What is “Social Selling”?
Social selling is a new term being thrown around by online marketers and advertisers, but what does it really mean? Social refers to social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest. Social selling, however, is much more than just using these platforms to advertise your business, services, and products. It’s the process of using these extremely powerful tools to listen, engage, collaborate, and build relationships with a vast online customer base.
Simply saying that your product is preferred over its competitors or that your service is number one in your hometown or state is no longer enough for consumers.
The internet has provided them with far too much information to simply take your word for it. In fact, a 2013 Nielsen study showed that 84% of shoppers were influenced by recommendations from people they know, while 68% were influenced by opinions from other consumers online. Social media provides us with the ability to see the good and bad experiences our friends, family members, and neighbors have. Of course we’re going to at least partially base our final purchasing decision on what we read and see!
So, back to social selling
The key to being successful at it is to build a strong personal brand. Think of your business as a person online. What qualities does this person have? Would you introduce this person to the people who matter to you? You wouldn’t want to spend time with someone who only talked about themselves, but someone who cared about what you thought too.
Use the content on your site and on social media to become better storytellers, listen to what others are saying about you and your industry and join the conversation, and solve problems or issues that people are experiencing. These things will all help you become a better social seller, increase the number of leads you receive, and hopefully convert those leads into sales.
Make sure that you easily give people a way to connect with you in a variety of ways. Add social media links on your website. Connect with new people on a daily basis, by inviting others to like your social media page. Look for mentions of your business to learn what others are saying about you. Finally, engage with others instead of taking part in one-sided conversations.