Social Selling: What It Is and What to Avoid

April 25, 2023 04:50 PM By Will Andre

As the world becomes increasingly digital, salespeople are finding new and innovative ways to reach and engage with their customers. One such method is social selling, which involves using social media to identify, connect with, and nurture potential customers. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at what social selling is and provide three real-world examples of how it can help small businesses grow.

What is social selling?

Social selling is the process of using social media to establish and nurture relationships with potential customers. It involves leveraging social networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to identify and engage with prospects, share valuable content, and build trust and credibility. 

The goal of social selling is to create a dialogue with potential customers that can ultimately lead to a sale. Social selling is different from traditional sales techniques in that it prioritizes building relationships and providing immediate value in a conversational manner. By leveraging the power of social media, salespeople can connect with potential customers in a way that feels more natural and less intrusive than traditional cold calling or email outreach. Examples of social selling include.

  1. Personal Branding on LinkedIn - A salesperson who wants to establish themselves as an expert in their industry might use LinkedIn to share thought leadership content, engage with prospects in industry-specific groups, and build a network of connections. By sharing valuable insights and showcasing their expertise, the salesperson can position themselves as a trusted advisor and generate leads and sales over time.

  2. Twitter Chats - A small business owner who wants to engage with prospects in real-time might participate in Twitter threads related to their industry or niche. By sharing insights, answering questions, and engaging with other participants, the salesperson or small business owner can build relationships with potential customers and generate leads.

  3. Facebook Groups - A local business owner who wants to build relationships with potential customers might join Facebook groups related to their industry, location or niche. By participating in discussions, sharing insights, and engaging with other members, the salesperson can build trust and credibility and ultimately generate leads and sales.

Common mistakes in social selling

Now that we've seen what social selling is all about, let's look at three common mistakes small business owners and service providers often make when social selling. Many brands have built empires on social media, so it's great to out there actively participating in conversations, but being intentional about what you're trying to accomplish is the first step in seeing real success on. Here are some social selling pitfalls to avoid. 

  1. Sending people to your website. If you are involved in a conversation on social media where someone is asking for a specific service that you can provide, do not send them to your website. Here's why: you are your best salesperson. Websites are designed to attract interest (through SEO) and to share information about your service. Websites are not designed to sell. By participating in the social conversation, you have already attracted them and indicated your availability to provide your service. Instead of sending people to your website and starting them over on their quest for a service provider, give them your clickable contact information that takes the conversation offline where you can sell to them deeply, one on one. If they are indeed interested, they will contact you so long as you make it easy for them to do so.

  2. Forgetting to brand yourself and to ask for the business. If you are involved in social media, using the platforms to find new customers, don't forget to ask people for their business. Small business owners are so busy running other aspects of the business, it's easy for them to forget that the reason they are involved in these conversations is to make money. You can't assume that the other person you're conversing with is any less busy than you are, so that means they are not likely to visit your profile to learn about who you are or what you do. In any case, you should brand yourself as the expert in your conversation, tell them how you can help them, and give them a viable path to contact you where they can continue the conversation and you can sell to them directly, in private.

  3. Sharing direct contact information. This may sound counterintuitive, but putting your phone number or email address directly into a comment or post is going to backfire in at least one of two ways. First, most social media platforms will not link out to phone numbers or email addresses. This means that your potential customers are not going to be able to click it to call or email you. To contact you this way, they would be forced to remember your phone number and type or copy it, switching between social apps and their phone just to input it. No one is going to do that, unfortunately. Most social networks (except Instagram) will, however, allow any link to be clickable. So, instead of frustrating people with a negative user experience when you share your unclickable information, share a link to your direct contact information instead. After all, people love to click. Finally, some things change and some things are forever. While your phone number or email address may change over time, the social media post with your old number in it will not. This means that your old number will be getting new calls for your service if the old posts resurface down the road, and you won't get the lead. When you share a link to your contact information, you won't lose that business because your contact information will be up to date.

How social selling software can help

While social selling can be incredibly effective, it can also be time-consuming and difficult to manage without the right tools. With social selling software, salespeople and small business owners can be sure that they're not missing opportunities on social media. By using social selling software, small businesses can save time and resources while still reaping the benefits of social selling.

Social selling is a powerful tool for small businesses looking to grow and expand their customer base. By leveraging social media to build relationships and establish trust with potential customers, salespeople can generate leads and drive sales over time. They can even generate direct, immediate sales by avoiding the common mistakes and doing it right. 

Start social selling 

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