Using social media to sell is the newest and possibly best way to increase your business’s sales revenues. But what is it exactly? It’s when you use social networks to find, connect with, understand, and nurture relationships to take people from sales prospects to customers, without the hard sell. It allows you to develop a meaningful relationship with potential customers so when they have a need, you’ll always be front and center in their mind.
If your business has a Facebook page, a LinkedIn profile, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat account, you’ve already started the process of engaging in social media selling. Now that you know what it is, you should start to leverage it to your advantage.
Here are 10 ways social selling can increase your small business revenue:
1. People are More Likely to Buy on Social Media
Using social media to sell can include having a native shop on the social media platform, “buy buttons”, and other ways that customers can buy from you without ever leaving the social media platform they’re on.
How does this benefit you? When people are browsing social media, they’re searching for entertainment of some sort. However, if they stumble across something they want or need, you can make it simple for them to stay right there on the social platform and buy it. They’ll be far more likely to think, “Hey, I need to do this while I’m thinking of it.” With a little effort beyond creating a post to promote your product, this can make it easy for them to make their purchase and move on.
Curvy Girl Lingerie does a great job with this. They share images of their products on Facebook, and beneath that, boxes with the product shown. When you click on the product, it gives you all the details: price, how many in stock, and sizes. The checkout takes place on their website, but by that point in the process, the customer is ready to buy. Hassle free strategies like these help promote products and drive sales for new and existing customers.
2. Your Reach is So Much Greater on Social Media
With your website, potential customers have to come to you. They either visit your site by typing in your URL, do a search, or click through an ad or link somewhere on the web.
Everyone is on social media though. You can pay for a sponsored post to promote your product before eyes that might not otherwise see you. Your followers and existing customers have the ability to share your posts with their friends, who can then share it with their friends and followers, and so on. Using evergreen content in these posts is important so it can reappear in the weeks, months, and even years to come. This can bring fresh eyes to old content so over time, you create momentum that makes it easier for you to increase sales volume with minimal effort.
3. Organic Connections with Customers Encourages Buying
Hard selling, cold calls, and other traditional methods are clearly sales-oriented. People know what you’re doing. This means if they’re not interested or feel pressured, they won’t buy. They’ll hedge and make vague promises, but never follow through.
Using social media to sell fosters organic connections and relationships. When someone feels they have a relationship with you, they feel like they know you. This gives them a sense of familiarity and over time, it encourages them to buy from you over someone else.
Tuckamore Custom Knives is a small, one-man business in Florida who effortlessly builds these relationships. Sharing details regarding work in progress, his home, family life, and offering raffles are his soft strategies at product promotion, whereas his quick and friendly responses to follower comments and messages build real relationships.
4. Private Communication Lends Intimacy
Intimacy might seem like an odd thing to want to cultivate in a business relationship, but it can actually help a lot. When existing customers can send a message directly to you through Facebook Messenger or Twitter Direct Messaging and get a personal response rather than a generic FAQ answer, it makes them feel like they matter and that they’re important to you. It’s a small thing that can make a big difference.
It also allows for a response time somewhere between immediate and whenever an email is read and responded to. For those who are perhaps too impatient to wait for an email, but too uncomfortable to pick up the phone, private messaging provides a way to communicate anxiety-free.
5. Build Relationships to be in Position Before They Need You
The problem with searching out leads is that by the time you find the client, they already need you. You’re starting behind the eight-ball as you try to build the relationship to make the sale.
Using online marketing and social media selling strategies allows you to reverse that and build the relationship before they know they need you. By the time the customer realizes they have a problem, you have a connection with them. This allows them to feel confident in purchasing from you, removing the burden to convince them to trust you.
6. Reduce Account /Contact Research Time
Have you ever noticed just how much information people share about themselves through social media? Whether they’re an individual sharing details about their personal life or a business sharing details about products and services, everyone’s using social media to connect.
There’s a ton of useful information about your target audience that you can access without ever having a real conversation with them. It might seem a little like stalking, but this allows you to cut down on the amount of time spent researching and contacting new accounts. It also ensures that those you do contact are more likely to be viable leads.
7. Improved Lead Conversion Rate
As mentioned in the previous section, the amount of information available through social media allows for an improved lead conversion rate. Since you can get to know your potential clients through their social media sharings, you can be more certain of their needs and be more direct with what you have to offer them. This gives you a better opportunity to sort through your leads and follow up with the most likely options first, increasing conversions and sales.
8. Shorter Sell Cycles
You know the sell cycle: find the lead, set the appointment, present your case, nullify their objections, and close the sale. Within the inbound sales methodology there are more involved steps that can help you better relate to your customers. Using social media to sell, especially for a small business, is a best practice to streamline your marketing process.
With more information being available on both sides of the potential sale, the process moves quicker – especially since the customer is already interested. This ultimately reduces the time spent trying to convince them to buy from you. Shorter sell cycles increases your sales volume because the faster you make a sale, the faster you can move to the next one.
9. Clients are Already Engaged in Social Buying
There was a time when people were hesitant to make a purchase online. They worried about being scammed, buying from a source that wasn’t legitimate, or having their credit card information stolen. While these concerns are still valid, most people have come to realize there are a number of ways they can avoid those issues and are open to buying online. Social buying takes place every day. This means if you’re not social selling, you’re missing out.
By selling through social media, you’re showing your existing and potential customers you’re current and relevant. By utilizing top new methods and trends, you will prove your company is growing. Customers want to work with thriving businesses, not those who ignore innovation.
10. Build Credibility
When you use social media and online marketing to make a sale you build your credibility. Many people use social media to check for reviews, endorsements, and testimonials before making a purchase from a small business or a new company they’ve never dealt with before.
Take a look at these websites: Things Remembered and Initial Outfitters. Both companies provide personalized gifts, but one has a rating of 3.3 while the other is at 4.5. Who are you going to do business with?
By leveraging your social media, you can ask customers to leave reviews and comments. It also gives you the ability to publicly (and politely) address poor reviews which show that you’re eager to work with your customers to ensure their satisfaction. These actions are what draw customers in.
11. Influencer Marketing
If you have someone else, especially a well-known (influential) individual repping your products or services, you’re more likely to get more attention and sales online. Influencer marketing is especially effective on social media platforms like Instagram. One of the reasons Instagram influencer marketing is so prevalent and successful is because of the power of hashtags. In fact, 7 in 10 hashtags are now brand related! Influencer marketing uses the power of positive reviews and brand awareness to make a statement. If a potential buyer sees and can hear about the positive association your business has with a specific influencer on social media, they’ll be more likely to buy.
Influencer marketing has seen tremendous success and isn’t slowing down any time soon! According to a study, in 2018, 78% of marketers used influencers to build brand awareness. And because of the increasing number of potential buyers going online and to social media to do product research before buying, having a well-known influencer associated with a brand pays off in a big way!
Using social media to sell is simply good business. It takes very little time to set up, it’s easy to do, and can even be fun. It takes the pressure off while providing your existing and future customers with a way to feel more involved in your business.People who feel involved are more likely to want to see and be a part of your success – and to contribute to it by purchasing from you over your competition.
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