Social Selling and Brand Ambassadors

November 23, 2016

Social selling is a new term for me; in fact, I just downloaded my first song last week! I am a millennial that feels behind the technological times at least twice a week, but if I can understand the importance of social selling, so can you! For a great source on how this has changed in the last decade, go to this helpful fact sheet from Pew Research Center.

The customer/salesperson relationship is much different from when I was younger. Mom would take my younger sister and me to shop for school clothes. It would end up being an all-day affair with my sister throwing fits and me hating to try on pants with mom; who would insist on checking for fit by tugging on back to see how much space she could find between my pants and my backÖso embarrassing. As you can see from the picture, we didnít even have enough focus to last through one photo, let alone a day of shopping! (Iím pretty sure that my shirt is tucked into my pants because I was doing gymnastics in the front yard - itís hard to say.)

Shopping is a little different now; you can shop for pants online in a matter of minutes from where ever you happen to be. If you need help with something, no need to call the store to talk with someone, there are online salespeople to help you right then!

Social selling integrates social media into the selling conversation. [Click to Tweet] Thatís it. It has become a business must have because it allows customers access to product content and be a part of the conversation. It empowers customers to drive the products that companies produce, by giving feedback and shaping product development. It wonít cost hardly anything to implement! For more specifics on Return On Investment (ROI) see  Debra Ekerlingís article on the subject .

Some new areas where social selling is getting involved are in alumni programs and with brand ambassadors. Alumni programs are using social selling to increase donation and connections, for more on this see  Dayna Catropa's advice . Brand ambassadors are employees or customers that advocate for the brand. This can include being a sound board for ideas or catastrophes, for more on this topic see  Holly Pavlika's thoughts .

There are four easy steps according to Andzulis et al. (2012), he suggests first to create a social media presence, and then get customers involved in the conversation through blogs and forums. The final two steps involve integrating the sales strategy into social media. The degree to which it is integrated depends on the business needs. One area that is lacking is training for using this new way of selling. I encourage you to incorporate that into the implementation steps. There is one thing that is for sure though, I will be using social selling in the future for my childrenís shopping!

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