Five top tips for social media selling

One of the key parts of the selling process is getting to know your prospect and establishing a relationship with them. Thanks to the sheer number of businesses using social media, doing that would be quicker and easier than you think.

So, then, how can use social media to make sales? Let us help you with our five top tips…

1. Work out the best way of connecting with your prospects

Before joining a social network to sell your product and know your client base. Social media is a smart selling tool, only if your prospective clients are using social media – if they aren’t you’re wasting your time because they’re elsewhere.

If they’re on Facebook, go there. If they’re on LinkedIn, go there too. The same thing goes for Twitter. It’s up to you to determine which space is best for you to connect with them.

Facebook is one of the best arenas for business to consumer sales, but a recent change to Facebook’s algorithm means firms without a strong advertising budget will not receive much visibility.

More ‘visual’ tools such as Pinterest and Instagram are obtaining increased traction, but like anything, you can’t simply just post. It’s about engaging with your relevant community and having fun with it…

… But more of that later, we need a quick rundown of how to use Twitter and LinkedIn for your business…

LinkedIn is the best place for business-to-business, so think of it as a professional networking event, but online. In short, it’s the right place to connect with individuals at corporations that might be interested in your product or service.

Twitter, on the other hand, should be used not necessarily for broadcasting, but for ‘listening’ (see; finding out what your competitors are up to). Then jump on any problems you feel you can solve.

There are also blogs, live chats and comment sections on websites, so the Internet is alive with blogs and prospective leads.

So, what should you do? Find out where your market is, then get on that!

2. Create an online persona for your brand…

We’ve all got online personas, and probably 90 per cent of us make ourselves seem more interesting than we actually are on the World Wide Web.

No way are we saying you should lie about your company, but what we are saying is you should have conversations, become acquainted with your target audience, and learn about what that community expects.

Create a likeable, trustworthy, and knowledgeable persona – most of all, do NOT spam. You’ll piss a lot of people off if you just comment to direct people to your site…

3. Connect with people (or, ‘stalking for professionals’)

Across all platforms, friend, follow, or connect with individuals whose profiles match with your clients’ – if they’re a public figure, ‘like’ or follow their fan-page first.

Once you make the connection, don’t get spammy, and don’t throw your latest and greatest idea at them. It might not fit their needs. Take a look around their profiles, get to know them, and identify the pains they’re experiencing in their social selling.

See… like online stalking… just for professionals. Not that you’ve done that in the past, of course…

4. Build relationships

You’ve established your target audience from social media, but the most important thing for you to do now, is to build a relationship with them.

You need to do this more than create initial leads, because a good relationship should turn into a lead. Monitor your market, and listen to what they say – these aspects are key.

Once the relationship is there, you can then tell the prospect how your product or service is something they need or want.

This leads us nicely onto our next and final point…

5. Talk to, not at – make a conversation

There’s nothing worse than a salesperson talking at you, so why should you do the same on social media?

If you just write them a message or email with your pitch and a link to your website with no prior research, they’ll be uninterested. Certainly, it’s probably some great nice words accompanied by some great pictures, but that’s it – it doesn’t offer a solution to their business/sales pains or problems.

Like we said, establish a rapport with them, and examine their trends and behavior to get to the crux of the problem.

Then, when you’ve established that, prepare a killer social media message or email.

Alternatively, you can do the old fashioned route of approaching them or their secretary to schedule a call or meeting with references to what you’ve discovered about them on their social media sites.

Three quick tips for engaging on social media platforms

• Facebook – jump on comments in groups related to your business; create a Facebook group related to your product or service and invite others to joint – send targeted messaged to people in the group

• Twitter – while you should be using Twitter for looking for trends, also engage in conversation on the site. Listen to prospects’ tweets and use them as trigger points to start a conversation on a business development call.

• LinkedIn – once you’ve established your clients, join the groups they are members of on LinkedIn. Engage in conversation there by answering questions that are asked; showcase your expertise at problem solving in a specific area.

To help you more, we’ve even included a link to our social selling white paper, which we’ll give to you for free here.

If you have any other tips for social media selling, please get in touch via the comments section below…

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