Four out of five people are likely to buy on social media after watching a live virtual shopping event or participating in conversational commerce.
This may not come as a surprise for those few brands who are already reaping the benefits of social selling, but many still aren’t making the most out of this significant opportunity. With the market value of social commerce expected to reach $64.2BN by 2026, the time to start your social selling strategy is now.
What is social selling?
Social selling is a marketing strategy that leverages social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and TikTok to connect brands with prospects – establishing trust and building rapport to create Customers for Life. Unlike traditional methods of selling that focus on direct promotion and sales pitches, social selling is much more personalised and takes a relationship-oriented approach, as brands will focus on answering questions and offering assistance.
Relying on the principle that people are more likely to buy from someone they trust and have a relationship with, social selling encourages brands to nurture deeper customer relationships over time, guiding them through the buyer’s journey within a virtual shopping space. This can include live shopping experiences, personalised content, and even simply liking or sharing your customer’s posts.
With this being said, social selling is not a quick fix. And if you want to see your sales increase, you’re going to need to get it right. Here, we’re sharing the top four ways your brand can leverage social selling to increase conversions.
1. Actively listen to your customers
One of the most important aspects of social selling is learning to actively listen. Customers can and will take to social media to showcase their delight, displeasure or indifference to a product or service. By learning where to find this content, and listening to the good and the bad, you can start to build up a clearer picture of who your customers are and what they want from your brand. In turn, this will help you to understand how to turn potential buyers into Customers for Life.
With effective social listening comes optimised social selling. By actively listening to your customer’s thoughts and feelings, you can provide the latest relevant content, engage in meaningful conversations, build trust and credibility and, best of all, increase your sales opportunities. Social listening tools can help you to gain these precious insights. But it’s important to know how to use these insights in the best way, which leads us to our second tip: focusing on the true meaning of social.
2. Focus on the real meaning of social
From learning about a friend’s recent purchases to discussing a new luxury coffee machine with a neighbour, shopping has always been, at its core, a social activity. One that has been around long before social media took the stage.
With this in mind, the next step to getting social selling right is leveraging this aspect of social media. While customers don’t respond well to intrusive advertising, often opting to scroll past this type of ad when it appears on their social feeds, they have been shown to enjoy user-generated content and recommendations. From product reviews to first-hand testimonials and photos, research has shown that 49% of shoppers want an online personalised experience with live product recommendations.
In order to utilise this information, brands need to tap into the power of community and social proof by encouraging customer engagement. When you give customers what they want – like live recommendations and user-generated content during virtual shopping experiences – you can better connect with new shoppers and grow your customer base organically.
3. Work on building a strong online presence
Another key to unlocking the potential of social selling is creating a strong online presence. This means finding your customers on their favourite social media sites and establishing your own brand profile there. This does not mean, however, setting up a handful of ads within each of these platforms and calling it a day.
Building your online presence is all about providing your customers with value in the places they want to see it. Whether that’s providing valuable support to customers on TikTok Shop, or setting up an Instagram Live to demo new products. Your customers are tech-savvy and expect their favourite brands to keep up with this virtual shopping trend. This is how we, at Stellar, offer value to new and existing customers within their favourite platforms, building deeper connections and creating a community of Customers for Life for brands within the virtual shopping experience
4. Learn how to analyse and adapt
Finally, to tie everything together, you’ll need to track and report on customer data to identify what you’re doing right and what areas you can improve on.
It’s no use building up your social presence, partaking in active listening and providing value to your customers if you don’t have the data to back it up. That’s why it’s critical to consistently review the data, analyse the results of your actions and make changes based on these outcomes.
Making TikTok Shop History for Sage Appliances
Following the successful launch of Sage Studios – a purpose-built, state-of-the-art brand space for masterclass broadcasting and virtual selling – we set out to expand Sage’s reach into the world of social selling.
Our challenge: to enhance Sage’s brand visibility, attract new customers, and provide a captivating virtual experience that would keep them coming back for more.
In just three months, Sage’s TikTok account garnered an impressive one million views and received 55,000+ likes. Building on this momentum, we introduced Sage Studios TikTok Shop to curate in-feed videos, collaborations with influential individuals, and exclusive promotions.
Last year, we helped Sage orchestrate the largest-ever live-selling event for a single brand in TikTok EU history during Black Friday. The event generated over 300,000 product views and achieved an impressive click-through rate of 18.7% from the platform.
If you’d like to find out more you can read the full case study for Sage here.
How can you make the most out of social selling in 2023?
Join in with the latest trends, shout out any endorsements or recommendations from happy customers to build your credibility, and prioritise content that focuses on resolving their pain points
By actively listening to what shoppers want, you can start delivering exceptional experiences that bring them back to your brand time and time again.
If you would like to discuss how we can support your social selling strategy, get in touch with our team today.