Social Selling: Definition, Ideas, Strategies, and Tools

Social selling is a term that has been hotly debated in the sales world. We will talk more about all the tools you need to get started in social selling.

There are many misconceptions about social selling. Some people think it is just another buzzword, while others say that the practice will change how we do business for good.

Whether you are a seasoned social seller or this is your first time hearing the term, I guarantee that there will be something for everyone in this post.

In addition to talking with a number of industry experts, I will provide you with some tips that will help your pipeline grow and make it easier for you to close deals.

I had assumed that a paycheck was enough to motivate my salespeople, but it turns out there are other factors such as job security and opportunity for growth.


Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year

Just to give you an idea. 😀


Social selling definition

What is social selling? Social selling is about building relationships with people in your industry and using that knowledge to establish trust. It also means being well-known for expertise within the field by decision-makers who will be more likely to contact you when they need something.

It’s hard to know what social selling is. But this definition from a marketing expert made it easy for me:

Social selling is about using social media to build a brand that customers and peers alike, grow to trust and respect. From a sales viewpoint, the result may be the opportunity to talk business with a new or existing customer. Lewi Watkins, Global Social Selling Lead at Sage

The data also shows that social selling is an important and growing trend.

Ow to start social selling? Next, we will look at some general principles for social selling. Then we will get more specific and focus on how to do it in each of the three main networks LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

12 Effective and Best Social Selling Tips

How to social sell? Here are 12 ways to sell on social media.

  • Put yourself into it
  • Create relationships
  • Don’t try to sell too soon
  • Share your knowledge
  • Listen
  • Engage in conversations
  • Build a network
  • Talk to existing customers
  • Keep your profile up to date
  • Build a content schedule
  • Automate and track
  • Experiment

1. Put yourself into it

Salespeople should be like robots, and the best ones are.

The first key to success in social media selling is to make your work feel like it’s coming from you. That means putting as much of yourself into the job as possible.

In this social age, it is important to be authentic and friendly. We have found that being genuine pays off.

When you are selling on social media, it is important to be personable and genuine. You have to show interest in the product or business that you are trying to sell because if people do not believe what they see, then your chances of success will decrease.

2. Build relationships

When you use social media, people are looking for more than just a marketing message. They want to know that they like and respect the person on the other end of their screen before engaging with them in any meaningful way. That means that it takes time to build relationships online.

You need to be visible on the social media channels that your prospects are using. If you’re networking in the right circles, they may notice you before ever having a chance to talk with them.

When you are selling, be mindful of how your customer is feeling. Don’t get in their face, and don’t give them the impression that all they want from you is money.

3. Avoid attempting to sell too soon.

The point that I just made about not enough motivation is connected to this one. A common mistake people make when they start selling a product or service for the first time is trying too hard right away and pushing their customers into making an immediate decision. The customer needs some trust built up before it will be persuaded.

It is a long game, basically.

4. Share knowledge

The best way to build a profile on social media is by offering something of value. This can be content created by subject matter experts in your own organization, or better yet yourself! But the most important thing you should do if you want to have an impactful presence online provide valuable information.

When you are posting on social media, don’t just post about your company. Offer value to the audience by providing interesting content that they will enjoy and find useful.

5. Actively listen

Your customers are talking to each other on social media. They share information about how they feel, the state of their business, and what interests them personally.

If they don’t ask for help, you can still glean from their other words and actions that there might be a problem. You may not know what the exact issue is but at least then you have an idea of where to start looking.

According to LinkedIn’s research, the top skill for a salesperson is active listening. Research also shows that the more you listen, the better your chances of making an effective sale.

6. Engage in conversations

Don’t just read and listen, though. If you want social media to work for your sales from a marketing perspective, then you have to engage in conversations too. Engaging with people will make them know that they exist because it lets them see what kind of person you are through the things that interest or frustrate you.

7. Build a network

The more connections you make, the better your chances of finding success. You need to be connected with all key players in your industry, clients, potential customers, and competitors. If a competitor follows you on Twitter but has been added to a private list instead of being followed publicly by default, they will not see new posts from this account.

