Long gone are the days where making cold calls to potential customers resulted in successful sales. These days, businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to generate new leads via traditional sales tactics, let alone close a sale. Thankfully, there is a new and improved tactic to selling, and this is called “social selling”.
What is Social Selling?
Social selling is utilizing social media to find and engage with potential customers and new prospects. Social selling is an effective aspect of any digital marketing strategy, and allows businesses to provide valuable information and engage in relationship-building conversations with their customer base. While social selling may seem as easy as responding to customer comments and posting quality content, you will need to take a more strategic approach if you want to find consistent and sustainable success through social selling. But have no fear! Below, we will identify 5 easy steps you can take to develop a solid social selling strategy.
Step #1: Choose a Relevant Social Media Platform
The foundation of creating a successful social selling plan is to become active on the same platform as your potential customers. Instead of getting caught up in the whirlwind of the “next big social media network”, identify the social platforms that match and cater best to your potential customers. Then, work towards building your presence and brand awareness on that social media platform.
Step #2: Create a Wish-List of Big-Name Customers
While it may seem unrealistic for a small business to reach a big-name client with their products or services, nothing is out of the realm of possibilities when it comes to social networking! Try creating a wish list of 10-20 dream customers that are active on social media, and simply start following them! This could consist of celebrities that align with your brand beliefs, or big-name companies who could benefit from what you offer. Like, comment, share and engage in their content. You can even send DMs that say, “Congrats” when they accomplish a goal. Keep it professional, while also avoiding sounding too salesy. Approaching these accounts with confidence and acting like you are on an even-playing field with them will also entice their followers to check out your own page.
Step #3: Connect with Leads on LinkedIn
Start contributing to groups on LinkedIn! This will ultimately lead to more potential customers viewing your profile, and open the door for you to send them an invitation to connect. Instead of sending a default, impersonal invitation, try adding a message such as, “Hi, thank you for taking the time to view my profile! We would love to connect on LinkedIn.” LinkedIn can be a useful tool to start a conversation with a lead who has already shown interest in your business.
Step #4: Add to Existing Conversations
If you have a social media presence already, it’s likely that people are already talking about your brand, or at least the services and products you offer. Instead of being a third party to conversations surrounding your brand, start listening and responding appropriately to both good and bad feedback. If you are a smaller or start-up business, and don’t have a large enough brand awareness, you can begin by searching for keywords or hashtags surrounding your niche. Start “liking” and responding to user comments on other businesses’ posts. Now more than ever, customers are looking for businesses that take the time to engage with them on social media.
Step #5: Create Relevant Content
By now, we are all familiar with the importance of creating relevant and timely content. The good news is that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time! People are already talking and asking questions about your niche, and it’s your job to simply provide content that potential customers will relate to, find valuable, and will leave them wanting more. While relevant content may seem like a no-brainer, it can hold the key to whether or not a customer will choose to engage with you and make a purchase with you in the future!
There is no doubt that taking steps to strengthen your social selling strategy will help you sell more! Start embracing social media and the benefits it can bring your business through successful lead generating and relationship building with potential customers online.