What is social selling?
Social selling is a sales process, whichóThe first one is based on building relations, not only on advertising message or just reaching with the offer. Companies thatóIf you prioritize your social media efforts, you are 51% more likely to reach your goalóin sales.
At the outset, I immediately feel obliged to correct – social selling is not just about hooking potential customersóby LinkedIn. I think that you know what I am writing about, because this phenomenon has already assumed mass proportions. Yes, this wayóThe PWA has dominated the way we think about leveraging the business potential of medióIn the case of these two apps, the contact is already functioning in this standard – It is not the only way, and sometimes not the most effective oneób to increase sales. Everything depends of course on the goal, the type of business, our capabilities and conditionsóthe environment in which the company operates. So what makes one wayób is better and the other does not work? How to use the potential of this trend and turn actions into real effects?
SpróLet’s take a closer look at how social selling works.
Social selling is not social marketing
Having a brand or company profile in social media and using paid advertisements or promoting its content is already a standard when it comes to marketing activities. In this respect, this type of activity does not róIt often differs from regular reach campaigns, where social media only allow for more precise targeting and the possibility of interacting with the advertising message or brand. However, what we actually doóSocial selling, is primarily a sales process, whichóry is based on building relationships, not only on an advertising message or just reaching out with an offer. In case of these dwóIn the recent years, social media will only be a more developed media platform, a carrier (although offering much more than one-sided communication channels).
Most people word „relations” The idea of 5G is understood as a long-term process, and this is certainly true in the case of social selling, but we are not doomed only to effects that are postponed in time. Sometimes a single, one-off action can be enough to build a relationship. What matters is context, place, time and mannerób how we want to do it. An example of such activities may be a brand’s activity on a forum or in a thematic group, where thanks to just one post – The effectiveness of social selling is a matter of advice, appreciation or feedbackóGet the consumer’s attentionów – The brand can build reputation and trust, which is necessary for making the right purchase decision by the potential customer.
To sum up, social selling is, above all, an activity which consists in using social media toóin social networking to get in touchóWe want to be able to engage with our business or sales contacts, develop contact with them, and engage them in building relationships that increase sales opportunities.
Why social selling works
If only because making contact is ubiquitous and influencesóThe pandemic has changed business meetings to a virtual standstill or to email or, at best, video conferences. But, of course, this is not the only reasonód. We live in an information society and access to information is one of our needs. In addition, the use of social mediaóis ubiquitous and influences our decisions and actions, róalso in business. In its report, the International Data Center cites a study that foundóIn addition, as many as 75% of B2B buyers and as many as 84% of executivesóC-level contacts (CEOs, COOs, etc.).) or vice presidentóThe way we use the mediaóWe’re more likely to trust someone we know than a person or brand we don’t trust when making purchasing decisions. On the other hand, according to LinkedIn’s internal data, companies tható(CEOs, COOs, etc.) are 51% more likely to reach their social media targetóin the sales process.
Personally, however, I am most convinced by the argument cited in Nielsen data, where more than 80% of consumersóThe first time a potential customer buys a product based on a recommendation from someone they know, which, intuitively, makes sense. We’re more likely to trust someone we know than a person or brand weóIf, on the other hand, we have not had to deal with. It is similar in the business world – relationships have always been the foundation of successful selling. Even in the digital sales world this has not changed. And social selling helps to build these relationships even more effectively.
The effectiveness of social selling is róIt is also very often juxtaposed with the so called. „cold calling”, a single post, it is possible to establish contactówith potential customers, with whom the brand has a relationshipóWe are living in an information society and access to information is one of our needs. Both approaches róHowever, the return on investment speaks in favour of social selling, even if we only invest time and energy in reaching new customersów.
And if LinkedIn?
Undoubtedly, LinkedIn is the world’s (and Poland’s) largest social networking site, connecting and facilitating professional contacts. There are more than 740 million users globallyóThe number of people in the world who have a relationship with an individual, including 4.2 million in Poland (LinkedIn data). Social selling is a much better platform for building B2B relations than B2C ones, although there are many industries which do not follow this ruleóThe most popular social networking site is LinkedInóThey are also effective in reaching individual customersów. On the other hand, if we have notóWe are talking about the potential of reaching out to consumersóWhile Facebook is the absolute leader, covering almost 90% of Polish internet usersów (Facebook data).
In fact, LinkedIn seems to be the best prepared platform for social selling activities, especially as the service itself suggests how to best prepare for it, using the Social Selling Index (SSI). Here is what this parameter consists of:
1. CreateóCreate your professional brand. It is, of course, about a clear and professionally communicative profile, with LinkedIn clearly suggesting – creating a clear and professionalój profile think about your potential customer.
2. Find the right people. Here you will probably notice how many osób takes this tip literallyótion of the company and the próIt is a good idea to expand your contact baseóin both locations, sending invitations to as many people as possibleób. In my opinion, the key to success is being open to new contacts and acting in such a wayóYou can also use the application to constantly expand it.
3. Engage in insights. TwóDiscover and share topics worth talking about to develop and expand new relationships.
4. Build Relationships. Expand valuable contacts consciously. Even if they are not potential customers, they can helpóc in building your reputation. Invest time in relationships long-term and consistently.
You can róYou can also check the SSI of your LinkedIn profile yourself at https://www.linkedin.com/sales/ssi. LinkedIn suggests róAlso, what is the average SSI of your contact networków – even if it is only a theoretical parameter, it still gives an interesting insight into our potential and past activity on this site.
If not just on LinkedIn, then where?
According to Google, more than 70% of usersóIf you’re a YouTube user who purchased a branded product after seeing it on this page. Do you already know where I am going with this? Each of the servicesósocial media has a swóThe World Quality Report, among other things, has a specific potential and offers róThe opportunities range from creating unique content (or opportunities to create it), such as on YouTube, TikTok or Pinterest, to being active in thematic or professional groups, to using social listening tools to reach thoseóin and userów, whoóBuild relationships and ultimately increase sales.
This is largely determined by where your potential customers are and how/for what they use social media. Are they looking for up-to-date and quick information? If so, maybe these relationships should be based on the potential and capabilities of Twitter. Currently very effective social selling in the fashion or cosmetics industry, but róAlso simply in e-commerce, is live organization’You can also test your app on Facebook or by streaming it on YouTube, whichóIn my opinion, the key to success is to be open to new contacts and to act in such a way as to inspire, educate or build a new experience with a product or service.
The question also arises as to what type of social selling activities should be used in order to achieve the highest effectiveness. Unfortunately there is no rule here. Therefore, it is worth experimenting and looking for new areasóIn, of places and social media activity, whichóThe mobile quality survey was designed to ensure that relationships are embedded in the company’s DNA, that they are credible and, most importantly, that they allow the company to build relationships that will last for yearsóre are and always have been the foundation of successful sales.