What’s the Best Way to Approach ‘Social Selling’?
When you hear the phrase, “social selling,” what do you think about? Someone going out on social media and selling their product or service, right?
While you’re browsing social media, do you like being ‘sold’ to?
Whenever I meet someone and explain social media marketing to them, I try to explain it like this:
When you’re on social media, you are in a virtual social environment. An equivalent of being in a social environment, not virtually, would be attending a party with a number of friends and strangers alike. Let’s say you meet someone new, and they happen to own their own business.
Let’s say this person is an app developer and she just created a new app that lets you order your coffee before you even arrive at the coffee shop (yes, there is a concept for this, but I’m just using it as an example!). Anyways, before you even exchange your names…or maybe immediately after…she starts telling you all about this new app.
I mean, you haven’t even gotten to know each other. How does she even know you drink coffee or not?
Well, guess what? That’s the same feeling people get when you start ‘selling’ to them on social media. So, let’s take a different approach.
Instead of Social Selling, Let’s Try Social Influencing
New research, surveying adults over 18, shows that 41% of people follow brands to see new product ranges when they launch and 35% use social to get ideas about what to buy when they next go shopping.
Once a person is organically following your business, the best way to sell to them is not social. It might be direct mail, e-mail or re-marketing, but you should utilize your social media for not quite selling, but rather influencing your followers’ decision making.
There’s a difference between trying to sell someone a product or service and influencing their decision making. It’s almost a tactful way of communicating with a prospect. Get to know them, provide the information, highlight positives of the company, post photos that speak to them, and provide valuable information that they can take with them or feel inclined to share.
If you’re a retail business, studies have shown that those on social media who follow brands are interested in seeing products…though they do not want to be sold the product. Simply portraying the product in various lifestyle photos can help influence a user’s decision.
So, next time you are unsure of whether you should be selling your products on social media, try to see it in a different light and don’t sell, but rather influence.