How Social Selling Can Grow Your Business

Social selling, specifically during the pandemic, has evolved to become one of the most effective ways to create awareness and drive traffic to your business. Direct sales companies specifically can benefit from social selling and the use of social media. As more companies begin to focus on social selling as a model for their business, it’s extremely beneficial to you join in as a way of keeping up with your competitors.

If you want to be a leader in your industry, then it is important that you utilize the tools offered by social selling to continue growing revenue and publicity. Because social media is such a huge presence in our world today, it is vital that you learn how to use it to benefit your business. If you’re thinking of having your company focus on social selling, here are some important things that you should know about the practice.

What Exactly Is Social Selling?

Social selling is a relatively new approach to selling that gives direct sellers the opportunity to target their prospects and establish rapport through existing connections by using social media platforms. Network marketing can be done through utilizing social selling to build relationships. It involves the practice of utilizing social media channels to connect with prospective customers and engage with potential leads, allowing your business to reach its sales targets.

Social selling is not the same as simply bombarding strangers online with information about your company and your products, and it is not solely about getting new contacts. With social selling, you can make the interactions that you have with prospective clients meaningful, and can show that your brand is trustworthy and loyal.

How Social Selling Has Evolved

Social selling has evolved over time as people worked to figure out ways to utilize social media for their direct selling companies. Those who adopted social selling early on flooded their market contacts with a variety of social media posts in an attempt to make social selling work.

As the practice has continued to evolve over time, a wide variety of approaches for social selling has become available aside from the typical social media posts. Some examples of these approaches include companies doing Live Sales when they’re selling on-hand inventory or unboxing products on social media. Anything that gets the audience interested and engaged and that drives traffic to your company can be considered social selling.

The Social Selling Index, Or SSI

The social selling index, introduced by LinkedIn in 2014, is a metric that is used to measure the impact of a brand’s social selling. There are four components to establishing this score. The score looks at whether you are:

  • Establishing a professional brand with a well-managed LinkedIn profile.
  • Finding the right people on the platform.
  • Sharing relevant and interesting content.
  • Building, maintaining, and strengthening relationships.

If you are using LinkedIn for your business, you can find this score by navigating to your Social Selling Index dashboard. This will help you understand how your score could be improved and ways to make it better.

Make it Easy for Your Customers to Participate, Engage, and Shop

There are approaches to social selling that you should be taking to ensure that your sales remain steady and continue to grow. The first one of these approaches is selling drop ship inventory, which is the most common focus of social selling. This allows your company to drive customers to replicated websites and shopping carts to complete their purchases.

Make sure your e-commerce site is like any other shopping site. It should have ratings and reviews, the option to use wish lists, the ability to search products by name and categories, and suggestions for other products the customer may like based on what they buy.

The other approach to social selling is selling on-hand inventory. The Sales Consultant would be selling inventory directly to the customer, collecting the payment, and shipping the product. This is a practice that has evolved over recent years. If your company is focusing on this model, make sure that you are considering the following questions:

  • How is awareness being created for the social event?
  • How is an item being claimed or sold through the live event?
  • How is the item paid for after being sold?
  • How are the items shipped to the end customer?
  • How does corporate maintain visibility on these sales?

Make sure that you continue to assess the customer experience to make the best experience for future shoppers. Consider attending one of these live events yourself as a customer so that you can understand what they think and feel about your company and the events that you host.

Use Attraction Marketing

With social selling, you want to attract people who want to socialize with your company. Using the power of attraction in your social media presence is an important aspect of social selling. Some ways that you can use attraction marketing with social selling for your direct sales business include:

  • Making sure that your social media profiles are optimized and completed across all platforms, not just some.
  • Making it simple for your audience to connect with, and interact with you by following you on all platforms.
  • Using attractive and compelling imagery in your profile and posts.
  • Being real and authentic, but still professional.
  • Giving glimpses into your business and private life to allow your audience to build a level of trust with you.
  • Letting your personality show through your posts so that your audience can feel like they know you.
  • Using storytelling in your social media posts to help draw your followers and readers in and to attract new followers.
  • Speaking to your audience like they are your friend. You want to establish a relationship with them, so being friendly is crucial.
How Social Selling Can Grow Your Business

Why Should My Business Care About Social Selling?

