Social selling success is giving your target prospects information that they value, appreciate and remember so you distinguish yourself from your competition and gain their attention and trust.
Although rewards are great, most salespeople are still in the dark about how to effective use of social media for sales.
- Only 26% of salespeople say they how to use social media to sell. (HubSpot)
- 31% of reps incorporate social media into their sales process. (HubSpot)
- 78% of reps who use social selling practices outsell their peers. (PeopleLinx)
Technology has changed but human nature hasn’t. Social selling success but the social before the sell but still requires the key skills most salespeople have been trained for:
- Business Acumen
- People Skills
- Social Skills
- Social Media Savvy
Here are 9 surprisingly simple steps to social selling success,
1. IDENTIFY YOUR TARGETS: Social networks are also search engines. Start with some research. Go to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube or any social network where customers hang out and explore names in the search box. Use it see the profiles of customers, prospects, industry leaders, companies, professional groups and events. Look at their number of followers, Likes, connections and members. Create a list of the people you believe would be in your best interest to track and follow.
2.BUILD YOUR AUDIENCE: Start following, Liking, connecting and joining. In very little time, you’ll have an audience. This is going to be one of your most important social media assets. You may even want to use a monitoring tool like HootSuite or TweetDeck to see what your audience is saying, what people say about you and what your most important customers, prospects or competitors. If you build an audience, a certain percentage is going to become customers.
3. PRESENT YOURSELF WELL: Fill out your profiles on social networks. Takes advantage of all the fields. Use photos that look professional and friendly. Tell your story in the allotted character so it is clear who you are, what you do and why people should find you interesting and like you. Almost everyone should be on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – that includes lawyers, finance companies and pharmaceuticals.
4. JOIN IN THE CONVERSATION: According to a report published by Texas Tech University, brands who engage on social media channels enjoy higher loyalty from their customers. Every post you make on a social media platform is an opportunity for customers to convert. When you build a following, you’ll simultaneously have access to new customers, recent customers, and old customers. Not every interaction with your brand results in a conversion, but every positive interaction increases the likelihood of an eventual conversion.
5. GIVE VALUABLE INFORMATION AND ADVICE: Create posts that you want your followers to see. Provide information that shows why are you in business and how you serve people. Give advice that can solve problems. Use URL shorteners to link to articles. Include images and videos. 4X as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product than read about it. Identify messages on a specific topics with hashtags to increase reach and relevance. Don’t just post and walk away. If you do that, you are missing prime opportunities to engage with your audience and convert them when they respond or share to what you’ve written.
6. SHARE INFORMATION AND SUCCESSES OF OTHERS: Sharing can be just as effective as creating your own content in bringing value to others and growing and nourishing relationships. 78% of people share information online because it lets them stay connected to people they may not otherwise stay in touch with. 68% share to give people a better sense of who they are and what they care about. 49% say sharing allows them to inform others of products they care about and potentially change opinions or encourage action. Since it’s relatively easy to pass along good information and advice from peers, get in the habit of doing it.
SOCIAL MEDIA SAVVY
7. BE IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME: If you’ve been following our advice, you probably already have a sense of when your audience is on their social network pages and when your content is shared. Tracking tools like HootSuite and TweetDeck, discussed earlier, show when your audience is most active. They can also be used to schedule your posts in advance for the days and times when your audience is most active. Below is an infographic from Contently showing what are the best days and times to post on social networks.
8. MEASURE AND MANAGE: See how you are progressing and what is creating business value. Avinash Kaushik of Google has an effective way to determine the business value of social media efforts called Conversation, Amplification and Applause. Simply put, Conversation is the # of conversions that come from your posts. Amplification is the rate that your content is shared and commented. Applause is how fast your audience is growing.. These categories are not mutually exclusive and the benefits range from awareness to sales.
9. KNOW WHEN TO TAKE IT OFFLINE: Most sales still do occur offline. By this time, you have reached key targets and gained their attention and trust, messaging tools are available of all social networks to reach out when the time is right. If you’ve done social selling right, you’ve distinguished yourself so your audience would be willing to engage with you and help you out.
Do the steps to social selling success seem simple enough to you. Do you need help taking your social selling success to the level it should be at.