How To Apply Social Selling To A Social Media Marketing Campaign

Traditional sales tactics have begun to shift thanks to social media networks. Social selling leverages social networks and gives salespeople the ability to connect directly with customers. In 2016, LinkedIn found that 90% of top-performing salespeople use social media as part of their sales strategy.

Social selling relies on having robust, well-built social networks, which is why social media marketing is a crucial aspect of social selling. Since these two concepts are so similar, many people confuse the two.

The best way to understand both social selling and social media marketing is to think of a traditional sales funnel. At the top of the sales funnel are marketing tactics that help bring in leads. Social media marketing lives here. Businesses use Facebook, Twitter, etc. to draw in marketing qualified leads.

Traditionally, salespeople would then take the marketing qualified leads and put them into the sales funnel. Next, they would use email marketing and calls to action to nurture these leads into clients. And this tactic still works. However, top salespeople are adding social selling to their arsenals as well.

Social selling puts the traditional sales process back on social networks. Instead of emailing and/or calling a prospect, salespeople connect with them on social networks. For example, they might comment on their LinkedIn post or retweet them on Twitter. Whereas once a sales touch point would be leaving a voicemail, now a sales touch point may be commenting on a Facebook post.

Why are we seeing a move toward social selling?

The move toward putting selling tactics on social media comes as no surprise. So many traditional industries have been disrupted by social networks, and the sales industry is no exception.

Audiences’ receptiveness toward social selling helps, as does the fact that technology has kept up with this shift. Tools to track social selling campaigns help salespeople keep up with leads and understand what strategies work.

How can you add social selling techniques?

For businesses that want to start with social selling, there are few steps to take first. Salespeople already have to have value-driven social networks. Furthermore, these employees must know which networks are most valuable. For most B2B companies, this is going to be LinkedIn. For B2C companies, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are the beginner tools. Salespeople should already have built-out pages, posting schedules and followers. Again, they should focus on posting valuable content, not sales content.

For example, we work in the real estate industry. Agents that use our CRM tool already know which networks work for them and the best times to post. They also don’t post overly promotional content, but rather content that helps the buyer or seller. Sometimes they post useful house-selling articles or a collection of homes that fit their unique style or market.

Find relevant conversations.

Salespeople can find groups surrounding relevant topics and add insight to those. On LinkedIn and Facebook, there are thousands of groups surrounding every industry. Find the most prominent ones, join them and start connecting. Remember, to gain followers, it’s important to post useful content — don’t spam these groups with sales material.

Connect with people.

After these steps, salespeople can begin to connect with prospects. Sending a LinkedIn message, for example, is a nonintrusive way to begin a conversation. Here, too, salespeople should not cut right to the sale; it’s important to begin the conversation by giving the prospect something useful, such as sending a relevant article or answering a question this person had online. After enough back and forth, salespeople can begin to push sales materials.

Measure and repeat.

Just like traditional sales methods, it’s vital to measure efforts. Thankfully, most social selling platforms have built-in analytics to help teams understand what works and what doesn’t. Since social selling is relatively new, businesses are still realizing its benefits and best practices. Those who are implementing this tactic are already seeing the results.

As customers spend more and more time on social media, salespeople have to meet them where they already are. Social selling done right, therefore, is a key tool in the salesperson’s arsenal. Salespeople who take the time to learn and measure best practices will reap the rewards.Today, salespeople are increasingly connecting with prospects on social networks.