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What is social selling?

Social selling is a sales prospecting approach where salespeople use social media channels to find and engage with new prospects. The goal is to build relationships that further your organization’s sales objectives.

According to Gartner, social selling is “the process of shaping demand and lead generation with social media tools that allow sales representatives to engage prospects, create and strengthen relationships, and move them through the sales funnel to achieve sales goals.

”Meanwhile, LinkedIn calls social selling a strategic approach to “forming meaningful social interactions and presenting your brand as a trusted source to solve a customer’s problem via your product or service.”

Social selling uses personal posts or messages to build your credibility and authority. It is akin to content marketing through individual social media channels.

Meanwhile, social media marketing involves running promotions and advertisements via your company’s social media platform.

Unlike social selling, social media marketing also requires a specific portion of your marketing budget to run ads.

What are the elements of social selling?

  1. Establishing a professional brand by building a great social media presence and publishing meaningful content consistently
  2. Finding the right people using research tools (like LinkedIn Sales Navigator)
  3. Engaging with the audience by creating and sharing conversation-worthy insights and updates
  4. Building relationships by connecting and establishing trust with decision-makers

What are the benefits of social selling?

LinkedIn states that 75% of B2B buyers use social media to make buying decisions. So, being active on the right social media platform can help you prospect better and close more deals.The main benefits of social selling are:

1. Connect with sales prospects faster

With social media channels, you can connect with decision-makers immediately, shortening sales cycles and improving conversion rates. That’s because well-crafted, relatable messages and content on social media are more likely to get a response from prospects, as compared to cold calls or emails.

2. Increase sales

According to LinkedIn, social selling leaders are 51% more likely to reach quota. Personalized sales pitches, posts, comments, and articles can help you develop authentic relationships with your prospects, convert better, and drive revenue without investing heavily in resources (i.e., more salespeople or a bigger ad budget).

3. Build credibility

Social selling is an organic way of elevating your brand and establishing your authority. With better credibility, your content – posts, comments, and other forms of social media engagement – will get displayed to a broader audience. This, in turn, attracts qualified inbound leads.

Which platforms should you use for social selling?

LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook are the most popular platforms for social selling. LinkedIn is a must if you’re in B2B sales, as most decision-makers, peers, and competitors are already on the platform.

Interest
“I don’t need this solution” or “I’m happy with my current setup”

Trust
“I have never heard of you”

Budget
“It’s too expensive for us”

Authority
“I need to check with my manager”

Timing
“It isn’t important for us right now” or “I need to think about it”

How to implement social selling

To get started with social selling, do the following:

  1. Choose the right social media platform
  2. Develop a social selling strategy by taking into account your target audience, the platform’s pros and cons, and your resources
  3. Deliver value in the form of educational content, business or industry insights, success stories, and personal experiences (relevant to your product/solution/service) 
  4. Identify potential influencers and thought leaders to explore collaborations
  5. Sync your CRM or sales intelligence platform with the social media platform
  6. Create custom audiences to deliver messages that truly resonate

Social selling tips and best practices

Here are six social selling best practices to help you out:

  1. Add a professional, high-resolution headshot
  2. Use the headline to show how you create value for your audience
  3. Tell your story via the Summary section
  4. Highlight your abilities and get endorsements for your skills
  5. Get recommendations from colleagues, clients and employees

Wingman helps you gather insights to optimize your social selling strategy

Social selling is where salespeople use social media to find and engage with new prospects and build relationships.
Wingman helps you engage these prospects better by offering unique insights to nurture and convert better.

What’s next?