What is social selling?

You may feel a little bit apprehensive or unsure about the concept of social selling, and we don’t blame you. It’s often seen as loud, flashy and in your face – everything that the ‘softly softly’ approach to social media tells you to avoid because it might put off your carefully cultivated audiences.

However, we’re here to explain that, if done well, social selling can make a huge difference to your bottom line. Here’s how it works:

What is social selling?

Social selling is using your social media platforms to sell your products, rather than just to ‘raise awareness’ of your brand and what it has to offer. This new concept positions your social media channels in a completely new place in the sales funnel.

Hootsuite describes social selling as using social media “to find, connect with, understand and nurture sales prospects”.

This may make the process seem like “cold calling” prospective audiences using Twitter and Facebook, but don’t worry; social selling is much more targeted and friendlier than that. It’s about building relationships and waiting for the right moment to present your product as a solution. It’s not firing out a bunch of random tweets or posts and hoping one of them sticks.

Social selling is an incredible lead generator (and closer), but it’s also cranked up a notch to include a more personal relationship and level of understanding between your brand and your audience.

And the best thing about it? It works! 78% of salespeople using this technique are outselling their peers who are not. So, in this case, the figures speak for themselves!

How does it work?

Social selling is similar to content marketing in terms of approach. Once you’ve connected with your ideal prospects, you have to provide value by answering questions and sharing relevant content.

Some of the most successful brands using social selling combine a number of savvy strategies to engage customers, such as:

  • Featuring user-generated content and posts/tweets with eye-catching imagery
  • Giving followers a ‘stake’ in the purchasing journey (e.g. by including opportunities to feed back or contribute content)
  • Emphasising the personalised shopping experience and providing incentives for followers to purchase

It’s a much softer sales method than you might think, and it concentrates on long-term goals rather than quick wins using traditional sales techniques.

You’ll need to invest time in nurturing relationships with your prospects, but it’s well worth it as in the end you’ll have loyal, engaged, returning customers. It may even boost your referrals, and with 80% of consumers purchasing due to a recommendation, that’s an important factor! With these statistics, can you afford not to try social selling?

The benefits of social selling

CSO Insights and Seismic carried out a study on the impact of this technique. We think you could experience some of the same benefits:

Social selling is also a great opportunity for teams to connect with new audiences and keep them warm until they’re ready to buy. Through this new and more personal technique, you’ll position yourself as the solution to their problem before they even know what it is!

If you need advice on social selling or social media in general, get in touch with the NS Design team. We’re always happy to help.

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