Social selling is an absolute must in today’s day and age. If you aren’t selling on social media, your competitors will. And social sales can be quite high considering the brand loyalty that comes with following a brand you love. While traditional sales focused on cold calling and demo videos, today’s sales focuses primarily on social media. There’s a bit more relationship building involved in social media sales but there are many benefits that come from this, which we’ll get to in this article. If you’re interested in learning the most effective ways to do social selling in 2021 keep reading.
What is Social Selling?
Social selling is a method for acquiring leads and customers through social media platforms. Social selling is popular on platforms, such as LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, and more. This practice can be done by influencers or by business owners.
For example, Sheila is browsing hashtags to find a new dress for her birthday. She browses the hashtags until she finds her dream dress. She notices that the dress has a shoppable link and makes a purchase.
Benefits of Social Selling
1. Higher number of leads
Social media is a great place to acquire leads since most of the world is active on it. With hashtags, shoppable links, and trending content, you have many opportunities to have your business found on any social platform. Since customers are more likely to find you than you them, you drastically increase the number of leads. There’s a greater ROI to doing social selling rather than traditional sales due to its scalability.
2. Strong customer relationships
After a social searcher finds your brand or product, you have an opportunity to build and strengthen strong relationships with them – especially if they follow you. The more loyal they are, the more likely they are to comment and engage with your account. And those are wonderful opportunities to strengthen your relationship.
3. Shorter sales cycle
When you practice social selling, you’ll likely notice a shorter sales cycle. Since most of the customers find you and sign up on their own, you’ll likely see that the cycle of new customers takes up less time. Why? Well, the lead is warm since they were in the market for the product or service vs a cold lead that a sales representative needs to warm up.
4. Reduced research time
With social selling, customers have a reduced research time. Since you’re already putting out content on social media, they have a good idea of what to expect from your brand. Since there’s already some familiarity to the quality of your social content people will know how high quality your product is too. Thus, spend less time doing homework since it’s all made available online.
5. Higher conversion rates
Social selling leads to higher conversion rates. Why? Well, since people are signing up directly on their own after browsing your social media, the conversion rate for the traffic on your website is higher. You’ve also got the opportunity to benefit from lower acquisition costs from poorly performing ads.
6. Customers find you
Customers find you instead of you looking for them. By social selling, they’re more likely to find you in the first place making it easier for them to sign up for your service or buy your products. Using social media to sell makes it more likely that you’ll be found by someone who’s actually looking for what you have to offer.
How to Do Social Selling in 2021
One of the best ways to do social selling on TikTok is to partner with influencers. If you have a decent budget, consider doing a marketing blitz. In this case, you would get multiple influencers to promote your product or business on the same day all over TikTok. You should consider asking them to use your hashtag to make it popular for that day. By partnering with multiple influencers in your niche, you drive a lot of attention to your brand. When we tried this on Exchange, we noticed that people we hadn’t partnered with also used the hashtag to promote the event since it was getting so much publicity that day. By doing this strategy, you can get hundreds of thousands of video views on your hashtag proving the power of TikTok. Plus, it’ll help drive volumes of sales and traffic to your website. Make sure that the influencers post a link in their bio to promote your product, service, or campaign. The blitz style of social selling on TikTok is one of the most effective ways to promote on TikTok if your brand doesn’t have a TikTok account yet. It’s a great way to test if this channel will be effective for your business.
Instagram is made for social selling. Shoppable pins allow potential customers to shop the exact product on your website with ease. But even those who comment or slide into your DMs can become potential customers with the right social selling strategies. You can help customers find the right product on your website based on their needs just by chatting with them. If you’re active on Instagram, you’ll also want to browse hashtags based on your industry to help people searching for exactly what you sell. If you sell hair extensions and notice someone asking for advice on which color to dye their hair, you might use this as an opportunity to recommend a color and even your hair extensions for when their new do is complete. You can also post product lifestyle photos on your account so that people can see your products in action to help them imagine owning it.
Facebook has the best ad tech in the world allowing people to hyper target any audience for any category. So, when it comes to social selling, Facebook ads is likely the most effective way to do this. While promoting your products as a standard Facebook post can reach an audience, the constantly limiting reach on posts will likely continue to become smaller. When it comes to Facebook ads, consider also running retargeting ads to improve your cost per click. If you have an active blog on your website, you can retarget the blog traffic on Facebook with your best performing products to help entice people to sign up. Since someone who’s already visited your website is a warm lead, a retargeting ad tends to be more effective due to the existing brand awareness. This will make your social selling more effective and less expensive in the long run– especially if you’ve already built an existing audience.
