Does the term Social Selling sound familiar to you but you don’t know exactly what it refers to? If so, don’t worry, because with this guide we will try to help you better understand how to apply this process in your sales.
In an environment increasingly marked by the use of social networks , no one can escape its influence and power, right? Nor can brands and businesses be unaware of this trend. So, once we are implementing a social media plan , it is convenient to optimize the presence of our brand in them.
So can I get more sales through Social Selling? Of course yes, precisely by taking advantage of this optimization of our presence, to complement and reinforce all our sales processes.
What is Social Selling?
The Social Selling is a sales model where we use social media, mainly LinkedIn, through which we implemented a way of attracting customers based on branding, human relations and useful content to our potential customers.
This system is mainly based and focused on the final sale and is increasingly booming. Well used it can be a strong boost for our online sales.
Thanks to networks, we can capture more leads or clients and increase our knowledge of them, establish bridges, listen to the needs of our target audience and offer the most suitable solutions for them.
What Is The Real Objective Of Social Selling?
Although we talk about sales, the objective of this technique is not to sell directly on networks , but rather to know, attract, persuade, converse.
Start a process of trust between the brand and the user.
The Keys To Mastering Social Selling
Something called Social Selling is making more and more noise , but many people still don’t know exactly what it is.
It is often associated with certain sales processes and very specific networks such as LinkedIn and Twitter, but the truth is that Social Selling is much more.
And there is something that is almost a fact:
The traditional sales model has almost disappeared.
Why tell me:
- How many of the calls you make are answered?
- How many of your emails are answered?
- Are your clients predisposed to receive commercial visits?
The current problem of many commercial departments is the difficulty of reaching close visits with customers due to the overload of work that purchasing managers usually have.
However, applying a model based on it we can:
- Attract our target audience , thanks to the useful content we publish.
- Humanize the brand we represent , since the B2B model is nothing more than a way to close businesses based on the good personal relationship between the people who represent two companies: H2H (human to human).
- As a consequence, we eliminated the cold door , since we identified our ideal contact through the searches we carry out on LinkedIn.
With Big data, 2.0 communication and all the information that the user has at a single click on the Internet, it is clear that the traditional seller is taking a back seat in the current sales process.
It must also be said that although the term Social Selling sounds like something too new, it is not as new as it seems.
In fact, if you have a company page on LinkedIn, you are probably already applying social selling (without realizing it). It is for all this, that in this guide I will explain the keys that you must take into account to understand this term , increasingly known and requested by companies that base their sales model on a B2B.
What Is Social Selling: Why Does Social Selling Arise?
Due to the irruption of digital transformation and the greater use of social networks by users. As simple as that.
The purchasing process has changed dramatically in the last ten years. Users are increasingly informed and make decisions based on what we see on the networks. We take advantage of the Internet to find offers, research prices and value products and services.
The IAB Spain Annual Social Media Study tells us that:
Half declare to look for information on products or services during the purchase process.
Why Should We Carry Out a Social Selling Strategy?
As we have seen, the current consumer is highly informed. Before going to a store or making an online purchase, do an internet research process. Look for prices and opinions.
Applying Social Selling increases the chances that the purchase process will be effective , since the messages received by customers through the networks influence the perception of your company, thus increasing their trust in it.
Of course, as long as those messages are coherent and have a logical strategy of recruitment and loyalty).
In order to attract our potential client, we must become a benchmark in our sector and, for this, our content must be useful and add value. In short, they must:
- Answer your questions
- Meet your needs
- Guide them towards their goals…
And, thus, differentiate ourselves from our competition.
For this you must take into account the following:
1. Implications Of Applying A Network Sales Process
The marketing and sales departments of the company should approach and work together, sharing the objectives of the Company’s Business Plan.
Both are nourished by the information of the other and thanks to sales the ROI of the networks increases.
You may also be interested in:What Is The Formula To Calculate ROI Of Your Online Marketing Strategies?
2. Non-intrusive Customer Interactions
Commercials interact with leads throughout the purchasing process in a non-intrusive way, which improves the user experience and thanks to this, commercials build lasting relationships.
Therefore, the recommendation that I make to you is that you identify, with name and surname, your target client (be a sniper) and begin to interact with him in his publications or through private messages.
Don’t be inbred and remember to always show your benefits from being with you!
»You may also be interested in: What is a “CTA” or Call To Action? Guide To Creating More Attractive Call To Action
What Social Selling strategy can I follow?
Before you start, you need to identify what platforms your target audience is on and act accordingly.
A B2B company is not the same as a B2C company.
Create and share quality content of your own and third parties, your lead must see you as a specialist in your sector.
