Social selling is a way of using social media to communicate directly with prospects. These low-cost but equally effective to traditional sales strategies allow salespeople to guide potential clients in completing the sales process. We asked experts and searched top blogs for social selling tips that help boost sales and improve your bottom line.
Here are 25 expert lead generation and social selling tips from the pros.
1. Commit to the Process ― Wins Come Later
Mark Tillison, Managing Director, Tillison Consulting
Social selling isn’t about running a paid ad campaign on Facebook or Twitter, targeting the customers you think should be interested in your product or service. It’s much more about creating trust in your brand ― or yourself if you are the brand ― through a series of interactions and engagement with an audience. You should first seek to help and inform, rather than just sell ― that’ll come later.
2. Use Social Icons Everywhere You Can
Helga Zabalkanskaya, Chief Marketing Officer, NEWOLDSTAMP
Although selling in social media is a lot about the content that engages customers, don’t forget to let people know your pages exist. One of the essentials here is to have your social icons everywhere, whether it be your website or an email signature. Judging by the analytics of my signature, for example, many new followers subscribe to my social profiles from the icons I send with each email. It is a small part of a huge digital marketing strategy. However, the implementation is so easy that this is worth it 100%.
3. Create Educational Videos on LinkedIn to Drive Engagement
Caleb Malik, Sales Executive, SmartBug Media
Taking the time to engage in social selling is an investment in your own success, and when it comes to the ROI [return on investment] on that time, nothing is better than creating videos for LinkedIn. No, I’m not talking about hiring a video editor and videographer to follow you around — it’s not that complicated. Sitting at your desk and sharing a tip during the course of a minute or two can work wonders for engagement. The best part? You’re talking to prospects every day who ask you questions about your industry, products, and services. All you need to do is take those questions and answer them for a wider audience. It’s that simple, and you’ll immediately see a massive increase in engagement with your network.
4. Collaborate With Other Influencers
Kashif Naqshbandi, CMO, Washington Frank
Think about all of the influential people in your sector and how great their reach is. If you can outreach to these influencers and find out what type of content proves interesting and insightful for their audience, you could collaborate on something that will prove mutually beneficial. If their audience includes your prospects, your brand trust will increase as a result of your services being marketed independently. However, you have to make sure that what you’re bringing to the table is worth their time, so think about what makes your organization unique and what content or insight you’re qualified to produce.
5. Start a Blog
Maggie Aland, Reviews Division General Manager, Fit Small Business
With a blog, you not only have an opportunity to produce interesting and helpful content to attract your target audience. You also have the chance to begin a conversation through the comments section of every article. Remember to add an effective call-to-action to encourage your readers to participate. Your blog requires a web host provider that will not compromise your site’s speed and accessibility or charge you a fortune for bigger storage requirements. We recommend Bluehost for your professional web hosting needs. Bluehost is the web host of choice for professional bloggers and offers as much as 50GB storage space for just $2.95 per month. Check out Bluehost hosting plans.
6. Show That You’re Listening
Tabitha Jean Naylor, Owner, TabithaNaylor.com
One of the best ways to win people over is to talk less and listen more — and this is especially true when it comes to social media. Lots of customers feel like reaching out in messages, comments, and tweets should be a personal and effective form of communication. So, you should show every customer that reaches out to you via social media that you care about them and hear what they’re saying. One of the best ways to do this is by responding to questions and complaints with a personalized message that makes it clear you’ve read what they’re saying — avoid copying and pasting generic replies whenever possible.
7. Use Data to Research Content for Your Audience
Rahul Varshneya, Co-founder, Benchpoint
One of the biggest mistakes I see people make with their content marketing efforts is not doing enough research about how audiences articulate their questions before they decide to buy. Look at Google for search queries and search intent, match that with what people are asking on social media, and you’ve got yourself a cluster of topics that people are seeking answers for. By creating content that is in-depth, as well as broad enough to cover the related search intent, not only will you be the one-stop destination for your prospect, but also get rewarded by Google with better search positioning as that’s the core intent of Google — to provide the most relevant content to its audience.
8. Apply Thought Leadership in Social Selling
Candace Barr, Executive Resume Writer, Strategic Resume Specialists
By far the most impactful social selling technique I use is thought leadership. I develop meaningful content designed to educate and help people, not sell to them. The sales come naturally as people repeatedly see my robust knowledge and expertise, then inquire about services. LinkedIn is my primary social media selling vehicle, and I focus my content on posts because they receive more views and shares than articles. Each time I post, I can expect five to 15 new prospects to reach out and inquire about my services. Posting sharable content is by far the most effective and revenue-generating social media selling technique for industries like mine where you are marketing your intellectual property and knowledge.
