Social selling strategy forms relationships and connections between brands and consumers via social media channels.
The goals of a social selling strategy are to increase sales and leads, but it can also boost brand awareness and engagement and build the social status of the business.
The process of social selling involves the brand getting to know, getting to understand, and interacting with its customers on a personal level.
This could be responding to comments on posts, but you should have your customers in mind when creating each post.
Advantages of Social Selling
There are myriad advantages of social selling:
- It builds trust: People will always trust their friends and family more than they trust your brand. If those friends and family are seen interacting and, hopefully, promoting your brand, they are far more likely to trust you.
- It’s for the long term: The organic nature of social selling strategy means results take time to build but then last for an extended period, paying dividends over a lengthy period.
- It uses social proof: People will look to their connections on social media for reviews of products and services; your brand looks legitimate and trustworthy when the reviews are positive.
- It helps partnerships form: There are millions of other brands making use of social platforms to sell. Although some of these brands will naturally share your audience without wanting to compete with you, these brands offer an excellent opportunity to form strategic partnerships that could benefit you.
- It drives leads and sales: Social selling strategy provides another source of leads and sales for your business. With this, your business stands to build revenue, increase market share and grow.
How to Use Social Selling Strategy to Drive Sales
Do not underestimate the power of social selling. Leveraging the power of a customer’s influence and voice is an intelligent way to improve your brand’s image and the quality of your leads and increase your sales.
There’s no doubt that social media has a solid and impactful presence in a customer’s buying decision. Sometimes all it takes is for a potential customer to see a friend, family member, acquaintance, or even someone they’ve never met before (as an influencer) use or speak about a product for them to be convinced to purchase.
Many businesses now use social media accounts only to market their businesses. For example, some eCommerce businesses sell via social media rather than their websites. It’s not only cost-effective, but their customers also provide social proof on their shop’s platform!
Optimize your Social Accounts
Creating social accounts isn’t enough if you’re looking to drive eCommerce sales. Yes, having a presence is helpful, but you need to optimize all your social media accounts for sales.
The initial step is understanding which platform your customers spend time on. For example, one brand’s audience might be on Facebook, while another will be on TikTok. Get into the mind of your potential customers and put effort there.
It is undoubtedly tempting to open an account on every platform, post the same content, and hope for the best. But, unfortunately, this tactic will prove the above; you’ll get much interest from some networks but not others.
Once you have identified the best platform for your business, ensure that the account matches your branding and your business’s identity. That means using your logos, style, and tone within the copy and posting content that matches your aesthetic.
There are specific tips that are relevant per platform, but ensuring that you link from your socials to your on-platform store or your website is a must for each.
Watch for Algorithm Updates
Building an audience on social media requires some appeasement of the algorithm gods. Getting your posting tactics correct will mean that your followers and new prospects alike will see your posts; getting it wrong dooms your posts to irrelevancy, never to be seen by anyone.
Keeping abreast of the most recent algorithm updates is a great way to stay on top of your customer’s feeds.
Typically, on social media platforms, there are two main strategies that you can employ. First, you can pursue followers and engagement organically or via paid channels.
The organic strategy is a slow burn that takes time and considerable effort. It is slow to build at the start and requires regular posting and customer engagement, but it is often seen as the more trustworthy and genuine route to a customer.
Paid methods often take the form of sponsored posts, either directly through the platform (where you typically select a post to be sponsored and pay per click or x views) or by asking an influencer on the platform to promote your products or services. The results are far quicker but come at a financial cost.
The best option is to strike a balance between the two.
Make Mobile Experiences a Priority
Mobile users now make up the vast majority of social media users, and it has been this way for some time. Ask a Gen Z what Facebook is, and they’ll likely reply that it is an “app” with little knowledge of the desktop version.
If your business primarily interacts with users through the platform itself, then most of the basic optimizations will already be taken care of for you. However, it would help if you focused on ensuring that your images and videos are optimized for mobile users.
If, however, you’re aiming to direct users away from social media and more to your website, you need to be sure that the mobile experience is just as seamless there as it is on the social media platform. If your site takes time to load, isn’t easily accessible on mobile, or is a pain to navigate, you’ll lose potential customers.
Collaborate with Influencers (and micro-influencers)
Influencers are the most potent example of social selling and social proof. Simply by using a product or even talking about a product, these people can drive sales. It’s important to remember that no one is forced to follow influencers; most people do so because they trust them, want to hear their opinion, and are happy to be influenced by them.
Working with influencers doesn’t come cheap. Their pricing reflects their number of followers, expected engagement, and what the post is. Major influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers can charge thousands of dollars per post.
For brands that don’t have that budget, micro-influencers are likely to be more accessible. These are still influential accounts but on a smaller scale. It’s a great way to build a small following at the stage where your business might have a tighter grip on the purse strings.
Analysis, Metrics, and KPIs
Measuring, tracking, and understanding your results are just as necessary on social media as on any other marketing avenue. Whenever you launch a new campaign, ensure that there is a goal attributed to it that you can measure, learn from, and adapt to in the future.
Your goal should be determined by your desired outcome, which might be brand awareness, engagement, sales, or another outcome. Whatever it might be, set it and track progress towards it.
Social selling is a positive engagement with customers via social media. The more positive and enjoyable interactions a brand has with its customers on social media; the more likely sales will occur. The strategy sounds simple, but the implementation takes considerable time, planning, and effort.
Chris Tweten is the CMO at Spacebar Collective, a white hat SEO and content production agency based in Vancouver, Canada.