How To Sell On Social Media: A Guide For B2B And B2C Marketers
This post briefly discusses all the important aspects of social selling, and how you can use them to your advantage.
The difference in social selling strategies of B2B and B2C sellers
The approaches taken by B2B and B2C companies are different from one another because they target different audiences. While B2C companies play to the emotional aspects of the consumers, B2B ones focus on projecting themselves as market leaders by using infographics, statistics, and other measurable data to prove the point.
As a result, they demand more detailed information about products and services, and require specific proof regarding the efficacy of the products. Generally, B2B buyers are not individual buyers, rather they make purchases on behalf of a team or company.
Therefore, B2B social selling strategies need to be such that they appeal to all members of the team concerned with the purchase. As you can see in the example below, IBM's content, although an Instagram post, is not your run-of-the-mill content. It is meant for niche audiences who have been encouraged to check out the content link on their bio for details.
For B2C marketers, driving traffic to their websites often results in increased sales. And the decision-making process for B2C buyers takes just fraction of the time taken by B2B buyers. B2C marketers mainly target social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.
As you can see in the example below, CLUSE, a B2C brand that sells watches, leveraged the occasion of Mother's Day to sell online. They encouraged their followers to gift a watch to the women in their lives who are mothers. And, they even included the incentive of featuring their followers who do so in their Stories.
- LinkedIn – 97% of B2B marketers said that they use LinkedIn for marketing and 78% find it to be the most effective.
- Twitter – 87% of B2B marketers use Twitter for marketing and 48% find it truly effective.
- Facebook – 86% of B2B marketers use Facebook for marketing and 42% find it effective.
The most successful B2C companies, however, find Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube to be the most effective.
On Instagram, you can link to your website on your bio and use your posts to encourage followers to click it. If you have more than 10K followers on Instagram, you can even direct them to your website directly from Stories.
Things you should consider to sell more on social media
Determine the social platforms frequented by your customers
For example, suppose you sell cosmetics for women in the age groups of 18 to 35. Think about the platforms where your target audiences are most likely to spend their time online. Facebook perhaps, but how can you be sure? Check for the user demographics of the platforms in question.
According to the latest research, 13% of women aged 25 to 34 and 9% of women aged 18 to 24 are on Facebook. So clearly you need to focus on Facebook for your social media marketing.
Regular social media monitoring will help you identify the social networks where your target audience is most active. It is a good way to stay up-to-date on everything being talked about related to your brand, whether the company is mentioned in the conversations or not, and as a way to better engage with prospects.
Make purchasing simple with CTAs
A prospect should be able to easily navigate from social networks to the landing page. The content you create for social selling should be able to direct your audience to what they are seeking. So, your social copy should be as straightforward as possible with a strong CTA.
Social networking sites provide plenty of CTA options to choose from. For example, on Facebook you can choose from 11 different CTAs to add to your business page.
Besides Instagram's visualizing capacity to raise interest about your products among prospective customers on its platform, the "Shop Now" function helps you to sell those items to your prospects by directing them to your website.
Whichever social media platforms you use, you need to ensure that the right CTAs are in place. Not only do these serve to guide your customers through their purchasing journeys, but they also increase urgency.
Here are the characteristics of an effective call-to-action:
- Create a compelling copy to go along with your CTA. Just the button is not good enough unless you're properly encouraging users to click on it.
- Make sure that your CTA copy is clearly visible. For example, Instagram truncates long captions on posts so that only a part of it is visible in the feed. You need to make sure that your CTA appears within that space.
Optimize your site for mobile devices
Examine the performance of your site for use on mobile devices, such as the time taken to load the page. This one aspect is very essential in determining site performance. You can assess the page speed of your site for mobile devices and desktops with the help of tools like Google Page Speed. You can also check whether or not your site is mobile-friendly using the same tool.
You will lose potential buyers if their first experience when using a mobile device to visit your site is complicated and not user-friendly. Keep in mind the bottom line of selling on social media is to ensure the ease of use for customers so that there aren't any complications getting from A to B.
Gain as many customer reviews as possible
Perhaps the best way of getting reviews to positively impact your brand perception is to collaborate with influencers. This holds true for both B2C as well as B2C brands.
Because influencer recommendations are trusted by their followers and even actioned upon, use them well. In fact, tweets from influencers are known to increase purchase intent by 5.2X when coupled with tweets from brands.
If you're a B2C brand, it is relatively easier to find influencers in your niche with whom you can collaborate. Ask them to try your products and share their honest reviews on social media. You can use platforms like Grin to connect with influencers who are authentic, relevant, and relatable.
If you come across negative reviews, don't be disheartened or defensive. Evaluate whether there is any truth to such criticism and respond to such comments regardless. Try to quickly move the conversation politely to offline mediums such as phone or email. Most importantly, be polite and personal, and acknowledge the issue, then offer to resolve it at the earliest.
Responding to reviews is critical to building relationships with your customers. Therefore, whether they are saying good things about your products or services or bad, you must make the effort to respond on a regular basis.
Tools you can use to support your social selling efforts
Facebook opened its platform to buyers and sellers in October last year after it noticed that a lot of people were buying and selling products using its platform.
This particular section on Facebook's mobile app is called "Marketplace," and this Craiglist-styled section allows page-owners and brands to post things for sale.
The Facebook Marketplace is suitable for those looking for buyers or sellers in a particular geographic area.
Social selling is essential for your business and you know it, but you don't have the time required to advertise on every social media platform. Shopial provides the perfect solution to this problem. You simply need to connect your Facebook or Pinterest accounts to the app and leave the rest to Shopial.
It will import your products and then design, target, and optimize the ads to help you promote your products freely on social media platforms. The reporting function of Shopial enables users to monitor its performance.
Social selling can boost your sales by leaps and bounds if you know how to implement and follow the most successfully proven ways.
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