In today’s digital age, selling on social media has become an essential part of any successful eCommerce business. A whopping 76% of consumers have purchased a product they saw in a brand’s social media channels. With billions of potential customers using social media networks daily, it’s no wonder why businesses are leveraging social selling strategies to boost their sales and reach new audiences. In this article, we’ll dive into the world of selling on social media and provide you with the knowledge and tools necessary to develop a successful social selling strategy. So, whether you’re new to social media or looking to refine your current social selling tactics, keep reading to learn how to take advantage of the vast potential of social media networks for your eCommerce business.
The Social Selling Index (Linkedin SSI)
The Social Selling Index (SSI) is a metric created by LinkedIn to help business owners and sales professionals track their social selling efforts on the platform. It measures a user’s performance in four key areas: establishing a professional brand, finding the right people, engaging with insights, and building relationships. The SSI is a useful tool for businesses to track their social selling efforts and identify areas for improvement.
To calculate the SSI, LinkedIn considers various metrics such as the completeness of a user’s business profile, their level of engagement with potential customers, and the reach of their content. A higher SSI indicates that a user is performing well in each of these areas and is likely to be more successful in their social selling efforts.
Establishing a professional brand is the first step in developing a successful social selling strategy. Business owners must create a complete and compelling profile that accurately reflects their brand and value proposition. This includes a professional headshot, a well-written summary, and detailed information about their products or services.
Finding the right people is the second step in social selling. Business owners should identify potential customers and industry influencers and connect with them on social platforms. This involves conducting research on their target audience and engaging with them through comments, direct messages, and other forms of outreach.
Engaging with insights is the third step in social selling. This involves regularly posting relevant and valuable content that resonates with potential customers. Business owners must analyze data on their audience’s behavior and preferences to develop an effective content strategy.
Building meaningful relationships is the final step in social selling. Business owners should engage with their connections regularly and offer helpful advice and solutions. This involves building trust and rapport with potential customers, which can lead to increased sales over time.
Your Linkedin SSI score should look like this. (Source: Linkedin)
Tips for Selling on Social Media
Know Your Target Audience
When it comes to social sales, understanding your target audience is critical to building genuine relationships with potential and future customers. It’s not enough to create social profiles and start posting content to attract customers. Instead, businesses must take the time to analyze their target customers’ demographics, interests, and behavior to create a social selling strategy that resonates with them.
Tailor your messaging and content to their needs and interests. This, in turn, helps you build genuine relationships with your followers, leading to increased trust, loyalty, and, ultimately, sales.
Create customer personas: These personas are fictional representations of your ideal customers and include age, gender, income, education, and interests. You can also have more detailed information, such as their hobbies, preferred social media platforms, and purchasing behavior.
Analyze customer behavior on social media. This includes examining the types of content they engage with, the hashtags they use, and the accounts they follow. By understanding their behavior, you can create content that resonates with them and reach them where they are most active on social media.
Build genuine relationships: It’s also important to remember that behind every social media account is a real person with their own unique interests, preferences, and needs. Instead of solely focusing on making a sale, businesses should strive to build genuine relationships with their followers by providing value and fostering engagement.
1) Providing educational content that helps your followers solve a problem or learn something new. This could include blog posts, infographics, or videos that address common pain points or questions your target customers have.
2) Engage with your followers on a regular basis. Respond to comments and direct messages, and seek out opportunities to start conversations with your followers. By showing that you are a real person who cares about your followers, you can build trust and loyalty, ultimately leading to sales.
Best Platforms for Social Selling According to Age Demographics
With 72% of Americans using social media, understanding the age demographics of different social media platforms can help businesses target their ideal customers more effectively. Here are some of the best platforms for social selling based on age demographics:
Facebook: With a wide range of age groups represented, Facebook is a versatile platform for social selling. It caters to a diverse audience, making it suitable for businesses targeting various age demographics.
Instagram: Known for its visual content, Instagram appeals to a younger audience, particularly those in the 18-34 age range. It offers opportunities for businesses in industries such as fashion, beauty, lifestyle, and food to engage with a visually-oriented demographic.
LinkedIn: As a professional networking platform, LinkedIn is highly effective for B2B social selling. It attracts a more mature audience, making it ideal for businesses targeting professionals and decision-makers.
TikTok: With its explosive growth, TikTok has become popular among younger audiences, especially Gen Z. Businesses targeting a younger demographic and looking to leverage short-form video content can find success on this platform.
Pinterest: Pinterest appeals to a predominantly female audience, with a strong user base in the 25-44 age range. It is particularly effective for businesses in industries such as home decor, fashion, DIY, and lifestyle.
Remember, while these platforms have specific age demographics associated with them, there can be overlaps and variations within each platform’s user base. Businesses should conduct their research and analyze their target audience to determine which platforms align best with their social selling goals.
Say, for example, you are a men’s shoe retailer looking to increase your sales on your Instagram & Facebook shops. Your target audience will likely be men interested in fashion with disposable income. See the below example from Marc Nolan Shoes.
Use High-Quality Visual Content To Sell Your Products
Social media has become a visual medium, and businesses must take advantage of this by using high-quality visuals to attract potential customers. A visually appealing piece of content can make all the difference in catching a user’s attention and influencing their buying decisions.
Social Selling Visual Content Checklist:
Images and videos that are visually stunning and provide product details can increase engagement with potential customers. High-quality visuals are crucial to promoting and selling products on social media. Brands should ensure their images are high quality and accurately showcase their products. An excellent product image can entice a customer to purchase, while a poor image can turn them away.
