New Sales Trend: Social Selling

What is social selling?  

Social selling is the use of social media to build and maintain positive relationships with potential customers. This technique allows businesses to reach sales goals in a quicker and more effective manner, as well as possibly eliminate the need to cold call customers. Social selling allows businesses to communicate directly with interested buyers and build their network through direct conversations via social media platforms. With social selling, companies and businesses are more accessible to potential customers. According to LinkedIn, 78% of social sellers outsell those who do not use social media as a sales tactic.  

Social selling makes it easier for businesses to connect with potential buyers and reach out for sales opportunities at appropriate times. Many companies are using social selling as a tactic and may not even know it! If companies have a professional Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn, they have already begun the social selling process.

Here are three steps on how to use social selling to improve your business…

Develop a reliable brand:

The first step to social selling is to develop a professional brand image to draw customers in and increase your legitimacy in the industry. Customers want to buy from businesses who are established and well trusted by the public.  First impressions matter to customers, and a well maintained and sophisticated profile will help to attract interest from potential buyers. A key step to developing a professional and reliable brand is to include endorsements from prior customers.  

Build a brand personality:

The second step to social selling is to build a brand personality.  In order to keep customers interested in your social media platforms, it is important to build a consistent voice for each post and individual message.  This voice should portray the values of the company and make the customer feel like they are communicating with the same person every time, and therefore building a stronger relationship.  The personality of the voice in the accounts should be something that a customer could relate to. Posts should be clear and cohesive so that they are easy for the customer to understand.

Consistently connect with new and old customers:

The third step to social selling is to engage and connect with new and old customers. Social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn allow businesses to easily reach out to potential buyers with new information via posts and individual messaging.  Social media can keep new and old customers up to date with the happenings of a business, as well as promote new sales opportunities. Some advice for reaching out to new customers is to use a customizable message to try to build a relationship before trying to sell anything.  After initially reaching out to the customer, a social seller must continue to follow up in order to build a stronger relationship. By building a strong relationship, customers are more likely to purchase from the business.

If you are looking to improve your marketing, click here to check out our MaxExposure products page!

“What Is Social Selling?” LinkedIn, LinkedIn Corporation, 2019, business.linkedin.com/sales-solutions/social-selling/what-is-social-selling#.

The Key to Inbound Marketing

The term “inbound marketing” was coined in 2006 by the founders of Hubspot, Inc., Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, as “marketing strategies and practices that pulled prospective customers toward a business and its products through the use of Web 2.0 tools and applications like blogging, search engine optimization, and social media.”

The biggest obstacle in the marketing world today is simply getting people’s attention. With apps like Spotify and Netflix, people are now paying to watch TV or listen to music, without the interruption of ads. That’s what outbound marketing is to some extent, an interruption. Outbound marketing such as TV commercials, internet advertisements, and so on, are used to interrupt people’s lives to promote a product or service. Inbound marketing such as blogs, websites, and social media networks, doesn’t interrupt anyone, but actually attracts customers to you and your business, improving your search engine optimization and visits to your company’s website.

So how do you use inbound marketing to attract people to your company? Here are the steps to engaging your market using inbound marketing…

Identify your Audience

You probably already feel like you have a pretty good understanding of who your audience is, however inbound marketing is extremely dependent on you providing the right content for your audience. So making sure you have a detailed and complete understanding of who your audience is is extremely important in successfully using inbound marketing.

Take a walk around the office, ask a couple other employees who they think your audience is, or maybe one demographic the audience has. Soon you will have a list of demographics important in figuring out what content to put out, and where for your inbound marketing strategy.

Figure out What Channels your Audience Uses

Inbound marketing channels can include anything from social media networks, to search engines, blogs, and websites. What’s a better way to find out what channels your audience uses than to search for the channels and find them yourself! Here’s an example, if you own a trendy, modern restaurant, go on google and search “foodie” and dive into the blogs, websites, Instagram accounts, and so on that come up. Next, visit Instagram or Facebook themselves and search for foodie accounts, or find trending hashtags that have to do with food and search by the hashtag. The best way to succeed in inbound marketing is to engage in it yourself, as if you were your own customer.

