Is Social Selling Worth Your Time?
Social selling, if you work with marketing, you might see this word all the time. If this is new to you, think of it as you contacting potential customers directly to build a relationship and gain more trust with your customers. However, we aren’t going to just start messaging sales pitches people at random, that’s called spamming. Cherish your customer’s time by relationship building.
As a social media user myself, I get messages from random business or personal accounts all the time. A direct message from a personal account messaged me to say “Hi, How are you”. It was definitely a good hook to attract a response. However, they immediately went to their pitch after 2 messages. There was not enough time to build relationships and lost all my trust completely. It’s a good way to get blocked and reported as spam. All relationships take time and effort. Gaining trust from your customers will make you reliable and want to recommend you to other potential customers, increasing your profits greatly.
But how are your relationship-building skills? Do you know how to really get in tune with your customers and become someone reliable to them? You need to be their ray of hope in their spending needs you can offer.
Talking Political to your audience
There are some things to consider before going on social media and looking for leads.
- Figure out your audience. Find out your most popular age group, what they’re into. If you have a social media account for your business, some social platforms actually have insights on who your audience consists of. Based on that, a good way to find who you’re looking for is looking through the comments on related businesses.
Online shopping has become very popular and is only increasing due to the pandemic keeping people from going out. 77% of Millennials are more likely to buy something they’ve seen on social media online or in-store.
Most customers today are concerned about today’s political views which can be helpful. Customers will most likely buy a product from a company after learning about their political views. I know I would be more comfortable buying from a company after learning that their political views align with mine.
It is very important to stay educated and have a mindset of good intentions. Don’t make a post to blow off steam on a political issue, because it could backfire on you. There can be risks when it comes to this gamble.
For instance, Amazon removed its Confederate flag merchandise from its website, JCPenny showing a lesbian couple in a Mother’s day advertisement, and Kroger grocery allowing customers to open carry firearms in its stores are all serious political actions.
These companies know who their customer’s values are, and therefore have not taken a big hit to their revenue. If your company values align with the values of your customers, you will receive a positive impact.
- But what happens when a campaign goes wrong? It’s definitely going to affect your sales. Big companies can afford that gamble. But if you are a small business, you should consider the risks before doing something to change your business image. However, with the risks, comes the benefits.
- Relate to your audience. It might be weird to talk about Politics when you have a business that doesn’t relate to that topic at all. If you’re a clothing brand, you might catch your customers off guard when talking about gun rights.
For example, Apple came out against an anti-LGBT bill, and Microsoft pledged to hire refugees and help them start new lives. These are big companies that were willing to take a risk with something unrelated to their brand. However, they do know these are very hot political topics right now. They know that customers today care about what big companies stand for. It will make them comfortable with spending their money with you. Show your customers you care.
Commenting is important
So now you know how to gain trust from your customers, but you can’t really just post about your political views online randomly or direct message potential customers your political stands. It looks bad when you post that you donated money to charity or where your political stance lies. It’s a “look at me, I’m doing what you want please buy from me” bait. Stay tactical.
A good strategy is to see what’s trending on the most popular social media app. Twitter is the easiest. Twitter is constantly notifying users of what is going on in the world. They have trending topics everywhere on the app and the user rate has increased drastically over the years. Twitter is a good platform to get your brand awareness out there by tweeting and replying.
Customers love when a business speaks out on twitter. You can see popular food chains like McDonald’s and Wendys talking on twitter. Some will even talk politics when something doesn’t seem right to their values.
Nike’s tweet on May 29th was responding to the protests following the death of George Floyd, using the hashtag #UntilWeWin. They tweeted against racism and increased their brand awareness through their values by reaching 225.4K likes and 102.2K comments.
The smartest thing to do is comment on posts about political issues. A lot of twitter users follow our president or news accounts to see what’s going on with our country. When these accounts post about a topic, commenting on that tweet will bring brand awareness. As a business account yourself, commenting on a political issue tweet will make you stand out, and gain trust amongst your regular customers. Not just customers but news websites will also take notice when commenting on Trump’s tweets since it is very bold and uncommon for a business to speak out towards the President of the United States.
Big companies like Amazon, Apple, Google, Uber, Twitter, and Box spoke out about Trump’s proclamation suspending the insurances of visas that allow foreigners to work in a limited amount of time in the United States. Sundar Pichai, the Alphabet CEO tweeted his views saying “Immigration has contributed immensely to America’s economic success, making it a global leader in tech, and also Google the company it is today.”
Tim Cook, the Apple CEO tweeted “Like Apple, this nation of immigrants has always found strength in our diversity, and hope in the enduring promise of the American Dream. There is no new prosperity without both. Deeply disappointed by this proclamation.” And Aaron Levie, founder, and CEO of Box, tweeted that Trump’s order was “unbelievably bad policy on every level,” would “only mean more jobs move outside the US,” and “in no way makes America better or more competitive.”
When you see other users like or retweet your comment, these can be used as lists for potential clients. Then you start your Social selling techniques. Twitter isn’t the only big social media app out there right now. You should have an account with all trending social media. Recently, TikTok has been very popular with local businesses and big businesses.
Direct Messaging using personal accounts
Lastly, one of the most important things to do in the social selling process is using a personal account. Having a team of your experts make personal accounts on social media can cover more ground in looking for potential customers. It would be a good idea to create an account specifying your expertise like a freelance art account, or fashion consultant.
When you message a customer through your personal work account, it feels more personal and educational. With you being an experienced worker, they are more likely to trust you than a business account to talk with through social media.
Think about it. When you get messaged by a business account, you expect a sales pitch. It makes you feel like they didn’t message you for any particular reason, just to sell. But if it’s from an experienced worker from said company, it’s more informational and special. Your main goal is to at least get a message back.
Get to it!
Time to get out there and sharpen your social selling skills. Take to social media and get potential leads. Social selling will take some time to get used to. Building relationships and trust take a lot of time. But the benefits are worth it.
Fix up your strategy, and continuously work on it to let customers come to you with questions. Soon, you will turn leads into customers, and customers into promoters. Get out there and start building relationships!
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