How to build trust in social selling: humanizing your brand in a digital world

How to build trust in social selling: humanizing your brand in a digital world

By Ready For Social | Feb 19, 2024

ReadyForSocial™ is the only all-in-one program that can power your entire sales team on social media. Contact us to get started!

Over the last few weeks, we have been shedding light on modern sales and how social selling plays a critical role in reaching companies’ goals. 

We talked about how social selling fits into the modern sales processwhat tools, training, and strategies are needed to enable your sales teams to engage in effective social selling, and how you and your sales professionals can navigate the digital landscape most effectively

This week, we will talk about:

  • Building trust with your audience to become a trusted advisor.
  • Creating high-quality content to establish your team as thought leaders of their industry. 
  • Humanizing your brand and growing your company’s reach.
  • Increasing your company’s credibility and reputation.
  • Cultivating relationships and addressing your buyers’ needs.

Building trust lies at the heart of social selling

We have discovered that the modern sales landscape has shifted dramatically. The salesperson is no longer solely viewed as a purveyor of products or services; instead, sales professionals can position themselves as trusted advisors to their prospects and clients – thanks to social selling. Social media gives sales teams platforms to engage with their audience, offering valuable insights and solutions to address their needs.

But not every salesperson who uses social media is automatically viewed as a trusted advisor. First, they need to win their audience’s trust. How? By humanizing their brand in a digital world. 

Rather than simply pushing products or services onto potential customers, social selling allows your sales professionals to establish themselves as advisors who can genuinely help solve their problems. This shift in approach is facilitated by the strategic use of content, which plays a crucial role in nurturing relationships and fostering trust.

Content is king in social selling

Content plays a significant role in helping your team position themselves as advisors and, therefore, establish trust with their network. Sharing thought leadership content, personal expertise, and viewpoints about their industry or solutions all contribute to this. 

However, it’s not just about bombarding prospects with branded messaging. Instead, it’s about sharing expertise and knowledge. By addressing customers’ pain points and providing valuable insights, sales professionals can position themselves as trusted authorities in their field, earning the respect and confidence of their audience.

What keeps modern sales teams from becoming thought leaders?

Despite the potential benefits of social selling, professionals often encounter challenges in implementing effective strategies. One common pain point is the difficulty marketers face in branding at scale for B2B companies without overspending. Many have never considered leveraging organic sharing to achieve this goal, leading to missed opportunities for building brand awareness and trust.

Furthermore, the nature of content shared in social selling requires a different approach compared to traditional brand posts. This content is generated by individuals rather than corporate entities, necessitating unique strategies and execution tactics. Sales professionals must find ways to maximize the fit to their personas while adhering to brand guidelines and ensuring scalability. Balancing personalization with brand consistency presents a significant challenge for many organizations seeking to harness the power of social selling effectively.

Personalization matters

Companies often prioritize sharing content and campaigns through official corporate channels or paid advertisements. Undoubtedly, these avenues are crucial for reaching a broad audience and promoting brand visibility. However, an exclusive focus on these traditional marketing methods overlooks the immense potential of leveraging organic reach through the networks of social sellers.

Organic reach refers to content exposure through unpaid channels, such as personal social media profiles or networks. While company channels play a vital role in disseminating branded messaging, social sellers can amplify content within their own networks. By sharing relevant and engaging content with their connections, social sellers can extend the reach of marketing campaigns far beyond what is achievable through corporate channels alone.

This organic approach to content sharing offers several distinct advantages. Firstly, it facilitates a more authentic and personalized connection with the audience. Content shared by individuals is often perceived as more trustworthy and relatable than branded messaging, leading to higher levels of engagement and interaction. Additionally, leveraging social sellers’ networks allows companies to tap into niche audiences and target demographics that may be inaccessible through traditional marketing channels.

Moreover, organic reach through social sellers’ networks can significantly enhance the visibility and credibility of a brand. When content is shared by employees or representatives perceived as industry experts or thought leaders, it carries greater weight and influence. This can result in increased brand recognition, improved reputation, and higher conversion rates.

