The top three principles that guide successful social selling
Anne Kiely is a Content Operations Intern and writer at Ready for Social.
Social selling—the process of building relationships with prospects through social media—requires a more strategic approach than simply posting information about your business online. To spark meaningful conversations, you need to consistently share high-quality content and present an enthusiastic attitude.
Shedding some light on what it means to succeed at social selling, we should take a look at the name’s origin. The word “social” comes from the Latin word for “ally.” Through social selling, you and your network aim to create alliances, or partnerships, where you exchange knowledge and work toward your business goals. The ultimate objective of social selling is to start a conversation beyond social media to cultivate a stronger relationship with people you meet.
In order to achieve these rewarding interactions, you need to share top-quality insights and be knowledgeable about your field. However, there are skills beyond industry expertise that will help you present the best version of yourself online. The three following principles can help you excel at social selling.
1.2Be generous with your attention
To become a credible member of your industry community, start with an attitude of generosity. The word “sell” originates from an Old English word meaning “to give.” Most sales interactions begin when you share information or opportunities without requesting anything in return. Posting relevant news or tips for success is educational to the reader and helps establish you as an expert.
When writing posts or curating content to share, make sure to provide a fresh perspective. Discussing current news and your unique experiences, rather than restating classic wisdom, will bring your page to life. The quality and originality of the information in your posts will determine whether your followers come back for more.
It’s also crucial to invest time and genuine interest in other people’s posts. Leaving likes and comments on content shared by colleagues, customers and prospects makes them feel appreciated. Even if they don’t return the favor, you’ll strengthen your online presence in the long run by showing that you value others’ contributions. You can also support your colleagues by endorsing them for skills on LinkedIn, which will demonstrate that you’re a team player who’s interested in others’ success.
2.2Don’t miss opportunities to engage
To make your social media presence as dynamic as possible, monitor opportunities to engage with others. When someone mentions your company or its services, show that you’ve put thought into your reply by answering any questions and specifically addressing what they’ve said.
If someone posts about a problem they’re experiencing with your product or services, it’s often smart to post a short reply. Make sure to apologize for the issue and acknowledge what the person has brought to your attention. Validating a person’s concerns goes a long way toward reducing negative feelings. Sometimes, it also makes sense to briefly explain the problem. For example, you could state that a delay was due to team members addressing a technical difficulty or a product was unavailable in-store because it sold faster than expected. While short explanations are perfectly acceptable, it’s best not to hold a full conversation with an unsatisfied customer on a public page. Once you’ve replied to the comment, reach out in a private messaging channel to get more information about the issue and try to resolve it.
If you receive a positive comment, reply publicly by thanking the person for their support or input. If they say something funny, it’s a great chance to showcase your unique personality with a lighthearted reply. Don’t forget that social media should be fun!
3.2Use techniques to stay organized
To take advantage of every opportunity for engagement, find strategies that help you stay organized. You can structure your feeds to find the most relevant updates and save time. On Twitter, use Twitter Lists to create custom feeds for groups of accounts you follow. For instance, if you especially want to remember to comment on clients’ posts, create a Twitter List of client accounts that’s separate from your lists of prospects, coworkers and industry experts. This way, you can simply scroll through the news feed and interact with all recent posts at once.
Joining LinkedIn groups can also help you engage efficiently. You can learn new information about your field and meet new connections all in one place. To find groups, look at the LinkedIn groups your prospects are part of and search for keywords related to your industry. Then, request to join groups relevant to you and join the thoughtful conversations about your field.
When trying to get the most out of social media, it can be helpful to keep track of your posting habits numerically. To learn from your network’s feedback, compare the number of likes attained by posts on different topics. Then focus on topics that perform well. Schedule strategies can also help you post consistently. At Ready For Social, we use post-scheduling software that displays each week’s upcoming posts at a glance.
In order to maintain connections across various platforms and truly let your creative side shine, make sure to explore the available techniques for staying organized on social media.
Successful social selling requires strategic planning and genuine enthusiasm for supporting others, hearing what they have to say and starting conversations. When your online presence goes beyond traditional advertising, you pave the way for business interactions that hold opportunities for learning and growth.
What have you learned about social selling—either from your own experience or from seeing businesses engage online? Let us know in the comments section!