Through the end of 2023 and into 2024, you may have noticed that a lot of sellers have made shifts from in-person events into the online space—and that it’s working well! Today on the Modern Direct Seller Podcast, we’re going to dive into the details of social selling and the strategies that have proven to be successful. From creating content that generates sales to building relationships with new customers and calling them to action, listen in to learn what activities you can try to confidently explore this new sales channel.
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Time based notes:
- 1:32 Intro to social selling
- 2:34 Creating engagement posts
- 5:31 Posting outside your group
- 7:37 Moving from posts to DMs
- 10:24 Generating sales and leads
- 14:36 Balancing product-focused posts
- 16:41 Building intentional relationships
- 17:19 MDSA Social Selling Action Plan
Diving Deep into Social Selling
Through the end of 2023 and into 2024, you may have noticed that a lot of sellers have shifted their focus from parties or events into social selling and digital marketing—or at least were aspiring the move that direction—and that it’s working well! So, recently on the Modern Direct Seller Podcast, I thought what would be helpful is to break down what social selling is at a very nitty-gritty, granular, detailed level; talk a little bit about what social selling looks like; talk about what is working in social selling; and explain different types of social selling activities that you can dip your toe into. Because, “social selling” is a little bit of a buzz word. We see people creating content and posting things, but we don’t see those conversations happening in the DMs, and that is where the magic and the sales are taking place.
So, the first area that I want to cover is around creating engagement. You see people posting all the time these not product-specific, not business-specific posts, and they’re getting a lot of engagement on those. In our own community, we’ve put together a monthly Social Selling Action Plan, and we’re giving some examples of engagement posts that really get people talking that maybe you haven’t heard from for a while on social media.
Back in January, some of the posts that we were sharing were, “What is your word for 2024? What are you letting go of in 2024? Where do you want to travel this year?” And, where we’re seeing some elevated visibility, specifically over on Facebook, is when you post it with one of those solid-colored backgrounds and keep your post really short and sweet. My hunch is, they stand out better. It’s a little bit easier for people to engage. And, the question that you’re asking is really clear,. So, those posts have performed tremendously for our community. I mean, I’m talking 20, 30, 50, 100, 200; I’ve seen some with up to 300 comments on really generic engagement questions.
Now, I say “generic,” but we’re being really intentional about the engagement pieces that we’re putting out there. The content that we’re creating is not anything that comes to mind. We’re thinking about what we’re going to follow up with in a direct message. So, for example, when you’re asking somebody, “What is the word of the year that you’ve picked?” and they’ve shared it with you, how easy is it to follow up with a direct message saying, “I love that you picked the word ‘focus.’ Tell me what that means. What does that look like for you?” Really engage in a one-on-one conversation based on their response.
Those engagement posts are a great way to reach people that maybe you haven’t heard from for a while, maybe people that aren’t already your customers, and give yourself a little bit of an excuse to reach out directly in the DMs.
Now, when we’re thinking about the engagement posts, it’s important to mention that it’s been a trend for years that we keep content like this inside our Facebook group. So, if you have a customer Facebook group, and that’s where you hang out with your people, you may have been thinking just now, “Oh, I could post that in my group.” But, I want to caution you, because people in your group are already shopping with you. They are already engaged. You’ve built that know, like, trust factor. So, I really want to challenge you to put these engagement posts out publicly on Facebook, or publicly over on Instagram. I would think about using your public personal profile a bit more than you have in the past. You may have a business Page; that’s another great place to go post. But, I want you to test running engagement posts on your personal profile.
Now, once you’ve moved from that public post into a direct message, you have a couple of options on which path you choose. And, this is where it becomes a little bit of a judgment call. If you’re DMing somebody that you have not talked to for a hot minute, you probably want to go back to rebuilding the relationship with that person. By them commenting on that post and you sending them a DM, you can prioritize them as somebody that you want to connect with and build a relationship with. So, we’re not jumping straight to the sale that’s happening, or the product, or the business, or “Join my team.” That conversation is truly a relationship-building conversation.
Another option would be somebody that is familiar with you and your business; and you’ve built that know, like, trust factor; and you feel like it’s the right time to segue into a business conversation. So, you might talk about their word of the year, or talk about what their plans are for Valentine’s Day, or whatever that might be for you, and then baby-step into a call to action that would get you closer to a sale. So, that might look like, “Hey, I was thinking of you when you commented on that post. Would you like me to send you a sample?” Or, “Would you like to take a peek at our newest catalog?” Or, “Hey, I’m hosting an event on Thursday and I’d love for you to come check it out!” Or, “Have you seen what’s new?” Or, “I’m sharing this over in my group. Would you like an invite to come check it out?” All of those are great baby-steps to take before you jump to ask for a sale.
But, here’s the thing: If somebody is commenting and engaging with you on these kinds of posts, and they’re already a customer, you know them, it’s really easy to work that into the conversation. You can say something like, “Hey, do you need a restock on that item?” Or, “Can I send you a link to get that ordered?” Or, “It’s been a little while since you’ve checked out the new products. Can I send you a link to shop?”
