What is social selling and why should you be using it?


What Is Social Selling?

We all know how important social media is as part of a marketing strategy. Your account needs to showcase both your products and your brand so that customers can find you, recognise you, and help you to build up a following of people. These social networks, which you work so hard to build, are so important when it comes to selling your products, too. Social selling is the process of using your network to find prospective clients and build genuine relationships. The goal? Turning your network into leads.  

How do you do it?

How to use social media as a means for selling will largely depend on what your business is and what it does. The most important thing to remember is to add value in all of your relationships. This can be in any number of ways such as creating, commenting on, liking, and sharing content with your audience that is useful to them. You should also spend some time talking to your network in the comments or messages and addressing any questions they might have. Not only does this feel authentic and genuine, but It sets you up as an industry thought leader and shows potential clients you are honestly interested in them and their needs. This encourages your audience to trust what you are saying. With over 96% of business professionals looking to buy from businesses with a sales professional that understands their needs, this high level of trust is essential.

Social Selling vs Marketing

The “what is sales?” and “what is marketing?” debate is one that has been argued many times. How are social selling and social media marketing different? Aren’t they just the same thing? Social selling is about taking an individualistic approach. It is a process of building and nurturing one-on-one relationships with potential clients until they are at the point they feel comfortable in buying from you. Social media marketing on the other hand takes more of a “blanket approach.” It involves producing and posting content for everyone to see but is not intended to reach any specific individual. 

The Benefits of Social Selling

The main point of social selling is of course to make more sales. More sales, however, will usually have a wider impact across the rest of the business also.  

Some of the benefits to your business of social selling are: 

Bringing In More High-Quality Leads

By putting out good, educational content for your audience and working to build a relationship with them, the leads you create will be better. You will also not have to work so hard to sell to them as they will already be warm. Not only will the leads you work to make be better quality, but you’ll also notice more recommendations through word of mouth. 

Getting Your Brand Out There 

The more work you put into building a social media presence, the more visibility and awareness you are creating for your company. Social selling therefore helps your marketing strategy as the helpful content you are putting out will also bolster your profile. 

Reduced Research Time

39% of B2B professionals said that they were able to cut down the amount of time spent on research through using social selling tools. This therefore means that you can find great leads, more quickly.

Tips for Social Selling Success

  1. Add Value Where You Can

This is the number one thing you need to remember to be successful in social selling. An important part of the process is sitting back and listening to what your network is talking about and simply waiting for the right time to jump in. When you do decide to comment it will then be with the right people, at the right time. Not everything is a sales pitch. Concentrate on creating (and sharing) useful content that you know will benefit your audience. 

  1. Use Social Selling Tools

Research shows that at least 71% of all sales professionals are already using social selling tools. This will of course include having social media accounts with all the big platforms. You will also benefit from using a selling and engagement platform to keep everything in one place. It can also be incredibly beneficial to outsource certain parts of the social selling process to make sure you’re dedicating as much time to it as possible. 

  1. Nurture Relationships and Be Patient

Not everyone will always be ready to buy from you right there and then. It also takes time to build up a reputation as an expert in your field. The benefit to the work you put into nurturing relationships is that clients will come to you when they are ready. Keep in touch with the contacts you make and engage with their content occasionally. This will help to build up a relationship of mutual trust and respect. Time spent nurturing relationships will pay off when the client is ready as they will come to you first. 

Why is Social Selling Important?

This research by LinkedIn found that 78% of social sellers outsell their peers who do not use social media. What does this tell us? If you’re not leveraging your social media network to make sales, you’re missing out. It is an incredibly valuable way to make more sales, but also doing it in a way that both feels good and adds value to your audience.  More than ever we are reliant upon technology, it is therefore essential to make the most of your social media network and make more connections (albeit virtually!). Social selling may be the future of sales. If you’re not utilising your business’s social media accounts, now is the time to start.

Jack Barron, Director

Jack is passionate about marketing and helping small to medium-sized businesses thrive. As Director of Invoke Media, he is responsible for overseeing the planning and implementation of every campaign, getting stuck into the execution of successful at every opportunity.

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