We can’t ignore the huge influence of social media platforms in this era. We are not just making friends, posting pictures and ideas. But we are sharing a part of our life on social media.
Using social media does not seem like a hard nut to crack, right? Write up your ideas, and feelings, or upload your photos with decent captions, and wait around to see reactions and comments.
That’s how we use social media on personal levels. But when we are thinking to do business on social media platforms, can it be that easy?
The answer is, no, it can not be as simple as creating profiles and sending out texts about your business.
Social media has two sides. It is a controlled, rephrased version of our real life, on the other hand, it’s a platform for interacting and communicating about our ideas and thoughts with other people. Social media marketing has changed conventional selling tactics. The term “social selling” refers to the modern approach of using social media channels to engage with customers and prospects more personally and effectively.
If your business is struggling with social selling, you are probably making some mistakes with your social media marketing strategy. Let us discuss the common social selling mistakes that may be hurting your business and how you can avoid them simply and effectively.
Social Selling Mistakes
“Social allows sellers to meet buyers where they reside — digitally and otherwise. Modern buyers are digital-first buyers. Our research shows that 92% of B2B purchases start with search; 68% of B2B buyers prefer to research online, on their own — that’s increased 15% from two years ago, and 62% of buyers say they can develop selection criteria or finalize a vendor list based solely on digital content. So it’s about meeting buyers where they are.”
This passage shows the opinion of a B2B market expert Caroline Robertson and the level of opportunities from social selling. You should not ignore selling products on social media platforms as a business person in this age.
Social selling is all about approaching prospects with the intention of ‘building relationships and adding values’ and the strategy lies between managing personal profiles and implementing old-school sell tactics.
But mistakes start to roll in when sales folks focus on the “selling” part rather than the “social” perspective. You have to stay on your toes! Minor faults can eventually push you off the cliff and make your sales rate fall flat.
In this article, we will go through 8 common social selling mistakes and how we can resolve them.
Treating social networks as promotional channels
One of the most common social selling mistakes is to approach social media networks as promotional channels. It’s easy to run a paid ad campaign for your company’s post, and you might just be tempted to do that. But hold on. This might not be an effective social selling strategy. Let me tell you why.
Suppose social media platforms are like social events. People come here to find other people with similar interests. You are here to find people with mutual interests and show how beneficiary your products or services are for them. These people are your potential customers. If they face your paid promotional ads before you make any connections, they will be disturbed. They would think of you as pushovers and ignore you. This will hurt your business.
How to avoid
Social media platforms are built to find and bring people of mutual interests to a commonplace. You should approach your potential customers keeping this information in mind.
First, try to understand which social media platforms your potential customers might be using. Try to engage with them and start a conversation. Listen to their needs and demands.
Then show them how your service or product can meet their demand and ease up their worries. Approach with the intention to build a community.
Gradually, make them acknowledge what you have to offer and how they need you. Take it slow. Build a community of loyal consumers. Start your journey.
Failing to invest in extensive social selling training
You might have heard the saying, “The well doesn’t go to the thirsty people.”
If you want to hit big with your social selling, your sales team needs to satisfy your consumers’ demand. Training your sales personnel is crucial to driving more leads into your social content, making deeper connections, and engaging with your target audience.
Without adequately trained personnel, you can not possibly make proper connections with your existing and upcoming prospects, let alone discuss their demands and offer appropriate solutions. And they will probably make the social selling mistakes mentioned above. Simply put extensively trained personnel will lead to effective social selling.
How to train your sales team
Here are some tips for effective social selling training:
- Understanding social media platforms: Make sure your sales reps are fluent in social media platforms and focus on their presence on these platforms. No one would trust an approached rep without an active social media presence, right? Elaborate on social media marketing strategy and ensure they understand what to achieve.
- Being familiar with social media tools: Introduce your reps to the necessary tools and resources so that they can apply proper measures in proper situations. You would not like to make your prospects wait while your sales folks are struggling to find a solution and a simple tool can be the messiah.
