Social media has come a long way from being just a place to interact with friends, family, and like-minded individuals. With billions of users on different social media platforms, it has become a powerful tool that businesses can use to reach new customers, build brand awareness, and increase sales.
Social media may already form part of your marketing strategy, but did you know you can also use social media as a sales strategy? This strategy is called social selling.
In this article, I talk about 11 social selling tips that you can use to grow your eCommerce business. But first, let’s take a look at what social selling means.
What is Social Selling?
Social selling involves the use of social media platforms to form and nurture relationships with potential customers in order to generate leads and drive sales.
That sounds a lot like social media marketing. However, people confuse them with each other, but both strategies are different.
Social selling is more focused on finding potential customers, engaging them directly, and building a relationship with them. Social media marketing, on the other hand, is more focused on promoting a brand’s products or services to a wide audience. This usually involves sharing valuable content, engaging with customers, and running advertisements.
To drive sales and increase revenue, you need to combine social selling and social media marketing.
11 Tips for a Successful Social Selling Strategy
- Find your target audience: Identify your target audience and focus on the social media platforms where they are most active. Age is a key factor in determining which platforms your audience prefers. Facebook and YouTube are popular among older generations such as Baby Boomers and Gen X. Meanwhile, Gen Zs are more active on TikTok and Instagram.
If you sell health supplements and your target audience is older people, focus on Facebook. For audiences that span multiple age groups, Instagram is a good platform for social selling. Instagram's visual nature is excellent for eCommerce businesses, allowing you to post photos and videos that showcase your products.
Additionally, Instagram provides tools to communicate with prospects and respond to inquiries.
By understanding your target audience and their preferred platforms, you can share relevant content and start conversations with the right people.
- Maintain a consistent brand: Trust is the foundation of any relationship. However, without a consistent brand identity, your potential customers may not trust or remember you. It is important that your logo, colours, fonts, and tone of voice are uniform across all channels.
For example, your logo on Instagram should match your logo on Twitter.
- Share valuable content: Potential customers will only connect with you if they consider you credible. Posting engaging and helpful content that aligns with your prospect's needs and interests is an effective way to build credibility. Your content should not only feature your product, but also highlight how it solves your prospects' problems.
You don't have to create all the content you share, you can curate relevant blog posts, podcasts, and videos made by other thought leaders in your industry.
Sharing valuable content increases the likelihood of potential customers engaging with your posts. This provides an opportunity to spark a conversation with them and nurture a long-term relationship. When sharing valuable content, don't forget to include payment links to your products, so that prospects who are ready to make a purchase can do so.
- Figure out Payments Completely: Effective social selling requires creating a seamless and convenient customer experience throughout the buyer’s journey, including the payment process.
To make it as easy as possible for customers and prospects to pay for the products you promote on social media, provide multiple payment options. Bloc allows businesses to offer over customers several payment types e.g. Payment links and POS Terminals, all in one place.
With Bloc, you can even create payment links that lead to self-hosted payment pages, which you can then share on any platform.
A seamless payment process not only offers convenience but also helps build trust with your target audience, essential for successful social selling. By using reputable payment partners and implementing security measures, you can reassure leads and customers that their transactions are safe and secure, leading to increased trust in the brand, more conversions, and higher customer loyalty.
- Keep it short and sweet: The abundance of content on the internet has led to a shorter attention span for users. To capture people's attention, your content should be concise and helpful.
Avoid posting large blocks of text that take minutes to read. Instead, use visuals such as photos, videos, and stories that users can consume in seconds. Your captions should also be snappy.
When sending a direct message to a lead, make sure that the message is brief and personalized.
- Be strategic about timing: When you post is just as important as what you post. Your content may be high-quality, but if you don’t share it at the right time, it will get lost in your followers’ feeds, and you will miss out on an opportunity for engagement.
So, when is the best time to post on social media? According to HubSpot, the best times to post on all social media platforms are between 6 pm to 9 pm and 12 pm to 3 pm. However, research by other marketers presents different results, so there's no general consensus.
Ultimately, you need to find out which posting times work best for your business. The best way to do this is by posting regularly using a trial-and-error schedule, and then reviewing your social media analytics. This will help you discover when your audience is most active on each social media platform and how much time they spend there. With these insights, you can tailor your posting schedule to their behaviours, and increase your chances of engagement.
- Use hashtags: Hashtags are a great way to ensure that your content is seen and engaged with by the right people. On platforms like Twitter and Instagram, users can follow hashtags, so using them in your content can lead your target audience to you.
However, it is important not to overuse them as too many can clutter your post and annoy your audience. Additionally, you should only use hashtags that are specific and relevant to your business; otherwise, your content will get lost in the noise.
- Build a content calendar: Social selling is a long-term game, so it's important to post consistently to nurture relationships with potential customers. If you post irregularly, such as once every two weeks, you risk falling off your audience's radar, making it difficult to forge a connection with them.
To achieve consistency, consider planning your content using a content calendar instead of creating content spontaneously. Your content calendar should include basic information such as the social media platform, date and time for posting, copy, visuals, and so on.
Having a content calendar will also help you prepare for sales campaigns and take advantage of big sale opportunities and annual holidays such as Valentine's Day, Black Friday, and Christmas.
- Prioritise thoughtful engagement: Social selling is not one-sided. When potential customers engage with your posts, interact with them too. Respond to their comments and ask thoughtful questions. Leave helpful comments on posts that relate to the problems your product solves. You can also engage them in low-effort ways, like liking and resharing their posts.
Engaging with prospects regularly helps you to form a genuine connection with them, laying the foundation for a future sale.
- Share user-generated content: Sharing content created by your existing users is an effective way to build trust with prospects. This is because people trust people more than they trust brands. According to research by TINT, 72% of consumers consider customer reviews and testimonials to be more trustworthy than promotional messages from brands about their products.
Thankfully, social media platforms make it easy to collect user-generated content for your business. You can monitor posts that mention your brand through manual search or social listening tools, like Hootsuite. Then, repost photos and videos customers share about your products to your social media pages.
Before reposting your users’ content, make sure you get their permission and credit them in your post.
Additionally, when reposting user-generated content, share payment links that direct interested customers to the featured product. Remember, the goal of your content is to drive sales, and a strategically placed payment link can help convert leads quickly.
Sign up on Bloc to start generating payment links, and start supercharging your online business growing.
- Track analytics: To achieve long-term success with social selling, it's important to monitor your efforts. Use social media analytics to check how your posts are performing. Which posts resonated with your prospects, and which ones did not? This will help you determine what type of content you should share with your audience.
You can also track the success of your efforts with Google Analytics. The GA dashboard provides data about visitors to your eCommerce website. You'll be able to see the traffic coming from your social media channels and the conversions your business gets from social media.
With these insights, you can audit and improve your social selling strategy to get the best results.
Power your social selling with Bloc
Applying these social selling tips will help you harness the power of social media to build relationships that ultimately increase conversions and boost revenue for your business. However, you need to have a payment setup that makes it easy for your leads to become customers.
Start receiving payments from customers on your social media channels, without having to build a website. Get started with Bloc.