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Marketing & Tech
Are Your Salespeople Making These Cringe-Worthy Social Selling Faux Pas?
Jan 3, 2018 | Canadian Professional Sales Association

We’ve all seen someone shares something strange on social media. Whether it’s that person you knew from high-school, or that guy you met at a party once, or maybe your great aunt who is new to social media, it’s noteworthy enough to take notice. There’s an unwritten code of conduct on social media, and those who are well-versed know immediately when it has been broken. That status update that your aunt shared that was meant to be a post on her friend’s wall might be forgivable, but these kinds of mistakes really hurt your credibility if you are using social media for selling. Here are some of the top social selling faux pas to look out for on your team.

1.     Getting Too Personal on Professional Profiles

It can be tricky to balance using social media for both work and personal life. There may be activities or causes in which your team participates in their free time that don’t appeal or could be too controversial for your prospects. Don’t worry, there’s no need to tell your team to close off their personal life completely. Just be sure they understand to use sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat for personal updates, and that they set their privacy settings so that only friends can view their content. Train them to use Linkedin and Twitter for their professional life, and to follow this rule of thumb – if you wouldn’t say something to a prospect during a meeting, it is best to avoid posting it on a social channel where your prospect might see it.

2.     Being Spammy or Pushy

No one likes a pushy sales person, and, in the social media sphere, it is very easy for people to ignore, block, or even report you if you are crossing the line. Social selling is about engaging your audience and building a relationship through mutual interests. It is not for sales people to spam prospects. If most of your social selling activity is cold outreach to prospects or advertising your product, you are missing a huge opportunity to connect with your audience in a much more meaningful and less pushy way.

3.     Ghosting

Is it common practice for your team members to leave comments or messages and never follow up? Maybe your team realized that a certain group of prospects no longer fit your target persona, and you’ve got many ongoing conversations that were suddenly dropped. Instead of vanishing in a puff of smoke, reply to questions or messages, and let prospects that aren’t a good fit for your solution down gently. People move to different roles or organizations, and you may run into those same prospects that you ghosted again – only this time, you won’t want to ignore them.

4.     Sporadic Posts and Engagement

Social selling is an ongoing process, and it takes more than just a couple of posts to see success. If you have team members whose last tweet was in 2015, it’s very unlikely that your prospects are going to find them or feel compelled to look into your product. You need to enable you team with the tools to share and engage consistently. Set targets and best practices, and provide content that they can easily post to improve their prospecting.

Following these simple tips will ensure that your team stays well within the acceptable range of behaviour on social media, though if they do accidentally share a private message as a status update, make sure they know where to find the delete button.

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