How Social Data and Social Selling Will Help SMBs Compete in the Digital Age

by | 22 Jun 23

Have you heard about the Global Web Index (GWI) 2023 Trends Report? It’s got some pretty interesting stuff on social media usage. Apparently, more and more people are using social platforms to find and research products they want to buy. In fact, a lot of folks between 20 and 46 years old are finding products on social media more than they do on search engines. So, it looks like social media is really taking the lead when it comes to product discovery.

Another thing that is apparent is the rise in B2B “social selling“. That’s when businesses use their online presence to connect with potential, and existing, customers.

What this all means is that social media usage is skyrocketing and becoming a huge part of our daily lives worldwide. For businesses to make the most of this trend, it’s important to be aware of regional differences in how people use social media and keep an eye on the competition.

By staying updated with these trends, businesses can create a strong online presence and build meaningful connections with their audience.

Is Your Business The Next Blockbuster?

It’s no surprise that social media has revolutionised the way we communicate and interact with each other. It’s also changing the landscape of how businesses reach their customers.

The GWI 2023 Trends Report revealed that more people are using social media platforms than search engines to discover new products. Additionally, the rise in “social selling” has further cemented the importance of having a strong online presence on social media.

However, businesses need to understand that if they don’t take note of these trends and embrace the social selling world, they risk becoming the next Blockbuster to the next Netflix. It’s essential that business owners stay updated with industry trends in order to remain competitive in their market. From building meaningful connections with their audience to understanding regional differences in how people use social media, there are a myriad of strategies that can help businesses capitalise on current trends and make the most out of the opportunities that come with them.

A Deeper Look into Social Media Discovery

The GWI 2023 Trends Report provides an in-depth look into how people are using social media to discover and research products. It reveals that more and more people are turning to social platforms for product discovery, rather than search engines – especially those between the ages of 20 and 46. Here’s a breakdown of some of the data.

  • Social media (net) 78% 78%
  • Social networks 45% 45%
  • Video sites 22% 22%
  • Question & Answer sites 19% 19%
  • Blogs on products/brands 18% 18%
  • Messaging/live chat services 15% 15%
  • Forums/message boards 14% 14%
  • Micro-blogs (e.g. Twitter) 14% 14%
  • Vlogs (blogs recorded in video form) 12% 12%
  • Online pinboards (e.g. Pinterest) 9% 9%

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Using Social Media to Make Purchasing Decisions

You know, it’s amazing how people are using social media these days to find and research products they want to buy. For instance, let’s say someone is looking for a new CRM or MIS. They might start by asking their peers on Twitter or LinkedIn for products they should look at. Or maybe they’ll browse Trust Pilot and see what people are saying there.

Another interesting thing people do is look for social proof on social media platforms. They might check out a brand’s Facebook page to see how many likes and positive comments they have. Or they could head over to YouTube to watch review videos and videos from real users.

A short story

Now, let me tell you a little story about a fictional character named Alex. Alex was on the hunt for a new blender to make his morning smoothies. He had heard about a specific model but wasn’t quite sure if it was worth the investment. So, he decided to do some research on Amazon.

Alex typed in the blender’s name and found the product page, which was filled with tons of reviews. He spent a good chunk of time reading through the comments, paying special attention to the ones from people who seemed to have similar needs. Alex also looked at the overall star rating, as well as the number of reviews to gauge the blender’s popularity.

After going through all the reviews and weighing the pros and cons, Alex finally felt confident about his decision. He added the blender to his cart and made the purchase, all thanks to the helpful insights from fellow online shoppers.

I’m sure most of us can relate to Alex’s story, in the B2C and B2B world!

Social media has really changed the game when it comes to finding and researching products. From seeking recommendations to checking out social proof and reading reviews, it’s become an essential part of our buying experience.

What is Social Selling and Why it Matters?

Social selling is a powerful way for businesses to leverage their social media presence to connect with customers and prospects. It involves using social networks, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc., to build relationships with potential buyers. This can be done by creating engaging content that resonates with your target audience or by participating in conversations online. Don’t forget, you should also get personal on there. Afterall, people buy from people.

Leveraging social selling allows businesses to stay top-of-mind for their customers, build relationships with potential buyers, increase leads and conversions, and ultimately boost sales. It’s also a great way for SMBs to stand out in the crowd as it gives them the opportunity to showcase their unique value proposition. Additionally, it can help businesses develop a more comprehensive understanding of their target audience and the industry trends.

Tips for SMBs on Strengthening Their Social Selling

Social selling is an important tool that can help businesses stay competitive in their market. Here are some tips to keep in mind when crafting your social selling approach:

 

  • Research your target audience – understand who you’re trying to reach and which platforms they’re on.
  • Don’t try and sell – I know this sounds ‘mad’, but you need to get social, not salesy.
  • Utilise the right tools – Take advantage of tools like Hootsuite, Buffer or Sprout Social to better manage your accounts.
  • Leverage you – People buy from people, so don’t forget to get personal on social media.
  • Make sure you’re active and consistent – Post regularly and engage with your audience to establish relationships.

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