In the age of social media, success is not guaranteed by having many followers. You need relationships, not just contacts, to help develop your business and ensure that it prospers. People like to know who is behind a business, and are more likely to buy if the brand stands out from the others, as a result of its transparency and authenticity. So-called “social selling” or “digital sales” refers to the use of social media platforms and other digital means to find potential customers, and establish an authentic and personal relationship with them that, over time, will translate into an increase in demand for a specific product or service.
The sales paradigm has also changed: brands no longer wonder what they should sell, but how they can help their target customer. It may seem to be a subtle change, but this shift in mindset gives potential customers the sensation of being placed at the centre of a business’ focus, and, consequently, makes them more likely to buy.
LinkedIn is a social network dedicated to business. According to recent studies, LinkedIn is 277% more effective than Facebook or Twitter at creating B2B (business-to-business) sales opportunities, i.e. between professionals. There are two main mistakes a user makes on LinkedIn when deciding to use this medium to sell a product or service. The first is to maintain a purely online relationship with a potential customer. By doing so, they are unable to really get to know a person, and understand what their needs are, which is an essential step in transforming a potential customer into a real customer. The second mistake is immediately proposing their product or service after the initial contact with the potential customer, thus ruining the relationship between the two parties forever, because the trust in the authenticity of this relationship is lost.