Is social media a part of your sales strategy? If not, it should be. Social selling (engaging with potential customers and generating new leads on social media) significantly boosts sales opportunities and customer engagement. Here we’ll walk through what social selling involves and why (and how) to use it to support your brand.

How Does Social Selling Work?  

The goal of social selling isn’t to make as many sales as quickly as possible—it’s about forming authentic connections with your followers that will inspire trust and investment in your brand. “Liking” people’s posts, responding to direct messages, and sharing helpful resources with individuals or businesses thinking about making a purchase are ways your business can engage.  

Before you dive in, choose the platform(s) where you’ll maximize audience reach. Then, focus on listening—what is your audience talking about? What needs do they have? What questions do they ask of your business? Free tools like Google Alerts can provide insight into what trending topics are in your audience and your industry.

When engaging with potential customers, building an established brand and keeping up an active online presence is critical. Your brand should be consistently visible to your audience…not just because you’re always trying to make a sale.

Here are four important reasons your business should incorporate the tactic into your media marketing strategy:

  1. Improved sales potential. 

The numbers speak for themselves: businesses that lead in social selling often perform better than those that don’t. Did you know:

  • Businesses leading in social selling create 45 percent more sales opportunities
  • Businesses prioritizing social selling are 51 percent more likely to reach quotas
  • Most businesses that use social selling (78 percent) outsell businesses that don’t use social media.
  1. Stronger customer relationships.

Unlike cold calls and other traditional sales tactics, social selling can be personalized and honed to fill specific customer needs. For example, listening to your audience first lets you determine who may already be interested in your business or industry and what questions you might be able to address. Then, when you do reach out, you won’t waste time offering what won’t interest them—and they’ll be more eager to engage with an established brand that consistently provides trusted information.

  1. A simpler buyer’s journey.

Social media already plays a significant role in the buyer’s journey—97 percent of consumers go online to research products and services. So, when you engage in social selling, you’re meeting them where they are. Since the focus is on connection, you can target their specific needs and provide relevant resources at each stage of their journey, from researching a product or service to purchasing.

  1. A more competitive brand.

The number of brands using social selling is rapidly growing, and sales reps now spend far more time connecting virtually with customers rather than face to face. Investing in this proven strategy will keep you ahead of the curve and abreast of relevant industry conversations through the “listening” aspect.

When done well, the strategy involves making authentic connections. Share and contribute to relevant conversations in your industry, respond to posts with personal messages, and encourage direct messages from potential buyers.

Don’t think of it as one-and-done transactions, either. Instead, follow up with new leads and engage with contacts you haven’t heard from in a while. And once you do connect with people who invest in your products or services, they can become your biggest advocates.

In addition, if you want to know how your LinkedIn strategies are working, the Social Selling Index (SSI) can gauge your progress. LinkedIn offers this tool and provides scores from 0 to 100 based on how well your activities align with the four social selling principles. In addition, the SSI estimates your performance depending on how consistent your marketing and audience engagement are on the platform.

Want to learn more about social selling or incorporate it into your marketing plan? Let’s chat. We offer complimentary 30-minute strategy sessions. Reach out today.