Three Key Ways to Sell Socially
How to use social media effectively to give your business a big boost
If you’re a business owner, or in charge of marketing for a company, then you wouldn’t be doing your job if social media didn’t factor into your strategy. This is simply because, in this day and age, technology is abundant, and social platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (just to name a few) rule when it comes to online exposure and relationship building, which are both important factors when it comes to the business of selling products and/or services.
Successful companies most likely have well-thought-out marketing plans that involve finding leads and generating sales through social media, while those businesses that tend to experience a loss or low client numbers are likely to lack in the social media department. This practice is known as social selling, and using social media to drive sales is truthfully a must-have tool in any modern-day marketing plan.
If you’re not convinced, consider this bit of information – 78% of salespeople that use social media, perform better than their peers,
“Salespeople leveraging social selling experience 31% higher ROI than those who stick to traditional tactics.”
These are some incredible reasons to utilize social selling in your business, but what exactly are you supposed to do and what if you’re just not sure how to do it?
Read on for tips on how social selling can be incorporated into your business plan:
- Build a Bridge Through Current Contacts – Have you ever taken the time to sit down and look at all of your current contacts and decipher who might be a good fit to help spread the word about your product? There’s a whole wealth of potential marketing at your fingertips within your own social media network, but this is not a completely new concept.
Think about it this way, in a more traditional sales approach, you might reach out to friends and family members that you know have their own businesses that could partner up with you. For example, if your aunt owns a hair salon, and you have a line of hair-care products, it makes sense to ask Aunt Sue if you can display some of your product in her salon and in exchange, she would receive a portion of the sales.
This agreement not only gives you an outlet for selling your product but also presents it in front of a wider audience. Next, you might remember that your good friend sells skin-care products, so you decide to work out a partnership with her, combining your products into packages that result in a win-win for both of you.
These are classic ways to market a product and/or service and they are viable options, but how many people can you feasibly reach in this way? If you apply this same concept to your online network of contacts, then you not only greatly expand your potential partnerships, but you do it in a much faster manner. You can reach out to a larger number of contacts and set up reciprocal business relationships with them, such as featuring products on each other’s social media pages, linking to each other’s sites through your business’s blogs and so forth.
Important note: This doesn’t, and I repeat doesn’t, mean that you should send every single person in your friends list a vague and generic message about how you have a product that “will work for them” — it means that you specifically are reaching out to people who you know could benefit from a partnership.
- Good-bye to Cold Calls, Hello to Social Listening – The previous tip focused more on how to market your product/service through building relationships with other businesses, but what about reaching out to more customers and growing your client base? Social media is, of course, a great way to promote your business, but there’s more to it than just making a few posts and hoping for the best. You can’t just sit back and expect the right people to see your posts, or that the people viewing your page even happen to be in the market for what you’re selling.
The traditional method would be to make cold-calls, which quite frankly no-one really likes to do, nor do many people like to receive them. Besides being impersonal, they can be a huge turn-off and completely drive potential clients away from your business. Plus, you could make over 100 calls and not have any of them go anywhere because you’re just reaching out to warm bodies with not much thought or consideration as to who you’re calling.
Sometimes, you might do some research first and make a “warm call,” to those people you already have spoken with and that you know have an interest in your product, but these are follow-ups, and they’re different. Cold calls are the ones to the folks you have never talked to about your product and whom you have no clue whether or not they would even be interested. No wonder the return on your time investment is pretty poor, you’re simply throwing out a hook and hoping to catch a fish without any thought or research into the appropriate bait or rod and reel. Instead, there is a different approach to try here, and it is known as social listening.
Social listening is a way to find potential clients that have an interest in your particular product and/or service by monitoring keywords on social media.
By looking at various keywords on different social media pages you can filter down the list of potential clients to those who might actually have an interest in your product. Once you have identified these leads, then it’s time to make the next step by reaching out to them via the social media platform to establish a line of communication. Keep it light and work on building a relationship when you begin the process, and let it naturally lead you to set up a phone conversation, email, personal visit, etc. It’s crucial to remember that just because you’re using technology, this doesn’t mean you should take the human touch out of the equation. At its heart, the business of sales still relies very heavily on building strong relationships with partners and clients. Profits are one thing, but when you have a healthy, trusted relationship with customers, that is what’s going to make them keep coming back to you and encourage them to tell others about you.
- Don’t Go It Alone, Bring in the Pros – The world of social media is a big place, with billions of people, and a global reach, where people share feedback, complaints, praises and put all of their wants out there on a screen for others to see. If the thought of monitoring all of these different elements seems a little daunting, then remember, you do not need to do it all by yourself. There are tools that you can use to run ongoing searches of certain keywords and hashtags that can help you find the right people to pitch your product to.
Maybe you want to put together your own team whose sole responsibility is to manage social media in order to find the customers who are the right fit and develop the most effective ways to market your product/service. But maybe, like many people, you don’t know where to begin when it comes to these sorts of things, and your team might not have anybody that is overly familiar with the terrain either.
If this is the case, it’s time to bring in the pros, because just a few dollars spent on social selling can reap great rewards, and if you want to keep up with your competition then it’s a must because 98% of companies plan to implement social selling in the short and long term.
If you do decide you need the knowledge of an expert, then we’re here to help!
Our team at Quatrefoil Content Creation specializes in not only content creation, but copywriting/editing and consulting for small businesses, and we know how to drive your business forward via social selling. We can put together a powerful social media marketing plan that will make your company stand out in front of the crowd and attract more customers so that you can generate higher leads and increase your sales. We look forward to hearing from you and having the opportunity to share how we can help you expand your business today!