Social selling is a special art that brings the community of social media to online brands to help build customer relationships far before any sale is made. Selling online is all about trust and the customer experience. That being said, businesses must have a positive perception if they hope to ever sell through social outlets.
Positive branding is an investment that solopreneurs, as well as established companies, must be willing to make if they want to build a strong, loyal customer base. Whether you’re looking to market a side business idea or working on building a whole new brand, it is important to establish a positive message and association with your audience. Social selling is one of the best ways to do just that.
Let’s discuss some social selling strategies that can help your business in creating profitable and positive messages.
Position Your Brand Properly
It’s absolutely essential that e-commerce businesses establish trust with their customers through their marketing efforts. Social media now influences nearly half of all purchase decisions, so building a powerful online presence through social selling on Facebook, Instagram and other platforms is a fantastic way to start creating positive connections.
Use your social media presence to establish a brand voice that is strong, positive and influential. Develop a reputation for promoting content that engages your audience by posting articles and stories that provide actionable insight. By posting this type of value to your readers, you are helping to position your brand as an industry leader that is worthy of their trust.
Match Content with the Social Sales Funnel
In general, most social media users are not overly fond of being bombarded with aggressive sales tactics when scrolling through their timeline. Remember, if you run a business page on social media, you have followers, not customers (yet).
Social selling needs to find a balance between being authentically engaging, while still promoting products and services in a way that adds to the bottom line. The social sales funnel differs from the traditional one because it is more focused on creating a devoted fan, rather than just a sale.
So, instead of just pushing products on your followers, it is better to focus on creating engagement. That being said, try to focus a good deal of your efforts near the top of the funnel.
To be a successful social seller, you need to adopt the mindset that you aren’t explicitly selling products and services; you are selling value. A great way to do this is by answering the common questions in regards to your industry. You’ll notice how martech brand SEMrush is adding their expert insight in helping their followers reach the fairly universal goal of getting more web traffic. They exclusively work to build devoted relationships with their followers, industry influencers, and even other brands, which eventually, improves their authenticity.
Again, social selling is all about authenticity. Creating overly promotional posts could actually do more harm than good. Use your content to introduce customers to your product, grow their interest, and inspire them to take action.
Turn Your Customers into Social Sellers
Happy customers might be the best marketing channel out there. After all, 83 per cent of customers say that they would trust a recommendation from a friend or family member about a product, influencing them to go ahead and purchase it for themselves.
From here, you need to make it extremely easy for followers to share your content links or codes. Simply asking your satisfied customers to share their experience with their own connections can help your business grow a much stronger and more engaged customer base. Just make sure that your incentives are, well, incentivizing.
Nurture Relationships Beyond the Sale
Social selling is all about the connection you make with your followers and fans, so be ready to put in the extra effort to build long-lasting relationships. Dropping all contact after the sale is an easy way to destroy customer loyalty, whereas something as simple as a follow-up email can go a long way.
According to Accenture’s study on customer loyalty, brands that pursued customer loyalty by offering personalized discounts or offers retained more than half of their customers.
Additionally, 44 per cent of consumers said they would return to a retailer that remained actively engaged with them after a purchase. Simply following up with a customer to see how they like the product or ask if they would be interested in an additional purchase can help nurture long-lasting loyalty.
By using social media as a channel to share positive and insightful content, businesses can position themselves as leaders in the industry, while also using their posts to help customers through various levels of the sales funnel. Furthermore, by cultivating positive experiences and personalized connections, online brands can increase loyalty and create a community of social sharers.
Brands that exist solely online face the added challenge of establishing familiarity and credibility with their customers without them seeing or testing the product beforehand. Social selling is built on trust, so businesses must use their authentic voice to build a positive perception to attract new customers.
Pratik Dholakiya is the Co-Founder of E2M, a full-service digital marketing agency and PRmention, a digital PR agency. He regularly speaks at various conferences about SEO, Content Marketing, Growth Hacking, Entrepreneurship and Digital PR. Pratik has spoken at NextBigWhat’s UnPluggd, IIT-Bombay, SMX Israel, and other major events across Asia. As a passionate marketer, he shares his thoughts and knowledge on publications like Search Engine Land, Entrepreneur Magazine, Fast Company, The Next Web and the Huffington Post to name a few. He has been named one of the top content marketing influencers by Onalytica three years in a row.