Social selling is about creating and maintaining relationships on social media to build trust that will eventually lead to increased sales. Some people use the Swedish term social selling, but most people use the English term social selling in the Swedish context as well.
Social selling is a long-term and time-consuming sales method that requires you to be persistent and methodical. The advantage is that you don't have to waste time on "cold calls" and can instead focus on potential customers who are really interested in what you and your company do. You need to regularly spend time updating your profile, sharing content, commenting and liking other people's content.Perhaps you and your business are already on social media, but need to find a way to systematically work to increase your sales using social media.
If so, social selling is for you! If you can't be bothered to read, you're welcome to check out our recorded 30-minute Social Selling Course, which will give you lots of tips and tricks! DOWNLOAD THE SOCIAL SELLING COURSE
Social media for social selling
Now you may be wondering where to put your money. Is it Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn? Or all three? It all depends on where your potential customers are. If it's a product or service aimed at a broad audience, primarily individuals, Facebook or Instagram may be the right channels.
But don't get carried away, start with one channel and get really good at it before moving on to the next. It's better to have good content and a frequent presence on one channel than a half-hearted effort on several.LinkedIn is one of the most established channels for social selling. There are great opportunities to create new business relationships, especially in B2B. But the methods and tips we share below can be applied to more platforms than just LinkedIn.
Social selling in practice
A fundamental component of successful social selling is keeping your profile accurate, up-to-date and appealing. Review it periodically and make sure all the information about your business is accurate. Look through your contact details, such as phone number, address and email address. Opening hours and other information should also be correct. Also provide your profile with attractive and interesting content in the form of short and pithy text, good pictures and preferably a video or animation that can quickly introduce followers and potential followers.
Find new customers on social media
Make sure you follow relevant people and companies. Join groups and networks relevant to the sector. Get to know your potential customers, the issues they are grappling with and their needs. That way you can learn what kind of content is relevant to share. It builds both interest and trust.
Comment, reply and like when your potential customers share content. At best, a comment can lead to a dialogue which in turn leads to an email contact, a phone call or even a meeting. Constantly monitor what is being written about your business. If someone writes something negative, you can respond to the criticism. In this way you show that you care about what is written and that your company listens to criticism in order to constantly improve. There are also instances of outright misconceptions circulating on social media. If you draw attention to these, you can help to clarify them.
If someone writes something positive about your company, you can use it for marketing purposes. Positive reviews from satisfied customers are, as we all know, the best advertising. It carries a lot more weight than if you as a company tell people how good you think you are. At the same time, it's important to balance on the right side of OK when it comes to how often you should share these types of posts. If it's too frequent, it can come across as bragging, which can damage your reputation. Here, moderation is best.
Methodology for social selling
If you find it difficult to find time every day to monitor and share content, we recommend that you at least set aside a few days a week. Social selling is about building relationships and trust, and you can't do that without being present and active. Feel free to download apps for the social media platforms where you are making your bets. Using your mobile will make it easier to find time for active presence.A good way to work effectively with social selling is to make a schedule of what activities you will do on the occasions when you set aside time to devote to social selling. Some examples of such activities could be:
- Sharing self-produced content
- Share other people's content that is relevant and interesting to your followers
- Reply to incoming messages
- Comment and like posts in the groups and networks where you are active
- Contact potential customers via direct messages
Once you have created a schedule for your regular activities, it will be easier to delegate the work to someone else in the organisation or to hire external staff to take care of the task. Social selling is a long-term sales method. It is not about quickly convincing someone to buy a particular product or service.
Instead, it's about building a good reputation and status in the area where you and your business operate. By sharing your knowledge, showing that you are at the cutting edge and helping those who ask questions, you can be seen as an expert in your field. You can see for yourself that there are opportunities for increased sales here.Be careful when sending personal contact requests to individuals.
Don't use a standard phrase, but formulate a personal message that feels relevant to the person you are contacting. Choose who to contact personally with care. In the case of LinkedIn and Facebook, it is best to meet the person in person before sending a personal contact request. If you haven't, there should be a specific reason why you are contacting that person, otherwise your request may come across as frivolous.Sending large numbers of personal contact requests with standard phrases is not social selling, but an ineffective and rather desperate attempt at social media selling that won't get you very far.
Knowledge dissemination content on social media
Interesting, concise blog posts on trending topics are a type of content that lends itself well to sharing via social media. Feel free to write a short status update that sparks curiosity and link to the blog post. If you have the ability to share video clips, that's a big plus. Perhaps your company has produced one or more animations or film sequences that describe your business. Short and informative film clips are an effective way to communicate on social media.
Focus on the social aspects when communicating in the different channels. Try not to be too "salesy" in the way you express yourself. This is not necessary, rather it can reduce trust in you if you seem too eager or exaggerate the benefits of the product or service you are selling.Avoid writing too much about yourself and constantly pumping out content about your company's products and services. That's not what social selling is about. Instead, it's about creating engagement, interest and dialogue. When you see what potential customers themselves share and are interested in, you can step into their world and see things from their perspective.
Only then will you become good at creating engagement and starting a dialogue, so let go of the focus on yourself and what you have to offer. It's enough that you know that what you're selling adds value to your customers. Your followers will understand this when you show them that you are someone they can count on through the way you share your knowledge.Today's consumers are actively using social media to research companies, products and services. For consumers, it's about gaining knowledge to make good decisions about their purchases. When you are active in social media and consciously engage in social selling, you increase your chances of influencing the consumer's perception of the market, your company and the products or services you sell.
Try social selling!
By actively engaging in social selling, you will get to know your audience and be there when they need you, your company and your products or services. You may be the first person the customer contacts for a quote, but even if you are not the first person, it may turn out to be you and your company that the customer chooses to purchase the product or service from.
Try social selling and apply the tips and advice we've shared in this article. But keep in mind that it takes a few months to see results. If you want more advice and tips when it comes to Social Selling, feel free to book a free consultation by clicking the button below!