Digital marketing has become a standard in business in recent years. Since most people have the Internet at their fingertips, this marketing method has proven to be quite effective.
One of the biggest benefits of digital marketing is that it allows companies to connect with their ideal customers on a more personal level. Social selling is a specific technique that helps sellers connect directly with potential customers.
In this post, we are going to discuss the ins and outs of social selling. We’ll discuss some reasons why you should incorporate social selling into your digital marketing strategy and some practical steps to get started.
In closing, we will discuss B2B selling on Alibaba.com. We’ll talk about some of the tools that make Alibaba.com so popular for building meaningful customer relationships and growing your business.
What is social selling?
Social selling is a type of digital marketing that involves establishing relationships with potential customers through social media messaging systems. Both B2B and B2C sales reps use this tactic.
The key to successful social selling is building and leveraging trusting relationships. Some companies use social selling to reconnect with previous customers, and others use it to connect with new prospects.
It is important to note that social selling is not your traditional sales tactic. You are almost wrong more on the marketing side. Social selling uses brand building to lay the foundation for future sales.
Rather than throwing yourself into the recipients, the idea is to start a conversation that opens the door to a more substantial relationship. In many companies, especially in the B2B wholesale space, relationships are everything.
Marketers can use the private messaging feature on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Since your profile is easily accessible for every message you send, recipients can see exactly who is communicating with them.
Social selling could be an alternative to cold calling or cold pitching. With so many spam calls coming in, cold calling may not be as effective in reaching new potential customers. However, with social selling, you don’t have to worry as much about hooking the person on the other side. You simply need to start a conversation rather than hitting an overly “business” tone.
5 reasons why you should consider social selling
There are many reasons why a business would consider using social selling to connect with potential customers and generate more sales.
Here are some of the top benefits of social selling for B2B wholesalers.
1. It works
The main reason for social selling is that it works. It helps you build trust and credibility with your target audience. Building a reputation as a trusted brand makes sales easier.
Building relationships can help turn leads into warm leads, helping you achieve your sales goals. After all, working with warm leads often streamlines the sales process. This is an advantage for sellers.
2. It is community centered
Many brands get great results by creating an active online community. In this sense, building a community goes beyond increasing the number of followers on social media.
When you build personal relationships with your followers and contacts, you can increase engagement on your social media posts. This helps bolster your other social media marketing efforts, as constant engagement attracts most algorithms on social media platforms.
It is important to note that building a community around your professional brand takes time and consistency. Social selling is a game that is suitable for brands that are in it for the long haul.
3. Your competitors are doing it
In a perfect case scenario, you would have an advantage over your competitors. You want to have a competitive advantage that sets you apart. At the very least, you want to at least keep up with what other B2B providers are doing. Since others in your industry are using social selling, you should try your luck too.
It can be difficult to get an idea of the strategies of your direct competitors, as the action takes place through private messaging channels. However, it is worth talking to other business owners and operators who serve an audience similar to yours to get an idea of what has worked for them.
4. Buyers are familiar and responsive.
Social selling is becoming more popular, so buyers are quite familiar with the technique. This means that people shouldn’t be surprised when your messages show up in their inbox.
Since social selling is not as “advantageous” as cold pitch or cold calling, buyers are more likely to be receptive. After all, you are not asking them to buy anything right away, you are simply trying to build a relationship.
5. It is flexible
Another advantage of social selling is that it is very flexible. Social marketers can customize their strategy to make sense of their unique offering and audience.
For example, a B2B marketer like you may be successful using a LinkedIn profile for social selling, while a B2C marketer may have more luck on social platforms such as Twitter and Instagram.
5 steps to get started with social selling
Social selling is pretty simple, especially when broken down into five easy steps. Let’s take a look at how your sales can create and launch a successful social selling campaign.
1. Do your research
Before getting started with social selling, it’s important to do your research. In addition to understanding what social selling is, you’ll want to research how this tactic can be applied to your audience.
Try to fully understand your ideal customer and what kinds of interactions they would appreciate and connect with.
2. Create a strategy
As you create your strategy, generate criteria for the people you will be targeting and determine what kind of icebreaker you will use to get the attention of your audiences.
Build a list of people to communicate with. These should include the decision makers in the companies you would like to sell to.
It’s also wise to map out a specific sales strategy that you’ll use after you’ve warmed up the prospect.
3. Optimize your profiles
Once you choose which social networks you would like to use in your social selling strategy, you will need to set up profiles. If your brand does not yet have profiles on your intended platform, you will need to create an account.
Whether you’re starting from scratch or renewing your existing accounts, you’ll need to make sure your profiles are optimized to connect with your ideal customers.
Set up your profile picture with your logo or other branding image. Use strategically designed copy to convey what your brand does and who it serves. Consider adding testimonials, reviews, and other content to prove your credibility.
Suppose your prospects will review your profile once they see your message request. Provide them with enough material to show that your brand is valuable and legitimate.
4. Start sending messages
Once your profiles are selected to represent your brand and you have your strategy in place, it’s time to start messaging.
Depending on the size of your brand, you can opt for an automated messaging system or have a member of your team handle this task. Large operations simply trying to cover more ground may choose to automate this process. But if you’re looking to create more genuine relationships, having a member of your sales team chatting with your prospects is a better idea.
Either way, it’s a good idea to create templates for your general icebreaker message that can be quickly modified for each business you message. This could address common interests and pain points among your target audience. Incorporate questions that require an answer that can start a valuable conversation.
If you are looking to give your messages a more personal touch, we recommend that you research each potential customer’s brand and find something unique. Pick something to compliment or ask about. They’ll be flattered that you took the time to “get to know them” before they hit your inbox.
5. Track your results
One of the most important steps in this process is keeping track of your results so that you can continue to adjust your strategy for better results.
Record what kind of language works and what doesn’t. Also, follow up to make sure you’re targeting the right leads.
Tips for Success in Social Selling
Social selling can be a valuable marketing technique when done right. These are some of our top social media sales tips and recommendations.
Choose prospects wisely
As we discussed, you want to be intentional with every message you send.
Don’t send messages to random people. Their offer is not for everyone, so don’t waste your time messaging every account you find. Research your goals to make sure they are potentially interested in your offering.
A major misstep in social selling is trying to build relationships with someone who does the same thing as you to present a product, service, or offer. This shows that you haven’t investigated and it seems pretty vague.
However, it is advisable to establish organic relationships with competitors taking into account the context of a possible collaboration.
Don’t be spam
If a potential customer does not respond to your message or expresses that they are not interested, leave them alone. Sending spam messages could tarnish your brand and lead people to report or block your profile.
Keep things tasteful and learn to take “no” for an answer.
Social selling should simply be a part of your digital marketing strategy. Consider using other marketing tactics besides social selling.
Some examples of great marketing techniques include sharing content on social media, creating blog content, creating video content, hosting live events, and more.
The tactics you use will depend on your individual target audience. Try a few different approaches and combinations of tactics and see which one is the most effective for your brand.
Regardless of the approaches you use, be sure to post valuable and relevant content to keep your audience engaged and attract new sales prospects.
Sell on Alibaba.com
Alibaba.com is a great platform for B2B wholesalers looking to start, grow or scale their businesses. It is equipped with many professional features that support B2B commerce, including demand forecasting, advertising, lead generation, smart analytics, and secure transactions.
The Alibaba.com platform is also ideal for companies looking to export and reach international customers. Some of the specific features geared towards cross border trading, including machine translation and automatic conversions.
Ready to start selling on Alibaba.com? Create an account today and select “Seller” as your business role. With our smart list tools and other support, you can have your digital storefront up and running in no time.