Social Selling is the new buzzword in the digital marketing world. Everyone is talking about it and claiming it’s the next big thing to take your business to the next level, but what exactly is it?
Social selling can be described as a B2B and B2C social media marketing (SMM) strategy that leverages social networking sites and applications to generate leads, sales or one-on-one relationships with consumers (TechTarget, 2021).
Right now, as we learn to navigate the effects the worldwide pandemic has had on our businesses, the competition is at an all-time high and many businesses are now recognising the importance of having an online presence. We are seeing so many traditional brick and mortar businesses that have never had an online presence move solely online over this past year.
This has led us to an unfortunate surge of business owners and new marketers testing out some questionable ‘social’ selling tactics. I’m sure you’ve witnessed a few of these flailing tactics and it’s safe to say the lack of expertise shines brightly with rookie mistakes. You know the ones... Sending out bulk messages and managing to copy and paste with the wrong names, the lack of prior research, the under optimised profile pages with vague and confusing business offerings.
We get it, you’re busy and automating your lead generation process seems like the easiest, quickest route to secure new business. However, we can assure you that an impersonal, non-targeted, IRRELEVANT sales message will never get your dream customers to buy. It’s that simple.
It’s the same as walking into a bar, finding the partner of your dreams and screaming in their face, ‘WILL YOU MARRY ME?’. It doesn’t quite work like that. You need to give a good first impression and get to know them first to see if you’re a good match.
The number one mistake? Selling on the first interaction.
Did you know that you have under 10 seconds to make a good first impression? And online is even less time… it’s just THREE seconds. Yep. You have 3 seconds to stand out in a digital setting. Eek. Better make it good right?
This is why when it comes to your social selling strategy your intro is, by far, one of the most important components to your social selling strategy. We’ve all heard the expression ‘people love to buy, but hate to be sold to’ and I think this is fitting here. No action you take should ever feel like a direct sale, never mind selling so blatantly in your first message.
Why? Because it’s unsocial, unoriginal and most people you connect with are bombarded with messages just like that and it’s quite frankly a massive turnoff. What makes you stand out by employing these tactics? Nothing. That tactic is dead and gone. It doesn’t work and if anything will just increase the number of declines on your connection requests and rude responses.
Here are our top 3 tips for approaching social selling in a way that positions your brand as intriguing, attractive and trustworthy:
Use their name. Compliment them. Comment on something that they’ve shared on their own page. Give them a reason to want to connect with you. By making your interactions online more personable, it allows your audience to feel like they are connecting with another human over their screen and not a bot.
Here’s a quick example:
“Hey Rachel, I just saw your post on Instagram about vulnerability. It really put a smile on my face. It’s exactly what I needed to hear today. I’m in the social marketing world too and I get so much value from your content. I’d love to connect so we can chat more.”
As you can see from the example this is creating and nurturing a relationship and this is the whole premise of social selling - to create relationships, not sales.
Simply put, people don’t care about you. Sorry, but starting with a self-centred message about yourself you’ll almost hear the snore through your screen. BORING! People want to know how you can help them. Keep it customer-centric with every social selling move you make.
Once you’ve got the foot in that door, speak to their pain points with the content you create on social media. What mistakes are your audience making, what results do they want, what’s YOUR uniquely packaged solution? Then show up, show up, show up with your expert hat on sharing VALUABLE content.
Social selling is playing the long game. It’s not a one time message with a heavy sale at the end. It’s about building an engaged audience of loyal customers who over time will not only buy your services but help you generate more high-quality leads, increase your pipeline and be your word-of-mouth both online and offline.
A few ways to nurture your relationship with your customers include consistently sharing valuable content, replying to messages and stories, wishing them a happy birthday - generally keeping your leads warm. Going back to point number 2, it’s all about them. It’s about giving more than you’re receiving. Don’t forget to share, communicate, engage with your connections daily.
Here at Wholehearted, we follow a high-touch model but as we’ve already discussed, going in hot and heavy is a massive turn-off so we have a strategy in place to build the relationship steadily.
Here is a breakdown of how our audience moves through our social selling structure:
‘Lead scoring is a methodology to help determine a prospect's sale-readiness. The lead scorecard is used to build the like, know and trust factors before a making a sale.’
Key tip: Keep a Google spreadsheet, Trello or Asana board with every action you take. We use Asana for tracking every single qualified lead generated across channels. This ensures there are no mix-ups and you know who you’re talking to, your last interaction and what they need from you.
Key tip: Use UTMs to track your social selling efforts. Then further track this through week on week (WoW) targets.
If you follow these tips consistently, we have no doubt you will hit your sales targets using an organic Social Selling strategy without having to spend a penny on advertising. If you’d like to get started on this strategy but would prefer a done-for-you service, our social selling team would love to help. Contact us here to find out more.