- Encouraging internal and social media communication: Encourage your team to communicate. Communication is the key to any successful business. Communicating with each other will keep them on the same page and will give them a better understanding of goals. Engaging with social media communications in a “non-sales y” way will give your sales team insights into the latest trends and demands.
- Building a solid content calendar: Develop a solid content calendar and provide your sales team with relevant and engaging content. Be aware of the best time to post your content. And make sure your content adds value to your prospects and is relatable to the problems they commonly face.
Simply put your sales team should know ‘where’, ‘when’, ‘how’, and ‘who’ to sell the pen!
Not using digital tools for social selling assistance
No matter how highly trained your sales personnel are, you have to keep track of your activity somewhere, right? You might think of using any random digital tools but let me stop you there. While using proper tools can make your social selling bloom, wrong tools can lead you to make social selling mistakes.
By not using digital tools, you are limiting your reach to a wider audience, missing out on your potential leads, and facing a lack of insights about your target audience. This will eventually lead to inefficient working hours, improper social selling strategies, and low conversion and engagement rates.
How to select appropriate digital tools
There are lots of digital tools that can help your business. But to choose the most suitable one answer the following questions:
- Where do you want to reach with your social selling?
- In which social media platform do you want to expand your leads?
- Do you want to implement your content calendar in advance?
The answers will tell which type of tools you need.
For example, Customer Relation Management(CRM) tools like Microsoft Dynamics 365, Salesforce, Oracle, and Fluent CRM can help you to manage your customers’ information.
And you can use social media feed plugins to your WordPress website to show your credibility and announce your virtual presence.
Approaching prospects with an unoptimized social media profile
One of the most common social selling mistakes is that sales folks tend to make their social media profile like digital billboards. If it’s your profile, do as you like, but if you’re trying to attract your potential customers, you probably should stop that. Let me tell you why.
Most of the internet users go through social media platforms for research and to make decisions before buying something online. Keeping this information in mind, you should make your social media profile visually attractive and engaging.
Your business profile should showcase your strong and relevant virtual presence. No social media presence will surely hurt your sales. It’s all about the first impression you make before your potential customers while they are going through your social media profile.
How to optimize your social media profile
With an optimized social media profile, you can convert your viewers into customers. Here are some tips:
- Right platform: Social media platforms are different from each other with their unique features and consumer base. It’s crucial to decide which platform you need to optimize and which platform may have may have your potential customers.
- Complete profile: Your profile is the first impression of your product. Make sure your profile is up-to-date with a clear profile picture, a decent cover photo, and contact information.
- Visual content: Visual contents are more appealing than plain text. Organize your profile with infographics, charts, and short videos (e.g. reels, shorts). Make sure your visual content is engaging and telling about your products.
- Valuable content: In addition to visuals, try to post more blogs and tips that your consumers may find useful.
Applying your sales pitch before building trust
Let me start by asking a simple question if a random person knocks you up online and says, “Hey, I am A from XYZ shopping store, you can buy our product through online payment with a 20% discount…..” would you let him finish? I guess not. It’s quite natural for you to get wary about getting scammed, and feel annoyed.
That’s the reality of trust issues regarding online selling, and blasting your potential customers with sales pitches without any prior communication will annoy them and in the worst-case scenario, you’re driving away your leads.
You meet your potential customers in their decision-making stage about buying the product or service you are offering. And pushing them with your sales pitch all of a sudden will make them feel that they are getting scammed or duped. And trust me, it’s a huge social selling mistake you would try to avoid.
How to build trust
Building credibility and trust is essential for businesses to stand out in the crowded social media arena as they compete for potential customers’ attention. And remember patience is the key. Let me tell you some basic tricks:
- Open up about what you have to offer. Don’t make false statements. Try to earn a reputation for being honest.
- Provide valuable content for your potential customers. Let it be relevant blogs, news articles, or resources. Earn your position as an expert in their field of interest.
- Always be responsive to your consumers’ comments, or texts with reasonable opinions. Make them feel how valuable they are and you are prioritizing their concerns.
