The more contact you have with your customers, the better your relationship with them will be. And, the better the relationship with your customers is, the more likely they are to buy from you.
Social selling is a key tool to help build and maintain those relationships.
Social media gives you the ability to connect with potential customers and build relationships with them long before you ever make a sales pitch, making it ideal for businesses to use social platforms to connect with potential leads and create opportunities to sell their products or services.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the benefits of using social selling when it comes to B2B sales, some tips for success, and how to leverage the intuitive software of monday sales CRM to strengthen your social selling strategy.
What is social selling?
Social describes the use of social media to interact with potential customers, generate leads, and make sales. It’s a form of inbound marketing that relies on building relationships and trust, rather than interruptive selling techniques.
Social selling can be used at any stage of the sales funnel, from generating leads to closing deals. The goal is to build relationships and create a rapport with potential customers so that when they’re ready to buy, they think of you first.
Social selling isn’t about selling products or services through social media, but rather about using social media to build relationships that can eventually lead to sales.
Social selling in the real world
Understanding what social selling is and isn’t is good to know, but seeing an example of how brands use it in the wild is the best way to understand how to implement a social selling strategy for your brand.
Nordstrom, a popular fashion brand, uses Pinterest in its social selling strategy. The brand uses the platform to showcase new products and engage with its millions of followers directly, allowing them to click and shop from Pinterest or simply save a product they’re interested in, helping the retailer stay fresh in their minds and creating new lead opportunities.
The benefits of using social selling to improve sales
If you haven’t yet jumpstarted your social selling strategy, your competitors likely have. In fact, 30% of eCommerce companies are already selling on social media. But let’s get into the details of it. What exactly can social selling do to benefit businesses?
Salespeople who engage in social selling are 33% more likely to generate leads, as they are able to reach a wider audience and build trust with potential customers. When done correctly, social selling can be an extremely effective way to generate leads and grow a business by staying relevant in the minds of potential customers and building a pipeline of leads.
Provides informed audience insights
Since social selling allows businesses to build personal connections with leads, salespeople can better understand their potential customers, what they are looking for, and how to better appeal to them.
For example, you can turn to Instagram’s insight tool to better understand who your audience is. You might be surprised to learn your buyer persona and the users actually interested in your brand on social media differ, offering you an opportunity to adjust your marketing tactics to better fit your audience.
Pro tip: you can seamlessly integrate many platforms that track these insights with monday.com, so you can track and visualize your insights in one centralized location. Even choose from plenty of different view types, including dashboards, Gantt Charts, timelines, and more, to visualize your data in whatever way makes sense for you.
Builds trust and authenticity
When you engage with customers and prospects on social media, you are showing that you are interested in what they have to say and that you are willing to engage with them on a personal level. This helps develop more authentic relationships with your customers that are built on trust and credibility.
Creates added value
Through building relationships with potential customers on social media, you can get to know them before a sale and understand their needs. This understanding allows you to provide them with information, products, and services that they’re interested in, leading to a mutually beneficial relationship in which both parties are more likely to do business together.
Leads to better sales opportunities
Salespeople who use social selling have the advantage of finding and connecting with potential customers they may have overlooked on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. According to a report by LinkedIn, 78% of social sellers outperform their peers who aren’t using social media for gathering leads or making sales.
5 B2B social selling tips for success
The sales process is changing. It’s no longer about cold-calling and interrupting potential customers with a sales pitch. Today’s buyers are more informed, have more choices, and turn to social media for research.
As a result, social selling has become an important part of the B2B sales process. Here are five tips you can apply to help your social selling strategy succeed.
1. Create strong social profiles
Before going about interacting with customers on social channels, it’s essential to optimize your social profiles. When customers check your brand’s profiles in an interaction, they’ll know exactly who they’re communicating with.
What goes into a profile depends on the channel itself, but in general, you want to have a logo or photo, a short bio about your company, links to your website, hashtags, and links to your other profiles such as LinkedIn.
2. Use forums
Forums provide a platform for b2b companies to connect with potential customers. They can be used to educate potential customers, generate leads, troubleshoot customer issues, and to provide customer support. Businesses can turn to traditional forums such as Reddit, or even channels like Twitter and LinkedIn to reach customers and stay on top of industry trends.
3. Employ social listening
Social listening is the process of monitoring social media for mentions of your brand, product, or keywords. Social listening can strengthen your social selling strategy by:
- identifying leads
- pinpointing what customers are saying about your brand
- understanding customer sentiment
- monitoring competitor activity to keep track of emerging trends
Finally, social listening allows you to gauge how well your social selling campaigns are performing by allowing you to track and measure mentions of your brand across social media platforms, allowing you to adjust your strategy accordingly.
4. Engage with users where they are
Not only is engagement such as likes, comments, and reposts important to social selling, but engaging with your audience in the right place also has an effect. By understanding who your customers are you can find the appropriate places to connect with them. For example, a LinkedIn group for small business owners where users discuss pain points can be a great place to interact with your target audience. The more specific your customer persona, the easier it will become to meet customers on the platforms they use most.
5. Become a thought leaderEasier said than done, but perhaps nothing else will boost your social selling as much as becoming an expert in your field.
To accomplish this, use social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook to share your expert insights and connect with potential customers. Create blog posts and articles that offer valuable information and insights, and promote your content across your social media channels. You can also give talks or webinars on topics related to your expertise, and participate in online discussions to show your thought leadership.
How monday.com helps you boost your social selling strategy
monday.com is a platform that allows you to create and track goals, measure your success, and collaborate with your team. As a customizable business tool, how you use monday.com to optimize your social selling campaign is up to you, but there are a host of capabilities and features that will help you stay on top of your strategy.
Using a social media calendar template within monday.com can keep you on track with posting consistently and regularly engaging with your audience. By organizing boards according to social channels and taking advantage of tools such as the LinkedIn integration, you can make sure you’re active in the places that are most important to your customer base.
When users come to your business from social media, monday.com can also help you track where those leads originated as they move through the sales funnel. This provides you with important insights about engaging with each individual lead and helping you tailor the experience to their preferences.
What is the social selling index?
The Social Selling Index (SSI) is a metric developed by LinkedIn that measures the extent to which its members are using social media to engage with potential buyers. The index ranges from 0 to 100, with 100 being the highest possible score.
How can you check your social selling index on LinkedIn?
You can check your social selling index on LinkedIn through the LinkedIn Sales Solution tool here.
What is social selling the inbound way?
Social selling the inbound way is the process of building relationships with potential customers on social media to create valuable leads. When leads are ready to convert into customers, your brand should be the first they think of because of the positive relationship you’ve built.
Software and social selling: a winning combo
Succeeding with social selling is about finding the right strategies that work for your business, and implementing the best tools to help you maintain and grow those important customer relationships. A customizable tool like the monday.com Work OS can help your sales team and other departments, such as marketing and customer support, stay on the same page to ensure you’re delivering a cohesive customer experience.