Social selling has turned out to be one of the latest topics in social media. The pinnacle of modern marketing or a cynical repackaging of social marketing hype, the modern consumers are likely to use the social platform to research products and make recommendations.
Social buying has turned out to be a widespread concept and every individual wants to be where most of the decision-making process is happening. In fact, 74% of B2B buyers conduct more than half of their research online before making a purchase, says Hubspot.
So, to be precise, what is social selling? Why is it a trend in the current marketing place? How is it different from the influence of social media trends that have been developing over a couple of years?
And as marketers, why wouldn’t we want to be where most of the decision-making process is happening? This is where social engagement comes into play.
Social Selling – what does it mean?
It is an important way for successful businesses to communicate with their prospects. A process of connecting with the prospects and building relationships via social media, it helps to provide the prospects with valuable services and remain relevant.
In the B2B context, social selling is best understood as, wherever a multifaceted sale that involves several decision-makers.
Instances for social selling techniques include sharing relevant content, interacting directly with potential customers, personal branding, and social listening.
78% of social sellers outsell in comparison to colleagues who don’t use social media, states LinkedIn research. Though used primarily used for B2B selling, Social Selling is gaining popularity in a variety of industries. Comparable to lead nurturing, Social Selling helps you to achieve your goal by engaging buyers on a constant and long-term basis and this will certainly pay off.
Distinguish the difference between Social Selling and Social Media Marketing
Social Selling is mostly confused with social media marketing. Social Selling and Social Media Marketing shares some common business goals, both subjects have a different approach and objectives for an effective pipeline.
Figure.1 Illustrates a few major differences between Social Selling and Social Media Marketing even as both branches seek to support buyers in educating themselves.
The below table also explains why “Social Selling” is different than “Social Media Marketing”.
|1.||The main focus of “social selling” is on sales professional rather than marketing professionals.||“Social media marketing” suggests the responsibilities primarily in the hands of marketers.|
|2.||Whilst Social selling includes the worlds of sales and marketing; it aims to cultivate one-on-one relationships, rather than broadcast one-to-many messages.||Social media marketing allows marketers and salespeople to develop their prospects and gather better insight into the marketplace and eventually converting them into loyal customers.|
|3.||Social selling gives importance to the action from the message and the revenue generated.||Social media marketing would value the metrics that measure the one million views.|
Is social selling effective?
Yes, it is! If you want to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of modern day sales and marketing, now it’s time to rethink how you can use social selling as your strategy for your organization.
Whilst measuring the social media effectiveness, SSI (Social Selling Index), is one of the approaches to gauge the adequacy of social media selling.
SSI, a score created by LinkedIn to rank individuals utilization of LinkedIn as a social selling tool depends on four criteria’s:
- Creating a professional brand
- Finding the right people
- Engaging with insights, and
- Building strong relationships
Each decisive factor is assigned a value from 1-25. The four criterions scores are summed up for the overall SSI score. “Social selling leaders make 45% a bigger number of chances than peers with bringing down SSI”, reports LinkedIn.
Another research by LinkedIn says, “78% of social sellers outsell peers who don’t utilize web-based social networking.” The study further states that “social media leaders are 51% more inclined to achieve share.”
How Can B2B Marketers Benefit From Using Social Selling Tools?
A 2018 research revealed that several professionals are not aware of the benefits of using social selling tools, though it can deliver several remunerations to business-to-business (B2B) professionals, like improved lead conversion rates.
CSO Insights, an independent research arm within MHI Global, devoted to enhancing the execution of complex B2B deals, and Seismic, a business enablement arrangements supplier, looked at the benefits of using social selling tools, and also the methods in which B2B experts utilize them.
Plunging into the business enablement of social listening and social marketing umbrella, marketers can use data from social media—like pulling up a LinkedIn profile for a better understanding of the prospects. They’re likewise ready to associate specifically with prospects and offer some incentive by noting inquiries and offering important and relevant content through social channels.
In the End
In today’s progressively more connected world, it’s more important to understand how social media marketing and social selling are alike. The significance here is to adapt to the evolving B2B environment. As you try to build your business case for social selling, the similarities between the two disciplines will help you secure buy-in from your marketing department.
Today’s companies must recognize that both types of platforms are necessary today. And they must understand what each system can do for them – and what it does not.