Social selling is the newest form of marketing carried out via social media. In contrast to older techniques such as cold calling or mass emails, social selling allows sales executives to target potential customers based on their needs and interests. Using various internet platforms, brand representatives can tailor their message to build meaningful relationships with each and every potential customer. This type of client centred marketing is known as inbound sales.
This is more effective than outbound sales methods which mass produce a generic message regardless of the individual’s personal profile. With an average conversion rate of only around 1 percent, traditional cold calling is time consuming and succeeds mostly in annoying potential customers. First contact by social media has the advantage of being less intrusive as well as projecting a more personal message based on the user’s social profile.
Brand Reputation Matters
Of course, not all social selling attempts are created equal. If social media marketing is going to succeed in growing your client network and helping you to reach sales goals, the brand needs to first build a positive online reputation that will back up messaging disseminated over social platforms.
Whether you’re selling your skills as an individual or promoting a multimillion pound international corporation, the basic formula remains the same. What the internet says about you defines how potential clients will see you and can play a big role in whether or not they become regular customers.
About 65 percent of people will check out your online profile before responding to a connection request via LinkedIn, the social media platform most used by professionals, and what they see will likely influence whether they respond at all. The SERP (Search Engine Results Page) is your internet calling card. If it doesn’t highlight your website and professional social media profiles, or even worse if it projects negative content or links to a competitor’s profile, you’ll likely never hear from most of the people you message.
Building a successful online profile is about demonstrating value to potential customers and other online connections. This begins with projecting your image as a thought-leader and an innovator in your field. Avoid overly aggressive advertising; instead offer to interact and share information based on mutual needs and interests. Reference an individual’s blog page or other online publications to show you respect them and have taken the time to research their career.
Building a network of real online relationships will help to grow your pages organically, so the next time someone checks out your profile they’ll be impressed enough to look further. Once you get control of the SERP, it will be easier to attract contacts and your online reputation will begin to grow on its own.
Improve Your Social Selling
LinkedIn uses a social selling index (SSI) to help analyse how well you are doing with your social selling via this platform. According to LinkedIn, high social sellers outdo their competitors who aren’t on social media by 78 percent and they are 51 percent more likely to achieve their sales quota goals. The SSI score will only reflect your activity on this platform, but it is still a valuable measure given the importance of LinkedIn to professionals.
Beyond the SSI, the best way to improve social selling is to improve your online reputation. Working with a professional reputation management company will help you to pinpoint problem areas and streamline your overall approach to reputation management.
At ReputationDefender, we work with clients to analyse their current internet profile and improve it by optimising positive professional content. Our team can give you the tools you need to make social selling one of your strongest assets.
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