Social Selling the New Recipe for Business Success

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Introduction

The age-old, conventional forms of advertisements like Newspaper advertisements, Television commercials, or even the humble radio – are beyond the reach of small businesses or start-ups. Leaflet distribution or SMS marketing, phone calls, or even email ads -may not be the ideal choice for many. So how does one get across their business story to its target audience without disrupting their budget?  Social selling, with over 4.2 billion social media users around the world can be a viable solution in today’s scenario.

Post COVID-19 -19, many small businesses are struggling to stay afloat.  Naturally, many are debating on whether to spend on advertising at all or invest in employee retention. In the present situation selling with social media is perhaps the best option as compared to the conventional methods of advertising. Unlike directly contacting prospective customers and asking them to buy your services or products social selling; helps you-search, connect and build your customer base by creating personal connections with the client.

The Difference between Social Selling and Social Media Marketing

While many of you may consider Social Selling and Social Media Marketing to be the same thing, there is a difference between the two. Social Media Marketing is a form of direct marketing on the social media platforms, from Facebook sponsored ads, creating promotional videos for YouTube to posting product launches on LinkedIn. Social media marketing encourages the customers to connect and buy. Social selling on the other hand is a gradual process wherein, you make your presence felt and gradually nurture relationships with your clients. Social selling is showcasing your value proposition, your brand story, and your product differentiators across the social media channels through organic articles, links, images, videos, creating chat groups. Social selling and Social media marketing are two sides of the same coin that go hand in hand in building the foundation of a brand and assuring the delivery of the results in the long run.

Here are some Social Selling Statics you may like to know before you embark on the journey

  1. The sales personnel engaged in social selling are outselling their peers by 73%
  2. 31% of B2B professionals say that social selling has allowed them to build deeper relationships with clients
  3. More than 10% of social sales reps have closed 5 or more deals due to being active on social media
  4. 76% of buyers are ready to have a social media conversation with potential providers
  5. 92% of B2B buyers are willing to engage with a sales professional who is a known industry thought leader
  6. 53% of customer loyalty is driven by a salesperson’s ability to deliver unique insight, easily done through social media
  7. A full 71% of all sales professionals and 90% of top salespeople are already using social selling tools
  8. At least 78% of Millennials say they are using social selling tools
  9. On top of that, 63% of those Millennials say social selling is crucial for their business
  10. Social sellers are 51% more likely to achieve sales quotas
  11. Companies with consistent social selling processes are 40% more likely to hit revenue goals than non-social sellers
  12. 39% of B2B professionals said social selling reduced the amount of time they had to spend researching potential leads

Source: optinmonster.com

So if you are chalking out your social selling strategy at the moment here are a few things to remember:

  • Engage with your audience: As a rule of thumb, the whole prospect of social selling stands on your engagement with the existing and prospective client base. Layout the information you have, innovate and try to serve something fresh every now and then. Be eager to interact and help when necessary, build your reputation step by step. The idea is to capture the interest of people in general and stand out among millions. Creating a Facebook business page, LinkedIn InMail, building Twitter lists, or joining LinkedIn groups where similar interests are shared – are some ways by which you can reach out, content, and interact with your target customer on a one-on-one level. In fact, if you think the technicalities are too much to handle yourself there are many professionals out there who can build your social selling strategy to perfection.
  • Create Meaningful Content: As important as it is to constantly post articles, links, tweets, videos on social media on a regular basis- make sure you are not posting just for the sake of it. In social selling parlance, authentic content is always a winner. Create meaningful content; show what you are up to ‘work-wise’, write articles that generate curiosity, share news that is relevant and well-researched. Refrain from airing rumors or getting into controversies. Just remember you are dealing with the intelligent, well-informed audience – a slip here or a miss-information there may tarnish your online image beyond recovery.
  • Know your Product and Target Audience: If you are selling a product or service, you should know it inside out. A little bit of research on how to proposition your product or service in the market- can go a long way in creating the desired effect. Conduct Twitter fireside chats and play on the USP of your products, if you know your product well it will be much easier to convince and connect with the end-user. For instance, the target audience for products on cloud storage would be different from the ones looking for managed services on cloud storage so keep an eye on the minuscule details; so as to identify where the conversation and discussions are taking place and identify your potential customer base. Post articles that provide education and information about your industry and product, to garner interest from the groups. Using LinkedIn Sales Navigator or the Facebook business page may just be some ideal ways to connect with the target audience.
  •  Track Results of Existing Social Selling Efforts: It is certainly a good idea to keep a track of your Social selling efforts; a consolidated data study will reveal not only how well or how badly you are doing in the act of social selling but who is responding to your activities and who is not. It will give you insight into your prospective customer database and enable you to engage and nurture personal relationships with the existing clients and the prospective clients. Moreover, based on your past efforts and results you may like to improvise or enhance your social selling strategy to reap desired results.
  • Earn Trust by Sharing: In any type of marketing trust-building is a key factor. If you are to choose between product A and product B both of which have the same price quantity and value for money – what is the deciding factor? Trust, of course! Remember when you buy a product or choose a service you consciously or unconsciously check out the reviews by other users, testimonials, and brand visibility among many other things. One of the key reasons for social selling is building trust. Apart from posting across social media platforms, you can also earn trust by sharing your success stories, post case studies, client testimonials, and positive reviews. From conducting ‘webinar marketing’ through web seminars to Fireside chats on social media platforms there are endless options to connect with the audience on a personal level and build trust.
  • Build A Strong Foundation: The whole concept of social selling is building long-term credibility and your brand value. It is not about capturing that odd customer or selling your products for a quick profit. If you are looking at social selling to build the foundation of your brand, then you could not have made a better decision. Social selling across mediums such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook will escalate your brand value and enhance your brand performance. What is more desirable is that you can do this on a nominal budget using an agency or leverage your internal resources to achieve the desired results. You have a universe full of prospective customers to reach out to. The only thing you need is patience and a good social selling strategy in place.

(Ref: sproutsocial.com)

Conclusion

The idea and reach of social selling have become phenomenal in the present era- among small and big businesses alike. Today’s customers are not easy to please and certainly do not take things for granted. They know what they want and are ready to put in considerable effort to research the product or service they wish to invest in.  Post Covid-19 the trend of online researching and validation of a brand has become more evident. Across the buying cycle, decision-makers of the buying committee evaluate brands based on their digital presence, thought leadership, and credibility. The focus of brand marketing and evaluation has shifted from the physical medium to the virtual platform- with brand events, product launches, and promotions taking place on the online platform. Hence ‘social selling’ with its substantial results and exceeding success statistics has become the new normal.

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DGsaga is a strategic digital consulting agency that expertise in amplifying your story on digital channels. We build your brand by narrating stories that deepen relationships with your consumer across digital channels.

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