by Emily Heaslip
Social media channels are great for building brand recognition, improving your reputation, and increasing awareness of your products or services. But social selling, the term used for actually closing a sale on social media, takes a little extra effort. Research by Sprout Social found that among B2B marketers surveyed:
44% have generated leads through LinkedIn.
39% have generated leads through Facebook.
30% generate leads through Twitter.
With the right tools and strategy, 89% of top-performing salespeople report that social networking sites are an important part of closing deals. These tools can help a salesperson convert a follower to a customer on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Nimble is a customer relationship management (CRM) platform that powers up your social media channels for better social selling. The tool can be used to organize leads and keep track of your social media interactions, as well as emails and sales calls. Nimble syncs conversations across LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and more to show your sales team the complete communication history with an individual: from emails and messages to notes and calendar events. Use your social media channels to expand leads and initiate conversations. Once a lead becomes warmer, Nimble can help you move the conversation from a social media platform to in-person, eventually closing a sale.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator
LinkedIn Sales Navigator is one of the more popular social selling tools, and for good reason. Companies that use Sales Navigator see a 5% increase in win rates with 35% larger deals. It's the perfect match for a social media platform where users are already in business mode. Unlike sites like Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn is designed for professional networking. Sales Navigator makes it easy for your sales team to find, contact and build relationships with prospects, referrals and customers. Get lead recommendations, see key insights from your outreach efforts and personalize your outreach starting from LinkedIn's customizable templates. Sales Navigator can be expensive, however, with plans starting at $64.99/month and increasing from there.
If you're seeking to boost sales without much extra effort from your sales team, consider importing your existing online store to your social media channels. StoreYa lets you create a Facebook shop from scratch or import your existing store on Shopify, Magneto, Etsy or another e-commerce site to Facebook. You can collect payments directly and experiment with their native marketing tools, such as the group deal or scratch card games. It's relatively affordable, at $9.99/month.
Curalate's Like2Buy makes your Instagram feed instantly shoppable, and it's beloved by influencers everywhere. Adding a Like2Buy link in your Instagram bio takes users to a storefront where products from your images have been tagged. Your followers can browse your content as well as influencer content or user-generated content, all in your gallery. Like2Buy is one of the more sophisticated selling tools on Instagram, with many big companies like Williams Sonoma and Nordstrom using it.
IFTTT stands for If This Then That. It's an elegant, simple integration that can make the lives of your sales employees that much easier. "The tool allows you to connect the technology apps and devices you use regularly to automate processes that not only improve your sales processes but also help you keep in touch with friends, stay healthy, improve productivity and more," writes Hatchbuck. Track conversations on sites like Twitter, Reddit and Facebook. Create alerts to help you find new leads, follow up with clients and stay on track with your to-do list. IFTTT is productivity, time management and relationship building, all in one.
Native buy buttons
There are a few benefits to using each platform's native "buy now" capability. First and foremost, these tools don't require added setup or a second subscription. When you use each social media platform's built-in sales tool, you gain access to the data and insights each platform is collecting on your followers. And, when you use a social media channel's e-commerce tool, your business gets added visibility and SEO benefits.
Pinterest is one of the best platforms for converting a shopper to a customer. Pinterest's Rich Pins and Buyable Pins show each customer the price and availability of a product within the platform. Sales are free for the merchant, and mobile-optimized. Shopify reports that these tools have led to an average order value that's $50 higher than other social media platforms.
Instagram introduced Shoppable Posts to compete with tools like Like2Buy. Their in-app purchase option lets businesses tag products on their feed; these tags display the price and lead directly to a product catalog. Then, users can tap through to shop your feed and go to the website for purchase. Unlike Like2Buy, there's no email capture, but Instagram's insights feature shows merchants information like click-through-rate and where users tapped for more product details.