How to Use Social Media to Increase Sales ?

Today I am talking about the very hot topic. Everyone talks about but hardly few are doing it correctly. Social selling is not an easy game. Getting sales through social media require completely different  approach.

What will you say if I tell you “Don’t sell on social” ? Yes ! Just socialize with your prospect !

Yes ! Just socialize with your prospect ! how-to-sell-on-social-media Image Source: BigStockPhoto.com

 

Accenture’s State of B2B Procurement Study finds that 94% of B2B buyers conduct some degree of research online before making a business purchase, with 55% conducting online research for at least half of their purchases.

 

Consumer Executive Board (CEB) 2025 survey reports suggests that 57% buyer porocess is being completed by potential buyer before contacting the sales person.

 

According to research from Social Centered Selling and A Sales Guy, 72.6% of salespeople who incorporated social media into their process outperformed their colleagues. In addition, socially savvy reps beat their quotas 23% more often.

 

Above data require no interpretation to prove that social sale works. You can imagn the probable influence of online space on buying behaviour.

I have collected some more data point from Post Beyond.

 

Sales reps using social media as part of their sales techniques outsell 78% of their peers (Source: Forbes)

 

72.6% of salespeople using social selling as part of their sales process outperformed their sales peers and exceeded quota 23% more often. (Source: Aberdeen Group)

 

2/3 of companies have no social media strategy for their sales organizations.(Source)

 

93% of sales executives have not received any formal training on social selling. (Source: Accenture)

 

53% of salespeople want help in understanding social selling better. (Source: A Sales Guy Consulting)

 

77% of B2B buyers said they did not talk with a salesperson until after they had performed independent research (Source: CEB)

 

36% of buyers said they didn’t engage with a sales rep until after a short list of preferred vendors was established. (Source: Demand Gen Report)

 

84% of B2B decision makers begin their buying process with a referral.(Source: Sales Benchmark Index)

 

The average cold calling appointment rate is 2.5% (Source: CEB)

 

B2B buyers complete 57% of the buying decision before they are willing to talk to a sales rep.(Source: CEB)

 

92% of buyers say they delete emails or voicemail messages when comes from someone that they do not know. (Source: A Sales Guy Consulting)

 

Actually, social selling is all about research, storytelling, personalisation and engagement. Gary Venarchuck has written a very nice book “Jab Jab Jab Right Hook”.

I quote from his book, he said:  “There is no sale without the story; no knockout without the setup.”

Probably now I set the tone of the post.

Social selling is the marathon if you really want to get the exponential sales result then first you require great patience and temperament, second a sound strategy and third inspiring / entertaining /educational story.

Social Selling is an art and science. You need to understand it.

There is no hard and fast rule on how to connect ?

Your every customer are unique and they require unique solutions or help.

Big confusion is, we think our self as a solution provider of homogeneous problems of our customers.

It is partially true.

It is right that our customers get the similar problem where they seek similar solutions but the process of problem discovery to solution delivery is completely unique in nature always.

A smart sales person understands it. He always tries to make authentic one to one human connection. For making great human connection he shows generosity without expecting the sales return.

He knows that sales numbers are an outcome of the relationship with potential customers.

Social Media is human. So you will fail if you try to fetch out results by cold call approach. It is conversational, you require to map the interest of  your potential buyers and reach them with the topic which can drive conversational action from them.

Though there is no fixed rule to win the social selling game but I suggest you to please go through the following suggestions. It will be helpful to set the social selling tone.

#1. Right Approach: You can not rock on social media platform overnight. Building  relationship, gaining authority and earning trust takes time. So don’t jump the gun.

Go with the long term approach. It requires a lot of patience and temperament.

#2. Right Positioning: People purchase only from them whom they trust. So you will have to position yourself as an expert on the subject.

This will give you an authority and trust.

#3. Right Platform: There are many social media platforms available. Everyone has unique attribute and great potential. You will have to find out where your potential buyers spend their time.

Eg: If you in B2B selling then Linkedin and Twitter can be great for you.

#4. Create Content that Actually Resonates: If my content does not resonate with your problem or interest then why you will bother to consume that?

Draw a detailed persona of customers and create content accordingly. Second, serve it in right format ( Text, Image, Video or Audio )

Every social platform has its own way of distribution where some format fits better than other. You can track analytics and take an informed decision to supply your content in an appropriate format.

#5 Education base marketing: Keep in mind, your customer did not login in Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter to do business chat with you.

So if he/she gives you an attention then it is your responsibility to make him/her feel that he/she did not waste their time.

Here education based marketing rocks.

I consumed your content, It makes me better me.

You become the first choice.

#6 Paid Ads : You create an awesome content for your prospects. You are posting it thrice a day on Facebook page but driving no engagement.

You become frustrated.

Here you have to understand that many times Social Media is not free. You need to reach your audience. Here you should buy Ads to reach them.

If you have something valuable to share but somehow you are failing to break the clutter then buying some paid ads is not a crime.

#7 Social to Email : Incourage your prospects to share their Email ID. This will give you liberty from platform rules.

For constantly getting email Ids, you have to work on call to action points. You can explore all possibility like sign up campaign, contest, lead magnet to landing page optimisation options.

#8. Be conversational : Conversation is DNA of social platform. If you are not making it, you are bound to fail.

If you are successfully starting, participating and closing it then you cracked it.

ask-question-for-social-selling

  • Ask questions and strat conversation
  • Participate in prospect conversation
  • Invite prospect to ask questions
  • Share content which invokes discussion
  • Use tools like Social Mention to know who are talking about you. Go there and participate in that.

#9 Be Real: You can not present yourself in a manipulative way. You will be definitive caught. So be real and transparent. Nothing wrong in accepting that you are human and you might commit mistakes.

#10. Ask to Buy : You have created a highly engaged community through your persistent hard work. You are helping that community everyday.

So why you are shying away to ask them to purchase from you ? I tell you they will love to purchase from a trusted source.

Conclusion: You must be thinking that I discussed very little on sales part and more about engagement, conversation, trust etc.

Because the social platform is not an ecommerce store. It is hanging out place where people connect, engage and do conversation.

If you do the same.

Sales will come to you automatically as an outcome of all social engagement.

Anand

I am Passionate "Digital Marketing practitioner". I have the fair amount of experience in the traditional way of marketing & Brand building too.

Since 5 years I am self-learning this tech-based online marketing practice and ideas.

The purpose of this blog to share and receive the information and ideas to my community.

Prior to take formal education in Marketing Management. I studied History and Indian culture.

2 Comments

  1. Debasish Chatterjeed October 30, 2016
    • Anand October 31, 2016

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