What is social selling?

What is Social Selling

Social selling does what it says on the tin.

It’s about selling in a socially accepted way.

It’s not about throwing out sales messages constantly.

It’s about being able to sell yourself without the direct pitch!

We all know that social media provides a fantastic sales opportunity for your business but what most business owners don’t know is how to actually leverage that opportunity.

We jump on, create our pages, bombard them with our latest products and services and then wonder why the sales aren’t flying in.

Think of it this way. When you browse social media, how do you feel when you are bombarding with sales pitches?

Frustrated?

Bored?

Or you just do that scroll thing that makes you feel worse by the time you shut your phone down than you did before you opened it!

So, if you don’t like it, why are you putting your followers through it?

There are better ways to do it but there’s one lesson you need to learn first…

Social media is NOT a quick fix!!!

If you are hoping for overnight success, you are going to be sorely disappointed. Being successful on social media, as a business, takes time and it takes effort and if you’re not ready for that commitment, click away now. This blog is not for you!

Still here? Ok, so let’s look at how we can do it better and how to get those long-awaited results.

 

How to be successful at social selling?

 

There are many ways to be successful at social selling. But you need patience. You need to plan, be open and honest and even leave yourself a little vulnerable at times.

It’s about targeting your audience, really understanding what motivates them, emotionally connecting with them and getting your message across in a way that they not only understand but completely and utterly relate to. It’s about letting them get to know the person or people behind the business and develop a relationship with you: or at least feel like they are developing a relationship with you.

These days, it’s important that consumers can get to know you. Regardless of whether you are selling B2C or B2B, we are all human at the end of the day, and we want to be made to feel special.

 

Create relationships

 

So, how do you create and build relationships online?

It’s a cold space, right?

Wrong!

We now live in a time when we spend most of our life online. Whether it’s our job or just our escape from real life, we are spending far more time online now than we ever used to and that’s not likely to change any time soon.

Responsibility comes with that. Because whilst we are spending more time online, we also expect more from our businesses.

Gone are the days when we would wait 7 days for a reply to our letter or email, we want answers, and we want them now.

Social media allows that to happen. It allows our followers and connections to contact us as and when they need to, anytime day or night. Whilst that may feel like an inconvenience, it is also forming the basis of a strong relationship.

When you post regularly on social media, your followers feel like they are getting to know you. The more honest and open you are, the more you start to feel like a friend.

A trusted source.

The more they see you, the more they remember you.

The more they remember you, the more they trust you.

The more they trust you, the more likely they are to eventually buy from you.

Of course, there’s more to building relationships online than just posting content regularly but we’ll come to that later.

 

Give more than you receive

 

Now, this is a concept so many fail to get behind but the ones who really understand it are the ones who are getting results.

‘Show people how to do your job so they don’t need you’.

I know, that’s a terrifying tactic.

Why would you actively show people how to do your job when you want them to come to you?

Here’s why!

We all love a freebie. Any advice or help we can get that isn’t going to cost us a fortune is gratefully received.

We like to think we don’t need help.

We don’t need to spend a load of money hiring someone else when we can do it ourselves.

We’ve got this, so we’ll take your free advice and roll with it.

So, we try it and guess what happens? We realise that we neither have the skills or inclination to actually carry out the mundane task and we need somewhere to turn.

But where do we go?

Obviously, the business that gave us this free advice in the first place.

Why?

Because not only did we gain their trust by giving them a freebie, but we also placed ourselves as an industry expert.

Winner!

 

Do your research on your audience

 

If you want to sell to your audience, you have to know them.

You have to understand them.

And I mean, really understand them.

You need to research them. Get into their minds, understand what makes them tick.

Where do they hang out online and why?

What do they like to do in their spare time?

What are their pain points and how can you solve them?

It’s about getting into as much detail as possible. You need to know them almost as well as you know your best friend.

You can’t create great content that is going to connect with them if you don’t understand who they are and what they need.

Learn more about creating content for your target audience.

 

Keep your profile up to date

 

Things change in business and they change quickly.

Maybe you have brought to market a new product or service.

Maybe you’ve identified a new target audience or changed you contact details.

It’s really important that your profile tells your follower everything they need to know about you so make sure you give them the information they need.

Ideally, you should be updating your profiles every few months.

We all need a refresh now and again, don’t neglect your social media.

 

Get engaged

 

This goes back to building relationships.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if you follow all the other advice.

It doesn’t matter if you create great content that your audience can really identify with if that’s all you do.

You are expecting people to engage with your content. You’re expecting them to like, share or comment on your posts. You are expecting them to buy from you.

But you’re not prepared to return the favour?

It doesn’t work like that.

If you do not engage with your followers and connections, you can’t expect them to engage with you.

And, it’s not just about that.

The more you are present on social media, the more you are seen and the more you are appreciated as an industry expert.  This is what it’s all about!

So, don’t hide away.

Don’t post and run.

Engage like crazy and get yourself out there.

 

Facts tell, stories sell

 

There was never a truer statement when it comes to social selling.

Social selling is all about the stories.

When you write your content, read it back and really be honest with yourself.

Is it interesting?

Is it engaging?

Is it easy to read?

Does it tell a story?

Here are some content ideas for you.

When it comes down to it, it’s all in the connecting.

And I’m not talking that ‘send connection request’ button.  I’m talking about really connecting with your followers.

Understanding their needs. Identifying their pain points and providing a solution to their challenges in an emotionally credible way.

 

You know where I am if you need me!

 

Verity Wilkie
verity@imcprosolutions.co.uk
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