9. Try Forms on Your Social Media
Bernard May, CEO, National Positions
One lesson that we learned through trial and error, which will differ depending on your business model, is the use of forms on Facebook vs landing pages for lead generation. For this particular campaign, we tested multiple creatives with one major difference: one set would keep the user on Facebook and allow them to submit their information while the other would take them to an external landing page. What we found was that the majority of the traffic that went to the landing page would not convert into a form submission while the forms on Facebook would be completed far more frequently. Our hypothesis was that taking people away from Facebook was interrupting their experience so, after a couple of months for this campaign, we began exclusively using forms on Facebook. This may be a very different story for ecommerce products, so I encourage you to test and see what works best for your business model.
10. Use Automated Tools to Manage Social Media Contacts
Jillian Ilao, Review Editor, Fit Small Business
It’s easy to create new connections over social media but to convert prospects successfully, salespeople will need to nurture each relationship. However, as your social media connections grow, it becomes more and more difficult to keep track of your contacts manually. More so when your day is filled with other important tasks that also require your attention. Pipedrive is a customer relationship management (CRM) tool that offers a wide array of features to help businesses manage their marketing campaign. Its pricing is designed with the needs of small businesses in mind to match their growth with Pipedrive’s affordable plans. Try Pipedrive for free.
11. Create Shareable Content
Samya France, Director of PR & Social Media, Ignite Visibility
Genuinely produced content with a purpose that connects with consumers on a more personal level will have a larger impact. Creating content that is sharable is the new word of mouth, it’s something consumers can trust and, ultimately, encourages them to make a purchase based on informed decisions that were ultimately influenced by the type of content uploaded onto various social media platforms.
12. Go Beyond Simply Answering Prospect Questions
Jeanne San Pascual, Sales Copywriting Expert, The Copy Psychologist
My best social selling tip is to prioritize providing value and helping others first, and the sale will come naturally after that. It’s not enough to answer well to your prospect questions — you have to go above and beyond that to stand out. Whenever someone asks a question, I always gave my best professional advice, which is always extensive and detailed — for free. For some, it might seem like a waste of time, but social selling is all about sowing the seeds first and reaping later. Although not each one will result in a sale initially, as time went on, I came to be known in the community as a member who consistently provides useful advice. This led to a twofold benefit — I was able to build my authority as an expert in the said community and prospects started reaching out as more people read the comments I left.
13. Include Videos in Your Content
Hannah Hassler, Virtual Assistant, Hassler Freelance
What’s working for my clients right now is video content, specifically video that, even though it ultimately might be connected to the products, services, or behind-the-scenes reviews, also offers glimpses into the real-life aspects of who you are as a business and a person. Video content can be pre-recorded, which often works well for tip videos or content that you want to do a bit of curating with. More popular, however, is live video content. People love feeling a real sense of connection, and lives are as real as it gets — you don’t get to edit, so you need to be able to be real, authentic, and roll with whatever comes up. In the age of perfect social media positioning, this can be a breath of fresh air for your potential consumers. Remember that live videos often get a lot of traction off of replays as well, so make sure to check back and follow up with comments when the show is over
14. Do a Twitter Search of Your Relevant Terms
Jake McKenzie, Content Manager, Auto Accessories Garage
A great daily routine to get into is to search Twitter for a few of your top relevant terms. For us that includes floor mats, for example. I do a few searches of recent tweets every morning and read through a handful of them. Invariably, many of the tweets will be unrelated to the automotive floor mats we sell, but with some regularity, I’ll see someone asking in no uncertain terms where to find floor mats that fit their particular vehicle. At that point, I swoop in with a response, and most Twitter users seem to enjoy interacting directly with a business account out of the blue.
15. Stay Connected With Prospects Using Multiple Platforms
Karen Grill, Founder & CEO, Second Act Moms
With potential customers, I think it’s important to create a variety of touchpoints where they can connect with you. The more places that they see me, and learn about my business, the more likely they will be to buy eventually. As they go through my email sequence, I will start to offer my products or services. At the same time, in my Facebook Group, on my Facebook Page, or on Instagram, I will have complementary information, such as additional tips or a video version. Using social media platforms is a great way for your potential customers to learn about you and know where to find you.
16. Learn to Identify Your Prospect’s Pain Points
Gigi Rodgers, Contract Social Media & Brand Strategist with Content Marketing Tendencies, Puck’n Khaos
Be able to tell a story about a person’s pain points. This is done by doing interviews, either online, in person, or over the phone — with these individuals. You’ll pick up on certain phrases that’ll not only resonate with you but your core audience as well. Structure your whole sales copy around those phrases. Once you know their struggles and have created the solution, it’s about describing to them what tomorrow will look like after they’ve used your product or service.