While company channels and paid advertising remain essential components of digital marketing strategies, organizations must recognize the invaluable potential of organic reach through social sellers. By empowering employees to become brand advocates and content ambassadors, companies can unlock new avenues for engagement, foster authentic connections with their audience, and, ultimately, drive business growth.

Grow your reach!

Another critical aspect you shouldn’t forget about is your content’s reach. The collective reach of individual sellers often surpasses that of the company’s LinkedIn page, underscoring the untapped potential of leveraging employees as brand ambassadors in social selling efforts. 

According to LinkedIn, content shared by employees receives eight times more engagement and is shared 25 times more frequently compared to content shared by company channels. This data highlights the immense impact of empowering sales professionals to amplify brand messaging through their personal networks. Leveraging the expansive reach of individual sellers enhances brand visibility and fosters authentic connections with a wider audience, ultimately driving business growth and sales effectiveness.

Increase your company’s credibility and reputation

Harnessing the collective power of social sellers and the trust they cultivate within their social networks can significantly bolster the credibility and reputation of a B2B company or brand. Research by Edelman indicates that 63% of consumers trust information from a company’s employee more than the company’s CEO, underlining the influential role of individual employees in shaping brand perception. 

Additionally, according to the State of Sales report by LinkedIn, 92% of B2B buyers are more likely to engage with sales professionals who are known industry thought leaders, emphasizing the importance of leveraging social sellers to establish credibility and foster meaningful connections with potential clients. Companies can effectively humanize their brand and drive success in the digital marketplace by empowering sales teams to become trusted advisors and thought leaders within their respective industries.

Cultivate relationships with social selling

We discussed that social selling plays a crucial role in cultivating relationships with customers and prospects, facilitating engagement and interaction through disseminating pertinent content and active participation in industry conversations. But let’s look at some numbers. According to LinkedIn, social sellers are 51% more likely to reach their quotas, underscoring the efficacy of social engagement in driving sales success. 

Moreover, research from Demand Gen Report reveals that 76% of buyers are more likely to engage with sales professionals who provide insights and knowledge relevant to their industry, highlighting the importance of content sharing and participation in fostering meaningful connections. By leveraging social media platforms to engage with target audiences and share valuable insights, sales professionals can establish rapport, build trust, and drive business.

Address your buyers’ unique needs

Social selling empowers sales teams to deliver personalized and relevant interactions tailored to the unique needs of individual prospects, thereby enhancing engagement and driving conversions. According to a study by Sales for Life, 82% of buyers accept meetings with sellers who reach out with personalized content. By leveraging social media insights and analytics, sales professionals can gain valuable insights into prospect behavior and preferences, enabling them to craft customized messages and content that resonate with their audience. This personalized approach fosters stronger connections and increases the likelihood of closing deals.

Marketers, work with your sales team!

To enable social selling at scale, marketers play a crucial role in providing sales teams with a curated selection of relevant content through a centralized content platform. This content is the foundation for engaging with prospects and nurturing relationships on social media platforms. 

However, simply sharing generic content is not enough to drive meaningful interactions. Salespeople need the tools and training to customize the content, tailoring it to their target audience’s specific needs and preferences. While artificial intelligence (AI) can assist in automating some aspects of content customization, human intervention remains essential for ensuring authenticity and relevance. 

By providing sales teams the flexibility to personalize content while adhering to brand guidelines, marketers balance consistency and customization, enhancing the effectiveness of social selling initiatives. This approach helps maintain brand integrity and allows for the necessary personalization required to build credibility and trust with prospects and customers alike.

Prioritize authenticity, transparency, and engagement

As you can see, establishing trust in social selling is paramount for businesses seeking to humanize their brand and cultivate credibility in online interactions. By prioritizing authenticity, transparency, and meaningful engagement, companies can forge genuine connections with their audience, positioning themselves as trusted advisors rather than mere sellers. 

This strategy entails sharing valuable insights, offering personalized solutions, and demonstrating empathy toward the needs and concerns of prospects and clients. Through consistent and genuine interactions, businesses can instill confidence in their brand, fostering long-term relationships built on trust and mutual respect.

A strong collaboration between marketing and sales is necessary to reach this goal. Are you ready to take the next step toward your social selling success?