Social Selling: What is it?
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"Social selling" has taken social media as a means of connecting with friends and family to connecting with potential clients and consumers. Social media has become a part of the daily routine for many people, and we certainly know what selling is, but when you put the two together, what does it mean? We’ll try to answer some basic questions in this blog post.
What is social selling? Is it marketing or is it selling? Social selling is more than using social media to sell your business or organization’s products or services. Social selling is using one-on-one relationships through social media platforms to market to individuals or organizations which are part of your target audience. The goal of social selling is not necessarily to “close the deal,” but to move conversations and interactions to the point where a discussion about a sell can occur. Social selling is not only the responsibility or job of the “sales guys” or any one department – it requires the efforts of everyone on the team.
Why is it important for my business or organization? As discussed in previous blogs, sales and marketing have changed dramatically in the Internet age from the days of searching the yellow pages of your local phone book and “cold calling” prospective customers. In today’s market, new sales leads can be generated right from your website, through direct email, or social media platforms.
Here are a few statistics which underscore the importance of social selling:
- 91% of B2B (Business to Business) buyers are active on social media, likely using more than one platform.
- 90% of top performing sales people use social selling as part of their strategy.
- 64% of sales folks reach their team quota in contrast to 49% who don’t use social media.
- As many as 90% of decision-makers will not respond to a cold call, but 75% of B2B buyers use some form of social media to make buying decisions.
How does it work? Social selling is the process of employing social media tools (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.) to build relationships with your specific target audiences and, ultimately, to improve sales while improving the efficiency of marketing. Be certain your brand “identity” is consistent across all the platforms you use and then use those platforms to make contacts and “market” your business or organization.
Specifically, social selling uses the tools of social media to: create relationships; define your reputation; gain visibility within your target market; deliver value to your target market; and establish credibility. Credibility in a given area can be developed by becoming a “thought leader” in that field centered around continually creating up-to-date and relevant content in that area.
Neil Patel of Kissmetrics gives these specific examples of how to practice social selling:
- Endorse a customer on LinkedIn
- Like a client’s Facebook post
- Share the company or organization’s latest blog on social media
- Follow key accounts on Twitter
- Explore potential customers on LinkedIn and other social media before a meeting
- Retweet a client
It’s important to remember that everyone on the team – i.e., all the employees – can and should be doing social selling. Everyone on the team should use the practices above on their own social media outlets – not only the person tasked with doing social media for the organization on the sites the business uses.
In conclusion…At the end of the day – or the end of the conversation – social selling is all about “leveraging the tools, technologies, and people in your organization [or business] to deliver value to your customers.” Make connections and then deliver content. Every blog, Facebook post, tweet, or Instagram post creates an opportunity to interact with customers and determine what interests your audience.
At Evolve Impact Group we are committed to helping you accomplish your business or organization’s goals by utilizing tools, technology, and people to develop your unique brand and promote your business effectively to your target audience. We can help you with developing a digital marketing plan and offer a variety of Social Media Management and Personalized Content Writing Solutions. Contact us today!