Pinterest is a search based social platform, which makes it very different from Facebook, Instagram, and even TikTok. Search based niches tend to be very popular on the platform. So, if your website focuses on SEO and Google Ads perform better than Facebook ads, it’s likely that Pinterest will be the platform of choice for you too. The secret to virality on Pinterest is to pick keywords with high search volume and low competition. You can do Google keyword research to give you a starting point.The second way to go viral on Pinterest is to have images that look similar to popular ones. If you notice most pins are in a pink hue, you’ll also want to use a similar hue when designing pins. That’s because Pinterest groups similar images together. After doing this, you’ll likely go viral which will help with social media sales.
There’s no better platform for B2B businesses than LinkedIn for social selling. On LinkedIn, you can use the Sales Navigator to do outreach to businesses. Say you own an accounting software, you can use this tool to find accountants on LinkedIn to promote your software to. Since LinkedIn is all about places of employment, it’s the perfect social selling platform for sales reps looking for key people in specific departments. If you own a hiring tool, you’ll likely reach out to folks with human resources in their job title. Since it’s hyper specific to a job title, it’s more likely and easier to reach the desired person in the company you’re looking for. Having your sales representative scour LinkedIn for opportunities to promote your business to other businesses is a great way to succeed in social selling on the platform.
Twitter is a great place to do active listening, which will ultimately help with social selling. You’ll be able to discover the needs of people in your industry which will enable you to create better products for potential customers. You’ll also be able to engage with people who are your target customer. While a direct sales approach will likely not work on Twitter, you can warm up potential customers by engaging with them until they’re ready to buy from you. Social selling on Twitter isn’t as direct as Instagram and may take a while longer. Make sure you have a link in your bio so that interested people can check out your products or services. And tweet several times a day about your industry to get people exposed to your brand.
7. Social Groups
Social groups are a great way to do social selling. There are Facebook groups and even platforms like Quora that are all about helping people answer their questions. You’ll be able to recommend your business and product depending on the niche of the group. If you’re in a buy and sell jewelry group, you can promote your jewelry to people in the group with little issue. If someone is in an ecommerce group asking for suggestions on the best ecommerce platform and you’re a Shopify affiliate, you can recommend Shopify to them with your affiliate link. Direct social media sales are more likely and easier to do on social groups. But not all groups are the same. Some group admins are against links to competitors– especially if they created the group to sell their own products. So be sure to read those terms of service before joining and promoting your services to a group of people on social media.
8. Provide Value and Educate
The secret of social selling is to provide value and education. By doing this, you’ll be more likely to build enough trust to generate a sale. If all your social posts are about blatant sales, it’s unlikely that you’ll perform well as people tend to scroll by ads and sales pitches all the time. There are ways to sell in a way that generates value. For instance, instead of having a picture of the t-shirt you’re selling, you can have a lifestyle photo of someone wearing the tshirt. Seeing it on someone’s body provides more value. Or say you’re in a niche like yoga, you can have posts, such as workout videos or tips on how to master difficult poses, this helps educate people. Thus, making it more likely that they’ll follow you and eventually buy from you.
9. Respond to all comments
If you’re using social media to sell, you’ll want to ensure your team is responding to all comments. By responding to all comments, you help build lasting relationships with your followers– especially the ones who will slowly develop brand loyalty. By responding to comments, you can improve your social media sales. If certain comments are critical, aim to respond in a timely manner and positively. Aim to put yourself in the other person’s shoes to better understand and meet their needs. Any negative comments can also lead to new innovations in your service or products that’ll only make you a better and more popular brand. If someone responds in emojis, feel free to respond back in emojis.
10. Post on social media regularly
Social media selling becomes more likely if you commit to a regular posting schedule. If you haven’t posted on your accounts in weeks because of a lack of bandwidth, it’s unlikely that you’ll generate social media sales. To commit to a regular schedule, aim to batch your posts and schedule them. For example, if you can commit three hours to designing a week or two’s worth of posts, you can schedule them with a scheduling tool like Later. This helps drastically reduce the time spent uploading posts while helping you stick to a consistent schedule. If your audience knows you post everyday at noon, they’ll come to expect your posts which will help with engagement. Plus, the more active your social media accounts are the increased chances there’ll be of social selling.
Social selling is a great way to increase your leads, strengthen customer relationships, improve conversion rates, and more. You can do social selling on any platform but the strategies will vary depending on which social network you focus on social media selling. Social sales will come to those who create a ton of value, post regularly, and engage with followers. So, if you aren’t active on social media, now’s the time to start posting so you can skyrocket your social media sales.