Social selling has been touted as the future of sales, but many forward-thinking businesses have already begun fully harnessing this approach. Ssocial selling is based around the concept of using social media to closely connect with current and prospective prospects. This can include everything from closely monitoring accounts in order to offer helpful and well-thought out responses all the way to videotaping personalized thank you messages and posting them on YouTube.
One of the most important aspects of social selling is creating an authentic and consistent presence, combined with taking steps to nurture your online customer relationships. Studies have shown that utilizing these techniques will increase qualified leads by 40 percent, and the best part is that startups and other small businesses can spend little to no money on this process.
Keep in mind that the very nature of social media is that people will share things with you, even if they are not fully aware that they are doing so. For example, Facebook offers comprehensive business page tools that let you know the demographic breakdown of your followers. You can also find out the peak date and time that people check-in to businesses in your local area. If you combine this with the audience interests and behavior tracking that is provided by Google Analytics, you can much more easily create viable customer profiles. From there, you can tailor your social interactions and advertisements accordingly.
Michael Bi, the Executive Manager of Shopping Express, recently highlighted the importance of developing the proper approach for your customer base:
“We sell computer equipment and other electronics, and most of our customers are looking for a good piece of technology at the best possible price. Therefore, we designed our website and social media presence around answering these needs.
However, we also share local feel good news stories and pieces that relate to technology and pop culture because these topics resonate with our audience. By alternating between sharing these stories and posts about our products, we are able to build a relationship that feels friendlier and less one-sided.”
Aside from reaching out to consumers via your social media pages, you should also make sure that you take the time to respond to positive and negative reviews. Although it may be impossible to please everyone, your responses to negativity will have a huge impact on the willingness of new consumers to give your products or service a try.
Unfortunately, even one negative review can cost you 30 customers. However, providing quality service and asking your satisfied customers to leave reviews can be hugely beneficial. In fact, increasing your current Yelp rating by one star can boost sales by up to 9 percent. This alone is a big enough reason to embrace social selling. After all, without a strong online presence and quality customer service, it will be much more difficult to get people to leave positive reviews.
In the long run, social selling is likely to be a much bigger component of customer service. There will probably soon be a shift to increased live streaming for talking to customers one-on-one. Companies will also want to continuously find new ways to diversify their online approach such as sharing posts, articles, images, videos and live streams that relate not just to their products but also to the interests of their target audience.
Screenshot image taken from youtube video “Beat Your Competition to the Punch” by Craig Elias