The internet has been taking the business world by storm in recent years. Almost every aspect of a company has a way of functioning completely online, which now includes the process of acquiring clients and building relationships with them. This technique is known as social selling.
In the past, companies primarily acquired new clients through lead generation and cold calling. But now, many use social media to achieve similar, or even better, results. While some of those older techniques still have their purposes, client acquisition online is taking over. If you want to learn more about what social selling is and how you can leverage it to drive sales for your company, this comprehensive guide has you covered.
What Is Social Selling?
So we already know that social selling is essentially the online counterpart to lead generation and cold calling, but what is it exactly? Social selling is the process of using your company’s social media presence to engage with potential leads and develop a connection with them. It’s honestly the same as calling leads on the phone, except you’re doing it through a social media platform.
The biggest difference is that people searching for answers online are typically much more open to hearing you out and getting interested in your company’s solution. As we alluded to at the beginning, there has been a huge shift toward online usage and services in recent years, especially after the pandemic hit. Because of that, many people aren’t interested in talking on the phone anymore. Most potential clients ignore cold calls and any voicemails you leave for them.
Social Selling Implementation
If this has been happening to you, it’s time to make a change and meet your clients where they’re at instead of dragging them back to the old ways of doing business. However, you need to make sure you’re doing it correctly.
The goal of social selling is to create a personal relationship with your prospects. If you simply send out generic messages that you’ve made to appeal to the masses, you’re actually doing social media marketing instead. Social selling is about developing a connection that makes the potential client feel closer to your brand and more willing to pay for your services. All you must do is apply your call tactics to a social network.
Of course, you don’t want to push yourself onto prospects too hard. A bombardment of social media messages will drive them away, just like a long list of unanswered phone calls and voicemails would. You need to be patient will your potential clients. Let them come to you with questions and give them meaningful answers. If you do, your list of leads will grow like wildfire.
How Can It Drive Sales?
While these implementations are great in theory, putting them into practice is totally different. You must find a way to leverage this tactic in a way that can drive sales. You won’t be the only company on the internet vying for people’s attention. These techniques should help you even out the playing field.
The Ease of Finding New Prospects
One thing that everyone can agree on is that the internet has made it much easier to find what you’re looking for. Through a detailed search, you can instantly access information that could have taken you days or even weeks to figure out in the old days.
This tactic comes in handy when searching for new prospective clients. By searching for keywords related to your products or services, you can quickly find people searching for answers your company can provide. By extending an olive branch to them through the comments, you can show them a solution they didn’t previously know existed.
On some social media platforms, you can even monitor mentions of these keywords or your company’s name to reach out to these people faster. This will help ensure you’re the first on the scene, beating out any competitors who might try to swoop in and steal them away from you.
The Open View of the Internet
One limiting factor of cold calling that many people didn’t even realize was such an issue until online interactions became the norm is the fact that only the person you’re talking to will hear what you say during the phone call.
When you give helpful advice to people on social media, it’s on a platform anyone can access. Even though you’re tailoring your response specifically to the person you’re building a connection with, you could still draw in other interested clients if your response is compelling enough. Also, despite the fact that your goal here isn’t to appeal to the masses, you can still do so if you play your cards right.
The Ability To Build Credibility
Thanks to the open forum nature of social media platforms, you can also build credibility with any of your future potential clients. You’ll do this every day by giving thoughtful and resourceful responses to your potential clients. While not everyone will see these comments and immediately enlist your services, they’ll remember them in the future.
The fact of the matter is that not everyone will need what your company offers right away. Some clients won’t even give you a second look until they hit a little hiccup or an insurmountable roadblock. When they do, if you’ve spent time building your credibility in places they’ve seen before, they’ll be much more likely to hop on board once you reach out to them to sell your services.
The Power To Extend Your Reach
Easily the best thing about social media is how easy it makes it for people to spread information. Word-of-mouth marketing is still one of the most effective forms of marketing for businesses to use. In the past, companies that relied on cold calls simply had to hope that their new clients recommended their services to their colleagues. You could set up a program to encourage this kind of action, but nothing was guaranteed because you had to rely on your new client to sell your business.
With social media, this all becomes much simpler. People you respond to can now share your message with all their followers via a simple click of the share button. This lowers the barrier of difficulty of word-of-mouth spreading and allows you to do the selling instead of your client. You’ll be able to talk directly to anyone who messages you through the same post, giving you the best possibility of gaining another sale.
What Are the Best Platforms To Use?
Now that you better understand what social selling is and how to leverage it to drive sales, you’re likely wondering where you should go to get started. While some platforms are better than others, the best places to start are sites where your business has already established itself. This will ensure that you already have a strong following on which you can use your newly founded social selling skills.
However, some social media platforms are still better than others when it comes to this tactic. Obviously, one of the best options is LinkedIn. This website was made specifically for business professionals. If your company specifically sells to clients that need help with their business, this is the place to be. Despite that major plus, LinkedIn also has groups that focus on specific areas of business. You can use these to your advantage to find potential clients already looking for answers that your product or service can provide.
Twitter is the other big one that many companies use for social media selling. Interacting with prospects is very easy on this platform, and responses will always be short and to the point. The people you respond to will easily be able to share your thoughts with others in their network. Plus, Twitter is the best place to monitor mentions and stay on top of keywords and phrases you want to respond to.
In the end, though, the best platform for your business will always be the one your customers are already on. If you did your market research back when you initially created your social media accounts, you’re already in the right place. If not, now is the time to figure that out and learn which social media platforms will be best for growing your brand.
If they’re not on LinkedIn or Twitter, don’t worry. Facebook, Instagram, and all the other prominent social media sites have similar tools that you’ll be able to use to implement your social selling campaign. All you have to do is put them to good use.