The fact of buying and selling something is already in itself and always a social activity, an exchange between several parties. Since the advent of social media, much of this interaction has been done digitally. Thus, advice, opinions and information on a particular service or product are now displayed online via sites, platforms and forums, giving an ultra-connected dimension to sales. Let’s find out together what social selling is and how important it is to the sales team.
Social selling consists of using social networks in the sales process, for example Facebook, Lindedin, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. Thanks to this strategy, the company can find prospects, interact directly with them in a more personal and human way, maintain contact, demonstrate leadership on a subject and share information with high added value. These can be published content, comments, likes, shares, private messages, etc.
Social selling is a long-term approach, the objectives of which are to seek prospects, to enhance the image and expertise of an organization, to set up relationship marketing, so that those same prospects think directly of the business or brand once they’re ready to buy.
Why is the use of social selling important?
Today, the use of social tools is almost essential in the sales strategy. In fact, 78% of salespeople using social selling have been shown to perform better compared to those who do not. There are several reasons for this:
If we compare to canvassing by telephone, which can be quite abrupt and intrusive, social selling makes it possible to establish an easier and more natural dialogue with contacts, by creating a privileged relationship of trust, by providing them with targeted information, but also by connecting the sales team to better quality prospects who are already interested in their business.
Social selling makes it possible to increase the visibility of a brand, improve its image by creating quality content on social networks, and therefore generate more prospects with an increase in the click-through and engagement rate, bringing thus a higher traffic on the site of the company in question.
The vast majority of current buyers go through social buying, that is, they do their own research online to find out about a particular product or service. They visit the merchant site, but also use forums, recommendations, and third-party reviews, and then make up their minds based on what they find. A more visible company with a serious image will then have a better chance of attracting these “social buyers“, thus convincing them to increase its sales rate.
Finally, the use of social selling allows you to align yourself with your competitors who are already using it.
How to use social selling?
- Concentrate on the social networks that are most relevant to what your business wants to sell, in order to reach as many prospects as possible.
- Keep your profile up-to-date and optimized on each of the social networks you use.
- Create quality content by providing relevant information to prospects. It is essential to position yourself as an expert in your field, with interesting, fair and attractive data, in order to increase your credibility and establish the relationship of trust discussed above.
- Posting is great for social selling, but it’s not enough. You must also engage in dialogue in order to interact with your targets to better meet their needs. This could for example be sharing content, leaving comments and liking their posts, etc.
- Set up alerts so you know what your customers and prospects are saying about your business on different networks. You will be able to identify your strengths and weaknesses, and therefore improve yourself to better meet the demands of your targets.
- In the long term, it is important to maintain the relationship with your customers and prospects by staying in contact with them, following them on their networks, continuing to respond to their comments, requests for information, advice , etc.