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With 64% of consumers preferring to shop online, the e-commerce industry has become saturated with sellers. Therefore, it’s important to make an impression on potential customers who notice your brand online. To stand apart from competitors and increase customer impact, we recommend social selling.
Just as traditional campaigns revolved around making the customer feel special, the new paradigm has taken “putting customers first’ to whole new levels – thanks to the ability to personally engage them via digital social platforms.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what social selling is, how it works, and the strategies that you can use to benefit from its powerful effects.
What is Social Selling?
Social selling is a sales strategy that involves building relationships with customers. Social sellers use a myriad of tools, including social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to interact with consumers. The key to a successful SS campaign is engagement.
In the past, sales have been structured around conversion and revenue, but recently the tides have turned. Sales professionals who use social platforms see 45% more opportunities for selling and 51% more success at reaching monthly quotas.
Benefits of Social Selling
Using a social sales style has advantages over traditional marketing strategies.
Here are five benefits you can gain through social selling:
- More Leads and More Sales: It seems like an obvious benefit, but social selling has proven itself very useful in generating more sales. In fact, professionals who use social tools outsell non-social sellers by 78%.
- Increased Customer Retention: Brand loyalty comes through familiarity, and nothing fosters familiarity like customer engagement. Interacting regularly with consumers is an excellent trust-building activity.
- Better Brand Recognition: The first stage in any sales funnel is awareness, and nothing promotes brand recognition like interaction. The more customers like, share, and comment on your social media posts, the more visible you become on that platform. Beyond social algorithms and ranking, this is really just a digital version of good old fashioned, “word of mouth” marketing.
- Humanizing Your Brand: Putting a face to a name always makes it more memorable. It’s true for people, so why not brands? Customer engagement humanizes you and your products. It makes you more likable and relatable to consumers.
- Built-in Reputation Management: Before making a purchase, approximately 95% of all internet shoppers read customer reviews. If you’re using a social selling strategy that incorporates customer engagement, then you already have plenty of real-life users.
Potential leads glean what they want to know from customer comments and shared posts. This promotes and maintains your brand’s reputation without any need for third-party representation.
Learning to Sell Online: 10 Tips for Better Social Selling
1) Show Them Who You Are: Of all the ways to reach out to consumers, video is the most effective. Live video feeds give customers the chance to feel important, hear and see you, and interact in real-time. Some live platforms, like Facebook Live Video, allow you to see who’s logged in and for how long. Viewers can like, share, and comment on your video, and you can respond directly to them in real time.
Videos are useful because they make the digital experience more human. It’s the closest many online shoppers get to walking into an e-commerce store and being greeted by a front desk agent.
2) Learn as You Go: A huge mistake many marketers make is worrying too much about their inexperience and delaying the process. This is one area of sales where making mistakes can strengthen a campaign. To err is human, and companies which appear more human are appealing to the modern consumer.
Just be sure that you handle mistakes with grace. Social selling is all about the customer, so if you slip up, be transparent and public in your apology. You might be surprised at how quickly loyal customers will come to your defense and aid.
3) Social Sellers are Stronger in Teams: Just as there are many components to a new marketing campaign, taking on social selling involves a variety of moving parts. It helps to have more than one individual managing the many channels and platforms.
Broaden your reach by recruiting industry influencers who already have a following and can help grow yours.
4) Know Your Target: Socialization is better achieved with the right audience. Research and metrics reports will show you who is most interested in your brand, and who you should be seeking to connect with through social. Of course, you should interact with any potential lead or customer who engages, but especially those in your demographic.
5) Build-up Credibility:
Shoppers want a brand they can trust. They want to ask questions and get answers. They want an authority in that industry. Proving yourself as an authority is as easy as improving credibility. This means building relationships to increase trust.
Becoming social online through e-mail, blog comments, and social media makes it easier to build that credibility. Show followers that you’re the authority in your industry, and more people will choose your product or service.
6) Make Yourself Visible: Don’t let your brand blend into the background. Create visually impactful posts to guarantee visual connection as consumers swipe past. Everything from the photo you use to the length of a title affects visual relevance. For example, the most noticeable Facebook titles are just 4-words long.
Keeping your titles short and sweet, yet descriptive and relevant is tricky but doable. Take your time developing a winning style plan and set yourself apart from other social sellers.
7) Put Your Best Face Forward: Social selling is a bit like the real estate industry – it requires some schmoozing and a great headshot. Social media is image-forward, and your profile picture says a lot about who you are and what you stand for. Choose a clear, high-definition photo, relatable to your brand.
The way your profile reads to consumers could be the difference between a view and a buy. Thirty-three percent of internet shoppers will reach out over social media before placing a telephone call to a local business.
8) Read Back: The great thing about commenting on a social platform is the ability to read it back at your leisure. Having these comments to review later provides insight into what customers are enjoying and what you should change.
There is also CRM software designed to gather and report comments which include mentions of your brand or keyword. This is handy for developing future campaigns.
9) Network Continuously: Social selling isn’t just about social media posts; it’s about interacting whenever and wherever you can. This includes blogs, polls, social media comments, shout-outs in live video feeds, and more. The more you focus on building relationships with your leads, the more likely they are to convert into customers.
Even if every comment and share isn’t garnering a response, it puts one more mention of your brand into the atmosphere. The more your product or service is linked, tagged or mentioned, the more visible it becomes to others online.
Remember, Google and other search engines, love fresh content. The more your brand is discussed, the more current your online presence becomes.
10) Take Advantage of Industry-Aligned Training: The final and most important tip for social selling is that you are not alone. There are industry professionals with years of social selling experience waiting to help.
Take advantage of industry-aligned training programs like those offered through The Digital Marketing Institute. These programs focus on lead targeting, engagement, closing a sale, customer retention, and all the basics of social selling you need to get started.
Get Started as a Social Seller
With the e-commerce industry becoming such a competitive landscape, it’s important to show consumers what makes your company special. Building a relationship with potential leads and current customers is the perfect way to do this.
Try social selling to get closer to your customers and grow your traffic, conversion, and ROI.