Social Selling – essential element in your communication mix
Posted 08 Sep 2020
The days when only cold calling and traditional sales activities were used to make new business contacts and win customers are over. The trend in customer winning is moving more and more towards social selling. It increases awareness, reaches relevant customer segments, and builds customer relationships with the help of your own online business profiles.
The focus in social selling lies in identifying needs and problems that (potential) customers communicate through comments, likes, and posts – in short, their entire behavior on social media and the internet. Companies can use this information to adjust their own sales, marketing, and corporate strategy based on customer needs.
In doing so, users are contacted via their own social media profiles, and the existing network is further expanded through targeted interaction with interesting contacts.
Companies that use cold calling for sales have a low success rate of only 0.3 percent. This is due to the fact that buyers (both in B2B and B2C) nowadays have a much stronger desire for information in order to finally make the decision to buy. Suppliers who present themselves as competent through their corporate image and provide the potential customer with the most relevant information are therefore most likely to gain the most from the purchase decision of interested customers.
The success rate of cold calling for appointments is only 0.3%.
In order to make the goals of social selling clear, the entire process is divided into two sub-areas, which are considered separately from each other, but still, interact closely. The organization and maintenance of the corporate profiles as well as the work regarding the development of the corporate network, the community building, are considered in detail.
In regards to social selling, the use and maintenance of company profiles serve as a tool to increase one’s own brand presence and expand the awareness of the brand through social media. However, the profiles and their use have much more potential if the profile is strategically and purposefully expanded. With an elaborate profile structure, social selling uses topics that set the company apart from its competitors. Your own company’s USP can be explained to the community better and more effectively, and strategic partnerships are easier to achieve through the networking opportunities.
In combination with the company profiles, it makes sense to integrate the company management and their professional social media profiles into the social selling strategy. Putting the company’s internal management in a positive light on social media channels and positioning them as experts is a useful addition to represent your own company more personally and to better showcase industry-relevant expertise. Consistency between the company and executive profiles should be established in order to increase recognition.
In addition to maintaining company profiles, the expansion of the network plays a decisive role in social selling. Simply setting up the profiles does not help to acquire new customers. Community building is a long-term strategy within social selling to reach contacts with suitable content and to stay in touch with stakeholders through regular interaction. In community building, corporate content is published on the channels and distributed on the respective platform through interaction (sharing, liking, commenting).
For long-term community building, it is important to filter relevant clues and buying signals out of social media conversations and integrate them into the sales and marketing strategy. In regular intervals, the content that is relevant for the network is being tested and adjusted if needed.
In order to pursue a successful social selling strategy, the corresponding pages and profiles must be actively used. Regular postings of relevant content are therefore essential. Only through constant interaction such as liking and commenting on other postings and interacting with users can build a sustainable and loyal network. Interactions also strengthen its own brand and increase the trust of the company.
Especially on social media, users share information about the topics that interest them – no matter if they are at work or at home. Use this information to make meaningful contacts and establish common connections with the available data.
Who is the target group and what kind of content is important for them? Those who know their target group have already reached an important milestone in social selling. Because only those who know the interests of the target group can react to their needs and place targeted content. However, it is important to remember that the content you post needs to have value for the reader.
With social selling, the goal is to leave a first lasting impression on visitors so that they return to your social media page or website for more information. Maintaining existing connections is just as important in social selling. The most difficult task is to keep the established network and not to lose existing contacts.
Social selling is a long-term marketing strategy to expand the company network and retain contacts. In today’s sales world, information and constant interaction are key to customer acquisition and customer loyalty. Successful social selling means to listen and to offer solutions based on that.
By doing so, you give potential customers a sense of reliability and trust before the sale is even completed and show the existing network how valuable you are to them.
Marketing Assistant at HBI Helga Bailey GmbH – International PR & MarCom