17. Be Genuine and Transparent
Ollie Smith, CEO, ExpertSure
A business which places transparency prominently in its social selling strategy will reap the benefits in the long run. By focusing on this important factor, a business will keep its customers happy and build trust among team members further, which will assist in the realization of long-term objectives. I would suggest utilizing social media to share insight into what is going on behind the scenes in the business, rather than on product or service launches.
18. Consider Using Chatbots
Pete Boyle, Chief Copywriter, Jumper.ai
One of the problems we’ve seen time and again with social selling is the friction the traditional social sales funnel creates. You’re expecting social users, who are generally looking for entertainment or to procrastinate, to navigate through what is often a complex, boring sales funnel. We’ve seen brands achieve up to a 68% conversion rate through social campaigns by simply selling direct on the channel with a social commerce automated checkout bot. What this does is take the current social media strategy you’re running, and upscales it through the addition of an automated checkout on every post. The result: Easier sales for you with little extra work.
19. Focus on Branding
Logan Tan, CEO & Co-founder, Eezee Pte. Ltd.
We used to believe that social selling does not work for B2B [business-to-business] companies like us, but we changed our minds after one of my partners manage to understand the platform more in-depth. From our own research and testing, we managed to convert a few buyers from these platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Social selling needs to be toward branding approach, people like to see brands like a Nike or Adidas advertisement and less direct approach, but the advertisement is toward more of branding like a cool video to feature the brand that is unrelated to the product.
Then from the video advertisement, track the users who are visiting the website through advertisements that you launched and track the items that they are viewing or browsing. From there, you can do a retargeting banner advertisement to reach out to the users who have visited your website through the video advertisement. These marketing efforts should lead to some sales or at least branding and impressions.
20. Make Use of Social Triggers
Sandra Long, Author of LinkedIn for Personal Branding, Post Road Consulting LLC
Use social triggers to stay engaged with prospects and clients easily. The first step is to connect to your best prospects. Connect with them on LinkedIn; friend them on Facebook; and follow them on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube. If your prospect is a business, follow their business pages on each platform. This tactic allows you to have first-hand knowledge about them, and it will provide triggers for you to engage. Like, comment, and share on their content. Send a congratulatory message for a job promotion or new book. Write a friendly birthday wish. Pick up the phone to call your prospect when you view an interesting post. Learn to use social triggers effectively to warm up prospects and convert online engagement into real-life sales conversations.
21. Join in on Conversations
Shemifhar Freytes, MSE, Engagement & Marketing Manager, Commercial Acoustics
Potential customers like to get friends or family feedback about purchases. Many end up tagging friends and discussing the product. As a company, you should monitor those interactions and try to become part of their conversation when needed, even if it’s just a funny meme to encourage their purchase. Is your potential customer interested, but they are a little hesitant? You can send them a special discount code to help them purchase your product. Customers love interacting with companies, and they like to see there is a human side at the other end.
22. Leverage Your Relationship With Current Customers
Chinh Nguyen, Co-founder & Vice President of Marketing, Finale Inventory
Direct sales can become very lucrative with Facebook if done the right way. One mistake is not taking advantage of the opportunity to use your own customers as your customer service agents. Many software companies ask you to visit their user forums to discuss your issues in using their software. It can become a great way to support your own product. Multilevel marketing companies also rely heavily on their communities for support, sales, follow up, and recruiting.
23. Grab attention and create value
Alex Tkachenko, Social Media Strategist, Rentberry
Social selling in real estate is not just about marking your presence on all social media platforms to make sure people find you by the keyword in their favorite media. Unfortunately, most of the brands neglect to communicate with their potential clients. Posting boring content with numbers, statistics and generic words about how great your brand is — that the road to nowhere which most of the biggest real estate platforms currently approach.
We considered Facebook, Twitter, and Medium as our key means of communication with our clients where we can grab their attention and bring to our website. The core idea of our whole social media strategy is about delivering value to those who found us on social media. We give out discounts for our premium features, send special offers for the most active users and help them locate a home of their dreams through Facebook messenger.
Your brand reputation on social media will depend on how you deal with different personalities, especially unhappy customers and difficult potential customers. Know how to actively listen and add a personal touch and sincerity when responding to their concerns. Never miss an opportunity to respond immediately to avoid creating doubts on your credibility on the minds of your audience and let them know the steps you are taking to address their concerns. This will help de-escalate a tense situation.
Instagram is a social media platform that’s more focused on image posts instead of text. This means salespeople will have to adapt their strategy when it comes to engaging their target audience. Instagram content will be significantly different so it requires more creativity to produce posts that would help you close sales.
People spend more and more time on social media using their mobile device. This makes social selling an effective strategy and best practice for finding more leads and close more sales. Follow our expert social selling tips to successfully build your customer base in no time.
Have more social selling tips you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments.