Isn’t it fascinating that social media is changing the way we sell online now? Sure, there are certain third-party elements such as payment gateways, landing pages, and email triggers that influence online selling, but it doesn’t devalue social media for selling. The interesting part is that social media has become an avenue to find customers and sell online.
If you’re thinking that you haven’t had any experience that shows the importance of social selling, then you’re maybe wrong. Here it becomes interesting; social selling isn’t just fabricated with Facebook and Twitter ads. Instead, there are other dynamics that come into play in social selling.
Have you ever seen people who are killing it with sales on Facebook? Or those who dominate Amazon sales by driving traffic from social channels to landing pages.
If you haven’t seen such stuff, you might not know that people:
- Run Facebook pages, build an audience and make money off of it
- They also build an audience in a Facebook group and monetize it
- Some people cash in on their large number of active Facebook friends
- You’d always see influencers tweeting about certain hashtags or events
- Don’t tell me you haven’t seen product posts from Instagrammers
- Your favourite YouTubers promote products and get paid too
So, my friends, they’ve been doing all this stuff way before you knew about this. It’s time for you to learn new things and become aware of social selling. It does not matter whether you’re a sales rep. or just a budding entrepreneur, at the end of the day, we all have to sell something.
- Going for a job interview? You need to sell your experience, ability, and confidence
- Doing comedy skits? You need to sell your timing, expressions, and dialogue delivery.
- Becoming a driver? You need to sell your focus, consciousness, and expertise.
- Want to be a blogger? You need to sell your communication skills, knowledge, and experience.
You got my point!
Social media success is no easy game, especially if you’re selling a product or service. You got to understand that you’re asking people for money so make sure you create an offer they can’t refuse. This is exactly why being too pushy or salesy could backfire any time.
We’re going to dig deeper into the ideas that could help sales representatives gain more sales through capitalizing the power of social media. Plus, we’d look at the brands that understand social media and milking the platforms the right way. If you’re a business owner, a blogger, or a sales representative, then pay attention to the essence of this article.
Here is the step-by-step guide to achieving social media success as a sales representative:
1. Spot the Right Audience
The easiest way to failure in the social media world is blindly hopping on all the social networks and trying to win. A sales representative is the one who is assigned a specific area to sell the products. If a company sends all the sales reps without assigning them the territories, it’ll be a mess. Similarly, if a salesperson tries to sell a product on the internet and tries every social media platform on the internet, it won’t work out. And, the reason is simple: there are so many platforms out there and moving pointlessly won’t help.
What I mean by “spot the right audience” is that one should magnify the people and closely observe them. Everyone can’t be your prospective audience because people have different choices, needs, demands, thoughts, and personalities. It’s your job to figure out who your target audience is.
- When we want to run a Facebook ad, Facebook asks us about the location, age, behaviours, and more details to understand the right audience for us.
- YouTube notices what we’re liking on YouTube so that it could recommend us similar content to watch.
- Twitter understands who we’re following and shows us more similar people to follow.
The idea is simple: these platforms want to understand you so that they could serve you better and make money off of your engagement and activities.
What sales representatives should learn is that it’s fundamentally important to understand where their target audience exists.
Here are some of the ways to spot the right audience:
Choose the suitable social media platforms
If you want to start off on the right foot, make sure you’re on the right social media platform. A lot of people don’t know what social media platform is good for their growth. They join the bandwagon and opt for any social media network that seems popular at that time. What you need to do is put effort into figuring out the most suitable social media platforms for you.
For instance, if you’re a graphics designer, you better focus on Instagram, Behance, and Twitter rather than LinkedIn, YouTube, and Facebook. There is nothing wrong with using the latter, but you’re likely to get more attention on Instagram, Behance, and Twitter because the audience would be more interesting to see your work there.
You might not get this right in the beginning, but it doesn’t mean you can’t fix your social media strategy down the road. So don’t worry if you haven’t thought about this before. Instead, focus on the next 6 months and try to meet the right audience through suitable funnels.
Select the appropriate hashtags
Hashtags can be tricky for many even if you’ve been using social media for a while. Using the hashtags isn’t the only thing that matters. Meaning, if you’re using the wrong hashtags, it won’t even make an impact. So the selection of appropriate hashtags becomes an important job to do. You may come across a handful of hashtags from your industry, but it doesn’t mean you have to choose every one of them. There is a reason why every relevant hashtag shouldn’t be used, which you’ll learn later on in this article.
Let’s take a look at three essential elements of selecting the appropriate hashtags:
I. They shouldn’t be very common because it would clearly backfire. The reason is that there would be tons of new content being published in social media with those common hashtags because of their popularity. It becomes impossible to get attention. For example, try using hashtags like #dress, #clothing, #fashion, #gym, or #fitness. You’ll notice that your content would vanish within seconds because of the fresh content.
II. Relevance is the key to maximizing the hashtags. If you know that the hashtags you’re using are quite familiar in the industry, then it’s all good, but if you’re trying something new, then you’re on your own. For instance, #blogging is a very common hashtag among bloggers, but #bloggingtips is more relevant to the blogging content related to blogging tips.
III. Use the hashtag tools to figure out the popular hashtags for your industry. There are many tools out there that help you find your industry’s top-notch hashtags to utilize on social media, for example, hashtagify and KeywordTool are two of them.
Befriend with relevant people
To get closer to the right audience, you have to build relationships with the like-minded people so that you could expand your circle. It’s necessary to get connected with relevant people because that’s how you’d professionally grow. Hanging out with people whether in social media or real-life won’t help the cause.
Neil Patel said the same thing in one of his YouTube videos:
If you’ve seen this video, you’d notice the emphasis on the relevance and what could happen if you comment and like on the irrelevant accounts on social media. That’s right, once people would notice you, and when they won’t find your content relevant to them, they’d leave and won’t come back.
We don’t want that happen so we should do is that connect with relevant people in your industry and try growing our circle that way.
Engage in the right communities
One of the easiest ways to spot the right audience is getting engaged in communities that are related to your industry. If you join Facebook groups or LinkedIn groups that aren’t from your industry, no matter how active you remain in those communities, it won’t help you grow or establish your presence. The reason is that your industry has nothing to do with them and you won’t have much to talk about in the first place.
Rather, spend a little more time on finding the right communities whether they’re Facebook groups, Twitter hashtags, or YouTube channels. Once you find those communities, start getting familiar, show up a few times a week, and be friendly with everyone.
So jumping into social media won’t help sales representatives unless they know where their prospective audience likes to hang out.
2. Build Your Brand Persona
One of the essential things for a sales representative to succeed in social media is the brand persona. A brand persona means how the brand is being presented to or perceived by the audience. It surely affects sales, engagement, and branding.
We’ll take a look at the social media selling, especially how a salesperson, who is trying to leverage the social media networks, should be using social media platforms.
There are a few fundamental concepts that will help every sales representative who is joining in the social media platforms for the sake of sales & marketing:
Consistency of showing up
Imagine, you’re a sales representative who is trying to win new customers through social media and dominate your competition, but shows up on Facebook, Twitter, or any chosen platform once a week. It won’t work out, for sure. Consistency means showing up multiple times a day and doing stuff that matters.
Gary Vaynerchuk gets this question a lot that how often we should post on social media. And, you’d often hear him saying that as much as you can or at least three times a day. On the other hand, he also tells people to come up with your own schedule rather than looking at someone else’s routine of posting.
Moreover, you’d also hear this advice from other social media influencers and online marketers that you should post on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter multiple times a day — a lot of people won’t see your post if you post once a day.
Of course, you’d panic for 10 minutes if you suddenly plan to post two to three times a day. The reason is that you haven’t done the homework for that. So what you should do is that come up with a plan of batch creation. Once you have content in bulk quantity, you’d easily develop a schedule of posting.
Then, all you need is to use a social media management tool such as ContentStudio to start scheduling your social media posts.
Developing your social media posture
Your social media posture means your overall appearance on social media. A good display picture isn’t to make an impact. There are, however, many things that portray your image when you perform an action or connect with someone. Following are the things that develop your social media posture:
A vibrant display picture is essential for the audience to stop by and pay attention to your profile. Have you not seen so many random people on Twitter with a default egg picture? A good picture not only humanizes your presence but also shows your personality a little bit.
An attractive profile cover goes a long way. You get an opportunity to display your product, service, email address, web address, or any other information that you want people to know. It’s a real estate that the majority of people aren’t using it properly.
A briefly written bio tells your story. Don’t underestimate the power of words. You can tell what you do, what you like, or anything else that you’re all about. Most social media platforms have this bio feature so you better use that effectively.
Your workplace info helps people understand what you do, especially on Facebook. You can use the bio section on Twitter, LinkedIn, Quora, and other platforms to write your work information.
Developing your social media posture is a combination of various things, for instance, how you show up, what your details tell others, and how you communicate with others.
If you’re being a salesperson on Facebook and everything seems fine on your profile, but you share funny memes all day, then it’s not going to help you develop your social media posture. People would think either you’re unprofessional or you don’t have a job. Either way, it doesn’t help the cause. So you’d better off if you build the persona that backs you up on everything you claim to do.
Whatever I’ve told you in the section “develop your social media posture,” now I can show you a practical example of it.
Capitalizing the presence
When you’re taking your time out to show up on social media, but not occasionally highlighting what you sell, then you’re doing it wrong. It’s true that you don’t have to be sales focused on social media, otherwise, people would start unfollowing you.
Capitalizing the presence means making the most of your situation. There is a fine line between being sales oriented and capitalizing the presence on social media. When you build your persona, you’d be sharing relevant things, helping others, and being nice to everyone, but if you aren’t being relevant to your product and industry, then you’d get carried away. And, if that happens, it might not help the cause.
