in, take some time to monitor different social communities and observe your customers and target audience. Figure out where they are spending most of their time.

What are they looking for in your products or services? What are they discussing most often and why? Is the chatter about your products or brand positive or negative and why? There's software just for this purpose, making it relatively easy for you to prospect customers on your social channels.

Once you've collected this information, you can move on to implementing your own social selling strategy. Keep in mind, you can use tools like Tweetdeck or Google Alerts to collect this data. Customers are already being social, all you need to do is look for their mentions.

Here are the main strategies you should use when selling on social networks

  • Integrate social monitoring into your customer prospecting and preparation stages. You need to know your customers and audience well before you can move forward. That's where software like Kitedesk's come in handy.
  • Use social media to make contact with your customers, it's more effective if you are the first to reach out. Answer their questions, concerns and even let them know when you think your product could serve them well.
  • Nurture, service and inform prospects through social media.
  • Adopt more than just a single social network, and make your brand accessible and easily discoverable.
  • Make it easy for your customers to complete a purchase regardless of social channel or platform.
  • Use a clear call to action that explains exactly what the customer is looking at. For example, say things like 'click here for an exclusive Facebook discount.' Of course, your CTA should be more creative than that.
  • Deliver exclusive content to social followers, including deals, promotions and offers.
  • Encourage your customers to share your content. One of the best ways to do this is to offer them something in return for doing so, dangle the fruit above them so to speak.
  • Keep all of your social media accounts up to date; this includes your photos and published content.

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn - the list goes on and on. They are all excellent platforms for selling your products. Although, to be efficient you'll need to use the strategies above. Once you get the hang of it, coming up with successful social selling campaign ideas will be a 'walk in the park'.

Copywrite/Images: tiffanytlcbm

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