8. Don’t forget existing customers

When you’re social selling, it can be easy to forget about your existing customers and lose focus on them. Make sure that they are not forgotten by sending them newsletters or emails regularly to remind them of what the company is doing.

9. Maintain your profile

When you’re hiring for a new position, it’s important to have an up-to-date personal profile. This is where your prospects will go after contacting you, and they need to see that not only are you competent but also someone who can be trusted.

10. Create a content schedule

I’ve talked about the importance of sharing knowledge, and it is important to be deliberate with this. You should plan out what you want to post in advance and at regular intervals so that your followers know when they can expect new content from you.

I advise reading the entire post. If customers are willing to engage with you on social media, it’s a great opportunity for sales. So be prepared!

In order to increase the number of prospects who share your content, you should try guiding them towards a specific call to action. For example, add “click here” in an area where it is possible for people to click and go directly onto your site.

11. Automate and track

It is important to have an authentic personality when you sell it on social media. You also need to read what you publish, but that doesn’t mean there are no other ways for people in sales or marketing departments who want shortcuts.

When it comes to your content, you should also track which posts are the most popular. Which days of the week do they get shared? Who is regularly sharing them on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter?

12. Be patient

Social selling is a long game. You have to build up your profile and start connecting with people until you feel comfortable enough to strike up conversations on the site.

You need to track the metrics. Are you getting close to closing deals? Is your social media following growing? If not, is it leading traffic back to your site and increasing customer interest in what you have for sale there as well as building a rapport with potential customers so that they come to see if more of what they want can be found on your website or through other sales channels

Effective Practices

Now that you have some general selling new ideas about what to avoid and how to be successful let’s get into the specifics.

How to do social selling? Here are some ways that you can improve your social selling skills and become more successful.

In this article, we will be talking about 3 different social media platforms: LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

In this section, we are going to give you 3 actionable tips for each platform. One that is perfect for beginners who have never tried social selling before and one that’s great if you’ve experimented with it a little bit but want to get better at your strategy

Social Selling On LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the best social media for selling. The network has been going through some changes lately, and I think that the way people use it will be changing as well.

The thing you need to realize is that your prospects are on LinkedIn. A lot of their information is on LinkedIn. You can connect, interact and build the foundations of a relationship on LinkedIn which radically enhances the sales process. Daniel Disney, Founder @thedailysales

When I first began recruiting for salespeople, one of the mistakes that many made was not optimizing their LinkedIn profiles. It’s important to have a complete and well-written profile because it is an opportunity to highlight skills or strengths that are relevant in order to increase your chances of being contacted by recruiters.

It is important to optimize your profile for the right target buyer persona. They want a company that has what they are looking for, and if you can’t provide it, then someone else will.

I think it’s time for you to change your LinkedIn profile and move on from the CV mentality.

To make your profile stand out, try these two quick tips:

  • Change your headline. It should be catchy and explain what you can do for them in a way that will make them want to click through to your profile.

The headline on my profile, How to Sell More in 2018, tells you that I have the ability to help increase your sales numbers.

I’ve added a money bag emoji at the end of my profile to symbolize that I’m all about sales leads. Nothing too technical here, just trying to stand out.

  • The bio section is an important part of your profile because it can be used to give potential customers a better understanding of what you do and how they could benefit from hiring you. It should not just read as “about me” but instead provide insight into the problems that are typically faced by your customer base.

One of the first things I do when writing my profile makes it all about how I can add value to anyone viewing. It gets straight to the point and briefly explains what kind of help they will get from me.

This section is where you can use your words to generate intrigue and interest in what it would be like if they were working with you. If the reader wants more information, give them a link that will take them either to an email sign-up page or landing page on your website.

One of the most important things that I do in my interview is to be confident about myself and share some background information on who I am.

Semi-Experienced: Post one short form LinkedIn update every day.

LinkedIn is a great platform for keeping your followers up to date on what you are doing. Your updates should be interesting and show off how knowledgeable you are in the industry.