- Focus more on building user-generated content. This type of content will show your connection with your consumers. And connections always build trust.
- Try to show your social proof. Social proof will make you more authentic and enhance your credibility.
- Share your user reviews and ratings with them. Try to show them how other users are responding to your products. This will help you build credibility and authenticity with your potential customers.
Pro Tips: You can use WP Social Ninja to show reviews and ratings from your social media profiles to your WordPress website.
Under-researching your prospects
Let’s assume you have a highly trained sales team, good resources to offer, and decent after-sales service, but you can not sell mirrors to blinds!
With that saying, under-researching your prospects is one of the social selling mistakes you must avoid. In this era, everybody seems like using social media. It’s quite tempting to make sales pitch for everyone, but I would suggest you hold on.
Social media may seem like an endless stream of prospects, but you have to narrow down a specific group of people who are likely in need of your service. These people are your prospects, likely to be converted into consumers.
Proper social media research will give you insights into how your social media profiles are doing, what your prospects are concerned about, what your competitors are up to, and how is your reputation around prospects. Solid social media research is the thin line between making a big hit or selling nothing at all.
How to conduct a proper social media research
I will try to give you some insights on social media research. Let me tell you in advance that social media is an ever-changing platform, but here are some tips on basic methodology:
- Defining your target audience: First of all, you need to specify to which people you want to make your sales. Start with basics like their age, gender, and location as well as some psychometric aspects like their behavior, interests, and pain points.
- Observing social media engagements: You should keep a close eye on public groups, especially some dedicated groups or channels where people are more likely to open up about their problems and needs.
- Applying social media tools: Some social media tools can help you to improve engagement with your audience and display trendy hashtags or mentions which can give insights on trends and public sentiments.
- Conducting polls and surveys: Activities like creating pools or taking reviews will help you with understanding your position and credibility among users. This will give you insights into how people taking your product or service as well as if there is any need to re-adjust your social selling strategy.
Not acknowledging your target audience’s pain point
Throughout this article, we have discussed the most commonly made social selling mistakes, and to summarise “not prioritizing your consumers” is the one you must always avoid.
To satisfy your consumers’ needs and deliver an improvised user experience, you need to understand your target audience’s pain point first. “Pain point” refers to the problems or difficulties your consumers face. This may vary from technical difficulties to frustration over after-sales service.
Addressing your consumer’s pain point is important for:
- Delivering a consumer-friendly service
- Improving your social selling strategy
- Building long-term relationships with consumers
- Creating a loyal consumer base
- Improving your product or service
- Gaining an advantage over your competitors
How to investigate consumers’ pain point
The key to understanding the pain point is ‘engagement’. This includes:
- Thorough market research over the trend.
- Looking out for FAQ
- Focusing on user reviews and feedback
- Responding upon contacting
- Active support team
Bombarding with random content sharing
In terms of social selling, you meet your target audience in their pre-decision-making stage. You meet people who are in search of some insights, and basic knowledge. Scaring these people away by bombarding them with random, irrelevant content and an extensive sales pitch is the primary social selling mistake you should avoid.
During the pre-buying stage, your audiences are looking for an advisor, who can guide them through the ins and outs of a particular product or service.
You want to be that advisor.
Random content and unnecessary information will just take a load on them, and before realizing you are losing your potential customers.
How to avoid
First, your profile is not your promotional ground. Your approach to your media profiles should be more “trustworthy guide” rather than a salesperson.
During your prospect research, you have learned about their common troubles. Put more focus on that and get your content marketers to write up easy and understandable content.
Try to appear as an “expert guy”, and share related news articles and study materials.
“Social selling” is a bit different from conventional selling. Here you have the chance to meet more prospects every day and your tactics are always being monitored.
If you have gone through the article, you are probably a “salesperson” and probably wondering why your sales through social media platforms are not blooming.
But fret not! Even if you have made some social selling mistakes it is never too late to try anew. Remember one thing, it is already hard enough to trust someone online, so try to be a “next-door helping guy” rather than a sales tactician.
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