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How to Master Social Selling

Thomas Griffin
Thomas Griffin

When used properly, social selling can give your business's growth a real boost.

  • Social selling is one of the most effective strategies you can use to grow your business. 
  • Marketing on social media and participating in social selling are two different things. 
  • Building credibility and engaging with your followers can improve your social shares, leading to greater brand awareness. 
  • Use social selling to identify customer pain points can help you create future content and products. 

Do you want to increase your brand awareness, improve your sales and grow your email list? Social selling can help you do all of these things and much more. There's a common misconception that social selling and social media marketing are the same things. The truth is, they are both effective at growing your business, but they have different functions. 

Essentially, social selling is the act of building rapport with your target audience through social media platforms and nurturing the relationships you've made. Your goal isn't to sell something on the spot, like most social media marketing campaigns. Instead of paying for ads, artificially inflating your posts or offering readers a one-time deal, you're going to look for new ways to build bonds with consumers, where you give them something of value. In exchange, they promote your business and give you their time. 

We are going to take a look at five social selling tips you can start using today that could result in nearly limitless growth for your business. 

1. Create business social media accounts. 

Many business owners make the mistake of thinking their personal social media accounts are enough to practice social selling. The reality is you need to have business profiles across several platforms if you hope to succeed. Create your profiles, fill in all the details, add a compelling cover photo and start following people who are interested in your industry. 

We suggest starting with a Facebook account. A staggering 68% of adults in the U.S. have a Facebook profile. There's a good chance your target audience is on this platform and receptive to new brands. YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest are all other great places to create profiles when you want to start social selling. Consumers have different interests, and putting your content on several different platforms helps improve your brand reach and increases your opportunity for engagement. 

2. Build your credibility. 

Now that you have your business profiles created, it’s time to start building your credibility. Would you take advice from a brand that frequently publishes content on a website with under 50 followers? Probably not. Building your credibility helps you build trust with consumers and can encourage people who would otherwise pass up your page to visit your profile. 

There are several ways you can build credibility on social media. First, we suggest you frequently update your blog and share those posts on social media. The constant stream of content may catch the attention of a consumer, and they might click through to your blog. Your blog content, as always, should consist of actionable tips and high-quality content. If a new user finds your blog and discovers lackluster content with no substance, they are less likely to follow you, thus reducing your chance to practice social selling. 

Next, look for guest posting opportunities on reputable websites. Don't get discouraged if you can't get published in a world-renowned website after your first attempt. There are plenty of medium-sized blogs and businesses that would happily accept a guest post contribution. You can share these published guest posts on your social media profiles. When someone sees you managed to get published on a website they are familiar with, they will see you as more credible and potentially follow your business page. 

3. Engage with your followers. 

You're at the point now where you have established profiles, and your audience sees you as credible. Now what? It's time to engage with your audience on each account. Please don't use automated programs that like posts where you are mentioned or use cookie-cutter comments when responding to users. There will be times where your comments will sound similar, but your audience will react better to your brand if they feel like there is a real person behind the scenes reading their questions or thoughts.  

Instead, respond to comments, praise and feedback in your voice, letting users know someone is listening to what they have to say. You could take it a step further and start checking out people who are interested in your industry and interact with their posts. Like their updates when appropriate, and answer them if they send you a direct message. 

Engaging with your followers is the most crucial step in the social selling process. If your page is a barren wasteland where you're not posting, sharing, retweeting, or engaging, users have no reason to follow you. Take some time to share your insights, learn about your target audience and build trust. 

4. Identify and solve pain points.

One of the primary uses of social media is to find new and exciting products. Social media drives 31.24% of referral traffic, so it's no surprise that business owners are using this platform as a way to find out what customers want from their brand.

Take this opportunity to directly ask consumers what problems they are facing as it relates to your industry. For example, if you run a marketing agency, you might post to your social media profile, "Which area of marketing did you struggle with in 2019?" After you've created the post, look at what people have to say. Imagine that 60% of all respondents admitted they are struggling with their email marketing campaign. You've just identified a pain point and can use that data to help with your social selling campaign. 

Now imagine you took that information and created a super helpful email marketing guide and shared it on social media. The people who took the time to respond to your post are usually the same ones who read all of your content.

This is just one example of how to master social selling by understanding and solving pain points. Depending on your niche, there are countless opportunities for you to discover what your target audience expects and deliver it to their newsfeed. The additional trust built from this series of actions could convince a casual viewer to become a committed customer. 

5. Analyze your results.

Finally, you should regularly measure the success of your social selling. We suggest starting on a weekly schedule where you analyze the changes in traffic, engagement and followers based on the changes you've made. After you master the process, you can compile a full analysis report each quarter, which can help you prepare for future selling opportunities. 

Always remember the idea of social selling is to give your customers something of value without directly asking for a sale. You want to build strong relationships with your customers so that they can inadvertently promote your business by telling their friends about the great experience they had with your brand. As a bonus, you'll have everything you need to build accurate customer personas while getting new ideas for future content and products. When used properly, the opportunity for growth with social selling is nearly limitless. 

Image Credit: ViewApart / Getty Images
Thomas Griffin
Thomas Griffin Member
I'm president and CTO of OptinMonster, a powerful lead generation tool that's installed in over 700,000 websites.