Social selling is a new concept in selling that involves using social media as a lever to help sales. While B2B companies originally used social selling, many B2C companies have been able to take advantage of it. In the United States, 4 out of 5 companies say they use Social Selling in their sales strategy. Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat are some outstanding social media platforms for an SME to face ever more significant competition.
Through this article, you will learn how to generate sales through a web marketing social media business strategy.
B2B social selling: what is it?
Social selling, by definition, corresponds to all the practices consisting of using social media to develop sales.
It is about using data from social networks to identify business opportunities, feed your prospect portfolio, and get in touch with them to convert them into customers subsequently.
The Social Seller adopts the role of an advisor more than that of a salesperson, which allows a better generation of prospects.
Community Manager vs. Social Seller
The legitimate question you can ask yourself is, what is the difference between Community Manager and Social Seller?
The Community Manager and the Social Seller have two different roles. Community Manager aims to optimize your brand reputation among many people. While the objective of the Social Seller focuses on a unique commercial relationship between seller and buyer, its goal is to generate sales. Social selling is a business marketing strategy.
In reality, these two approaches are complementary, as they use the distribution of relevant content to build awareness of your brand and promote your products.
The usefulness of social selling for SMEs
Social selling is suitable for small and medium-sized businesses because it offers the opportunity to:
- Reach a wider audience
- Generate sales
- Control your budget and your ROI
Plus, while Social Selling requires budgeting, generating leads on social media is up to 75% cheaper. If you are successful in achieving your desired results, this technique can prove to be very profitable.
However, to achieve your goals, Social Selling must be part of a long-term, clear, and defined web strategy. It’s not about selling at all costs on social media. Your sales representatives will need training in this new sales channel.
Social selling: which social media to select?
Depending on whether you are in B2B or B2C, the social media on which you are going to communicate will be different. You can use social media, which benefits everyone from a very active community favorable to the generation of interaction. In B2B, here are the three leading social media that we recommend:
- Linkedin (106 million active users): 65% of B2B companies say they have acquired customers on LinkedIn
- Facebook (2.2 billion active users): 43% of B2B companies say they have acquired customers on Facebook
- Twitter (335 million active users): 40% of B2B companies say they have acquired customers on Twitter
In B2C, the choice of social media is simpler and broader. You can benefit from the communities present on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest.
Here are the four social networks we recommend:
LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a real boon for salespeople. This professional network allows you to research companies, employees, interact with them, and follow their news. This social media will help you target and build a lasting relationship with your prospects.
Facebook: You can use your targets’ Facebook Business Pages to collect information about your market. Also, take an interest in groups that discuss topics related to your activity. Do not hesitate to initiate the interaction yourself, for example, through Facebook contests. You can also get in touch and interact with your prospects through Facebook Messenger.
Twitter: Twitter allows you to communicate in a short format (limited to 280 characters). This social media is ideal for starting a conversation with your prospects and personalizing your business relationship.
Instagram: Instagram offers you the opportunity to convey the values and image of your company through inspiring visuals. You can get in touch with people who share the same interests as you. You can also communicate and share content through stories, which helps tell a story and humanize the relationship with your prospects.
For starters, you can get started on just one social media outlet at a time. Subsequently, and depending on your results, you can adapt your strategy with the techniques that work best.
How to implement an effective Social Selling strategy?
Social media today unites more than 3.2 billion users worldwide. To reach your target among its users, you will need an effective marketing strategy:
- Optimize your profile
- Identify and connect with your prospects
- Generate engagement and connect with your qualified prospects
Optimize your professional profile
Optimizing your profile will allow you to build your brand image and improve your online reputation. Your professional profile is like your business card and reflects the image of your company. The social seller must position himself as an expert in his field. It must become a reference in its field and inspire confidence in its prospects.
Profile title: Write a professional title using the keywords in your field of activity.
Profile photo: Is your photo professional?
Biography: Write a biography that clearly defines what your motivations are in your job. What values do you associate with the job you do and the vision you have concerning the evolution of your job or your sector?
Content: Show that you have a strategic vision for the sector through the content you present in your profile.
Promote the marketing content produced by your company, such as white papers, study reports, blog articles, videos, or any other form of content. Do not hesitate to comment or share posts from other users that you think are relevant to your target. Finally, you can write your articles to reinforce your interest and expertise in your industry.
Share content regularly
To do this, you can use a post planning tool such as Social Pilot or Hootsuite (both paid), but be careful with this practice, you have to find the right balance. The interest of Social Selling is to humanize the commercial relationship.
Identify your qualified prospects
Target your audience using the selection criteria. Develop your business prospects by using social media to build your address book and identify the best prospects. Social media allow you to quickly and easily identify your prospects according to your targeting criteria: position, mission, sector of activity.
Listen to your market and your prospects
In this step, we use Social Listening. It means listening to what is being said on social media to monitor your competition, identify business opportunities, and manage your e-reputation. Selling on social media starts with listening to your target audience. The Social Seller must become familiar with the customs and issues of his prospects to identify his expectations.
Subsequently, the social seller can demonstrate his expertise on these topics and share them on social media. He will be able to adapt his communication to his target, and it will be easier for him to get in touch with it.
Start the conversation and connect with your qualified prospects
Now that you have identified your target and you have worked on your image on social media, all you have to do is get in touch with your qualified prospects. This work that you will have done upstream should allow you to find entry points to start a conversation with prospects. There are three different types of boosting your prospects’ engagement:
- Write a comment on a post
- Engage your target by asking them questions
- Get in touch directly with your prospect
Social selling will allow you to sell more. This technique is on a perfect cohesion between web marketing strategy and commercial strategy. The tips we gave you above will help you find and communicate with prospects on different platforms where you can interact directly with your target.
One thing’s for sure: your prospects, customers, and competitors all use social media. While it can be challenging to get started, especially if you are new to social media and web marketing, the benefits of this technique far outweigh the challenges. However, Social Selling should work alongside your traditional prospecting methods.