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What Is Social Selling?

What Is Social Selling?↘

Throughout the majority of human history, social selling has involved face-to-face contact. However, businesses have come to rely on this strategy to offer a variety of products and/ or services to their customers over time.

So, what is social selling and why is it so important for online stores to implement in 2022?

Well, I think we can all agree that the nature of running a thriving business has most certainly evolved leaps and bounds since the start of the 21st century, but merchants still need to establish that mutual trust between brand and audience.

Many years ago, the trust between local stores and their customers was very forged on interpersonal ties, but in today’s evolving world, the strategy behind running a successful business online is much broader, but still does take influence from these initial behaviours.

Therefore, it is clear to us that no matter how much the world of business evolves, one thing is certain - personal connection and trust are two factors that consumers will always long to feel.

Furthermore, it will come as no surprise that nowadays, most forms of social selling are reliant on generating sales through the likes of social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook to develop that trusting bond and organic connection with potential shoppers.

However, many marketing and sales strategies (such as search engine marketing) rely on computer algorithms to place advertisements in front of the right audience.

So, even though effective social selling in 2022 still demands some form of face-to-face/ online dialogue, several approaches will lead potential customers further along the sales funnel.

Quick Answer

In a nutshell, social selling is a sales and marketing strategy that emphasises the development of relationships between businesses and their potential customers.

However, social selling is unlike more traditional forms of advertising, as these strategies tend to focus on persuading consumers to buy products based on their benefits or how they solve a problem, whereas social selling focuses mostly on the merchant-customer relationship.

So, now that we’ve answered the question - what is social selling? It’s time to delve into today’s guide, as we are going to be sharing four tips on how businesses can start selling through social media.

Selling Through Social Media: What’s Involved? 📱

When it comes to understanding social selling and what’s involved, making genuine connections with potential consumers, discovering their pain points and figuring out how your store’s products/ services suit their requirements all play a huge role.

The goal of selling through social media is to create genuine connections and build trust with your brand’s consumer base to generate sales for the business.

So, if you’re still wondering - what is social selling? We would recommend taking a look at the four tips below to discover how successful online stores have become victorious in selling through social media:

N0.1: Choosing the Right Platform(s)

Online social media networks are utilised by businesses to implement a social selling strategy and given their emphasis on discussion, Facebook and Twitter are two very popular platforms among salespeople.

On the other hand, Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat cater to a younger audience, while LinkedIn is ideal for professional networking.

Furthermore, comment threads via Reddit and YouTube frequently attract enthusiasts with in-depth knowledge, alongside those that are eager to learn something new.

Then, once the right platforms have been established by the business, successful companies will keep these profiles up to date by posting content that is relevant to the interests of their consumers.

However, having a presence across social media offers businesses more than just a space to simply post their content online, as this strategy also provides brands with an opportunity where they can build relationships with their customers by engaging and interacting with users via; comments sections on social media, AMA (Ask Me Anything) forums on Reddit and interacting with tweets on Twitter.

N0.2: Target Potential Buyers

In 2022, many online platforms include social selling capabilities that enable businesses to target their ideal market and reveal a statistical breakdown of the users that are visiting your store's page(s).

According to LinkedIn, a corporation that specialises in business-to-business (B2B) transactions, social selling tools can have a significant impact on corporate-customer relationships.

Additionally, it is thought by the platform that 62% of B2B buyers prefer salespeople who know something about them, such as their; business strategy, objectives and/ or pain points.

N0.3: Expand your Online Presence

When it comes to understanding the answer to - what is social selling? It’s important to know that not all social selling tools are confined to a platform's inherent features.

For instance, third party companies, such as; Salesforce, Hootsuite and Amplify have developed technologies that enable organisations to engage with customers across many platforms in one place.

These tools are very effective for communicating with a unified brand message so that an audience receives the same impression regardless of whether they are browsing; Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or are part of an email mailing list.

N0.4: Listen First, Sell Later

When it comes to selling through social media, paying attention to online conversations and observing general feedback about your store and its product are very important elements that ecommerce businesses rely on to achieve online success.

It also makes a very reputable impression if your business participates in these discussions and regularly responds to consumer inquiries and complaints without going into sales mode.

The idea here is to engage in genuine conversations, with your customers, whether they start on a good note or a bad one. It’s your job as the business to offer full transparency on social media by turning those situations around.

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What Is Social Selling? The Benefits:

Sellers promoting a professional brand or their brand can gain from social selling in the three following ways:

N0.1: Establishing the Trust Factor

Dealmaking and sales processes are both built on mutual trust. Therefore, the task of engaging with your consumers and developing a personal relationship translates into establishing a foundation of trust and transparency so that consumers feel at ease when purchasing a product and/ or service.

N0.2: Yield Long-Term Rewards

It’s important to remember that impulse purchases are not the goal of social selling, as this strategy cultivates and maintains relationships with potential clients over time, even after users have become paying customers.

N0.3: Customer Insights

When a business commits to social listening and opens up its interaction with consumers, the brand at hand will learn a lot about its audience's motivations.

In this sense, selling through social media is both a sales technique and a marketing research strategy.

Therefore, even if a social encounter does not result in a sale, it can provide significant information about a customer's needs and interests.

As a result, companies can use this data to update their; product descriptions, develop new product designs and drive future marketing campaigns.

Selling Through Social Media: Choosing the Right Platforms 👌

When it comes to asking - what is social selling? The success of this strategy largely comes down to choosing the right platform for your business.

To do this, an honest self-assessment of the brand will be required:

  • LinkedIn is great for business-to-business interactions.
  • Instagram has an extremely dedicated user base.
  • TikTok offers quick virality and exposure to a younger audience.
  • Facebook promotes both discussion and sales.
  • Twitter is important to implement for reachable customer service.
  • YouTube keeps an audience informed and connected.

What Is Social Selling? Four Tips for Success:

As you embark upon your social selling campaign, be sure to remember what distinguishes selling through social media strategy from more traditional forms of advertising - hint, it’s that trusting connection we talked about earlier.

Did you know that LinkedIn pioneered a tool called the Social Selling Index (SSI), which measures social selling success and relationship building based on four broad criteria?

Whether you decide to use this tool or not, these guidelines can help your business to create a unique and successful social selling campaign:

N0.1: Create a Professional Brand

Get fully accredited in your field by keeping your website up to date and communicating with your customers promptly.

N0.2: Focus on the Right Prospects

The ability to interact with individuals who care about your product (if you're marketing a professional brand) or your core abilities (if you're promoting a personal brand) is a fundamental benefit of social selling.

However, the most self-aware and effective social sellers focus on those who appear to be involved and they avoid those who will unlikely convert into paying customers.

N0.3: Build Trusting Relationships

Engaging in genuine conversations and listening to potential customers about their needs and current pain points is another key component of driving a successful social sales strategy in 2022.

N0.4: Utilise Social Analytics

Most social media platforms will provide sellers with robust analytical insights into the types of users that are engaging with their profiles and channels. Then, this information is used by top social sellers to fine-tune messaging and outreach.

As a final note, we’d recommend engaging with your clients, listening to them carefully and treating them with respect to gain ample rewards over time.

So, what are your thoughts on our guide to selling through social media? Reach out and let us know.

If you’re actively looking to work with a Shopify agency designer or developer to assist you with your business, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch to get started!

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