The Secrets of Social Selling

Written by Laura Roeder

On July 6, 2020

Did you know that Team Edgar hosts daily Facebook Lives? Join us daily as we chat about social media, marketing, business, and entrepreneurship. Here’s a recent Edgar Live about how social selling.

Selling on social can feel super scary. We get it! It is never easy to ask people to spend their money. How do you actually do this in a really well-meaning and unique way that will make sure your brand gets noticed for not only the value of your product or service but also, for your overall brand and company values? Let’s talk a little bit about some of the structures around selling on social media that really do work.

Social Selling Structures

First and foremost, the thing that you have to get in your head is the mindset of selling. You need to believe that your product or service is the solution to someone’s problem. Then you can switch your language. Instead of focusing on the features or exactly what you’ll get with your product or service, focus on the outcomes and the benefits that people will receive by using your product or service. When you focus on the solution and not the problem, your brand becomes more inspirational on social media, which is much more fun for your entire community.

The 80/20 rule still applies on social media! That rule is 80% of your posts should be value-adding posts, those educational, entertaining, helpful posts, and 20% should be a little bit more sales-y. When we say sales-y, we don’t mean that you should just be going out there and telling people, “You should buy this or your life is going to be terrible.” You still want your sales posts to have that educational and inspirational vibe in them. Steer clear from doing things like shaming people for not getting things soon enough and instead, focus on how you can provide them a solution. This is going to be what gets people to naturally want to purchase from your sales posts.

Use Positive Urgency

Urgency and scarcity are two concepts that are often used in marketing messages. It’s the idea of, “Hey, this is not going to be available to you all the time. Hey, you have to buy this now.

Every single human drags their feet. If you talk to any course creators, they’ll tell you their biggest spike in purchases happens on the last day of their launch. It’s just a human tendency to procrastinate and not make that decision unless you push people to it, but I don’t want you pushing people in a negative way because, again, social media is not meant to be a place of negativity, really. These social tools that we have are pretty neutral. Lots of people will say that social media platforms are such a terrible place but when we start to think about the fact that it’s just a tool, we can see how we can create this urgency and scarcity in an inspirational way.

Here’s the difference between negative and inspirational senses of urgency and scarcity:

Negative: “Hey, if you don’t sign up right now, you’re never going to get this again.”

Inspirational: “Hey, this time tomorrow, you could learn X, Y, Z, and have this benefit in your life if you purchase this today.”

These two get the same message across but one is inviting people rather than just pushing and selling.

Think of social media like your home. When you’re inviting people into your social media feeds, it’s like inviting people into your home. If someone has invited you into their home, you don’t want to show up and be really rude and say, “Bye, bye, bye.” You’ve been invited into your followers’ feeds, their digital home. You want to show up there in a really polite, conversational way, and remember that inspiring people to change their behavior and to change their belief system and to realize that their life could be better and your product or service can help them change their life. This is going to get you more sales than only creating a negative sense of urgency.

Use Your Belief Systems

Your belief systems and brand values can also help you get more sales in a positive and inspirational way. A great example of a brand who used their belief system for social selling was Doc Martens. They made a specific hashtag called #StandForSomething. They brought in young girls who were actually going out and changing the world, and they asked them to talk about what they were doing, their social justice campaigns, stuff like that, and they used the hashtag #StandForSomething.

The girls who were featured in these posts were wearing Doc Martens shoes. Their sales went up because they showcased the values and what they wanted their ideal audience persona to feel when they were in those shoes. It speaks to their ideal audience who also want to stand for something. They can see themselves in the ad campaigns and they’ll know Doc Martens puts them in a community of other people who have a similar goals. That’s going to really compel them to want to buy and be a part of that movement.

What is that for your brand? Perhaps it’s not something that you’re going out and creating a whole commercial and campaign, like Doc Martens did here, but you can do this in the same fashion of thinking about those common belief systems that your ideal audience persona has and bringing them into a single campaign and actually getting that out to people. I love the idea of having a branded hashtag like they did because this creates even more community, and community on social media is where that word of mouth marketing and referral power comes from.

If you hear about a product or service from a friend it’s more likely that you would actually purchase those shoes than if the brand showed up in your feed. Why? Because you already trust your friend. You trust their judgment. You know that they would give you really great advice. That’s the power of your brand creating a hashtag that other people could use. You’re getting that word of mouth marketing out there in a really genuine way. Again, the sale just seems so much more natural that way.

Think about these things and think about these movements that you can actually use to create an inspiring social media presence, because, goodness, do we need some inspiration in life right now, and how cool would that be if your brand is the one to provide that for people?

I think a lot of people are afraid to get their belief system out there and to do these emotional campaigns, but remember, we humans buy more on brand awareness and emotional appeal than we do on the logic of just needing a product. When you’re talking to your clients, we have to remember, they are people who have problems that we typically had in the past. Our clients are often the past versions of us and we created a product or service to help ourselves. How would you speak to your past version of yourself kindly in order to convince them that there’s a better outcome for their future out there? That’s all you have to do for your followers. 

Start Social Selling Before You Think You Need To

If you’re someone in the middle of pivoting your business to be an online business right now and you’re trying to validate ideas and really develop an audience persona and see what messaging is going to work, remind yourself that you don’t have to have your product or service 100% ready to start marketing it.

If you are someone who’s in the beginning stages, please remember there is a huge prelaunch phase that you should go through where you’re actually looking to gain a community and followers, gain some traction behind your messaging before your product launches. That’s how it’s done these days. You can grow a strong community on social media before you launch and they’ll be more likely to be ready to purchase when you do launch because you’ve already built their trust.

Taking this into account, doing things like selling before you even have a product or service ready is a step that we believe really strongly in here at MeetEdgar. A lot of people get a little bit nervous about what this means, but let me give you a couple of examples.

The first one is Dropbox, the awesome file sharing and storing site. They launched with just a very lightweight landing page with a video explaining a simple YouTube video explaining the Dropbox product and a link to sign up on a waiting list. How cool is that? They created a lot of prelaunch buzz around their product and they got their community excited about it before it was ready to launch.

You can create a free landing page with services like MailChimp. You can create a free YouTube video explaining your product or service and the problem it solves and put that up to start collecting email addresses while you actually get out there and build your product or service.

Don’t think that just because you’re in the beginning stages that you’re don’t have to sell on social media, because now is one of the most important times for you to be gaining that community and validating that your idea’s going to work.

Another example is Abbey Ashley, who created a sales page super and put up the name of the course she was going to launch without having created the course yet. This was her way of saying, “Hey, this is going to be my course, but I’m not sure if people are going to be interested.” Rather than spending hundreds of hours sitting down and creating this and then kind of launching it to crickets, she went ahead and created just a brief outline of what it would be, the title, and shared the sales page.

As she saw the interest in it and people actually purchasing, she then started creating the modules a couple at a time. This allowed her to go on in and actually get feedback from her community as they were taking the course, too. She could see the areas where questions were coming up and clarify in her future modules of what she meant. She could see the direction and the questions that people were asking to guide that information. This way, Abbey was able to use the feedback from her audience to create a more powerful course.

Social selling is so much more than post one or two sale posts. So get yourself excited about selling and creating a movement, even if you don’t have a product or service, and share that message in a really lighthearted way and a really inspirational way to make sure that your social media feeds are a fun place to hang out, to make sure you’re getting really great word of marketing and you’re creating a positive sense of urgency and scarcity around your products and services.

Get inspired for social selling with our Social Selling Swipe File! We share 9 of the best social sales posts and why they work!



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