Social selling is part and parcel of the social media landscape these days.
Moreover, with up to 81% of SMBs using social media, it is imperative that companies strike a balance between cheesy sales messages, and not getting to the point!
What is ‘social selling.’
Quite simply, social selling is selling your goods or services via social media.
Research carried out by ONS shows that households in the UK spend £1.9 million over a lifetime (on average). Also, while we used to rely on word of mouth to get recommendations, a survey conducted by Yotpo reveals that 65% of people in the UK use social media to research products before buying online!
1 in 10 people will not shop without consulting Facebook!
That did not come a much of a surprise. How many people do you see asking for recommendations on Facebook these days? Groups are notorious for it, business and personal alike. So while Facebook takes the lead, on average:
- 12% of people will take to social media to research before making any purchase,
- 39% of people consult social media before making most of their purchases with 35 – 44-year-olds make up the majority of this percentage.
- 48% of people use social media before some of their purchases.
- 48% said they use the likes on Instagram as a factor.
- 64% of over 65s researched some products on social media before making a purchase.
What does this mean for social sellers?
Firstly it means that you need to show your best you via your social media outlets at all times. If people are researching a product or services, they then land on your social media accounts and the content is not what they expect or relate to, there will be many other suggested companies underneath yours waiting to make a sale.
Let’s be clear that we cannot win them all. Apart from having the exact product or service a buyer wants, if their ethos does not match with yours or they simply do not like your brand voice, there isn’t much you can do about that (unless you have not made a single sale, then perhaps it is time to look internally at your overall messaging).
Top ways to incorporate social selling without being ‘salesy’ into your social media marketing.
There are ways to sell your service and product without blatantly saying BUY ME, please! So here are a few ways you can do this:
Ask for feedback.
A recent Nielsen report showed that customer reviews are the second most trusted form of advertising with credible recommendations from friends and family topping that stat. Further to that, the Yotpo survey resulted in 59% of people being ‘quite likely’ to be influenced by customer reviews.
We all know that for B2C businesses there is no excuse to not asking for feedback with every purchase. However, the B2B industry is notoriously poor at asking their clients for feedback each time they carry out a job, project or years contract. Well, it is time to swallow your pride and start doing this. One reason being is you can then showcase this feedback on social media, letting your clients do your social selling. Nothing pushes people up the sales funnel more than recommendations from individuals or businesses that they know and trust.
Read our blog on why you should ask customers to write a review!
Encourage user generated content.
Whether this is making people ‘check-in’ before they get free Wi-Fi in your premises, or sending that added extra in the parcel of goodies asking the customer to use a particular hashtag when showing off their goods, by getting other people to mention your brand, and hopefully provide you with images and content, is just another tick in the trust box. The Yotpo report suggests that 96% of social shoppers would be influenced, to some degree, by other customers images. So what are you going to do to encourage others to market your goods, services or premises?
Provide value to people’s lives. Life hacks, tutorials and more can all be done to produce content that your potential customers will thank you for AND keep coming back for more. Just make sure that the content you produce is relevant to your offering and what your customer would expect you provide.
Getting editorial content out there is a great way to encourage social selling. Sharing your press coverage, albeit an online review, article or feature, is a creative way to show your knowledge, products or services. Furthermore, this content coming from a source other that your website just adds another layer of trust when people come to research your offering.
Invest in some video content that talks about your product or service. Showing how to use your product or what value your services provide. Often people need to see it or you in action before purchasing.
Have a clear idea of your brand voice and how you want your business to be perceived on and offline. Then make sure that is what you portray in every single post.
Once people feel comfortable with your brand and how it represents itself via its social media channels they will feel confident buying from you. Brands that give mixed messages will lose the confidence of their followers, and they will quickly look for somewhere else to spend their money.
Read our blog on Why Video Content Is Important For Businesses
Evolve & launch.
Launching new products or reinventing current services is an excellent way to share information about these without blatantly selling them. Have a launch plan. Know what activities you are going to be doing in the months and weeks on the run up to the launch and then take as much advantage as you can during those 24 hours of fame. The aftermath can be just as important, especially if there is any launch offers, PR or blogger outreach activities involved.
Make purchasing as easy as possible.
Facebook has their own ‘shop’ function so make sure you use it. 79% of people, when researching products or services on social media, use Facebook so make sure this looks and feels like an extension of your e-commerce function. If you are not on Facebook, YouTube is used by 49% of social buyers to research, Twitter 24%, Pinterest 18% and Instagram 17%, so make sure:
If you are not on Facebook, YouTube is used by 49% of social buyers to research, Twitter 24%, Pinterest 18% and Instagram 17%, so make sure:
- That links work.
- The links lead back to a place that is mobile friendly.
- Information is laid out in a user-friendly way and answer any FAQs.
- The product or service is not more than one click away from being purchased.
These are a few suggestions on how you can carry out social selling without doing the ‘hard sell’. So the question is what are you going to implement first?
Not sure where to start? Why not book a social media consultation with one of our social media team who will help you come up with multiple ways to sell your products or services online. Call 01256 614921 or contact the team via email@example.com.
Click to read more about why asking your friends and family to share your content is not a sensible marketing strategy on our blog.
In this blog, we concentrate on the realities of running social media for your business and what your business can expect from social media. Click to read.