Social selling is a B2B and B2C social media marketing (SMM) strategy that utilizes social networking sites and applications to generate leads, sales or one-on-one relationships with consumers. Unlike social media marketing, whose main objective is brand awareness, social selling is a recognized technique for prospecting and developing customer loyalty, and allows you to achieve your goals of generating qualified leads. Popular channels used to implement social selling are social media sites such as LinkedIn, Reddit or Twitter and messaging apps such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger.
Social selling is an effective approach to building awareness, trust and consideration over the course of the sales cycle. Social selling focuses heavily on establishing connections between salespeople and prospects in the top and middle of the sales funnel, with the ultimate objective of securing a purchase or subscription in the future. Types of connections can range from individual online interactions to accepting follower invitations to responding to social media comments. After a connection occurs, the goal of social selling is to deepen those relationships in an ongoing, long-term process and to ideally gain an advantage over competitors when it comes time to make a purchasing decision.
Pillars of Social Selling
- Create a professional brand: A strong professional brand shows you are an active participant in your industry and can lead to more interest from prospects.
- Focus on the right prospects: Social selling enables you to find and connect with prospects more effectively than traditional sales.
- Engage with insights: Sharing relevant industry content, commenting on news alerts, and building your professional brand are some ways to engage your audience.
- Build trusted relationships: nurture relationships with prospects by sharing your perspectives and provide relevant information to similarities you may have. This will assist in building a relationship.
Benefits of social selling
According to the social selling index created by LinkedIn, companies receive a score from the range of 0-100 based on their social selling strategies. Companies with high social selling score enjoy benefits of social selling such as:
- Creating and having deeper consumer relationships
- Number of leads and sales opportunities increase
- The need for customers to reach out for assistance reduces
- Improve likelihood of repeat interactions
- Outbound strategies such as cold calling are not necessary
- Brand awareness increases
- Sale cycle is shortened
- New revenue opportunities are created
- Website traffic increases
Disadvantages of social selling
- Can be expensive and time consuming
- Negative Feedback could impact business badly
- Return on investment isnt high for all industries
- Return on investment can be difficult to measure
- Poor user engagement impacts business negatively
Social Selling Strategy
· Decide on the right communities & platforms
· Optimize your profile
· Create a content strategy
· Connect with people within your target market
· Follow others to learn from & engage with
· Use social listening tools for research