Social selling is a great way to market your products and services and keep your network up-to-date with the latest trends and news of your industry. In this post, we explain to you what social selling is and how you can involve your employees to start social selling through employee advocacy.
Social selling means using social media to interact with your prospects. Rather than engaging in outbound sales conversations, salespeople provide valuable content and answer prospects’ questions through their social media channels until the prospect is finally ready to buy.
Why Social Selling?
Traditional sales strategies are no longer as effective because 90% of buyers are starting their buyer’s journey online. Here is where social selling comes in. Instead of spending hours cold calling leads, you can find your potential buyers online, via your social media accounts and your employees’. In traditional sales, you lead with people that you don’t know and that are probably not ready to buy. With social selling, you nurture prospects via social media and engage with them when they are ready to buy.
Social selling has proven to help salespeople reach and exceed their targets, commission and build lasting and fruitful relationships with prospects.
Just check the numbers:
- 92% Consumers trust word of mouth recommendations over any other form of advertising (source: Nielsen).
- 84% Decision makers use social media to research before making a purchase (source: Business Wire).
- 22% Salespeople using social selling increase in lead volume and conversion comparing with those who don’t (source: HubSpot).
Social Selling Through Your Employees
Employee advocacy and social selling go hand-by-hand. Buyers don’t want to do business with traditional salespeople anymore. They want to hear from advocates, receive relevant content, listen to thought leaders… And be approached (only) when they are ready.
Your employees are a great way of promoting your content, help you connect with new prospects and drive sales. And they are already on social media. Almost everyone is.
Think about how much further your message could reach, if your employees would help you share it. And it’s not only about the reach. Your message will be coming, not from advertising but from real people who have decided to share it. This will help you build trust and will strengthen the promotional effectiveness of the message.
If you want your employees to help you share your messages and help you in your social selling efforts, you should follow these 4 steps:
1. Ask (yup, as simple as that)
Getting your employees to share your content might look difficult but it’s easier than you think. Actually, in many cases is just a matter of asking. If you look at the actual reasons why your employees aren’t already sharing your content you will probably get surprised.
Looking at this numbers, the solution seems pretty simple:
- Ask your employees to share your content and explain to them why you want them to share it.
- Make it very easy and fast to share your message on their social media channels.
- Provide them with quality and relevant content so that it’s very clear what they need to share (and they feel positive about doing it!)
- Give them some basic guidelines so that they feel confident when sharing your content and talking about your brand on social media.
2. Share your content regularly
Share your content on a regular basis but be careful not to overwhelm. Ask your employees how often they would like to share your branded content and adjust to their needs.
You will find that there are different rhythms. Salespeople, for example, will probably be willing to share your content more often since it’s a tool that they can use to nurture their prospects and move them faster through the sales funnel.
3. Choose the right platforms
Not all the platforms are good for all purposes. Try to choose the channels that adjust better to your needs and where it’s more likely that you can find your potential clients.
Additionally, try to adjust the type of content and the tone of voice to the characteristics of each channel.
4. Build a Community of Thought Leaders
Sharing your content will also help your employees become thought leaders and trusted advisors in the social media world. They will be providing value on a specific topic (or set of topics) to their online community.
To become thought leaders, all employees have to do share your quality content, comment on it and participate in the conversation. This will allow them to appear up-to-date with the industry they work in.
Becoming thought leaders in their field is a huge motivator for your employees to share your content.
- Traditional selling is dead. You need to move to more inbound strategies like social selling.
- There are great benefits of using your employees for social selling.
- If your employees aren’t sharing your content already, there might be an easy way to fix that.
- Helping your employees become thought leaders in your industry is an effort that will prove to be mutually beneficial.
At Social Seeder, we have helped many companies set up successful advocacy and social selling programs. But don’t just take my word for it, get in touch and let’s see how this could work for your organization.