P.S. Keep a list of all the words you used in your search so you know which words to optimize yourself to improve your website and/or blog’s SEO.

Identify What Your Audience Wants to See

This could include problems they have, hobbies they’re interested in, questions they have about the industry, news related to the industry your company is in, and so on. This will help you determine what content you should be posting to attract their attention. Remember, inbound marketing is all about bringing the customers to you, not the other way around. This is the time to be extremely subtle and not over-promote your company. Your content will do the promoting for you.

Last but not least, create your content!! Make sure you change it up consistently and post on all of the topics your customers are concerned with. Have a good group of diverse people to work together to deliver one message, across multiple channels, with engaging and exciting content. The people creating this content need to maintain a consistent tone and give your company a personality your customers can relate to and enjoy seeing.

How to: Align your Marketing and Sales Teams

Your company’s sales and marketing teams are separate and have separate responsibilities and objectives, however in order to be successful, they must be aligned with each other. The main responsibility of the marketing team is to determine your company’s target market and attract that target market to your company through promotional materials. The main responsibility of the sales team is to take those attracted by the marketing team and turn them into customers, or, in other words, finalize their purchases.

“Researchers have found that sales and marketing team alignment results in 32% annual revenue growth.”


Forrester Research

There are three main steps to aligning your sales and marketing teams…

Align Goals and Objectives

The first is aligning the goals and objectives of both the sales team and the marketing team. For example, if the goal is to increase the conversion rate of prospective customers to actual customers, the marketing team will improve the specification of their target market consumers and sales will improve their tactics for selling to consumers to increase their sales stats (ie. sales/day). With both teams aimed at accomplishing the same goal, they will both improve their functions simultaneously and therefore accomplish the goals faster and more effectively.

Communicate Consistently

Communication between the marketing and sales team is essential in any company. With the same goals in mind, both teams need to be aware of the progress each team has made and what that means in terms of the other team’s next steps or reaction. For example, if the marketing team has started promoting the product towards a slightly different market segment, the sales team needs to be aware because they need to alter how they sell the product to the customers. For example, if the marketing team decides to market towards a slightly younger demographic, the sales team would need to alter the type of language they use when speaking with customers and accent on qualities of the product that appeal to the younger demographic.

Collaboration is KEY

Lastly, collaboration is of the utmost importance when aligning the marketing and sales teams in your company. Seeing as both teams are aimed at accomplishing the same goal, the marketing team can be an extremely effective resource for new ideas or tactics for the sales team, and vice versa. Collaboration between teams will not only allow for improved strategy and innovation of ideas, but will also improve the alignment of each team’s individual strategies. Both of these teams are extremely familiar with the market segment they are marketing and selling to as well as their universal goals in marketing and selling to them. This allows both teams to be knowledgeable enough to develop innovative ideas for both teams and improve the overall effectiveness of both teams’ strategies.
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Why Businesses Fail

The Small Business Association states that 30% of new businesses fail during the first two years, 50% during the first five years, and 66% during the first ten years. So why do these businesses fail? Why is it that even if they make it past the first couple years, the odds of them failing goes up even more? The way consumers purchase products and the way companies market those products to consumers has changed dramatically over the last couple years. This means that every step in a businesses’ process, from marketing the product, to manufacturing the product, and finally to delivering the products to the customer and ensuring their satisfaction, has become increasingly important to that businesses’ success. In considering today’s market and consumer marketability, we have established the top 3 reasons why businesses fail today…

Not Adapting to Change

The most important reason why businesses are failing today is because they are not adapting to changes in the industry, economy, or consumers. New companies are emerging every day and in every industry, and today more than ever before, these new businesses have almost equal opportunity of surviving, if not better opportunity, than companies that have been around for years. Customer loyalty has dropped dramatically as customers are more informed about which product or brand is actually better than the other. Customers in previous years, such as Generation X, simply chose the brands they were most familiar with and stuck with that, causing businesses to depend on customer loyalty. With Millennials and Generation Zers, customers are actually turning their products over and looking at the ingredients, looking up brand ethicality, and so on.

