What is Social Selling the Inbound Way?

In today's fast-paced world, traditional sales methods just don't cut it anymore. Enter social selling the inbound way. This innovative technique uses social media to attract and engage potential customers, build relationships, and ultimately drive sales. In this article, we'll explain exactly what social selling the inbound way is and how it can help your business thrive in the digital age. 

What is social selling?  

Before we unpack what inbound social selling means, you may ask, "What is social selling?" Let's backtrack a bit.

With technological advancements came the rise of social media. Businesses started to realize they could effectively use platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter to sell a product or service, search for leads, and foster relationships with customers. 

By harnessing the potential of social media and content marketing, social selling veers away from traditional sales approaches (think cold calls and TV or radio ads) that are typically considered pushy and ineffective.  Instead, we recommend creating strategies to capture, engage, and convert prospects through well-timed, targeted content in our guide to social selling in professional services.

Social media platforms are also becoming more sophisticated, making it possible to better target your prospects. For instance, LinkedIn has the SSI (Social Selling Index) that can be used to maximize the efficiency of your social selling. 

What does social selling the inbound way mean

Social selling the inbound way takes the concept a step further. Rather than relying on the influence of "outsiders" to be brand ambassadors, the inbound methodology leverages your team's inherent credibility and expertise to create social media opportunities for your brand. It leverages the social media accounts of people who know your offerings like the palms of their hands: your employees. Also called “ambassadors,” they can serve as very effective spokespersons. 

Businesses practice this by creating valuable content that educates and informs potential customers. They then use the team's digital channels to distribute that content and engage with prospects. 

Pitching to the general audience in the hopes of converting a small percentage into customers can be a wasteful technique. But with social selling the inbound way, you attract individuals already keen on your brand or its products or services. Its goal is to accompany the customer in every step of the buying journey, establishing trust and building a long-term relationship in the process. Thus, it differs from traditional sales approaches, such as telemarketing and direct mail, that are more one-off, interruptive, and focused on short-term results. 

The benefits of social selling 

1. Increased reach

Social selling is increasingly becoming the norm in sales and marketing due to the ease of accessibility of social media. As this is the go-to source of information for many people,  social selling makes it easy for businesses to reach potential customers who spend most of their time browsing through digital content. Research shows that more and more people are using social media to discover new brands, shop, and make product recommendations.

2. Enhanced engagement

Through social selling, you can show potential leads that your business is customer-centric. It helps them to know that your company is not just out to make a quick buck but is focused on providing them with relevant value. By being helpful and informative, your team can enhance trust and credibility for your brand.

3. Improved conversion rates

With inbound social selling, it’s the customers who reach out to your brand. Since they initiate the interaction, you know they’re already interested in what you offer. As such, this process kicks off your lead conversion to a great start. 

4. Increases credibility in your brand

What can instill more confidence in your brand than having your customers see your employees actually using and promoting your offerings? This can significantly enhance your company's credibility, boost conversion rates, and drive sales. 

5. Lower costs

Inbound social selling is often more cost-effective than traditional sales tactics, as it relies on digital channels rather than expensive sales teams or marketing campaigns.

6. Improved customer experience

With inbound social selling, customers actually engage with your team, enabling them to have a more personal and profound connection with your brand. In turn, your organization can leverage data from these interactions to determine the customers' real needs and preferences and get critical feedback to develop tailor-made solutions. All of these factors can create a positive experience for the customer, encouraging them to continue doing business with your brand and strengthening loyalty. 

How does social selling the inbound way work? 

Step 1: Create valuable content

To attract potential customers and establish credibility successfully, businesses must create content that is informative and valuable to their target audience. Examples of content may include blog posts, whitepapers, eBooks, webinars, and other relevant materials. With content that resonates with potential customers, businesses can capture their attention and establish themselves as industry thought leaders. 

Step 2: Share content on social media

Now it's time to spread the content you created across social media channels like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to reach your target audience. Remember, each platform has a unique audience, and optimizing your content for each platform ensures maximum engagement. For instance, posts on LinkedIn should be tailored to a professional audience. On the other hand, Twitter content is shorter and more catchy. 

Your team has a potent advantage: their credibility and expertise. This makes them your company’s best ambassadors. They can tap into this power in many ways, such as:  

  • Putting out valuable content that relates to your industry: Think informative articles, insightful videos, and expert opinions that showcase their knowledge and establish them as trusted thought leaders. 
  • Sharing success stories, case studies, and testimonials: This inbound social selling technique can work wonders. These real-life examples demonstrate the company's credibility and showcase the positive impact of your products or services. People love hearing about actual results, and this kind of social proof can be a game-changer.
  • Collaborating with leading figures in the field: To take it a step further, team members can collaborate with influencers or industry experts to co-create content. This not only expands the company's reach but also boosts credibility by associating with recognized figures in the field.

Through these strategies, your team can unlock the full potential of social media to drive brand awareness, establish trust, and ultimately generate more sales in a natural and organic way.

Step 3: Engage with potential customers

But it's not just about sharing content. To establish long-term relationships with potential customers, your brand needs to forge a meaningful connection with your audience. You can respond to their comments, ask them relevant questions, or simply thank them for supporting the brand. 

Watch our free webinar: Maximize Your Brand’s Share of Voice Using Social Media. In this webinar, you will learn how to increase your reach and engagement with your target audience.

Step 4: Deliver relevant information consistently 

Social selling, primarily through content creation and curation, demonstrates expertise in the industry. By consistently delivering valuable and relevant information, you can establish yourself as the thought leader in your field. This helps boost customers' belief in your brand's trustworthiness.

Step 5: Measure results

Ensure the effectiveness of your social selling strategy by keeping track of your results and adjusting them as needed. For example, tracking engagement metrics, conversion rates, and other key performance indicators can help identify areas for improvement and optimize your approach over time.

Choosing the perfect tool for inbound social selling

While inbound social selling is a highly effective sales and marketing strategy, its success largely hinges on the tools you wield. The right technology can amplify your efforts and spell the difference between successful social selling and suboptimal results. 

Maximize your chances of success with Clearview Social. We're an employee advocacy platform that makes it really easy for your team members to participate in promoting company content. We have designed software that empowers your employees to draw in qualified leads, increase event attendance, and more through their social media accounts. And that's just for starters! 

Unlock a multitude of possibilities for your inbound social selling strategy with Clearview Social, where we’re passionate about turning your employees into ambassadors. Contact us to learn how we make social selling easier than ever, or schedule a free demo with our team.