This is a long-distance race, set yourself some goals in time that are:
Share content regularly, keep listening active, be sure to monitor and analyze LinkedIn statistics on your personal profile and company page.
Always reply to all comments quickly.
How to spread your content on social networks?
If your company or yourself as a personal brand has a blog, the best content to spread is the one you write on your blog.
But you must also publish third-party content.
You should not always be talking about your products and how good you are.
You must add value, solve problems of your leads through your content.
Create a table in an Excel ( a publication calendar ) and set yourself some minimum guidelines to comply with.
- 1 weekly post on your blog.
- 3 posts a week on LinkedIn.
- 6 daily tweets.
- 2 weekly posts on Facebook and Instagram .
- 1 video a week.
The good news is that you have infinite tools to spread your content automatically.
Spend at least one day a week scheduling content to broadcast weekly, and about 20 minutes a day to network, comment, like, retweet, etc.
I find Buffer ideal for programming on Twitter and LinkedIn, both on your personal profile and on your company page
Tip: The fastest way to carry out this process is to use an RSS aggregator such as Feedly and there you will add all the blogs and magazines that you are interested in obtaining information.
When you start programming your weekly content, open Feedly and there you will find all the content you are interested in programming.
If you want to sell in RRSS you have to relate.
The NETWORKS, are SOCIAL, it is not useful to schedule the content once a week and forget, you must review them every day and interact with them.
When we talk about using them as a promotion tool to get leads and ultimately become customers, it is essential to interact with them and build strong relationships.
Do not sell anything at first, introduce yourself, create messages of thanks when other people have accepted you into their accounts.
You can use a post from your blog that is especially interesting and relevant in PDF files and send it as a thank you when they subscribe to your blog or follow you.
Join groups on the theme where your leads are or create your own group , actively participate in them. It is about being seen and perceived as an expert in your subject.
How Does The Social Selling Index Help You In Your Social Selling Model?
The Social Selling Index or SSI index is a numerical value that all LinkedIn users have and which aims to assess how well or poorly we operate on this platform.
Its maximum value is 100 and it is made up of 4 variables that reach 25 each:
- Establish personal brand .
- Finding the right people.
- Interaction through the offer of information.
- Relationship building.
Thanks to this index, you can know what LinkedIn likes you to do in order to have more relevance and become that benchmark in your sector that you seek to be.
To know yours, just log in and type in the navigation bar: https://www.linkedin.com/sales/ssi
Check your SSI and see what variable you need to improve. Don’t hesitate to launch the actions you need to improve it and start selling more!
Examples Of Tools For Active Listening
The active listening is a fundamental part of any digital strategy and necessary for our strategy Social Selling . It is necessary to know what they say about us, what topics are being discussed and what our clients need.
You have plenty of free and paid tools for active listening, here are some.
► Google Alerts
Google Alerts is free, once our alerts have been configured, we will automatically receive notifications about the terms or keywords that we have proposed in our alert in our email.
As you can see in the image below, creating an alert is very simple, you just have to put the name of your brand or a keyword that interests you and create the alert.
In addition to being an excellent tool for scheduling content, it allows you to monitor conversations from any account or hashtag in real time.
To be able to do it you just have to add a column with the search.
► Social Mention
It is a free tool and very simple to use, it works as a search engine in which you can narrow searches in fields such as blogs, Twitter, keywords, images, etc.
What are the best networks for Social Selling?
In addition to the guiding strategy that we have just seen and reviewed, below is a list of platforms where it is very feasible to practice this technique.
It has been shown that for the B2B the queen is LinkedIn and yet for the B2C it is Facebook.
LinkedIn is a professional network, it is essential that you are in it, whether you have a company, or if you are commercial and that you do it in a correct way . For this, first of all we will focus on enhancing our profile, identify what are the keywords that define you as a professional.
Use those keywords in your headline , statement and career path. Image, you will have read it many times, but there are still very unprofessional images on LinkedIn.
Do not upload any photo
If necessary, take a photo session with a professional, they will serve you for your profiles and also for your website if you have your own brand. The ideal photo is of your face, at most up to your chest. It should be a quality image, with a smooth and clear background.
Adapt the clothing to your sector, there is no point in wearing a suit and tie if you work as a therapist. But don’t hang a picture from when you went skiing either. It is about offering a professional image.
- Customize the URL of your LinkedIn profile
Show your professionalism by personalizing your URL. It is very simple and you have it in just two steps that I show you:
Work correctly each and every one of the sections, LinkedIn allows you to show who you are at a professional level, take advantage of it.
Your experience is not just a sequence of dates and jobs, it defines your professional career and describes what you contributed in each of them.
Use your keywords so that you appear in the searches of other users.