Businesses are failing because they are not adapting to these changes. Utilizing new technologies to quicken business processes, using social media marketing rather than traditional advertisements, and constantly improving and maintaining brand image is only a couple of the ways businesses need to be adapting to these recent changes.

Poor Management

The second most common reason businesses fail is because of poor management. This does not just mean from an upper-level stance, but lower-level management as well. Ensuring that everyone involved in your business, both externally and internally, knows your business inside and out is extremely important in ensuring management is aligned throughout the company. This includes knowing what the business stands for, the goals of the business, and the reason your business was created. Many companies do this by telling everyone who begins working for the business, the history of how the business began and why, as well as accenting on the importance of abiding by the company norms. This allows every individual inside and outside of the company, to be aware of how they should be operating, and how people under them should be operating as well, leading to improved management overall.

Unsustainable Competitive Advantage

Competitive advantages are becoming extremely difficult to maintain today as more and more businesses are entering the market, with increased chance of success. A business can no longer rely on one competitive advantage, such as a successful product, to maintain their business’ success. Companies with sustainable competitive advantages are not only consistently ensuring their product is the best on the market, but ensuring their brand is constantly improving their processes ethically and financially. This ensures that even if a new product comes out on the market, it is in direct competition with your own product as you’ve been consistently innovating and improving it. This also ensures that if a new company comes out that is ethically attractive and financially stable, you have also maintained your brand’s image and effectively improved your processes as well.

The key to ensuring your business does not fail is to constantly act like it is a brand new business. No matter how long your business has been around, whether it’s 5 years or 35 years, if you treat your business like you just started it up yesterday, you’ll be constantly working to improve it and therefore never fall behind your competition. This is evolved around your own motivation to be the best in the business and the perseverance you have, and your employees have, in consistently and effectively improving your business.

If your business could use some improving, click here to check out our MaxExposure products on our website today!

Limited Budget?

Do you have a limited budget as a small business? Where do you start when it comes to marketing? Often times we hear businesses who acknowledge they need marketing help but have limited resources. The question is always, “how do I know where to start?”

The Key to Marketing Small Businesses

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Operating a small business is not something to try to sneak past your customers, but rather something to accent on throughout your marketing strategy. There are so many benefits to purchasing from small businesses as opposed to large businesses. Accenting on the personalized customer service, increased customer value, and high quality products and services your small business offers, will greatly increase the effectiveness of your company’s marketing. Below are three tips to helping you unlock the key to marketing your small business!

Inbound Marketing is EVERYTHING

cellphone-device-digital-marketing-893893.jpgConsidering that small businesses tend to do less business and therefore generate lower profits than larger businesses, there is less money to be allocated towards the marketing budget. Inbound marketing is extremely helpful in allowing small businesses to compete with larger businesses who can afford to spend more on marketing. TV advertisements, print advertising, and radio ads have become extremely ineffective in recent years as customers are now using social media and music and tv streaming services. Inbound marketing includes blogs, websites, and social media marketing. Inbound marketing revolves around attracting the customer to your business, rather than simply marketing a product or service to them. It’s about creating a need for your customer so they come to you as opposed to the other way around.

If your business needs help with improving its inbound marketing, click here to check out our MaxExposure products on our website!

Give your Customers the Inside Scoop

One of the best parts about working with a small business is that you actually get to know the people you are working with. New customers want to know what to expect when meeting your business’ employees for the first time, and existing customers love to see the employees they love and are familiar with! Make sure to post an image of your employees at work either in-office or out of the office and keep them updated on your employees’ lives to engage them and increase their trust in your business! Posting content about an employee’s promotion or recent wedding shows your customers that you care about your employees and allows them to build relationships with your employees as well.

