The world of sales and marketing has changed dramatically over the years. Gone are the days of cold calling and email marketing being the only methods to generate leads and sales. Today, social media is a vital part of the sales and marketing process and allows businesses to connect with potential clients, build trust, and ultimately drive revenue- social selling. In this blog post, we’ll explore what social selling is, why it matters, and how to use it to grow your business.
What is social selling?
Social selling is the process of using social media to build relationships with potential clients and ultimately drive sales.
According to Tim Hughes, co-founder and CEO of DLA Ignite, social selling is about using your presence and behaviour on social media to build influence, make connections, grow relationships, and trust. It’s about creating conversations that lead to commercial interaction. Social media is not just about posting content; it’s about starting conversations. Conversations generate sales, and it’s always been the case. Social media is used as an ability to create a conversation. We’re not saying that the whole sales transaction has to take place on social media; we’re using social media as a platform to enable us to get conversations and to get conversations at scale.
You can watch Tim’s session from The Lighthouse Social Summit March 2023, here:
Why is social selling important?
Organisations that are still relying on cold calling and email marketing are struggling to make sales because the world has changed a lot since these tactics were first introduced 30-40 years ago. Social selling allows businesses to achieve five things:
- Visibility- recognition in the marketplace
- Trusted advisor status
- Recruit and retain the best talent
- Employee engagement and shared sense of purpose
- Pipeline, growth and new customer
Social selling also offers a way to connect with larger buyer teams. According to Gartner, the average buyer team is about 10 people. Social media allows businesses to connect with each member of the buyer team, build relationships, and ultimately influence their decision-making process.
How can social media managers leverage social selling?
To leverage social selling, it’s important to approach social media from a strategic perspective. The modern buyer, job hunter, and investor are all residents of the digital world. They’ve moved from analogue to digital, and businesses need to follow suit. Around 60% of the world’s population is active on social media, spending an average of two hours and 30 minutes a day on various social media platforms. That’s where buyers and prospects are, and businesses need to be there too.
One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is treating social media like a marketing tool instead of a relationship-building tool. Posting content is not enough to drive revenue; businesses need to create conversations with potential clients. They need to start by asking questions, listening to their needs, and offering solutions. Social media offers businesses an opportunity to connect with potential clients and build relationships before asking for a sale.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for businesses to leverage social selling. With more people working from home, fewer conferences, and less in-person networking, social media has become a crucial way to connect with potential clients. By using social media strategically, businesses can continue to generate leads and grow their revenue.
That’s a wrap…
In conclusion, social selling is clearly no longer an optional strategy for businesses. It is the future of sales and marketing. By using social media to build relationships and trust with potential clients, businesses can drive revenue and grow their pipeline. Here are some key points for you to take away:
- Social selling is the process of using social media to build relationships with potential clients and drive sales.
- Social selling allows businesses to achieve five things: visibility, trusted advisor status, recruiting and retaining the best talent, employee engagement and shared sense of purpose, pipeline, growth and new customer.
- Social media managers should approach social media from a strategic perspective and use it as a relationship-building tool instead of just a marketing tool.
- Businesses need to create conversations with potential clients, ask questions, listen to their needs, and offer solutions to build relationships before asking for a sale.
Do you think your business is effectively leveraging social selling to build relationships with potential clients and drive revenue?