The 8 Worst Social Selling Mistakes Small Businesses Make
While selling on social is growing in popularity (and acceptance), too many businesses are still making critical social selling mistakes.
Regardless of social selling’s benefits and rising popularity, you likely still have questions about how to succeed with this strategy.
Today, we share eight common social selling mistakes and how to foil them so you can use social media more effectively.
Social Selling Success
Both the benefits and goals of social selling receive attention in a myriad of large-business reports, including ones by LinkedIn and CSO Insights:
- LinkedIn reports 90% of top-performing salespeople use social selling tools to build relationships and close sales, as compared to 71% of overall salespeople.
- CSO Insights states 39% of salespeople believe the biggest benefit to social selling tools is that they cut down the time and effort sales professionals spend researching leads.
Wasp Barcode Technologies’ 2016 State of Small Business Report is also insightful, noting that 45% of small businesses use social media to reach potential customers.
But while social selling is on the rise, there are still glaring social selling mistakes being made.
Obvious Social Selling Mistakes
While some social selling mistakes are harder to overcome, there are some that are apparent even to newbies.
Don’t waste time with the below social selling gaffs.
1) You Talk with the Wrong People
On social, you can spend all day talking with people and never interact with the right people. Avoid this social selling mistake by clarifying who your customers are.
Gathering demographics can be helpful, but dig deeper. Figure out what convinces people to buy and why they choose one product over another.
2) You Post on the Wrong Social Platform
Imagine social selling tools as platforms for the subway. If you wait on the wrong one, you never arrive at your desired destination.
Figure out the right social media platforms to use by revisiting your goals and targeted customer profiles.
That information determines the best platforms—places like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram—and they will get you where you want to go.
3) Your Profile Doesn’t Look Professional
Social selling requires you to be, well, social. It also demands that you put your best foot forward.
You wouldn’t arrive at a professional networking event in your pajamas—the same principle applies online.
Look at your online accounts and update them so you look the part of an industry professional your clients can trust.
4) Your Business Centers on You
The best way to alienate potential customers is with your sales agenda. If you prioritize the sale over customers’ pain points or desires, you will never make more sales.
Learn what matters to your potential customers and share advice and content that fit their needs and interests.
If you stop focusing your business on you and your needs, your customers may likely turn to you for more products or services.
Not-So-Obvious Social Selling Mistakes
While the above mistakes can easily be avoided, these are a bit harder to manage.
5) You Forgot to Set Desired Outcomes
Today’s social selling tools and platforms hold little chance of improving sales if you don’t know why you’re investing in the technologies.
Start by setting a quota to reach and targeting specific customer profiles.
You may also want to outline outcomes such as improved bottom and top lines, repeat sales, and revenue growth.
The clearer you get about your outcomes—the destination—and the social selling strategy needed to achieve them, the better you’ll be able to assess whether your efforts are working or need fine-tuning.
6) You Use One Tool to Complete All Tasks
Businesses likely can’t increase sales with social selling tools alone.
It would be like using a screwdriver to hammer a nail—useless, frustrating, and prone to failure.
Top sales professionals use customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, sales intelligence tools, social selling tools, productivity applications, and email tracking tools to close sales and keep customers happy.
7) You Neglect the Other People in the Room
Demand Gen Report’s 2016 “B2B Buyer’s Survey” finds that 62% of B2B buyers rely on peer recommendations during their buying cycle.
And Ogilvy, in collaboration with Google and TNS, reports roughly 74% of consumers are influenced by word of mouth over other factors.
Other people’s perceptions impact your ability to converse with and sell to clients, so don’t overlook past, current, and potential customers as you develop your social selling strategy.
8) You Emphasize the Incorrect Metrics
Likes, follows, retweets, and requests to connect might seem like your social selling tactics are successful, but unless you can tie those data points to your goals, they mean absolutely nothing.
To ensure success with your social selling strategy, you must accurately collect and analyze data.
Remember that social selling requires consistent effort.
Are you guilty of the above social selling mistakes? How has social selling helped your business? Let us know in the comments section below!