Social Selling: Tips to Get You Started

Selling is not the same as it used to be. Just a few years ago, very few people had caller ID and many were willing to speak with a salesperson. Today, making a cold call is hard and it is nearly impossible to get someone to talk to you even if they do answer. This is where social selling comes in. With everyone engaging in some form of social media, this is a great avenue to display your product, answer questions, and make sales. It may sound easy but there is a right way and a wrong way to social sell.

 

Here are a few tips to get you started:

Choose the Right Avenue

The first thing to consider is where your audience is spending their time. If you sell product to other businesses, LinkedIn should be your top choice. If your product is better suited to individuals, you may want to consider using Facebook and Instagram. There are many social media platforms to choose from so do your homework and find out where your target market is. Once you decide where they are spending their time, start with one or two social media platforms at a time. If you take on too many, you may overwhelm yourself and end up neglecting some. Once you have one or two platforms down, you can begin to branch out to more.

Optimize Your Profile

For each social media avenue, there are rules about selling and the kind of profile you should have. You may already have personal profiles on some social media sites but, you may not be allowed you to sell on them, and honestly, you don’t want to. You should create a new business profile where it is appropriate for you to advertise and sell product. When you create a new profile, take the time to fill out all the “about you” sections. If you want to look professional and draw new prospects in, you should have a completed, up-to-date profile. Each platform’s profile is different so take your time and fill them out right.

Build a Following

After you have optimized your profile, the next step is to begin building a following. Building a following is a little different for every platform. On Twitter, it is acceptable to follow anyone and everyone. On a platform such as LinkedIn you have to be more careful. To start out, you should only connect with individuals or businesses that you know. To get to know more people, join groups related to your product and get involved in the conversations. This will allow you to connect with more people, making it appropriate for you to reach out and request that they become a part of your network. No matter which platform you are on, start building your following by inviting your friends and coworkers to follow you, like your page, and share your content. Prospective buyers who hear about you from friends and family are more likely to interact with you and buy your product.

Build Relationships

It is not enough to have a good following; you need to connect and interact with your followers to sell your product. You need to build good relationships with your followers so they keep coming back for more. Building good relationships is all about engaging with your followers. When your customers comment or tag you in a post, be sure to respond to them. Show them that they are important because they are. Answer questions, like, comment, and share engaging content. These good relationships will be key to your success in sales.

Seek Referrals

Social Selling is all about referrals. Without them, you won’t survive long. Ideally, you want past buyers to refer their friends and family to you. Actual users of your product will be trusted the most. You can also seek referrals from other connections you have made while networking: contacts on LinkedIn, Friends, etc. These referrals will gain you more followers which means more prospective buyers.

Create a Schedule

The best thing you can do for yourself when social selling is to create a schedule. Especially if you are selling on multiple social media sites, you are going to need a good schedule to keep you on track. Odds are social selling is not the only thing you are doing with your day. Being organized will help you get everything done in a timely manner so you can move on to other things. A basic schedule can look something like this: respond to any messages and comments, find content to share, send friend requests to referrals and create new conversations. Once you get going, it will become easier and before you know it, you will be social selling like a pro.

Conclusion

Selling online is always a little scary. You worry about being annoying and pushing too hard. If you follow the tips above, this won’t be an issue. Eventually, social selling will become second nature and you will only get better. You just need to take the first step.

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Michael Cohn

Founder and CTO at CompuKol Communications LLC Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies. Mr. Cohn founded CompuKol Communications to help small businesses and entrepreneurs increase their exposure and reputation on the Internet. CompuKol consults, creates, and implements communication strategies for small businesses to monopolize their markets with a unique business voice, vision, and visibility. Prior to that, Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. His expertise includes social media marketing strategies; internet marketing; web presence design; business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development. Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.

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