The modern consumer is independent and informed. They’re likely to use social media to research products and make recommendations, and according to Hubspot, 74% of B2B buyers conduct more than half of their research online before making a purchase or contacting a salesperson. Since social buying is becoming increasingly common, why wouldn’t you want to be where most of the decision-making process is happening? This is where social selling comes into play.
What is social selling?
Social selling is a way for sales teams to use social media to connect with prospects, and provide them with value. Consider it similar to lead nurturing, in the sense that your goal is to engage buyers on an on-going, long-term basis. And this engagement definitely pays off. LinkedIN research states that 78% of social sellers outsell in comparison to colleagues who don’t use social media. The immediacy of social media can help you actively communicate with accounts, and monitor your prospects to look for opportunities that signal when it’s a good time to reach out. This will allow you to have a better idea of when that follow-up message you’ve wanted to send will be well-received. Social selling helps you connect to your prospects and remain relevant by creating and maintaining relationships.
How do I do it?
It’s all about making connections and sharing great content. Content tells stories, and you can harness that potential for emotional impact to support and enhance your sales efforts. According to LinkedIN Sales Solutions, 92% of B2B buyers engage with sales professionals if they are thought to be industry thought leaders. Demonstrating knowledge and sharing insightful opinions is a great way to distinguish yourself as a trustworthy source. Be sure to:
- Identify your target, and which social media platforms they use.
- Create a professional brand. You need to be both knowledgeable and approachable.
- Create original content as well as sharing complementary content from other trusted sources to affirm your credibility.
- Engage your audience. Positioning yourself as an industry expert and interacting with your target will keep your services at the top of mind.
Social selling without being a creep
If you’re concerned about adopting social selling without making prospects uncomfortable, there are a couple of guidelines based upon research that can help:
- Buyers are less likely to find social selling creepy if they share connections with the salesperson.
- Customized messages are perceived to be less creepy than generic messages.
- Buyers think social selling on Facebook is creepier than social selling on any other network.
Keep in mind that potential clients will appreciate hearing from you if you can provide them with insight that will help their business.