3. Create a Content Plan
If you’re looking at social media success as a sales representative, engagement on social media would help you get attention as you’ve learned in the previous step. There is one more thing that would take your campaign to the next level. It’s content that you’d put out. It doesn’t matter whether you create content or curate along the way.
What matters is that you have something to say on a consistent basis. Therefore, creating a content plan gives you an avenue to sort this out and decide what you want to create.
A lot of people put all their energy into creating fresh content, but they don’t much effort into promoting it. I’d go further and recommend engaging with the audience once you’ve started putting out and promoting content.
Have you ever heard of 80/20 rule in content marketing?
According to many content marketing experts, one should be putting 20% of the effort into creating content, and the 80% effort into promoting that content. It’s understandable in today’s social media world when organic reach is dying and you have to rely on the high engagement, multiple postings a day, and paid promotion to put your content in front of your followers.
Here are three important elements of content creation for sales representatives:
I. Keep your target audience in mind when you create content to engage them on social media. If you’re spending money on content, then try to maximize your promotional efforts to make the most of your investment. You’ll be better off if you create content yourself rather than outsourcing it. The point is that all of your investment of time and money could go in vain if you aren’t creating content for the right audience. So pay close attention to identifying the right audience.
II. Choose topics wisely before it gets too late. However, you can always pivot and make changes in your content strategy, but you might have to start all over again. So choosing the topics wisely could save you time, energy, and money. For example, if you’re a sales representative of a web designing firm, you don’t have to look out for the clients that are interested in T-shirt printing.
III. Test out different platforms so that you could leverage the power of social media. Don’t sabotage the chance of attracting prospective clients through trying to get on every social media platform out there. For instance, if you’re using Facebook and Twitter at the moment, try adding one more between YouTube and Instagram. You might end up finding another great platform for you. Please be advised that hopping on multiple new social media platforms would be catastrophic for your social media engagement.
If you’re struggling to come up with content or you don’t any idea what to create, here’s a great video on creating consistent content. Sunny Lenarduzzi tells three fantastic tips on creating content:
Once you get comfortable with creating content, you’d notice after a certain period that you’d be seen as a thought-leader in the industry. The reason is that you’d be talking about your industry, especially how your product or service could help others or how many people have used your product or service, and what they’re saying. Therefore, you’d be gaining momentum along the way.
4. Measure Your Performance
The process of social media selling is incomplete without the analysis of performance. Without the performance measure, you can’t determine social media success. A sales representative who wants to maximize the social media avenues must come up with a performance measurement system.
You can always choose your metrics to judge your performance against the efforts you’ve put into social media. Here are a few common things that help you measure your social media success:
Duration Period: You must clarify the duration of the period, for example, once you start your campaign with a certain plan, you set the duration for 6 months. It’s necessary to have a specific time duration so that you can take a break and analyze your campaign’s performance. It could be any duration, for example, 6 weeks or 3 months.
Platforms to Scrutinize: It’s important to choose and stick to the select number of social media platforms to analyze in the end. If you keep changing up your social media platforms, you won’t be able to come up with the best results. Take decisive action on what platforms to go after for a specific time period.
Tools to Use: One of the most important things regarding measuring your social media performance is the tools to utilize for the job. There are so many tools such as TweetReach, ContentStudio, Iconosquare, and AgoraPulse that help you measure your social media performance.
Facebook and Twitter also have their native features for insights. When you go through those options, you come across information that what’s working on your social channels and what’s not.
Also, check these:
The whole point is that if you don’t take a break and analyze your social media progress, you won’t improve. And, more importantly, you won’t be able to understand the situation. One of the benefits of measuring performance is that you could always alter your social media strategy, in case.
We, at ContentStudio, also understand the importance of analytics, which is why we’ve built ContentStudio’s Analytics tool for better social media management.
What’s the conclusion?
The conclusion is that a sale representative can leverage social media at its best if the person knows the direction. I’ve tried to demonstrate a simple road map that can help salespersons navigate through social media and make the most of it.
You’d often find sale representatives randomly posting ads on Facebook in the comments sections and Facebook groups. Alternatively, they could research a little, find the relevant groups, become a part of the community, and help out others, they would have a better chance at some point to win clients. The reason is simple: when you become a part of the community and you’re helping others, you’re also taken care of at some point.
If you’re a salesperson, here’s a simple suggestion: don’t creep in and paste stuff in the Facebook groups. Instead, try implementing the four steps that I laid out in this article. If you want social media success, you can earn by doing the right thing. Social media selling is real — the way you do it depends upon you. Now you have the secret sauce of using social media as a sales representative — do the right thing.
Did this article make any difference in your sales and marketing approach?
Let me know in the comments below.
Wasiq Naeem is a content and digital marketing veteran who is passionate about his writing. Extensive research and producing high-quality content is just another day at the office for him.