Social media usage is at an all-time high. In fact, according to Brandwatch, people spend an average of 142 minutes a day on social media. With billions of active social media users across the globe, social media networks are only becoming more and more powerful, adding as many as 10 users every second.
There’s no denying that social networks have changed the way companies and salespeople approach prospective companies. As a result, social selling has a significant impact on the sales process.
Therefore, it would be wise to see what you can expect in the world of social selling in the upcoming year. Take a look below to learn more about the upcoming social selling trends that will help you up your social selling game in 2020.
1. Data-driven approach
Modern companies have no problem gathering customer data. People not only leave important personal details about themselves on social media platforms, but also unconsciously allow people behind the networks learn a lot about their (buying) habits.
Consequently, savvy brands are merging their primary data with social data to better target their audiences. This data will be used to craft a better social marketing and selling strategy since marketers will know exactly who to engage and how to engage them.
Such data can also help inform your segmentation strategy. Since segmentation goes beyond basic demographics, you can understand what kind of content you need to push and what topics you need to cover.
All in all, utilizing social selling will help you improve efficiency: You won’t be in the dark when it comes to details about your prospects
2. Video content
Videos rule the social media kingdom. In fact, video content will make up 82% of all internet traffic by 2022, according to Cisco.
Since social media platforms are looking for new ways to further prioritize video content, marketers too must focus on videos and implement video content as an integral part of their strategy and targeting.
In the coming year, keep a close eye on how this format reshapes marketing strategies. There is no denying that the emphasis will be put on creative and engaging storytelling that can grab user attention in a matter of seconds.
Consequently, more and more brands will start utilizing video content to better engage users, especially on platforms where the like button will go away.
3. Meaningful relationships
Thanks to widespread media coverage about personal information misused by several prominent companies, consumers have grown more concerned about the sensitive data someone can use against them. Consequently, this lowers your chance of establishing trust with prospects as a brand.
Additionally, as friends lists grow longer and longer, more users are turning to private groups and messaging apps to connect with others. If you really want to make use of your social channels, stop worrying about how many followers you have.
Instead, you should put in the effort to establish more meaningful relationships with your customers. In other words, you should try to develop deeper individual connections. That way, you will gain customers who will come back for more— building incredible brand loyalty. In fact, 31% of B2B professionals claim that it helped them build deeper relationships with their customers.
4. Authenticity is a priority
Online shoppers have become more skeptical than ever. High online cart abandon rates demonstrate that they want to hear insights from real people before they close a sale.
This is where customer and employee-generated content steps in. But tread lightly: This kind of content will have a positive impact only if it’s genuine.
For instance, user-generated content (reviews, comments, and the like) provides some tangible proof that the product is worth your customers’ attention.
On the other hand, employee-generated content is broader— it can include videos, blog posts, images, and other content formats which emphasize the company’s mission and values, and the overall benefits of the product or service.
Customers should see your employees as trusted insiders, so the insights they share need to be believable and genuine. Instead of focusing on generic content, people want to see authenticity and uniqueness.
5. Empowering the sales team
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Social selling is all about leveraging your social networks to find the right prospects, build meaningful relationships, and ultimately, close more deals.
Since social selling has profoundly changed with social media, your sales agents will have to adapt. The whole sales mindset is changing slowly but surely, and that’s why people who actually reach out to prospects need to change the way they do so as well.
Salespeople today need to be credible and trustworthy to achieve success. Gone are the days of pushy sales agents that just won’t accept no for an answer.
In the very near future, sales agents will no longer be rewarded only for the number of sales they get. Instead, their performance will also be assessed based on the number of people they engage with and the potential lifetime value of customers (LTV).
To make such a shift, companies must empower their sales teams with more resources and training than ever before. Sales representatives simply need to become better at their jobs and take advantage of social media to improve sales figures.
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Many brands see social media platforms as an afterthought or just a way to stay visible online. They don’t recognize their real potential, instead believing that it is enough to be present on such networks.
This will, no doubt, change in the upcoming year. Numbers never lie: Companies with consistent social selling processes are 40% more likely to hit revenue goals than those without them.
In layman’s terms: companies who employ people to interact on social media platforms increase their chances of winning new customers and selling more to their existing ones. Having a consistent social selling strategy, therefore, does wonders for your sales.
7. Emphasis on customer service
In days past, customer service representatives only answered customer requests and questions through mail or by phone.
But the landscape has changed, and more and more people turn to social media pages to voice their concerns. For instance, many customers would much rather send a message to your brand on a social network they already use instead of contacting your customer service department by phone.
And not only are customers contacting your company through social media seeking help with a product, but they also expect answers as soon as possible.
This year has another trend in store for us. Companies will switch up their social accounts and turn them into customer services portals through chatbots, educational content, tutorials, and so on, to solve customers’ pain points.
8. More creativity
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There are already so many tools available to marketers that make social media marketing quite fun and engaging, and the upcoming year has even more tools in store for everyone.
So far, we have seen features of various apps like Instagram or Facebook change the way we communicate and consume. Some of the more popular features that can be used during a social selling strategy include Instagram Stories, IGTV, Facebook Live, Facebook Stories, and new targeted and influencer ad formats on both platforms.
All of these features were designed to make it easier for companies to craft and execute a social selling strategy that works well with their target audience.
One new ‘tool’ that really inspires creativity is TikTok. There is no denying that this platform’s popularity has sky-rocketed during the past few months, and it seems it will only grow more popular. This kind of social video app will gather large numbers of people and that is a clear sign that companies need to take advantage of it if they want to increase their sales figures.
It’s clear that social selling has never been more important. It now constitutes a major part of the sales cycle since consumers demand information in real time. Moreover, social media platforms have become places where brands need to nurture trust if they aim at success.
The future will bring even more importance to social selling as more brands use social selling methods to engage and sell their products or services.
Make sure your company follows the same path to engage your audience. Failing to recognize and utilize the potential of social selling could lead to lower sales and stagnation of your business. On the contrary, if you focus on social selling, you’ll be more successful by meeting customers where they are.