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Customer Satisfaction Goes a Long Way

Last but not least, one of the most important aspects in effectively marketing your small business is following through on the customer service your customers expect. Satisfying your customers not only ensures they continue purchasing from your business, but that they will recommend your company to their friends and possibly even write you a review online! Customer recommendations and reviews go a long way in marketing your small business. Small businesses are typically not well-known and trusted right off the bat because many people have never used or heard of them before. Through customer satisfaction, reviews, and recommendations, your small business expands its customer base and improves its branding.

Check out our MaxExposure social posting products for your small business by clicking here!

The Zero Moment of Truth

Today we go through a concept called the “Zero Moment of Truth.” Learn how your potential customers think in the digital age and the information they consume before they actually decide to do business with you. Whether you are a sandwich shop or a furniture store, your potential customers are comparing your online presence against your competitors.

Do you know your customers birthdays?

Today we go through how you can use Facbook Messenger to automate personalized messages that are sent every year to your customers on their birthdays. They can even include offers or coupons to drive them into your store. The best part is, you don’t have to do any data entry or keep track of a birthday list for email marketing. The system does it all for you.

 

Start your Business with Microbranding!

Approximately 543,000 businesses are started each month. Although hundreds of thousands of businesses are started each month, even more than that shut down each month. So how do startups survive in today’s market? The new trend helping thousands of businesses start up successfully and grow their success rather than shut down is called, microbranding. A microbrand is defined as “a small-scale brand recognized only in a certain geographic location or by consumers in a specific micro market or niche market.”

rawpixel-661940-unsplash.jpgMore and more businesses are starting by first developing and promoting a microbrand in which they sell one specific type of product. Once the product proves successful and gains a customer base, the business has the opportunity to add more products related to the initial product. This way, by the time they develop more products and invest more money in the company, they already have a customer base to sell their new products to, giving them a higher chance of success with their new products.

One company that has been successful in starting up using microbranding is Kylie Jenner’s cosmetics company, Kylie Cosmetics, LLC. Kylie Cosmetics started off as a microbrand that just sold individual lip glosses. After gaining a following and continuously selling out new lip gloss lines within minutes, Kylie Cosmetics now sells various types of makeup including eyeliner, mascara, eyeshadow, and so on.

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Here’s the key to successful microbranding:

Find your Niche

Even though there are millions of products out on the market, there are products in every industry that could use improvement. It is important that you find a niche that makes sense for you as well. Going into an industry you are passionate about and knowledgeable of will allow you to develop a high quality product, and build a better relationship with your customer base.

 

Build your Following through Marketing

I cannot stress this enough, but just like with any startup, marketing and public relations is an absolute must if you want to start a successful business. Kylie Jenner didn’t have much difficulty in this aspect of starting her company because she already had millions of followers on her social media accounts. One way to get your microbrand noticed is to reach out to people on social media that are in your target market and send them a free sample of your product, or a discount on their first order if they sponsor you. This means they will send out a post or story of them using your product and/or write a review for you on the product. This allows you to reach their followers as well, most of whom are also in your target market.

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Quality is Essential

Considering you are gaining a following primarily based on people’s satisfaction with your product or service, quality is essential. If they are not satisfied with your product, they are not going to want to recommend it to their friends and you are not going to be able to increase your following. Make sure that your marketing of the product and product quality match up on all counts.

 

Have a Long-Term Plan

A microbrand is a great way to get your business started, however no company carries on for years and years on selling and marketing just one product. You need to have a long-term plan and long-term goals for your business so that once your microbrand does gain its following you know where to go next to grow your company even further.

 

If you are looking to start your own business through microbranding and need help marketing your product click here to check out our social posting products!

 

Is the customer always right?

Video

We want to ask local businesses and marketers, what do you think of the phrase “the customer is always right?” Is having the right clients worth more than having a larger volume of clients that aren’t the right fit?

Watch below and let us know your thoughts in the comments!