What is Social Selling? Your Guide to Selling on Social Media

Macy is a Content Writer at WebFX. With a Content Marketing Certification, she's an expert in crafting pieces filled with the facts about all things digital marketing. You'll find many of her pieces featured on UpCity's Top Digital Marketing Articles of the Week. When she isn't clacking her keys, she's wondering why her dog is so cute. Follow her on Twitter @iinfinitestorm.

Did you know that 54% of customers use social media to research products online? Social media is a valuable tool for helping prospects find information about businesses, products, and services. Since people actively use these platforms to find out information about products or services, it’s an excellent place for you to do social selling.

On this page, we’ll answer the following questions:

  1. What is social selling?
  2. Why should I do social selling?
  3. How can I get started with social selling?

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What is social selling?

Social selling is the practice of using social media to connect with prospects and nurture them towards conversion. This practice emphasizes building meaningful relationships with prospects and engaging with them through conversations on social media, listening to their problems and positioning yourself as a solution.

Why you need to do social media selling

Now that we covered the social selling definition, let’s look at why you need to start selling on social media.

1. It helps you build relationships

Social selling strategies help you build relationships with your prospects. With social media selling, you spend a lot of time doing social monitoring. Social monitoring involves listening to conversations your audience has related to your business or industry.

People can have these conversations on your business’s profile or on posts from other pages that mention your business. These conversations serve as a gateway for you to engage with your audience and provide them with assistance. After monitoring the conversations your potential customers have on social media, you can become a source of information by answering their questions.

By building these relationships, you help nurture prospects closer to converting.

2. People already look to social media to buy

Social media selling is vital because people are already looking towards social media to buy. Here are some stats that show how social media impacts buying:

  1. 90% of Pinterest users say Pinterest helps them decide what to purchase
  2. 80% of people got advice about a product through social media
  3. 74% of people use social media when making purchase decisions
  4. 52% of user purchases were influenced by Facebook

As you can see, social media has a huge impact on leads during the decision-making process. By building your business’s presence on social media, you can help influence people to purchase your products or services!

3. Your competitors are already selling on social media

Not only are prospects already using social media to influence purchases, but your competitors are already using social media to convince those prospects to buy their products. So, if you aren’t doing social media selling, you’re falling behind your competition. Launch your social selling campaign will help you keep pace with your competitors and get more prospects to buy your products or use your services over your competition.

How to get started with social selling: 7 tips for success

We provided you with the social selling definition and told you why it’s important to start selling on social media. Now that you’ve got all this information, you’re ready to get started! Here are 7 tips on how to sell on social media:

1. Choose the right platform(s)

Before you start implementing social selling strategies, you need to pick your platform(s). You want to use platforms where your audience spends their time. You can choose from multiple platforms, including:

  1. Facebook
  2. Twitter
  3. Instagram
  4. Pinterest
  5. LinkedIn

You’ll want to look at the demographics for each platform to help you get an idea of the right platforms for your business.

2. Establish your brand identity

When you’re building your presence on social media, you need to ensure you have an established brand identity. Brand identity is critical to social media selling because people want to know who’s selling to them. Prospects want to understand who you are and if your company values align with theirs.

The first thing you’ll want to do to establish your business’s identity on social is to add a profile photo and cover photo (if applicable) to your profile to help people recognize your company. You’ll typically want to use your logo for your profile photo, so people can recognize your brand immediately. Your cover photo has a little more flexibility — you can feature a graphic related to your company, photos of a new product, or a holiday-themed photo.

You’ll also want to establish your brand identity in your posts, too. If you post visual content, it should fit with your business’s style. Chewy, a pet supplier, uses animals in their posts to further solidify their brand.

Additionally, they use graphics that reiterate their fun and casual company attitude.

3. Share relevant content

If you want to know how to sell on social media, start by sharing relevant content. Sharing relevant information helps you provide helpful information to your audience and keep them engaged on your social media page. When you share content, make sure it’s industry-related.

You don’t want to share content just because it’s trending or popular, unless it’s relevant to your business. We’ll use Chewy as an example again. With the holidays right around the corner, they decided to share helpful information about whether dogs can have cranberries.

4. Engage with your prospects on social

One of the most critical social selling strategies involves engagement. If you want to build relationships and get your audience to buy your products or use your services, you need to interact with them regularly. Social media enables you to reply to prospects’ comments and make your brand part of their conversation.

In this example from Chewy, they responded to people who commented on one of their posts about their pet beds. As you can see by this example, they’re replying to customers who talked about their cat beds, as well as people who just express how much they love the brand. By interacting with your followers, you can help nurture your relationship with your audience and nudge them closer to buying your products.

5. Keep your DMs open

One of the unique things about social media is that users can directly message your business with questions or concerns. If you want to be successful with selling on social media, you must respond to private messages. Using direct messaging is a popular way to get answers instead of calling your business.

Users can type up a message and go about their day while they wait for a response. They don’t have to sit on hold on the phone while waiting for someone to take their call. You want to take advantage of this social media feature because it creates an excellent opportunity for you to get leads to convert.

If someone’s considering buying your product but has a question, you can answer their question and make them feel confident in purchasing. On some platforms, like Facebook, you can use chatbots to help expedite the response and get your audience answers fast.

6. Use user-generated content

One of the most critical social selling strategies is user-generated content. User-generated content is content that your audience posts about your brand or products that you then share on your social profile. This content is extremely valuable for your brand because it helps you sell your products to your audience.

It humanizes your brand and shows real people buying and enjoying your products. User-generated content is powerful because it serves as a recommendation of your brand. When you consider that 92% of users trust others’ recommendations over the brand, you can’t skip out on using user-generated content.

To help you gather user content, you can utilize brand-specific hashtags or invite people to tag you in photos, so you can find valuable content to post.

7. Create an advertising strategy

If you want to do selling on social media successfully, consider developing a social advertising strategy. A social advertising strategy can help you get your brand in front of prospects that haven’t found your business yet. Each social media platform offers their form of advertising.

You’ll want to investigate your platforms’ offerings to see what types of ads you can run. If you choose to run an advertising campaign, keep these best practices in mind:

  1. Use brand-focused, visually appealing multimedia
  2. Create compelling ad copy that provides users with everything they need to know
  3. Use a relevant call to action (CTA) to compel people to click

Get started with selling on social media

In this blog post, we answered questions like:

  1. What is social selling?
  2. Why should I do social selling?
  3. How can I do social selling?

Now that you have all the answers to your questions, you can launch your social selling strategies. If you need help getting started with social media, WebFX is here to help. We have a team of over 450 social media experts that are ready to help.

If you’re ready to start doing social media selling, contact us online or call us today at 888-601-5359 to speak with a strategist about our social media marketing services!

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