There are many marketing methodologies you can use to advertise your business. One of the most common techniques is to be on the offensive and actively talk about your business at every opportunity. While it is possible to market like this, it can often be seen as obtrusive to potential buyers. If this type of marketing isn’t for you, then another marketing technique called social selling may be just what you need.
It’s hard to be around someone who is constantly in sell mode. Being bombarded with frequent marketing messages can become quite tiring and can cause buyers to tune out. If the situation continues, audiences start to associate that company with feelings of annoyance and will start to actively avoid doing business with it. This is not how one should go about building a business and trying to create a loyal customer base.
To avoid this from happening, companies should aim to be a valuable resource for their audience rather than an annoyance. To pull this off, a technique called social selling can be implemented. This technique allows companies to build relationships, develop a reputation for being a go-to resource, and boost sales all at the same time.
In today’s post, we look at the concept of social selling and how it can be used to help boost sales.
What Is Social Selling?
Social media marketing uses tools and strategies to market on social media. The end goal is to build a presence on social media to increase brand awareness and attract customers.
While social selling sounds similar to social media marketing, they are two different topics. Social selling, then, is when the social network of a company is leveraged for lead generation purposes, to build trusted relationships, and ultimately, achieve sales goals.
How Does Social Selling Work?
Step 1 – Develop Great Content
If you want to develop a reputation for being the go-to resource for your niche, you need to first provide valuable content for your audience. This content should not be a list of all the products you sell and their attributes.
If you want to develop a reputation for being the go-to resource for your niche, you need to first provide valuable content for your audience. Click To Tweet
Instead, post information that your audience would find useful about all aspects of your niche. If you are a real estate agent, for example, your content shouldn’t solely be dedicated to mentioning how many Top Producer awards you have won and why you are a great agent. This would not be considered valuable content. Instead, posts about how to stage a home, winter maintenance tips and improving curb appeal would be valuable.
Develop the content now so you have something valuable to share once you have made a new connection.
Step 2 – Choose Your Platforms and Optimize Your Profiles
The next step is to ensure that you have a presence on the relevant social media platforms. Some platforms ideal for this work are LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook (although you do have to tread carefully with the latter, because it is sometimes a fine line between being seen as helpful and being seen as a stalker).
Once you have a presence on social media, make sure all your online profiles clearly state your company name, your position in the company, and maybe a brief description of what services are offered.
When people make new connections, they are naturally curious about the other party and will often investigate further to learn more. You want to ensure that it’s very clear to anyone coming across your profiles who you are. This is also when your content created in step 1 becomes important. When new connections see the content you have posted, they automatically start to see you as a resource.
Step 3 – Monitor Social Media
Now it is time to connect with current and prospective buyers on these platforms. These connections have two purposes. The first is because new prospects tend to trust a company more if it is already connected with someone they know. So, build a network first of people you know and then branch out and try to connect with those peoples’ connections.
The second is because it allows you monitor your target audience for opportunities to become helpful. When situations arise where your connections are looking for information or advice, this is an opportunity for you to provide perfectly timed advice.
Going back to our real estate example, if one of your connections post that their water heater broke and need plumber recommendations, you can recommend some tradespeople you have used in the past to help them in their time of need.
Being able to help in a non-salesy way reinforces your image of being a good resource and helps to keep you top of mind.
Final Thoughts on Social Selling
Social selling is a softer approach to marketing. It allows you to build more meaningful relationships that can last longer than a single transaction. It can also help to boost your overall sales. According to LinkedIn 78% of social sellers outsell peers who don’t use social media. So if you want to take your sales to the next level, it may be time to start social selling.
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