Online retailers

What is social selling?

By Danielle Allen
Social Selling Blog (1)

Retailers are often looking to boost their ecommerce sales and profits, and to do that, they need to connect with their customers in new ways - one way they can do that is by adopting social selling. In this article, we’ll explore what social selling is, the key benefits of using it to reach your consumers and examples of how social selling can be adopted via the individual social networks to build relationships.


What is Social Selling?


Social selling is the process of sellers and brands connecting with their prospective customers via social networks. 


All types of businesses are able to benefit from social selling as it fosters interactions with consumers, to build strong relationships and generate leads – not by pushing the product through advertising, but by providing content at the right time and influencing buyers throughout their buying journey.


3 key benefits of Social Selling


1. Build relationships 


The primary benefit of utilising social selling, is the relationships you can build with your customers and the long term impact that can have on your reputation, sales and profits.


Previously, sales tactics such as cold-calling were used to try and bolster sales; however in recent years, the way in which customers wish to be connected with, has changed. Consumers prefer a personal and trustworthy relationship with a credible brand, before parting with their hard-earned cash. 


From an ecommerce perspective, this relationship and trust building can be achieved through the promotion of your brand personality, company values and ultimately your products.


2. Get customer insights


Retailers can use social media to learn more about their consumers through ‘social learning’. By using the platforms to have meaningful interactions with consumers, you’re able to learn what motivates them and how they want to consume information about brands and products. 


Every social interaction is an opportunity to learn about your customers, whether a sale is made, or not – it can help you decide on future marketing campaigns, refine product details and influence new designs or product lines.


3. Additional sales channels via social commerce


Using social networks to sell gives retailers the option to take advantage of all their capabilities, including social commerce. Social networks such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, all have in-app or online shops that retailers can utilise as new sales channels.


Your customers are already involved in social buying, Hubspot’s 2023 report on the State of Consumer Trends, shows that 27% of consumers prefer to discover new products through social media over any other channel. In addition, the 2023 Wunderman Thompson, Future Shopper Report shows that 67% of consumers surveyed have already brought through social media platforms – therefore, it’s time to get involved. 


By combining social selling with social commerce, you can engage with your customers while also offering your products for purchase in the place they discovered them.


4 Popular Examples of Social Selling


The ways you conduct social selling will depend largely on the channels you adopt. Here are a few examples of how it will differ between channels:


1. LinkedIn


LinkedIn is primarily a business to business (B2B) platform, however it can still be utilised to build credibility and expand networks. 


Your sales people (if you have them) can build their own personal brands by sharing company content, engaging with partners and introducing the company to others that may act as advocates. You can also build your company’s profile and credibility amongst new and existing industry connections and partners via a business account, before introducing your products and proposition.


What is LinkedIn’s social selling index metric?


LinkedIn has developed their own metric of measurement, called the Social Selling Index (SSI). The SSI metric evaluates your effectiveness in social selling on the platform. It assesses your profile optimisation, networking efforts, content sharing, and relationship-building skills. To enhance your SSI, focus on creating a compelling profile, connecting with the right audience, sharing valuable content, and nurturing meaningful relationships within your industry.


2. Instagram


Instagram offers a visual network to connect with consumers. It allows you to present your brand via video and photo content, with plenty of opportunity for engagement.


Instagram users are typically very open to engaging with brands and offers multiple methods of posting – a feed where posts are available at all times and stories which remain live for 24 hours and can be customised to be interactive, providing an opportunity to engage with your consumers on a more personable level. 


Instagram also offers an online storefront to allow consumers to browse your products in-app, personalised ads and it’s common practice for brands to build and utilise a network of Instagram influencers which advertise your brand to their own following. 

3. Facebook


Facebook can be a great network for social selling as many of your consumers will already be on the platform and as the platform is informal, it will be easier to engage with followers, as many will already engage with others and brands.


Facebook business profiles are highly editable and can be customised to accurately reflect your brand, you can direct consumers to your website or online shop, connect it with your other social media channels – such as Instagram, engage with and listen to your consumers through comments and personalised ads, and also utilise their in-platform storefronts to display and sell your products. 


4. TikTok


TikTok has recently boomed in popularity and offers you the opportunity to connect with a younger audience than other social media platforms, and content on TikTok is exclusively video. The nature of TikTok makes the platform easy for brands to connect with and sell to its users. 


For brands wishing to utilise the platform for social selling and social commerce, TikTok offers many ecommerce features such as adding your website/online shop into your profile bio, an in-app store (powered by Spotify) and video advertising with ‘shop now’ buttons.


How to sell  on Social Media with Mintsoft


In order to sell on social media, you first need to set up your business accounts on each of your chosen platforms and begin to build your following on each network. 


If you choose to use the in-app stores available, you’ll also need to set up your product listings in each of the platforms and monitor them for any orders placed. If you’re adding social commerce to your existing sales channels, it can mean additional work to monitor, maintain and keep track of – which is where order management software (OMS) can help!


By utilising an OMS, you can connect all of your sales channels including online stores, marketplaces and shopping carts to a single centralised platform for you to manage all order fulfilment activity after an order is placed and keep inventory up to date across all channels, so you never oversell a product.


Some OMS systems also offer multi-channel listing functionality, to enable you to upload, manage and edit product descriptions, images and price and ensure continuity across all of your sales channels.


Mintsoft offers a combined order and inventory management system that provides useful ecommerce tools such as multi-channel listings, over 67+ online shopping platform integrations, easy to use shipping management with over 89 courier options, and reporting capabilities to track your business performance. 


If you’d like to see if Mintsoft is right for you, please book a personalised demo with one of our expert consultants. 

Danielle Allen
By Danielle Allen Digital Content Manager

Danielle is a content writer at Access Mintsoft with an abundance of experience in the new and emerging technologies sector. Dedicated to providing ecommerce retailers and 3PL’s informative and easy-to-understand content that engages and empowers readers to learn about all things ‘order fulfillment’.