The recent trend of content creators on LinkedIn is due to the shift in what people want from their social media. I’m sure you noticed more and more posts popping up, which has probably led you to wonder why this change happened.

Recently, I’ve been getting inbound leads to my profile at a much higher rate. This is mainly because of the content that I post on LinkedIn and how it’s formatted.

Content creation is not as difficult as it sounds. Anyone can do it, and I promise you that you will be successful if you give this a try.

One of the best ways to generate traffic is by providing value.

Trust me. This will definitely help you get more people to visit your profile and want to know about what you offer. You should also follow step one for an even better experience.

Veterans can be a valuable asset to your company, as they have the experience and know-how. They also offer some of their wisdom by responding to customer complaints on social media.

There are services that will take your LinkedIn status updates and put them into a CSV file, which includes the commenter’s name as well as their profile URL.

Why would you want this?

When someone has engaged with your content, you can use that as a lead list. This is much better than starting from scratch.

If you post 3-5 updates a week and each one gets around 20 to 30 comments, then that’s an active list.

Now, if you’re really nerdy like me, there are a lot of things that can be done with this CSV file. But for now, let’s just use it to get the full name.

Social Selling on Twitter

A new study by Salesforce shows that the best salespeople are not always good at using technology, but they find ways to make it work for them. The researchers studied 1,200 reps and found some surprising results.

The organization is key when it comes to social selling. If you’re a beginner, then make sure that you have the right tools and organization in place from the start of your career. There are many available options for monitoring and organizing activity on social media.

The Hootsuite dashboard is the most valuable tool in my arsenal. You can use it to monitor mentions and retweets, but what makes this app really powerful are its features for monitoring keywords or building Twitter lists.

Social selling networks can be done through a variety of different channels, but what are the essentials?

A private Twitter list full of your prospectsA search for anyone mentioning your company or productA search for keywords that match something your buyer would be saying. Look for buying signals. People asking for help. People comparing tools/services etc.A search for anyone mentioning your competitors

Searching for information about your company or product on the internet

One way to know if someone is a good fit for your product or service would be by looking at the keywords they are searching. People who ask questions compare tools and services will likely have more interest in what you offer.

Searching for people mentioning your competitors on social media

New to content marketing? There are many strategies you can use for automation and monitoring.

Visibility creates opportunity, but it is up to the person to take advantage of that chance. In this article, Koka Sexton shares his experience with visibility and how he has been able to use it in a way that benefits him.

When you’re a salesperson, the last thing that you want to do is spend time searching for content on social media. But as Koka says, it’s important to remain visible and share interesting things with your followers. How can we make this easier?

Searching for content can be time-consuming, but this tip will help you save hours.

There are three apps that I use to find content and schedule posts for Hootsuite. They’re all free, too.

Hootsuite offers standalone products that you can purchase without having to pay for a Hootsuite account.

1. content

2. Right Relevance

3. Buzz Sumo

You can find articles on your topic easily and share them with others by using a social media management tool like Hootsuite or Buffer.

Veteran: Use Twitter chats

Once you have your content streams set up, it’s important to engage with people on Twitter and start adding value.

When you first start using Twitter, it can be difficult to know how best to grow your network. One way is by finding people who are interested in the same topics as you and then following them back.

For those who want to engage in social media, find a few really relevant Twitter chats and jump right into the conversation.

You can improve your Twitter chats by creating a space for learning and exchanging ideas.

I use this site to find out when and where all the latest Twitter chats are happening. https:www.tweetreports.com twitter-chat-schedule

I have one simple tip for you. Give it a try, and I guarantee that you’ll find this advice useful.

Social Selling on Facebook

Facebook is a social selling platform and a tricky thing to navigate when it comes to sales, especially with the idea that we are constantly trying to sell it on social Facebook. Salespeople often shy away from using this platform because they feel like their personal lives will be disrupted by having work come into play.

I can tell you one thing, though, the best sales reps in the world are using Facebook to build out their personal brands and to connect with buyers on a more intimate level than ever before.

