At the latest news, more than 80% of French people used social networks. This represents nearly 53 million people. But, for companies, this represents above all nearly 53 million consumers whose attention is just waiting to be captured by content.
However, unlike a blog, a newsletter or even “old-fashioned” sales canvassing, social networks represent for a company a channel whose DNA is concentrated around the notion of reciprocity. In other words, they meet needs that appear on both sides of trade:
- On the one hand, consumers are looking for answers or inspiration.
- On the other side, companies are looking for an audience to promote their offer.
The hashtags #amazonfinds and #tiktokmademebuyit, which, for example, garner billions of views only on TikTok, the rising star of social platforms, testify to the power of social networks to make their users buy. Already in 2020, an Ipsos study revealed that 44% of Instagram users used the application every week to do their shopping.
To characterize this reality, we speak of Social Selling. Both a growing social phenomenon and a fashionable specialty of digital marketing, this is an opportunity that companies can no longer ignore.
So, what is Social Selling? Here are 7 questions and answers to understand the essential issues.
- What is Social Selling in theory?
- What is Social Selling in practice?
- And B2B Social Selling in all this?
- Why do Social Selling as a business?
- How to do Social Selling?
- Comment se former au Social Selling?
- A Social Selling agency: what is it for?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Social Selling and how does it work?
- What are the benefits of Social Selling for a business?
- How to succeed in a Social Selling strategy?
What is Social Selling in theory?
Social Selling is an online marketing approach that mobilizes the habits of social network users to trigger conversion (purchase, subscription, registration by email, etc.). The idea is to approach a prospect through the interactions that he can naturally develop on a given social network. This SEO strategy therefore places the creation and dissemination of content at the center of prospecting.
There is also in Social Selling a notion of horizontality between companies and their prospects, which leads them to interact via profiles and in a way that is both more direct and more accessible. Comments under publications and exchanges in private messaging are thus two communication channels characteristic of such an approach.
In 2021, a Sprout Social survey found that 78% of consumers were more likely to buy from a retailer they interacted with on social media. And for good reason, this dimension of proximity and availability is a key factor of persuasion.
What is Social Selling in practice?
Once the theoretical potential of Social Selling has been clearly established, you have to get your hands dirty and turn the assumptions into reality. The first thing to do is to create a social page on a platform, optimize it and start using it to publish content related to your products or services.
But, as you can imagine, good intentions are not enough. Above all, you will have to work on an editorial line capable of capturing the attention of your prospects and gradually transforming them into customers by meeting their needs. On social networks, competition is fierce for companies. But, with a relevant content approach, a company profile can create real commercial traction in a few weeks.
If you don’t know where to start, feel free to search our blog. Here you will find tips for the different social platforms. In particular, we recommend that you read:
- How to promote your Facebook page?
- How to grow your business with Pinterest?
That said, although Social Selling is largely based on mastering content marketing, it also involves knowing how to use the sales tools made available to companies by the various social networks. Especially since these tools cover more and more needs:
- Integrated stores (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok)
- Live Shopping
- Automation and personalization of messaging (Messenger, WhatsApp)
- Redirect Product Sheets (Pinterest Pins)
- Augmented Virtual Reality Filters (Snapchat)
In this regard, each year brings its share of novelties, because Social Selling is clearly a performance lever that counts more and more in the world of online business.
If you need to take stock of the opportunities that exist for you, make an appointment with us:
AUDIT SOCIAL SELLING GRATUIT
And B2B Social Selling in all this?
When we talk about Social Selling, we think more naturally of the promotion of B2C products or services. It’s normal, we have the idea that users of social networks are individuals who connect to them for private needs. But that’s forgetting a little too quickly that the decision-makers in the business world are also individuals who use social networks, for the private and… for the professional.
On this blog, you have already been told several times about the Social Selling opportunities offered by LinkedIn, the number 1 network for professionals in the world. Whether it is to give visibility to your company page or to develop your personal branding strategy, we have repeatedly defended the interest of speaking on LinkedIn. Moreover, the platform itself has developed an indicator to measure the commercial potential of its users in the field: the “Social Selling Index”.
But the web is wide and, of course, the various professional targets are not only on LinkedIn. Today, all the leading social networks make it possible to set up a B2B marketing strategy, because almost any target is present there.
Why do Social Selling as a business?
For companies, Social Selling can of course generate sales (or leads in the context of services). Damien Bignon, then Sales Director of Malakoff Médéric, already announced it in 2018:
“Tomorrow, all our salespeople will be community managers. »
Several years after the enunciation of this prophecy, we have to recognize that its author was right. Today, for many companies, the commercial relationship is stretched and diluted in a broader and more diffuse process of Social Selling.
Why such a change? Because consumers have developed the habit of seeking out the information they need before making a purchasing decision. Ask car dealers or real estate agents, for example: they will tell you that when their prospects come to them, they are much better informed than they were a few years ago.
However, this does not mean that companies must undergo this evolution of consumer practices. On the contrary, it is one of the challenges of Social Selling to anticipate contacts with future buyers and to establish a relationship of trust with them.
How to do Social Selling?
The potential relationships with Social Selling are numerous. For some companies, it is only an extension of corporate communication that they could deploy on a less interactive medium (website, commercial brochure, newsletter, etc.). For others, it is above all a point of contact with their audience, a way of being more reactive and more available. For the most ambitious in this area, it is an acquisition channel in itself, which has its own commercial objectives.
In practice, Social Selling is able to support the journey of a marketing target at each stage of the commercial funnel:
It is therefore the social dimension that must appear first, before the purpose of the sale. We observe that approaching Social Selling with a view to deepening the relationship with its audience and expressing values is the best way to lay the foundations for sustainable performance on this channel.
Comment se former au Social Selling?
At a time when online communication occupies an increasingly important place in all sectors of activity, training in digital marketing is a must for many professionals. But who says obligatory passage does not necessarily say boring and boring passage.
From this point of view, the most natural marketing firm to training in marketing techniques specific to social networks is to observe what users do who obtain good results. To learn how to set up a good editorial line, to create content and to interact with an audience, nothing better than to analyze the content of more advanced companies in the field.
But, to go faster in your learning, you can also turn to a Social Selling training organization. You are also in the right place for this, since we offer Community Management training and Social Selling training on LinkedIn which will allow you to quickly acquire the essential knowledge. And, because we are Qualipak certified, your OPCO can surely cover all or part of the registration fees.
A Social Selling agency: what is it for?
Because training in Social Selling does not prevent you from delegating this activity to experts in the field, you may need a Social Selling agency.
As a service provider, its role could then consist of:
- Assist you in identifying your ideal client on social networks
- Help you choose the most suitable platforms for your business
- Optimize your profiles on the selected platforms
- Define your editorial line
- Formalize your content creation and performance measurement processes
- Develop media in different formats to enrich your content
- Mobilize professional tools to give another dimension to your strategy