Succeed at Social Selling with these 10 Online Influencers

Today’s customers are more vocal than ever on the social web, which gives sales and marketing professionals a rich pool of insights from which they can arm themselves to propel conversion rates and sales performances.

If you think about it, valuable information is publicly available within reach at the micro-level. You can get to know about a prospect’s network, their interests, what they complain about and what they’re looking for, the way they speak and perhaps even real-time life stories. The wealth of information on social media makes it easy for you to do groundwork before getting in front of prospects, starting a strong relationship and ultimately understanding and providing them with the most accurate solution for their particular needs.

But that’s not all. Many prospects will also use the social web to self-educate early in the sales cycle, so it’s up to you to create a content strategy for great brand storytelling and to implement a natural but well-thought out website experience to help them ultimately make the right purchasing decision – to buy from you.

Social prospecting and social selling are crafts that can be mastered over time. So we’re going to step back for a couple of minutes and learn from experienced social strategists like Brian Solis or Tim Hughes about social selling and customer-based marketing. From fundamental questions to the most actionable tips, we’ve compiled this month’s best advice from social media influencers to help us all learn how to become social selling rock stars.

Here are the top 10 articles published in June and ranked by virality (level of shares, likes and comments):

top blog posts june - the list

1. Susanna Gebauer: “Social media is about selling”

• Give valuable information, tons of interesting posts and advice
• The personality of the person behind a social media account can achieve much more than an anonymous brand
• Give something before getting something out of it, to build a loyal audience that trusts you
• Turn your sales pitch into giving valuable information

2. Pratik Dholakiya sings the conversion alphabet

Some interesting takeaways:

• Make good use of that FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)
• Customer testimonials are a must to influence purchasing decision from your potential leads
• Answer customer questions in a timely fashion and diligently follow up with inquiries
• Don’t underestimate the value of email campaigns
• Giveaways are a great technique to showcase a new product
• Find your X-Factor: go above and beyond what others expect

3. Shane Barker speeds up page load time

• One golden rule for conversion rate is a fast page speed, otherwise visitors will turn to your competitors. Some figures:
— Even a two-second delay in load time can cause an abandonment rate of 87% on transactions.
— Just one second in delay can cause 7% loss in customer conversions too.
— “Two thirds (67%) of UK shoppers and more than half (51%) of those in the US said that site slowness is the top reason they’d abandon a purchase.”

4. Sandi Krakowski tells great stories to loyal fans

• Do great ads regularly
• Have relationships
• Plan a great storytelling over videos, graphics, posts and more, for your direct response marketing. Individual pieces will tell your story collectively.
• Constitute a highly targeted follower base for exceptional engagement and referrals

5. Brian Solis knows the right questions to ask

• Think about strategy first, and then about technology
• Ask yourself #WDYSF (What Do You Stand For): what is it that really makes your brand relevant?
• Provide a real experience with content the audience is looking for – generating buzz only comes second
• Humanize your audience and find out what questions they’re asking
• Really learn about the people you’re talking to and let them inspire you. That’s what Steve Jobs did very well.

6. Drew A. Hendricks monetizes his social profiles

• Structure your social media profiles and link them to your website and relevant sales pages
• Drive traffic to landing pages that lead to direct purchasing possibilities
• Perfect the art of PPC advertising
• Use social selling tools that turn your profiles into ecommerce-enabled pages
• Use Twitter to gain insights and increase visibility

7. Robin Fray Carey has a people-centric approach

• Establish trust long before a request for action
• Look at sales in a less transactional way
• Content sharing is key
• Engage with prospects on social media for a more human approach
• Integrate the social selling process into traditional CRM

8. Ron Sela thinks outside the box

• Use remarketing ads to target your website’s visitors
• Refer your visitors from social media to dedicated landing pages promoting your offers
• Connect with consumers on visual networks
• Practice social listening, but not necessarily in real time
• Drive conversions without stating the obvious
• Build the process into your CRM
• Don’t be just a sales person, be a people person

9. Tim Hughes values Millennials

• While C-Suite signs off budget, the buying process is delegated to and influenced by “People in the know”, 48% of which are Millennials
• Millennials will consume your content, blogs, video, etc. before purchasing. Make sure to supply all that information and make it easy for them to use it

10. Kristi Hines masters conversion content marketing

• Start by Setting Goals
• Track Conversions for On & Off-Site Content
• Include a call to action for each piece of content your create (e.g. A banner that invites visitors to sign up for a free trial, an opt-in form to encourage people to sign up for your mailing list, a contact form in to entice people to learn more about your business, a bonus piece of content visitors can download free in exchange for their email address, a link to a landing page where visitors can buy a product discussed in your content, etc.)

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