Win over customers with social selling by using this five-step process to gain credibility and generate more sales.
Generating leads (and good quality leads at that) is one of the most frustrating sticking points multi-level marketers face today.
Let’s face it: cold calling doesn’t work like it used to, and direct sellers are turning to other tactics to reach more people.
It’s even more frustrating when you consider that consumers are savvier than ever in today’s selling landscape and the vast majority are skeptical of brands who come at them with the "sell, sell, sell" mentality.
Instead, consumers are looking for trustworthy relationships with brands they can relate to and connect with. For businesses, this means meeting customers where they are rather than forcing them to leave their comfort zone.
As a result, we’ve seen a dramatic rise in social selling in the multi-level marketing world.
This simply refers to the act of selling your products via social channels through educational, entertaining, and engaging content. These are the platforms where consumers are already hanging out and interacting with their friends, family, colleagues, and brands.
The Power of Social Selling
According to an Aberdeen Group study on the impact of social selling, sales teams that use this tactic find 45% more opportunities than those that don’t. Social selling also helps cream of the crop companies to achieve a 16% gain in year-on-year revenue.
If you’re thinking “not another marketing technique to implement!” you’re not alone. It really does seem like there is a new, "must-do" method popping up every day, and it can be overwhelming trying to fit them all into your strategy.
However, social selling is quickly pushing its way to the top.
In fact, it’s the third most important priority for sales teams this year according to the Aberdeen Group study - if you lag behind, you’ll miss out on prospects that are ready and waiting to buy from their social channels.
Here’s the catch: only one in four marketers know how to use social media for sales, leaving the vast majority floundering on platforms they don’t fully understand with no return for their investment.
So how can you make sure you’re one of the few salespeople that does know how to use social media for selling? How can you rise to the top and win customers over with this activity?
There are five key elements involved in creating a successful social selling strategy that wins customers over:
- Target market research and identifying key social platforms
- Creating engaging, valuable content that tackles consumer problems
- Building credibility through thoughtful discussions
- Creative campaigns that stand out and make a difference
- A consistent strategy that continues to bring in new customers
We’ve put together a handy guide to help you carry out each of these steps.
1. Choose the Right Social Media Platform
It’s no secret that different social media channels attract different audiences. Snapchat and Instagram are renowned for being favored by younger demographics, while Facebook is predominantly used by older generations. Decision makers primarily log in to Twitter and LinkedIn. (Source: https://www.businessinsider.com/ social-platforms-are-most-popular-among-18-to-29-year-olds-2018-3?r=US&IR=T)
The key to finding the right platform for you and your business is getting to know your audience and identifying which platforms they hang out on the most.
This means you can join them there, start conversations with them, and contribute to discussions in a place that they’re already comfortable with.
If you’re not sure where your audience hangs out, try the following simple approach:
- Determine your top two to three competitors
- Check out which social channels they’re most active on
- Voila! If you have the same audience as these competitors, you can copy the social platforms they use the most
- After a while, you’ll get a feel for where you’re getting the most interaction and can increase your time spent on those channels
2. Create Engaging, Useful Content
Gone are the days where marketers could simply tout their products on social media over and over again.
You know the ones: they’ve just launched the new “best thing ever” and they’ve already shared fifteen Tweets about it in the last hour. They’ve crammed the post with hashtags and haven’t even bothered to change the copy in each Tweet to make it unique and different.
Somehow, this method used to work. Now, it doesn’t.
Instead, brands are striving to build a loyal following of prospects who will consistently buy from them. This involves establishing a sense of trust, which can be sparked by sharing engaging content that solves a key problem the audience has.
Try the following to get started with this technique:
Step 1: Check out what kind of content your audience is already interacting with on social media (stalk your competitors for inspiration here if you need to)
Step 2: Identify your customers’ key pain points by scouring forums, listening to questions they’re asking on social, and digging into reviews of products like yours or similar
Step 3: Create content (or find content to share) that provides a solution to their most pressing pain points
Beauty brand Kate Somerville tackles dry skin in cooler temperatures - a struggle their customers are likely facing.
3. Build Credibility
Once you’ve got your baseline of useful content for your audience or consumer, it’s time to start cementing that trust and building credibility - in the end, this is what will win over customers on social media.
Think about it: say, for example, you’re looking to buy a course that shows you how to effectively use email marketing.
Are you more likely to buy it from someone you’ve never heard of before or someone who regularly posts content about the biggest struggles you have with email marketing and offers a solution to those problems?
We’re willing to bet it’s the latter.
Although this is a very basic example, you get the gist of how important credibility is in winning over customers on social media.
So how do you create a credible image of your brand?
- Demonstrate your understanding of your industry on social media by sharing relevant articles and adding thoughtful insights to conversations
- Participate and engage in discussions that are already taking place to prove your authority on the topic and simultaneously spread the world about your brand
- Share case studies, testimonials, and reviews from other customers who can vouch for your business
This realtor shares client testimonials on Instagram to boost their credibility.
4. Get Creative
Just like cold calling doesn’t work any more, neither does sharing generic fluff about your products Remember those old-fashioned brands we mentioned before? Don't use their example as an excuse to shout into the void about your products on social media.
If you want to win social media users over, you have to create customer-centric campaigns that really resonate with them - and don’t be afraid to get creative here.
People are far more likely to remember a brand that went all out with their social strategy and did something different than a brand that followed the crowd and played it safe.
Thankfully, social media is packed full of features that can help you bring your brand to life and make it stand out:
- Tap into the power of Instagram Stories to share the “human-ness” of your brand and to go behind the scenes (consumers love to take a peek behind the scenes)
- Use features like Facebook Live or IGTV to share in-the-moment announcements and snapshots of advice that provide quick wins to your audience
- Re-share content that your audience have posted themselves to create a sense of community and encourage more of your followers to get involved
5. Be Consistent
If you’re looking to win over customers with social selling, the most important thing is that you show up regularly.
Consistency is king.
Once you start showing up in user feeds regularly with quality content and useful, credible information, your followers will start to actively expect you to pop up. As a result, they’re more likely to interact with you as they become more familiar with who you are and what you’re selling and, to top it off, are more likely to buy from you.
Don’t Miss Out On the Power of Social Selling
Social selling is one of the hottest marketing trends right now - and for good reason. It gives brands the chance to meet and hang out with their customers in a place they’re comfortable with and join in conversations.
Selling is no longer a game of who can shout the loudest; instead, it’s about nurturing audiences, showing you understand their struggles, and providing solutions to those pain points that enrich their lives.
Tap into the power of social selling by ensuring you’re visible on the right social platforms, sharing relevant, engaging content, and getting involved in discussions. The more you show up and cement your credibility, the more trust you’ll build, and the more customers you’ll get flocking to your products.
The key is to keep things consistent. If you follow this super simple strategy, and you’ll be winning over customers in no time at all.