You’re probably reading this blog on your phone, aren’t you? Well, you’re not alone. Over two thirds of UK adults access their news and information online.
To say that people are addicted to social media is a little extreme, but the figures speak for themselves. 66% of UK adults are active social media users with Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and YouTube being the so called ‘big 4’.
When people aren’t scrolling, they are willing to part with their cash with 81% of the population considering themselves ‘digital shoppers’ and over half shopping exclusively on the phones. If only there was a place where news, shopping and people’s thumbs all lived together in perfect harmony. Yes, you guessed it – social media.
Social selling is when a business uses social media to sell their products directly to customers. However, social selling doesn’t actually involve any traditional ‘sales’ techniques. Instead, businesses use social media tools to build brand awareness and build ‘soft’ relationships with potential customers.
If your business already sells physical products online, then social selling could present a massive opportunity to reach more customers. If your business sells ‘services’, then social selling becomes about growing your channels to showcase your work and brand personality to drive inbound sales enquiries.
Facebook has 50.6 million users in the UK, with 74% of all users accessing the platform daily. This should be fertile ground for SMEs, but a recent poll found that 6 in 10 UK businesses still don’t use social media to boost their customer base or sell products.
So, what do you need to do to get your share of customer bounty that your competitors are missing out on?
In May 2020 Facebook launched Facebook Shops. This new feature – developed in response to huge demand – allows businesses to easily set up an online store on Facebook for free. Facebook Shops allows you to connect with your customers through WhatsApp & Facebook Messenger giving you flexibility to communicate with people their way.
‘I saw it on Instagram’ is the new ‘I Googled it’ and it’s not surprising why. 54% of the 30+ million UK Instagram users access the platform multiple times a day. The impact of Instagram on consumers is sometimes difficult to quantify. However, the latest research suggests that 70% of users turn to Instagram to discover new products and 87% say that influencers inspire them to buy.
Instagram Shopping allows you to share your featured products with followers and potential customers on feed posts, stories and within Instagram’s Search & Explore feature. When someone taps your product in your story, they’ll be taken to a product description page where they will see:
The opportunities to reach new customers through social media are endless and a little daunting. You can socially sell on any platform but it’s important to use the channels that are right for your business. When you’ve mastered the dark arts of Facebook and Instagram selling, you could investigate the more niche aspects of social selling using WhatsApp Business or YouTube.
Whatever your business model, your life as a sole trader will be much easier if you find the right payment partner. Thanks to payment service providers such as Safenetpay, you no longer need to rely on banks to set you up in business.
With Safenetpay, you’ll be able to accept and make card payments internationally, in multiple currencies, as well as handle alternative payment methods. And because we make it simple to open business accounts and merchant accounts, as well as to trade through a secure gateway, you can be up and running in no time.