There are many reasons why you should care about social selling. If you are still unaware of the value that social selling has to offer, here are some of the best reasons why you should begin the practice:

  1. Social selling works. LinkedIn found that businesses who are leaders in the social selling space created 45% more sales than brands who are not leaders in the social selling space. Businesses that prioritize social selling were also 51% more likely to reach their sales quota. 78% of businesses that use social selling outsell businesses that do not use social media in any capacity.
  2. Social selling can help your business build real relationships. Because of the pandemic, a large number of business events had to be cancelled or postponed. Networking has largely shifted to being online, so it is important that your business adapts to this new change. Social selling gives you the chance to connect with prospective customers without having to meet them face to face. Engage potential customers on social media, and use social selling to reach out to audiences who are already interested in what you are offering. Build an authentic connection with this audience–this will turn into loyalty.
  3. Your customers and prospective customers are already interested in social buying. Within the last six months of 2020, 25% of Americans aged 18 to 34 made a purchase through social media platforms. Because so many people use social media, it is by far one of the best ways to market your products and generate sales.
  4. Your competitors are already doing it. If you want to keep up with the competition, you should definitely get started on social selling. Using social selling means that you are staying competitive and keeping your name relevant.

Integrating Social Selling With Back-Office Tools Available to You

Depending on whether you use a drop-shipped versus consultant fulfilled approach to social selling, there will be some different tools and technologies that you should be leveraging. As you begin to identify these tools and implement them, you should be making it easy for your Consultants to access these tools–no matter if they are tech-savvy or not. Make it as easy as you possibly can for people in your field to know the tools to use and the selling processes to follow.

Make Sure Social Promotion Marketing Content is Readily Available and Easy-to-Use

It is important that you implement easy-to-use ways for your field to share consistent social content with customers. As companies begin to evolve, there is a growing desire to implement a stand-alone app that simplifies sharing content. When you are getting started, you should include simple ways to share and promote your content. Make sure that your sales team and marketing team is collaborating so that you can have sustained adoption and growth.

How Does Social Selling Ultimately Benefit the Company?

Social selling benefits the company in many ways. The most important of these ways being:

  • Increasing brand visibility. By having more employees sharing content and optimizing their social profiles, their networks are able to click and engage. Oftentimes, people who are not familiar with the company will be able to discover it through social selling.
  • Drives more leads, and higher quality ones. The quality of your leads will increase as brand visibility increases. Having a team of social sellers ready to work for your business gives them the opportunity to educate their social connections.
  • It boosts web traffic. As brand visibility continues to increase, more people will be inclined to search for information on your company.
  • It boosts sales results. Social selling is a good way to increase deal sizes and drive better win rates, resulting in better revenue for your company.
How Social Selling Can Grow Your Business

The Importance of Communicating With Your Field

Make sure that while you are mapping out your social selling strategies and evaluating your tools, you are also tapping into your field Consultants to get a better idea of their needs and concerns. Follow these stages of adoption:

  1. Discovery. Engage with your field to help you identify the tools you need and to figure out what Consultants are seeing in the field.
  2. Pre-launch. As you begin to use and integrate solutions into your social selling model, involve some influential Consultants into the beta testing phase. These people will help you drive the new tools’ utilization.
  3. Launch. Create training documentation with your Field Advisory Board’s input and hold training webinars to help showcase these tools and demonstrate how to use them.
  4. Post-launch. Continue to encourage use of social selling by providing tips and success stories, and establish a process for Consultants to share feedback.

Understand Financial and Resource Investments Required for Launching Social Selling Tools

When you are evaluating solutions, look at the overall costs from a corporate perspective. Consider what tools are needed by your field, what you are paying monthly to run your business, and if there is a more unified solution. Make sure that there is an aligned focus from corporate upon implementation from every part of your business.

Social Selling Allows for Better Customer Service

It is important that, when you are operating your direct selling business, you are keeping up with good customer service. Even after you make the sale, you should be working to provide your customer with the best service possible.

You want to be able to retain customers after you have made the sale, and this starts with good customer service. 68 percent of customers leave companies when they feel that the company does not care about their business anymore. Social selling makes it easy to communicate with your customers and improve your customer service. Put in the effort to make your buyer happy and to help them solve their issues.

