The concept of selling on social media platforms is still nebulous – it’s a new tool and no one has done it right, so marketers are approaching the new channel cautiously. At some point – if it’s not already being done – marketers will misuse social selling. It happens with all media channels: marketers start spamming customers with discounts or showing boring ads that don’t persuade customers to do anything and in fact make customers mad.
That doesn’t have to happen.
This article from Customer Think offers some steps to properly use social selling. Here’s a quote:
“We assert that social selling is the act of infusing social engagement into the traditional sales process in order to develop, advance and maintain relationships with people. It is not using social media to shout at, stalk, or spam people digitally. Essentially, the overzealous members of this latter group have employed social channels to update the dreaded cold call—replacing the telephone with Twitter and LinkedIn.”
The author also provides you with a social sales process. It’s pretty good:
Remember, that all of this starts with listening to your customer and it ends with a continuous engagement with those customers. This leads to the major point I want to make with social selling:
It’s not different from any other type of selling.
The tool might look different, but the process of selling on one medium versus another is not much different. The advertisement or language you use will be different, but the process is the same: you still have to know your customer and provide them with a personalized experience that will persuade them to buy whatever it is you are selling.
Using social selling is and will continue to be an important tool for retailers. The payoff is already pretty big. The same article quoted above gives examples of successful use of social selling:
“For instance, you are 5 times more likely to schedule a first meeting with a target account if you have a personal LinkedIn connection (source Sales Benchmark Series), 98% of sales reps with 5,000+ LinkedIn connections achieve quota (source Sales Benchmark Index), and 54% of those who use social media tracked their usage back to at least one closed deal.”
Remember, if you don’t do this properly, you will be more likely to lose customers than gain them. Continue to provide a personalized and unified experience across all your sales channels and customers will buy.