People spent an average of 144 minutes on social media every day last year. That figure was up from 142 minutes the previous year. More than half of the world’s population is now using social media. If you’re not focusing on social selling, you’re leaving money on the table.
Building a successful social media profile for selling is both an art and a science. But there are many benefits to putting in the effort. With the right strategy, you will see results.
The Benefits of Social Selling Today
There are many benefits to social selling, especially in a world that is driven by social media. The entire company can benefit from the practice – not just the sales team. And if done properly, it can become an integral part of your overall marketing strategy.
Here’s what social selling can do for you:
Improve Brand Awareness
Social selling is a great way to build brand awareness. The more employees that share content and optimize their social media profiles, the more your brand gets in front of your target audience.
People want to buy products or services from people – not companies. Research shows that customers trust a brand’s message 33% of the time, but they trust a message from a person they know 92%.
The very practice of social selling builds brand awareness naturally and organically.
Increases Site Traffic
Social selling will drive more traffic to your brand’s website. Links can be included in the bio section of your social selling profile and through stories or posts you share.
As you build brand awareness, prospects will find their way to your site, and hopefully, make a purchase.
The more traffic you drive to your site, the more opportunities you have to convert prospects into customers.
Generates More Targeted Leads
Greater brand visibility also means that you will generate more targeted leads. Your team of social sellers will share content that educates your audience and establishes your brands as an authority. As you gain credibility and trust, you will attract more people who are interested in the products or services that you are selling.
The leads that you generate through social selling will be highly targeted. These are people who are already interested in what you have to offer.
Targeted leads are valuable because you won’t have to spend as much time and resources converting them to customers.
The goal of social selling is to increase sales. Building brand awareness, generating more leads and driving traffic to your website will ultimately increase sales and your bottom line.
Tips to Create a Successful Social Selling Profile
Creating a successful social media marketing profile isn’t as simple as entering information and hoping for the best. Use these tips to help build a compelling profile and get the results you want with social selling.
You Are Not Only a Brand — You Are a Person
The most important thing to remember with social selling is that you are more than just a brand – you are a person. While you are building brand awareness, you are also building your personal brand.
Remember, people want to buy from people and not companies. Ultimately, establishing credibility while nurturing trust is what will help you succeed with social selling. You become the face, or an ambassador, for your brand.
Gaining the trust of your followers is crucial because when they need the products or services that you’re offering, they will think of you first. But they are more likely to remember you personally and not your company.
Put the time and effort into building up your personal brand. Create and share authoritative content that your followers want to see. Educate them. Offer something valuable. And above all else, be authentic. Share your successes and failures. Allow your personality to shine through.
Create Content with Images
Social media sites give you the perfect platform to be more personal, engaging and emotional. The emotional aspect is more important than you think. If you want to increase sales, your audience needs to feel connected to you. They need to trust you. They need to be excited about your brand.
According to LinkedIn, content with images generates 94% more views than content without imagery. On Buffer, Tweets with images get 150% more retweets than those without any visual content.
Make sure that you use relevant, high-quality images when creating your content. The image should complement the content and really drive your point home. For example, if you’re sharing a motivational post, including an image of a mountaintop can make the reader feel like they can achieve their goals (or climb that proverbial mountain).
Use Automation Tools
One of the biggest challenges with social selling is time management. To succeed, you have to be active on all of your social accounts – ideally, at the same time.
Keeping your accounts updated and organized can be a tedious and time-consuming task. This is where automation tools can help. With that said, automation tools need to be used carefully and strategically.
Sharing the same post on four different social networks, for example, likely won’t generate the results you want. But you can schedule posts for each platform individually to ensure they match each platform’s style and voice.
Scheduling posts can be effective and time-saving, but you need to do it properly. Otherwise, your audience will think that your posts are not authentic.
Automation will save you time with posting, but you will still need to set aside time to engage with your audience. Comment, like, retweet and share content. Start conversations with your followers. Ask questions. Get involved.
Fortunately, you can also save time with this aspect of social selling, too. Social mention tools make it easy to see who is talking about you on social media, so you can respond quickly while the conversation is still fresh.
Social mention tools make it easy to find relevant conversations, but it’s up to you to craft an engaging and thoughtful response to these messages.
Automation tools will save you some time and make it easier to stay organized. However, don’t rely on them too heavily. Otherwise, you will be eliminating the most important aspect of social selling: the human aspect.
If you don’t have time to build and grow your profile from scratch, you can always find social network profiles for sale that already have a built-in following.
Social media is a great way to build your brand, generate traffic, get more leads and increase sales. But social selling is really where social media can shine for brands both old and young.
Take the time to build a following, and remember to be yourself. If you have a team of social sellers, make sure that they are following the tips above to help you achieve the results you want.