The biggest mistake a salesperson can make is to have one social media profile and not all of them. This will leave you looking like spam or, worse yet, mediocre.

When I first started, one of the biggest mistakes that I made was not engaging prospects and peers in groups. It turns out it is much more beneficial to talk with someone who might have a similar interest or problem as you do.

Facebook is a great place to start building your personal brand if you have never used it before. Groups are perfect for this because they allow you to interact with people who share the same interests as yourself.

Facebook has changed its mission statement to reflect that they are putting a lot of focus on groups this year.

I think the best way to describe Facebook is that it’s a platform for business conversations. It helps people get in touch with each other and share thoughts, ideas, and knowledge.

It is important to find groups that the people in your industry are likely to be a part of and then interact with them. This will help you build relationships that could lead to sales opportunities.

Try to keep your first few meetings about yourself and how you can help the company. You want them to be so impressed with what they see that they won’t notice any flaws in a potential deal.

It may not be immediate, but this type of work will definitely pay off in the long run.

To attract more attention, I would post to Facebook and Instagram at different times with the hopes of reaching a new audience.

Facebooks advertising is one of the best things about it. It really lets you narrow down who your target audience will be.

You can’t use your personal Facebook account to advertise. My recommendation is that you create a public figure page for yourself, which will function as your own landing page on Facebook.

In this section, you should share your best content with people. This is a really good idea because the personas of those who follow you on social media are looking for information and advice from other experts in their field.

If you are interested in advertising, Facebook can help with this. You could target people by location or interest.

When you start to get very specific with your searches, it can be interesting. For example, if I search for a job title or company location.

When people first start with Facebook advertising, they are often confused about how expensive it is. I can guarantee you that if you spend as little as $1 per day on ads, your business will see results.

Build your own Facebook group. If you are a veteran, it is important to build your own Facebook page with the help of friends and family. This will be helpful in getting responses from veterans who can offer advice on how they overcame difficulties like PTSD or suicide prevention.

For those of you who are willing to put in the time and effort, I have a little secret for getting ahead. You might think it’s impossible, but it will pay off.

Let’s take a look at Facebook groups from another perspective. For one, they are full of engagement and also learning opportunities.

What if you could create a community of professionals who are interested in your industry? What if they were all on Facebook and subscribed to what you’re posting because it was providing them with so much value?

If you are not already part of a Facebook group, why don’t you create your own?

I’ve created a group on Facebook to help business owners and salespeople sell more with social media. In 8 days, we have 376 members who are interested in this topic.

Building your own tribe is one of the best ways to grow your business. Not only will you have access to more people, but it’ll also help with building influence and ultimately make selling easier.

This takes a lot of time and is only for those who are willing to make the commitment.

Social Selling Tools

Now that we’ve covered some tips on how to use social media for sales let’s take a look at the best tools currently available. There are so many different options in this space, but I want to share my personal favorites:

Hootsuite is a social media management system that allows you to post updates and manage accounts from one central location.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a free service that helps salespeople find new leads and keep in touch with old ones. It’s available to anyone who does outbound selling, so if you’re serious about your job, it would be worth checking out.

Leadfeeder is a tool that allows you to identify anonymous website visitors and turn them into potential sales leads.

Vidyard is a video emailing tool that will make you stand out in someone’s inbox.

UpContent is a great website for finding articles to share.

Clearbit Connect is a Google Chrome plugin that displays information about the people in your inbox.

There is a new prospecting tool on the market that you should know about. It’s called Find That Lead Prospector, and it has incredible features.

Reply.io is a tool that I use for outbound email automation, and it has been the best so far.

BuiltWith is a plugin that tells you what technologies are being used on any given website.

The Promo Republic is a social media design tool that allows for the easy creation of graphics. It has preset templates, an intuitive interface, and many different tools to use when designing or editing images.

BuzzSumo is a tool that can be used to find trending content and influencers.

I hope that you found this article helpful, and I encourage you to implement these tips into your sales strategy. If there are any questions, please feel free to reach out, and we can go over some more in-depth social selling strategies.


Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year

Just to give you an idea. 😀

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