What is Social Selling and Why Should Startups Consider it.
Updated: May 17
Social selling is a sales strategy that involves using social media platforms to engage with prospects, build relationships, and ultimately drive sales. It is a modern approach to sales that takes advantage of the growing influence of social media in the sales process.
Social selling is based on the idea that people are more likely to buy from people they know, like, and trust. By using social media to connect with prospects and engage in conversations, salespeople can establish trust and build relationships with potential customers.
The key to social selling is to provide value to prospects by sharing useful content, answering questions, and offering insights and advice. This helps to position the salesperson as a trusted advisor and makes it more likely that the prospect will consider their product or service when making a buying decision.
Social selling can be effective for both B2B and B2C sales, and can be used across a variety of social media platforms, including LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. The goal of social selling is to create a more personalized and authentic sales experience that is focused on building relationships, rather than just closing deals.
There are several reasons why a startup should consider social selling as part of their sales strategy:
Increased reach: Social media provides a platform for startups to reach a wider audience than traditional sales methods, as many people spend a significant amount of time on social media platforms.
Enhanced credibility: By sharing valuable content and engaging with prospects on social media, startups can establish themselves as thought leaders and build credibility with potential customers.
Personalized approach: Social selling enables startups to personalize their approach to each prospect, making it easier to build relationships and establish trust.
Cost-effective: Social media is generally free to use, making it a cost-effective way for startups to reach potential customers.
Measurable results: Social media platforms provide data and analytics that allow startups to measure the impact of their social selling efforts, making it easier to optimize and improve their approach over time.
Competitive advantage: Social selling is still a relatively new approach to sales, which means that startups that embrace it can gain a competitive advantage over companies that are slow to adopt the technique.
Here are a few examples of startups that have effectively used a social selling strategy:
Glossier: Glossier is a beauty and skincare brand that has built a strong community of loyal customers through social selling. The company relies heavily on user-generated content and encourages customers to share their experiences and product recommendations on social media. Glossier's active presence on platforms like Instagram has allowed them to engage directly with their audience, build trust, and drive sales through authentic and influential user endorsements.
Warby Parker: Warby Parker, mentioned earlier for its cost-conscious sales strategy, also excels in social selling. The eyewear brand has leveraged social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook to showcase their stylish frames and engage with customers. They encourage users to share photos of themselves wearing Warby Parker glasses, effectively turning customers into brand advocates. This social selling approach has helped the company expand its reach and generate sales.
Airbnb: Airbnb, the popular accommodation marketplace, has effectively utilized social selling to drive bookings and establish trust among its users. The platform encourages hosts to create engaging profiles, share information about their properties, and interact with potential guests through messaging features. By enabling hosts to showcase their offerings and build personal connections with travelers, Airbnb has successfully leveraged social selling to foster a sense of community and drive bookings.
Everlane: Everlane, a clothing retailer known for its ethical and transparent practices, has built a strong brand through social selling. The company emphasizes storytelling and educating consumers about their supply chain, production processes, and pricing transparency. Through social media platforms and their online community, Everlane engages with customers, shares behind-the-scenes content, and encourages them to become brand advocates. This social selling strategy has helped them attract conscious consumers and drive sales.
Toms: Toms, a footwear and accessories company, has effectively used social selling to promote its "One for One" giving model. For every pair of shoes purchased, Toms donates a pair to a person in need. Toms leverages social media platforms to share stories and highlight their philanthropic efforts. By connecting with customers on an emotional level and encouraging them to be part of a social cause, Toms has successfully implemented a social selling strategy that drives sales while making a positive impact.
These examples illustrate how startups have leveraged social selling strategies to build brand awareness, foster engagement, and drive sales. By utilizing social media platforms, engaging with their target audience, and creating meaningful connections, these startups have effectively harnessed the power of social selling to grow their businesses.