Social selling is becoming increasingly more important to the success of businesses, and can make or break your company. It is important that you understand all of the ins and outs of social selling so that you can maximize profit and get your business out there. By following these tips and understanding social selling, you can make sure that your business is fostering relationships with new and returning customers.
You don’t know where to start, Schedule a Free Strategy Session today and let’s work together to create a unique strategy for your business.

8 Advantages of Live Streaming for Your Business

Live streaming is a fresh, innovative way to create content and promote your business. By incorporating live streaming into your marketing strategy, you can engage viewers, receive feedback, and build your brand. Here are our top 8 reasons why live streaming for your business is a great idea.

Why is Live Streaming good for your business?

1. Engages Your Viewers 

Live streaming is one of the most useful ways for businesses to engage their viewers. The content form allows the audience to participate in a direct, real-time conversation with the company, making for higher engagement and viewer retention rates than other formats. This real-time engagement works to create a sense of excitement for your audience, making them feel more involved. 

By live streaming, you can help your audience to feel more attached to your business. It’s important to tell your brand’s story, showing how it started and why it matters. Doing so humanizes your brand and establishes a connection with viewers. 

In addition, live streams let the audience get to know the individuals behind your company. Having recurring hosts who interact with viewers throughout the live streams is a great way to maintain a sense of engagement and connection.  

2. Provides Feedback that Shapes Future Content

During live stream productions, viewers can share feedback instantly and ask questions instantly. This allows for collaboration between your company and your audience as they give real-time comments about how you’re doing, what’s working well, and what can be improved upon. The process opens up the potential to hear useful ideas from your audience, and while not every suggestion will be helpful, you may end up coming across helpful information.  

Live streaming also helps you to narrow in on the content your audience is most drawn to. By keeping track of viewer numbers and engagement for different live stream topics, you learn what your audience is most interested in and what you should continue to pursue going forwards. 

3. Offers High Flexibility

Live streaming offers a high level of flexibility, allowing you to choose the type of content that best supports your brand. There are countless possibilities for your live stream events, ranging from quick announcements to long-form shows. Your business could offer question and answer sessions, office tours, live support, and more. This flexibility lets you host events that fit your business well and are likely to attract more viewers.  

4. Creates a Targeted Audience

One major advantage of live streaming is that it lets you grow a specific, highly targeted audience. The audience for your live stream will be made up of people who have made the effort to attend at a specific time, meaning that you’re automatically reaching viewers who are interested in your content and who often will continue to interact with your brand. 

This creates a highly engaged audience, where those who are most interested in the topic can interact with your business and join in on the conversation. As you continue live streaming, you can reach more viewers who may not have otherwise connected with your brand, therefore consistently growing your audience. 

5. Establishes Trust and Brand Identity 

Another benefit of live streaming is that it lets you build trust and strengthen your brand’s identity. As viewers interact with your content and learn more about your business, the level of trust between your brand and your audience will continue to grow. By creating content that fits with your business’s image, you gain more influence in your field, build your brand identity, and form a stronger association with your viewers. 

6. Interacts with Your Other Marketing Platforms

Your live streams can be integrated smoothly into the rest of your marketing strategies. Live streaming can be used to build off and promote types of marketing platforms. For example, during your live streams, you can encourage viewers to follow your company’s social media accounts, and on your social media, you can post about upcoming live streams. 

Additionally, after the live streams, you can easily repurpose your content into other forms. You can post videos on your website or transform them into transcripts to create a wider impact. 

Advantages of Live Streaming for Your Business

7. Is a Growing Industry 

Live streaming is a growing industry and is projected to skyrocket over the next few years. Now is a perfect time to enter the industry, as it’s gaining popularity but is not yet overpopulated. 

Digital marketing platforms can quickly become overcrowded, causing much of the content to get lost among the rest. Live streaming is at a good point where the platform is continuing to grow while your content is still likely to receive more attention. 

8. Saves Time and Money 

Compared to in-person events, livestream events require less money and planning. By live streaming an event, you can reduce expenses such as travel, lodging, setup, and security. This lets you save time and money, which can then be spent on growing and promoting your business. 

As you grow your brand through live streaming, you want to have confidence in the quality of your content. Consider using a professional live streaming service to ensure that your production is high quality and makes the most out of your live streams.