Or, maybe you’ve built that relationship, and they’re a first-time customer, and you’re offering something special for them as they’re getting started, like a coupon code. So, it’s a little bit of “choose your own adventure” judgment call when you’re interacting in the DMs with somebody that you know really well, or you don’t know at all; you can decide where you need to build the relationship before moving that into business.
Now, as we’re thinking about lead generation, or actually getting sales based on what we’re sharing on social, I’m going to give you three different examples of the type of content you can share that, again, you can move into a direct message from fairly easily and open up a conversation about purchasing, or reordering, or whatever that might look like for the person that you’re talking to.
So, the first one is something that we included in our January Social Selling Action Plan, and it was leveraging the power of a poll. So, this would take place over in your Facebook group, or it could also be in your Instagram, or your Facebook Stories. If it was on your personal Page, you could also do a graphic and people could comment on it. No matter where that poll is happening, you want to post and ask people how you can best serve them, or what kind of challenge they’re facing that you provide a solution to.
I’ll give you an example. Let’s say the poll is, “What are some of those mealtime dilemmas that happen at your house? 1. What’s for dinner? 2. It’s hard to have healthy food for my picky eaters. 3. I’m always in a rush, and there’s never time to cook. 4. I straight up don’t like to cook.” All of those could be challenges that somebody is facing that you have a solution to in your business or through the company that you’re working with, right? So, it’s a little bit of a leading question here.
A flip side of that would be asking how you can best serve them. “What do you want to hear more about this year? Do you want to hear tips? Hacks? Do you want specials and deals? Do you want to hear some high-value content that’s going to help you accomplish XYZ?” When people are answering that poll, for one, it is silly easy for them. They literally click a button, they vote in that poll, and they’re done with it. But, you’re not done with it. You’re going to go look at the poll results, and who is voting for what, and follow up with a direct message that says something like, “Thanks so much for participating in the poll! I saw that you mentioned this, and I thought of you, because we have this available.” Or, “I don’t know if you knew this, but we have this going on,” right? So, you can see how you can segue from the poll into the direct message to open up a conversation about your business or your product.
Another social post that works really well when it comes to leads and sales would be, again, using that solid-colored background on Facebook and making a post indicating that you’re working on something for fill-in-the-blank-audience, and it’s something big and exciting, and if you want to see it first, comment below with a keyword.
So, I did this with the Social Selling Action Plan last month. I posted, “I have something big coming. I’m super excited about it. It’s just for social sellers. If you’re interested, drop me a comment below.” And, I think I got over 250 comments on that single post. It was a public post on my personal Page. It was shareable. People were tagging in their friends and letting them know, “Go comment on this! Becky has something good coming.” And, through that post and those comments, we were able to directly message someone and say, “Hey, we have a beta coming up of this Social Selling Action Plan. Would you like to be one of the first ones to get a peek at it?” Obviously, everyone was like, “Yes, please send it to me,” right? “Okay, perfect. Here’s the information. We have a quick form for you to fill out.” So, we took it from a post down to a direct message.
Now, what happened as we were sharing that content is, we generated a lot of leads, right? I mean, we were offering something super high-value, but we reached people that hadn’t worked with us before, or didn’t know what we were up to here at Modern Direct Seller. So, that’s another example of a way that you can focus in on lead generation directly from social, moving it from a post to a direct message.
And then, the last one is much more product-focused. In our January Social Selling Action Plan, we included a series of five posts, and it was your top five products for the year, and you shared them in a sequence of five days. So, this was a great way to reveal what you believed the top five products were and strike up conversation. Now, with all of these, it’s really important to have a very clear call to action telling your followers what to do when they see your post. So, they might see, “We’re doing a top five countdown! The first one is unveiled. Raise your hand if you have tried it,” right? And then, people can say, “Yeah, I’ve used that before. Oh, I haven’t used that before.” And, you can build on that with a really clear call to action and move those comments into direct messages. “Hey, thanks so much for engaging on top three. This is one of my favorite products! Would you like a link to check it out?” It’s really easy segue into introducing product to somebody that is engaging with your posts.
You can sense the theme here: We’re posting on social; we’re attracting people into our business with a clear call to action; and then we’re taking those comments, responding to them, and moving it directly into a one-to-one conversation. And at that point, you can choose: Is it time to build a relationship? Is it time to baby-step into a sale? Or, is it time to just straight ask for a sale? So, when we’re thinking about the world of social selling, those are some of the strategies here in January 2024 that we’re seeing as the most effective way to run your business, and generate more leads, and build that sales pipeline of people that we’re talking to.
If you’d like to learn more, one thing I’m really excited about, which is new within our Modern Direct Seller Academy community, is this monthly Social Selling Action Plan. And, within the plan, there’s three sections: what to share, what to say, and what to try. It is incredibly actionable. I mean, Canva templates, everything’s preloaded to Boards or Project Broadcast when relevant; we have it all mapped out. So, when you’re thinking about working social selling into your business, or maybe layering it on top of other sales activities you have going on, this is truly the “easy” button. Our February plan is just about to roll out, so if you are not yet in our Modern Direct Seller Academy, this alone might be a reason to join! You can check everything out over at ModernDirectSellerAcademy.com.