Brands should consider using various visual content, including images, videos, and graphics, to create a visually stimulating social media presence. Videos are particularly effective in catching users’ attention and communicating key product features.
Brands should experiment with different formats, such as carousel posts or animated GIFs, to keep their content fresh and engaging.
Since customers cannot touch, feel, or try on products in person, high-quality images and videos can provide them with the information they need to make informed purchasing decisions. Brands should ensure that their visuals accurately depict the product. This includes color, size, and texture and provide multiple angles and views to give customers a complete understanding of the product.
This still is from a visually stunning video from the camera equipment company LumeCube, which is advertising a new light panel to attach to your camera. They do so using high-qulity visual content that makes the product look like a must-have for any photographer or content creator.
Engage With Your Customers As Much As Possible
Engaging with your followers is an essential part of selling on social media. By actively responding to comments and direct messages, businesses can seize sales opportunities and make the selling process more efficient. Social media is a great platform for building relationships with potential customers and increasing brand loyalty. Brands should actively seek out conversations related to their products or services to engage with target prospects and increase the likelihood of making a sale.
Social commerce is becoming increasingly popular, and businesses that engage with their followers can take advantage of this trend. By engaging with followers on social channels, brands can increase their visibility and showcase their products or services to a wider audience. Engaging with followers can also help businesses understand their audience better, including their interests and preferences, which can inform future marketing and sales strategies.
Tips of The Trade:
To engage with followers effectively, businesses should create a social media strategy that includes a plan for responding to comments and messages promptly and professionally. Brands should also consider using social listening tools like Sprout Social to monitor conversations related to their products or services and proactively engage with potential customers.
Businesses can engage with followers by creating valuable content that sparks conversation and encourages engagement. This can include polls, quizzes, and other interactive content that encourages followers to share their opinions and preferences.
Screenshot showing Sprout Social engagement metrics.(Source: Sprout Social)
Social Media Marketing is Key To Selling
Paid advertising is essential to social media marketing, particularly for businesses that want to achieve specific sales goals through social selling programs. By utilizing paid advertising, businesses can reach a broader audience and increase their visibility on social media sites. Social media advertising can be particularly effective in reaching qualified prospects and prospective buyers already interested in a business’s products or services.
Businesses can use many types of social media ads to achieve their sales goals, including sponsored posts, display ads, and direct sales ads. Sponsored posts appear in a user’s newsfeed and are designed to look like regular posts but are labeled as sponsored content. Display ads, on the other hand, are visual ads that appear in various locations on social media sites, such as the sidebar or header. Direct sales ads lead directly to a product or service, allowing users to purchase without leaving the social media platform.
Paid Advertising Checklist for Social Sellers:
Set Clear Goals: businesses should set clear sales goals and create ads designed to achieve those goals.
Targeting is Important: Ads should target specific audiences based on demographics, interests, and behavior, to ensure they reach the right people.
A/B Testing: Businesses should also experiment with different types of ads and ad formats to determine what works best for their business and target audience.
For example, let’s say you’re running a natural skin care business. Your Target audience is likely to consist of women age 18-50 with disposable income, who buy online with interests including: alternative medicine, natural and organic products, and skin care.
One advantage of social media advertising is that businesses can track the effectiveness of their ads in real time, allowing them to adjust their campaigns as needed. This allows businesses to optimize their ads for maximum effectiveness and to achieve their sales goals more efficiently.
Always Analyze Your Results – Data Tells Your Shop’s Story
Analyzing your social media performance is critical in improving your social selling strategy and achieving your sales goals. Using analytics tools, you can track your engagement, reach, and conversion rates and adjust your strategy based on what works best for your business.
One of the most powerful analytics tools available to businesses is Facebook Ads Manager. This tool allows businesses to track their social media campaigns’ performance and make adjustments in real-time. Through Facebook Ads Manager, businesses can track metrics such as clicks, impressions, and conversion rates, allowing them to see how their ads are performing and make changes as needed.
A screenshot showing Facebook Ads Manager. (source: Venturebeat)
Businesses should look at various metrics when analyzing social media performance to get a complete picture of their campaigns’ effectiveness.
Engagement metrics like likes, comments, and shares can provide insight into how users interact with a business’s content.
Reach metrics, such as impressions and reach, can help businesses understand how many people see their content.
Conversion metrics, such as click-through and conversion rates, can provide insight into how effectively a business’s social selling strategy drives sales.
By analyzing performance metrics over time, businesses can identify patterns and trends in their social media performance and adjust their strategy accordingly. For example, if a business notices low engagement rates, it may need to adjust its content strategy to create more engaging content. If a business’s conversion rates are low, it may need to adjust its targeting strategy to reach a more qualified audience.
Contact Pacific54 to Up Your Social Selling Game Today
Social selling is an essential part of any digital marketing strategy. Businesses that can effectively leverage social media networks will have a significant advantage in reaching their target prospects and shortening their sales cycle. By following these social selling tips, businesses can create a strong presence on social media, engage with their target audience, and drive more sales.
However, social selling can be a complex and time-consuming process, and businesses may need help from experts in the field to achieve the best results. That’s where Pacific54 comes in. Our agency specializes in social media marketing and can help businesses create and implement social selling strategies that drive real results.
If you’re looking to improve your social selling strategy and drive more sales through social media, contact Pacific54 today to learn more about how we can help. Our team of experts will work with you to create a customized social selling strategy that meets your unique business needs and helps you achieve your sales goals. Contact us today and take your social selling strategy to the next level!