Social networking sites have already gone beyond the what many might have thought of them when they started sprouting. Sure, they are still used heavily for things that are highly personal—they are used by people to connect with family and friends, to express their feelings, and talk about their personal interests. But apart from these, social networking sites are also being used for business these days.
Social selling is what it is called, a means of business promotion through the use of social networking sites. Instead of traditional marketing, social selling is more customer-oriented in the sense that you get to know more about your customers and their insights first before you actually provide depending on what it appears to be a need.
Therefore, it allows you to have a deeper understanding of your market first. Since social networking sites are very personal and people access them really often, they are a good avenue through which you can get to know more about your potential customers or clients and their thoughts.
But of course, like what how the famous saying goes, “with great power comes great responsibilities.” While social selling has proven to do wonders even in just a short span of time, it is still best to take note of some limitations on how it can be done. Since social media is a powerful tool to make your business or brand more noticeable, it is best to keep in mind certain things that would stop you from overdoing it and even killing your chances of doing it right.
Do’s When Doing Social Selling
1. Listen carefully.
One of the major advantages of using social networking sites for your business is that it’s too personal that it is easy to generate honest opinions from people through them. And the thing is that it does not only apply to personal circumstances and stuff like how one’s day has turned out to be or what a certain person feels about a certain life event; it also extends to a person’s thoughts and feelings as a consumer.
Everyday, we see people’s Facebook statuses and tweets that talk about their needs as a consumer—what their needs and aspirations are, what they are expecting from a new line of products, and what they are looking forward to. Information and honest opinions about all these are so easy to be acquired these days, thanks to social media. So, if you really want to make the most of social networking sites and use it to be able to get to know more about your market, listen to what people say. Listen very carefully.
2. Identify your prospects.
The world of social media is full of all sorts of people. As we all know, everyone is using social media now, regardless of gender, age, and social status. And of course, like in any kind of business, it is still best that you identify who your prospects are. If you think your business can cover a wide variety of people, set your priorities at least. Who among these millions of people are you tagetting to be within your immediate reach? What would you like to focus on? After you’ve done social listening, it’s time to identify your targets.
One of the advantages of using social media is its ability to connect you to people as individuals. Unlike broadcasting, the use of social networking sites allow you to have a personal connection with the people you want to talk to, have an access to their thoughts, and even get real-time responses. This is what engaging is all about.
This is an effective way of knowing people’s needs and insights because instead of treating them as part of the crowd, you talk to each of them they way you talk to acquaintances and friends, during functions for example, and having a more intimate connection with them.
4. Follow up.
Social selling is not instant. Just because you are able to talk to several people individually does not mean sure sales. The thing is, some people need ample amount of time to think first before they make a purchase of anything. In such cases, you may opt to give them the time they need instead of pushing them. But of course, if you choose to let them think first, make sure that you are going to get back on them and make a follow up just before they forget about you and your brand completely.
5. Talk as an expert.
There are already lots of people and content online that is why getting the attention of people and making them feel that they should make time for you have always been among the biggest challenge you are going to face. So, if you really want to connect to people that would serve you well in your social selling campaign, make sure that you talk as an expert.
Talk as an expert and make sure that the people you talk to always gets something worthy; talk as an expert and assure them that engaging with you is definitely not a waste of time. Also, having a credibility online would largely help your brand. Once you succeed in that, you can earn their trust and they are most likely to believe in whatever you are pushing.
Dont’s When Doing Social Selling
1. Don’t go to the battle unprepared. Strategize.
Social selling may seem more subtle as compared to the traditional methods but it does not mean that you should not take it really seriously. In fact, you have to be more strategic when you decide to enter the world of social selling.
One of the first things you have to set in your head is your goal. What is your target, really? Since the internet is very dynamic and full of so many things and people sharing content nonstop, you have to be very sure about what you want to achieve.
2. Don’t talk to people as a group.
Again, the beauty of social selling is that it allows you have a more personal encouter with your prospects. Instead of addressing a potential client as a part of a crowd, you have the opportunity to talk to him as though he were a friend or an acquaintance. Make the most of this opportunity and act like an expert friend.
Talk to the person as an individual. Make use of a more conversational tone and make him feel that you are human, too, and you perfectly understand what he is thinking about. Let him feel that you know where he is coming from and from there, assure him that you can give him solutions that are not just realistic but are also born out of concern.
3. Don’t wear a mask.
When dealing with a prospect, always make sure that you don’t wear a mask. Remember, personal touch is one good element of social selling. Since you are hoping to get access to the honest thoughts of your prospects in order to offer them something they would need and/or want, it is best that you also stay true to them. Again, show that you are human, too, and that you are capable of understanding them. Don’t sound like a computer that is just programmed to generate content and responses.
4. Don’t flood people online.
If there’s one more thing we love about social media, that is none other than the fact that it’s fast. Even more, its real-time. Gone are those days when you have to wait for days to have your message delivered to your intended recipient. Now, everything you want to share can be delivered real-time. It is also very easy as everyone seems to be active online these days.
No wonder, there is always this temptation to abuse the powers bestowed upon us by social networking sites. Sure, even marketers, social sellers more specifically, are faced with this kind of temptation every now and then. Since in social selling, the main platform through which leads and sales are generated are the social networking sites, it is really tempting to just flood people with pushy content in the hope that they would notice your brand more easily.
But of course, this is not a good thing to do. Overdoing it might just turn them off, making them feel like you are stalking them or you are simply a desperate marketer or social seller pushing your brand too much just to get their attention. Instead, just be guided and apply the right strategies. With them in your hand, you won’t even need to be pushy as a social seller.
5. Don’t just sell.
Unlike the traditional way of selling, which usually involves elevator talks and more pushy approaches on telemarketing, social selling is more subtle. Like what was mentioned earlier, social selling is best done while showing concern to your prospects. Therefore, it is not just selling.
In other words, it involves a lot of understanding of people’s needs, certainly putting value on their words and thoughts. And, unlike the typical sales approach, it also involves building a strong relationship with them which, as mentioned earlier, involves personal touch. Indeed, with all these, we can say that social selling is a revolutionary take on the art of selling.
Social selling is powerful. No doubt, its wonders are here to stay. So, to make the most of these wonders, keep calm, open your mind, and keep these things in mind about how you should do it.