Social Selling (© thodonal / Fotolia.com)
Social selling refers to the process of using social media networks to locate, connect with, gain an understanding of, and nurture potential customers. It’s the modern approach that businesses use to develop meaningful relationships with their prospects, build brand awareness, and increase their visibility. Through social selling, businesses can develop loyal customers and improve their overall success. In this article, we will provide a more detailed explanation of social selling.
In today’s technology driven world and the ever-increasing popularity of social media, business owners are leveraging the power of the internet and the various social media channels to connect with their prospects and further their success. This is where social selling comes into play.
What is Social Selling?
Social selling is a relatively simple concept, one that you can gain a brief understanding of from the name itself. Put simply, social selling refers to the practice of using online social tools in order to engage with and build relationships with potential customers; things that have always been the foundation of selling.
If you already have a Facebook Business Page
, a professional account on Twitter
, or a profile on LinkdeIn,
you are already engaging in the basics of social selling, yet you might not even realize it.
The Pillars of Social Selling
Social selling is based on four basic pillars. These pillars include:
- Creating a professional brand. In today’s business world, consumers have so many options available to them, which means that they can be selective about who they choose to do business with. By building a strong professional brand for your company, you will be able to show your target audience that you are an active participant in your specific industry. In other words, you will let your audience know that you have a definite presence in your market. Establishing a professional brand will lead to more responses and interactions.
- Focus on your target audience. With social selling, you can locate and connect with your potential customers in a much more effective way then you would be able to with traditional selling. Nearly 80 percent of consumers engage with the businesses the work with via conversations on social media. As such, you want to make sure that you are focusing on your target audience. In other words, you want to post status updates and other information that will appeal to your audience and that will encourage them to interact with you.
- Engage with your insights. Establish yourself as an expert in your industry. You can do this by sharing highly relevant content that is related to your specific niche market, commenting on relevant posts, and developing your professional brand. When position yourself as an expert, you will prove your credibility to your customers.
- Build strong relationships. You also want to establish trust in your prospects. Through social selling, you can do this by sharing your perspectives and by providing relevant information that answers questions or needs. By having conversations with your followers and potential prospects and focusing on their needs first, you can build a relationship that they will trust.
Why Social Selling is Important
There are several reasons why social selling is important to today’s business owners. Here’s a look at three of the most important reasons.
- You can build real relationships with your sales team. Cold calling isn’t exactly the most appealing sales strategy. In truth, consumers find cold calling, well, cold. For that reason, it’s not a very effective approach to selling. Social tools, however, are a much more effective way to connect with and build relationships with your existing and potential customers. It’s less intrusive and it doesn’t put anyone on the spot. In other words, people can choose to respond if they would like to and they aren’t forced into having to make a decision in the spur of the moment. This will help you develop more powerful relationships with your audience.
- Your audience already engages with social buying. Social buying, as the name suggests, is the opposite of social selling. It’s highly likely that your audience is already engaging in social buying, and that means that you can use it to your advantage. You can piggyback on other vendors in your industry and reach their prospects.
- Most business owners are already using social selling. In business today, the competition is steep. There are so many businesses out there, which means you really have to make yourself stand out from the crowd. Since your competitors are likely already using social selling, you don’t want to be left in the dust. By getting yourself set up with social selling, you can ensure that you are keeping up with – and hopefully standing ahead of – the competition.
Social selling is a highly effective strategy. If used correctly, it can do wonders for the success of your business.