Social selling – its everywhere – everyone sees it and indulges in it on a daily basis; but not many know what it truly is. Social selling is the art of ‘selling’ using social media, in simple words.
Social selling or social media selling is THE marketing stream for today. Gone are those days when sales representatives used to knock on doors, advertising for products and services or make cold calls in the hope that someone might say ‘yes’.
It doesn’t take much knowledge to wonder why social selling is important in today’s social media savvy industry. And we aren’t just talking about Facebook here; many other more nascent platforms have entered the fray and some of the older ones have gained prominence over the past few years.
Right from Twitter to LinkedIn, to Instagram and Snapchat – there’s something for everyone. Who is tapping the power of social media to its maximum potential? E-commerce companies!
“How can you squander even one more day not taking advantage of the greatest shifts of our generation? How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable?”
– Seth Godin, sethgodin.com
There are infinite social selling examples which will give you proof enough that it is a means which is highly convenient for the end users. As all they have to do is go online and that’s it.
In any case, the average user spends 2-3 hours online uploading selfies, reading out statuses, checking-in new places and so on.
And whatever is convenient for the customers should be on the top of your list as an e-commerce business owner. They can just check out your products, services and top festival deals as they browse through their feed checking on their near and dear ones. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it?
Accenture conducted a B2B procurement study after which the study suggested that no less than a staggering 94% of users indulge in some sort of online research before they decide to go ahead and make a purchase.
And what channels do such customers use for their research?
You guessed it right – Social media!
Say what? Why would you need to talk with other brands? Is such a rapport with your competition even necessary? Oh yes, it is.
If you wish to stay in your domain for long, you need a few friends or credible adversaries by your side; just like everyone else. Interacting with other brands not only puts you in good stead, but it allows untapped consumers to be aware of your existence.
Everyone loves a good old fashioned friendship story. Customers don’t wish to see brands as ‘brands’; but people. According to an ardent research by IDC, 75% B2B buyers get directly influenced by social media and it affects their decision making.
No wonder why this is one of the most popular social selling tips out there.
How big you are in terms of social selling in some ways defines how big you are as a brand. Even though it doesn’t quite seem right; judging brands on the number of likes that they have or the comments they’re getting on their daily posts; but, these are the metrics the general audience lives by.
How do influencers matter here? An influencer is anybody who can take your brand from position A to position B within a short time frame. And B is somewhere you can’t reach on your own. It is a position of confidence, a position of sales and customers
For example, in the current market, Virat Kohli is the biggest influencer in the industry. Whatever he wears, eats, talks about, posts on Facebook or Instagram, it reaches an audience number which is unparalleled. One can’t get such traction with TV or newspaper ads anymore.
And how big you are on social media is detrimental to how big of a celebrity you can attract for marketing.
“Social Media can provide a conversational extension to a B2B company’s nurturing programs. Social Media gives us the opportunity to humanize our communications and make our companies more approachable.”
– Ardath Albee, CEO of marketinginteractions.com
This is one of the most obvious benefits of social selling –controlling how the audience sees you.
This isn’t supposed to be taken in a negative sense; social media allows you to take control of how your audience base perceives you. Do you want to be a young witty brand catering to the youth of the nation? Or do you want to portray yourselves as a trend setter, always evolving? Or a serious professional brand where there are no margins for error?
Social media helps the customers to define you in one way or another. This is very critical as first impressions can’t be made twice. Your brand profile can act as a deal maker or breaker, if not done right.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve opted for the most professional seo services out there, social media is one channel that just keeps on giving. And whatever conversations are happening, should be of some importance to you, as it directly affects your brand profile.
Having sound social media presence is positive for your SEO as Google considers positive social signals as a ranking factor for relevant search terms.
The same IDC research as we mentioned before found out that as many as 91% of the B2B consumers are actively involved in social media. What does that tell you now? This is not just an opportunity for business owners and managers to sell products, but sell an overall experience.
If you pitch well, you’ll sell once; but if you build a relationship, you’ll bag yourself a set of customers who will stick with you for long.
If there’s a guidebook on how to do social selling, this would definitely sit at the top of the list. Social media, contrary to other marketing channels allows you to build authentic relationships with your consumer base.
How can you do that? By posting what they like, by giving them offers, by replying to their private messages, by tagging them in photos, by wishing them on their birthdays, by liking their posts and so on.
This is how you ‘friend’ your consumers online. This personalized experience is what will tip the scales in your favour given the huge number of e-commerce companies that are coming up on a daily basis
We’re not just talking about the conversations about your brand; but about invaluable customer reviews and testimonials.
When was the last time you visited a brand’s official website to leave a testimonial? Probably never! This is where social media ticks all the right buttons as it allows consumers to be informal and leave heartfelt messages which are genuine.
Also, every top Magento 2 development agency will tell you how crucial these reviews can be when it comes to the SEO quotient of your website. And if you’re an e-commerce website owner, you will very well know the innate value of SEO.
You know the best thing about social media reviews? Individuals actually take the time to check the reviews before making a decision to shop or not. You can see it from the star rating of a Facebook page as well.
And given the average time spent on social media, if a consumer likes your product/service, he/she will more often than not take out the time and give you a review. There’s a reason why some brands offer discount coupons to customers who shell out a review after making a sale.
A combined study from the likes of Mlillward Brown Digital and Google found something really interesting – 46% of the decision makers when it comes to online shopping lie in the age group of 18-34 years, which also is the biggest user demographic pertaining to social media. Surprise surprise, eh?
This number has significantly gone up in the last few years.
Now what this tells you is that the gravity of the audience at your disposal can’t be identified. You’re a showman and the entire world is your stage.
It doesn’t matter if you’re selling fitness products or everyday grocery or premium designer wear clothing or casual shoes; there’s an audience type of every domain for you to target.
And if almost every family decision maker is active on social media, you know the drill, don’t you?
Also, it is worth noting that SEO never gives instant results; it is a long drawn out field which gives results gradually over months and months. And the waiting time can get a tad irritating; hence social selling gains even more importance. This is because it functions on a real time basis primarily.
Before opting for eCommerce website design services, did you check the reviews or what other fellow consumers were talking about? In the same vein, customers like to talk about whatever they’re buying and whoever they’re buying it from.
And most of it happens on social media at the tip of their fingers.
Hence, staying active on social media as a brand will allow you to stay in touch with all the brand related conversations.
Get to know how your new releases are doing, any chinks in the armour, about your delivery services, attitude of the sales personnel, packaging condition and much more. This will also allow you to keep tabs on what the consumers say about other brands; which will help you to improve your services through and through and establish an edge.
Why is social selling so crucially important? Because all your top competitors are doing it. Simple enough to understand now, isn’t it?
We’re not just asking you to follow the herd; but if every possible top brand in your fraternity is falling for it, then it makes good sense to follow suit; otherwise you run the risk of being left out.
Even though indulging in paid advertising is something you can explore later; there are no upfront costs when it comes to setting up social media channels. Hence, the ROI is pretty high if you come to think of it.
After all that has been said and done, it seems like a foregone conclusion for every ecommerce website which is serious about doing business. And we’ll leave you with this end note to further solidify this claim.