Social Selling: 6 Ways to Leverage Social Media to Sell More

Some years ago, marketers used cold calling as their main way of getting in touch with prospects. Nowadays though, there are a number of high-performing sales tactics you can use to nurture your leads and turn them into customers – and in this blog post, I’m going to focus on one of them…

Social selling

Social selling is the process of finding prospects on social media, building relationships with them, nurturing them with the right content, and converting them into customers down the line.

According to LinkedIn, 78% of social sellers outsell their peers who neglect social media usage. Furthermore, 51% of sales reps with a high social selling index are more likely to hit their quota.

Considering these numbers, social selling can be an amazing asset to your business in 2020. So how do you leverage social selling to increase sales? Here are 6 tactics to follow:…

1. First step: Pick the right social media channels

A big mistake many businesses make is trying to implement social selling on the wrong channels. Or trying to focus on every social media platform possible.

Considering that social selling takes time and a lot of effort, you need to do it on the right social media channels. Usually, the social media channels to focus on are those your ideal prospects use the most.

Based on your buyer persona and the type of services you render, as well as your existing data about social media performance, you can select a few social media platforms to focus on to reach your audience.

For instance, LinkedIn and Facebook are popular platforms for your audience if you offer a B2B service. However, Instagram and Pinterest could be more appropriate platforms if you’re a B2C business.

2. Track social mentions to find more prospects

Many conversations on social media are ripe for social selling. Unfortunately, businesses tend to miss out on these opportunities, for one simple reason: they’re not listening.

The reality is that social media users will rarely tag your company when they mention it during a conversation. But to reap the full benefits of social listening, you have to track more than just your business mentions.

Some mentions to track include:

  • Mentions of your business
  • Mentions of important industry terms
  • Mentions of competitors

By tracking these mentions, you can find opportunities to provide better customer care, contribute to important conversations, find leads, and even make more sales.

An example of a tool you can use to track social mentions is Awario. The tool tracks all the major social media networks and websites to find the terms you want to monitor.

Social Selling Example 1

Furthermore, you can set alerts so that you get to know when any monitored term has been mentioned. Here’s an example of social selling made possible by tracking mentions:

Social Selling Tweet Examples

Without tagging Best Buy directly, the company found the mention and replied to provide value to the user. And that led to a sale the same day.

3. Share relevant content with your audience

If you’re going to build a strong relationship with your audience, then you need to share relevant and valuable content with them. Before you ask a social media user to buy your product, you need to provide value ahead.

Sure, sharing your blog posts on social media is a way to share relevant content. But beyond that, you can share tips to help your audience solve common problems they have.

One way to find ideas is to ask your audience about the challenges they face. From their responses, you get insights into which issues you can address regularly on your pages.

Furthermore, you can share relevant curated content. All of this increases trust with your audience and puts your service on their minds. Here’s an example from Betty Crocker, ingredients maker, sharing a recipe with their audience on Facebook:

Social Selling Share Relevant Content

While sharing relevant content is great, you also have to engage with your audience. These include replying to their messages, liking comments, and resharing useful content – every single day.

4. Use employee advocacy to reach a wider audience

Employee advocacy is the process whereby employees help spread your company messages to their own social media networks.

There are many benefits to leveraging employees to promote your brand; to start with, employee advocacy helps you reach a wider audience.

In fact, according to LinkedIn’s executive editor, Daniel Roth, your company’s employees have 10 times the number of social media followers your company has.

But even more than a wider reach, your employees are better trusted than your brand. Considering that your employees have built a trustworthy relationship with their friends and followers over the years, this is no surprise.

And this is supported by the 2014 Edelman trust barometer. It revealed that employees are generally a more trusted source to communicate topics about your company.

Social Selling Stakeholder advocacy

Employee advocacy can help you sell more via social media – your employees can help promote your products and services on your channels, therefore helping you convert more people into buyers.

Plus, they can also help drive more traffic to your website – which can also help lead to more conversions, albeit indirectly.

To improve your results through employee advocacy, you have to find the right employees and encourage them to share more social updates about their workplace. This helps to improve employee engagement and attract more prospects.

With a tool like Easy Advocacy, you can organize your employee advocacy efforts on different social media channels. It allows you to monitor employees’ updates to ensure they fit your company’s tone and track your campaign’s performance.

Social Selling Easy Advocacy

Below is an employee advocacy example from a Lush employee:

Social Selling Easy Advocacy Example

Updates like this can encourage more people to check out and buy the products – particularly because they’re more authentic than a regular social media post made by a brand.

5. Partner with social media influencers

It’s no secret that many social media influencers have gained a lot of trust and respect from their followers (or at least, the really good influencers!) Because of this, many of their followers will take their recommendations seriously when they promote a product or service

For instance, in a Twitter study, almost 40% of users say they’ve bought a product as a result of a tweet from an influencer.

Social Selling with Influencers

If you’re promoting your business through influencers, you need to consider these 2 types of influencers:

  • Macro influencers: these are popular celebrities with large followings and are usually entertainment or sports stars. Due to the diversity of their followers, they’re more suitable for promoting products for the general population.
  • Micro influencers: these influencers usually have a lower number of followers but their followers trust their judgement as experts in their industry. If you’re promoting a niche product, a micro influencer in that niche would help to reach your ideal audience more effectively.

Daniel Wellington is a case study of leveraging influencers effectively. The wristwatch company has used influencers and its customers to promote its products on Instagram.

Social Selling Influencer Example

Added to this, Daniel Wellington promotes discounts through their influencers which improves sales. As a result of their influencer campaigns, the company had a 214% increase in profits in one year.

Through influencer marketing, you can leverage the relationship influencers have with your ideal buyers and get them to purchase your product. A tool you can use to find the right influencers for your audience is HYPR:

Social Selling Influencer Tool

6. Leverage user-generated content on social media

When your customers post about your business, it’s a form of social proof that can attract potential buyers. And you can leverage this type of content by promoting them on your company pages.

If customers are saying good things about your products, it means you’ve built trust and a strong relationship with them.

To support this, Bazaarvoice found that 84% of millennials and 70% of boomers consider user-generated content before making their buying decisions.

Social Selling Research

To make your UGC campaigns organized, create a hashtag that customers can use when they post about your product. Below is an example by Wayfair which reposts home setups featuring their furniture products and using the hashtag #WayfairAtHome.

Social Selling using Hashtags

Conclusion

Social media is not just a place to share your content, handle your customer service and occasionally engage with your audience.

In fact, it can be a very powerful selling tool if you know how to leverage it for your particular business.

Follow these 6 tactics to improve sales through social selling – no matter the industry you’re in.

Lilach Bullock

Lilach Bullock

Founder, lilach bullock limited

Lilach Bullock has been helping enterprises boost their traffic, leads & conversions for over a decade. She’s a leading influencer & expert in the field of digital marketing & tech and has helped hundreds of companies & charities hit their KPIs. LinkedIn and Twitter.