8 Steps to Social Selling

 
 

Social Selling

You’ve built up your Facebook likes and Twitter followers. You’ve been circled on Google+ and you’ve got people following your pin boards on Pinterest. You’re building relationships and engaging on social media, and you’re thinking it may be time to take it to the next level.

Social selling is a growing trend, according to Google Trends, since it first started appearing in 2012. Here are 8 steps to get your business into social selling:

1. Build Relationships First

One of the quickest ways to turn people off is to launch into hard selling from social media accounts, right out of the gate. Social selling is not something you do immediately. It takes time to build up to. Start with developing relationships and get some engagement traction on social media.

Once you have followers engaging, evaluate whether your followers are showing interest in buying from you via social sites. Pay attention to your audience, engage with them to see if your customer base is ready to go to the next level and actually buy via social platforms.

2. Focus on Where Your Target Market Spends Time

Make sure you actually know where your customers, both current and potential, spend their time online, it’s not about where you like to spend time, but where they do.

Use social media analytics to analyze how much interest your social media posts on various sites have generated. Look, especially, at social posts about special offers, new product launches and similar sales-related activity. Are your followers engaged on these types of updates?

Also, check out your competition to find out which social channels they have developed and where they seem to have traction. That may give clues about where your target market spends time.

Here’s the essence of social selling: Give customers what they want, where they are. Put a store on the social site where your targets spend their time.

When a prospective customer is asked to click away from a social channel to go elsewhere to complete a sale you run the risk of losing them, the fewer clicks they have to make, the better.

3. Find a Storefront App Like Ecwid or Cashie.

To create a storefront on a social media platform, one of the easiest and most seamless ways is to choose an app that makes it easy like Ecwid or Cashie.

For example, you can find e-commerce apps that let you sell from Facebook, and across multiple platforms including your blog and mobile devices. Many of these are simple to set up and easy for customers to use on mobile devices.

4. Test, Test, Test!

Anytime you try something new, like social selling, you want to make sure you have the glitches worked out.

Test it before you open it up to followers and the public at large. Ask family members, friends and colleagues to go through it as if they are buyers. Get at least three external opinions.

Make sure all functions work. Test usability issues, too, for stumbling blocks that get in the way of a satisfying buying experience.

5. Create Great “Social” Offers

For social media, create offers that make people feel special. Limited time discounts can also be very enticing.

Offers on social media have the added benefit of potential virality. In other words, people share great offers with friends, which helps spread the word.

Here are some special tips for social media promotions:

Change your Twitter or other cover image to feature an item on sale, or a funny image about how time is running out on your big sale.

Share your offer across platforms, and use the special cover image you created, as part of what you share.

6. Enable, Encourage, and Share Customer Reviews

Customers like to be heard. And buyers today expect to see reviews.

Don’t be afraid of negative customer reviews. It can provide helpful feedback for you to improve. Also, a fast response to an unhappy customer is an opportunity to show that you pay attention, that you care, and that you’re willing to do what it takes to satisfy the customer.

7. Get People to Your Social Media Store

Keep customers coming to your online storefront with “followers only” specials. In other words, provide special discounts and deals only on Facebook or Twitter, and no where else. This will get people to follow your social account in order to get the deals.

8. Measure Your Success

In order to capitalize off successful techniques and discard what’s not working, you need to measure your results.  What could be more important when figuring out which of your efforts are actually generating revenue? Boosting your brand is fine, but this will let you know what campaigns are working for your bottom line.

Most social selling app developers — Cashie Commerce and Ecwid, for example — have their own analytics, too. Use these to figure out from where exactly your sales are coming.

Social selling can be a very successful way to market your products online. But effectiveness depends upon taking the proper steps.

Although it is an excellent idea to sell through social networks, having your own store on your website with absolute control over it is always the best option.

 

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