What is Social Selling?
Social selling is a new marketing technique that takes advantage of social media to spread awareness and advertise to people while they are using social networking services. Social selling allows the targeting of potential customers based on their interests and search history, meaning that they are more likely to make use of the service. Having first contact via social media is also less intrusive than just sending out random untailored messages, and also helps to make the message more personal to the person receiving it. Once the sales executives have pulled in some potential customers, brand representatives can then customise their message to start to build a relationship with these potential customers to help with the sale of their product/service. This practice is known as inbound sales, and is proven to be more effective than outbound sales methods; as they are more personalised to each individual customer meaning that they are more likely to like what they see and therefore make a purchase. Outbound sales methods consist of mass producing generic messages to as many people as possible, without taking into account who they are sending them to and just hoping that it is relevant to most people. Cold calling is one example of an outbound sales method, and Door to Door Sales, where people go door to door trying to sell a product or service is another. This practice is generally looked down on by most people and therefore only a tiny percentage of the products are sold using this method. This is an obvious reason to change to social selling and all the advantages it brings.
Your Business Reputation is Important
Before you can successfully employ the tactic of social selling to help you to make sales and to increase your client network, you must first have a positive online reputation for your brand that will help validate the messages that you have sent over social platforms to your potential customers. No matter who you are, or how big your company is, what people say about you and the services you provide are how you will be seen to other people; and will be the deciding factor for potential customers who may be looking at using your services.
When using services like LinkedIn, a social media platform for professional use e.g. to connect to a potential employee and check out what they have to offer, most people will inspect your online profile before responding to a connection request and the content they see will most likely play a part in whether they respond or not. If the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) doesn’t particularly highlight your website or social media profiles you may not hear from people you try to connect with, as they may not think you are professional or trustworthy enough. Another thing to watch out for is if the search results link a competitor more than you or shows negative content such as bad reviews due to bad reputation management you are much less likely to get a response from the people you message.
To successfully build an online presence you need to be able to demonstrate your value to potential customers so that they feel that they might gain something from using your services/products. To do this you need to be seen as a leading brand in the industry of your field, and you need to show innovation and especially avoid things like aggressive advertisement. Aggressive advertising can turn many potential customers away as they may feel that you are trying too hard, or that they aren’t getting enough out of it for it to be worth it. The best way to advertise is to be interactive with your potential customers, and share any information they may require or be interested in. Being interactive makes the potential customers more likely to feel as if they are important to your company, and it will feel more personal to them too meaning you are more likely to make a sale. Having references to a customer’s media or online publications will also go a long way, as they will notice that you have taken the time to research them and you aren’t just trying to sell something and then move on to the next person as soon as possible. Once your brand is in control of the SERP more contacts will be generated, and your online reputation will start to grow by itself with less management needed. Building relationships with your customers will help to do this too as it will help to grow your pages organically.
How to Improve Social Selling in your Business
Some social media platforms such as LinkedIn use a Social Selling Index (SSI) to aid with analysing how well your social selling is doing on that platform. High social sellers are more likely to beat their competitors who don’t use social selling, as they can reach more people and the personal touch aids in making sales and creating relationships with customers. Another way to improve social selling is to build upon and improve your online reputation, as stated earlier, as this will help with your online visibility and will also highlight you on the SERP. Professional reputation management companies will help you to highlight areas where you may be having problems, and help you in general to increase your online reputation, and ensure that mostly positive reviews are visible as opposed to negative ones.
We are dedicated to working with our clients and ensuring we put their needs at the highest priority. We can offer you the tools and guidance to help you build your online reputation and increase your social selling skills so that you may become a leading brand in your given field and can optimise the content you produce so that it is the highest quality for your customers.