Ask your former bosses and colleagues to put a recommendation on you. Add to your profile the more information the better, images, videos, articles, technical documents, etc.
Once you have your correct profile, use LinkedIn searches to contact potential clients. You should always send a personalized message , explain who you are and why you want to contact. If they accept you, thank them. Very few people do, you will be differentiating yourself.
Start moving, join LinkedIn groups that are relevant to your activity and where you will find your potential clients. You can use the search tool on your home page to find new groups. Now it’s time to share quality content , blog posts, Slideshare, videos.
You should also be attentive and practice active listening, when a contact of yours shares something interesting, like it and leave a comment. Little by little you will establish a connection. Also take advantage of birthday and job change notifications.
Any reason is good to start a conversation.
It is a very interesting platform for sales, if you spend time creating your personal brand.
Apply these three recommendations that I make to you to take advantage of this network in your Social Selling strategy:
- Optimize your biography and keep it updated, as I explain to LinkedIn, the Twitter biography is your cover letter.
- Take advantage of the space you have in your bio to put who you are and what you do, use keywords, hashtags and don’t forget to include your website.
- Choose the profile and cover photo very well , it is best to always use the same on all platforms.
- Use the lists , it is a very useful and little used tool.
You can have a list of clients to see what your clients share, in this way you will have the information of what they do in the same site and you can quickly respond to a comment, like or retuit.
You can create all the lists you want, these lists can be public or private, for example, you can follow the competition in a list privately to see what they are doing.
You can also create a list of leads that you are interested in following and watching as they comment.
Check this list to see what they share, what they talk about and what their needs are.
Share your own and third party content, schedule the tweets that you will publish daily, but check the network every day to be able to interact.
This network is very interesting for a Social Selling B2C strategy.
Although on Facebook you should be more careful and be “more subtle”, both on LinkedIn and on Twitter, users are more open to being contacted professionally, but let’s not forget that Facebook is a place designed for entertainment.
The first thing you should do is create a company page or Fan Page.
Once again, optimize your profile and upload images consistent with your other social networks.
Use this network to create personal brand and engagement , sharing interesting posts for your sector, your own and from third parties and creating specific images.
Don’t make copy paste. You must create specific content for each platform.
Make contests and raffles to generate engament, if you want to know how to do a good contest on Facebook you can read this post .
The key to Social Selling is to create relationships within networks and then be able to take them offline.
As in the rest of the networks you must interact, respond to the comments of your followers, make comments and questions to generate conversation.
Well-applied Social Selling success story
Hawkers is a great example of this digital marketing technique that I want to take advantage of to tell you.
The founders of Hawkers are 2 brothers from Elche and two friends from Alicante.
Before founding Hawkers they had some failures.
I like to explain these “failures”, because people think that there are very lucky entrepreneurs, but the reality is that what is behind a success is work, desire and many trials.
Most of us entrepreneurs have given us a cake before getting it, with a lot of effort sticking our heads out.
At first they created Saldum, a project that was based on promoting sales through social networks, but it did not work, they looked for other products that were easy to sell online until they found the glasses.
Initially, they did not sell their glasses, but a third-party brand, until they saw the potential and launched to buy glasses and create their own brand.
It is worth emphasizing that the project was started with the objective of generating cash that would allow them to create another project.
They were associated 50% with a celebrity, to whom they had friendship access, such as Jorge Lorenzo , which allowed them to have 20,000 followers on Facebook before even launching the eCommerce created on the Shopify platform.
They took advantage and squeezed the possibilities of Facebook Ads, going from an initial coupon of € 30 that according to David account one of the founders bought it on the “black market”.
Up to investing € 10,000 a day currently .
Its great success is based on the relationship with its clients, close and informal, through networks such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, in which it has millions of followers and fans.
In addition, they have a website and they also have an app.
They are very creative when it comes to creating campaigns on Facebook, they say they have created up to 6,000 different ads .
They have become sponsors of the Los Angeles Lakers , which allows them, among other things, to leave bags of product for the celebrities who meet at the Staples Center.
And they have gone from making a first order of € 300 in glasses to billing more than 15 million euros a year .
The Hawkers team has four people working on Facebook advertising, they have become experts in Facebook Ads and today they work as alfatesters for them.
They were invited by Facebook to visit them in the United States to meet with the engineers and expose the problems and difficulties they had encountered in the tool in order for them to work to solve them.
More and more users are buying on the Internet. And, as we saw above, networks have a fundamental role in this process. Although they are not a direct conversion channel, the reality is that buying more and more is a social process.
We make the final decision looking for information and evaluations of the products in networks. Let’s not forget that sales are a process in which credibility and trust are essential. Social Selling helps implement and strengthen those relationships on the Internet.