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Sales Leadership
Aug 10, 2017 | Canadian Professional Sales Association lock

The key to social selling is to build an engaged online community who know, like and trust you and will ultimately want to buy from you.

Sounds great, right?

But how exactly does one go about building an engaged online community anyway? If you’re unsure how to go about building community engagement in order to make sales, then this is the article for you.

Here’s our how-to guide to building community engagement through social media.

Share and Tag

To build community engagement, you need to get noticed. But to get noticed, you need engagement...hmmm. A great way to draw attention to your posts and to drive up those likes, comments and shares is to tag people. It’s human nature to enjoy being recognised; plus on social media, everyone is playing the same game - they want to be noticed too! So start by sharing/retweeting influencers from your industry and as you do, be sure to praise the original author and tag them.

Similarly, if you are posting your own content that mentions an individual or organization in your industry, make sure you tag them in your social media message.  In both cases, the person who’s been tagged is likely to like/comment/share your post and give it a boost and some of their followers will do the same.

And voila. You are building engagement.

Curate Valuable Content

If you’re looking to be liked and followed on social media, your posts need to be plentiful and add value to those people in your target industries/demographics.  But since you’re a sales pro and not a marketer, you don’t have endless amounts of time to write your own content.  The answer is to structure your output to include a mix of great content you’ve found on the web with your own posts and some promotional elements. Here’s a great ratio to follow:

  • 6 parts curated content others have published. Find great articles and influencers on the web by using tools like Feedly and Buzzsumo.
  • 3 parts your own content - can be a mix of personal posts (but keep it professional) and industry specific info.
  • 1 part promotional. This is important, don’t share too much “sales” stuff about your company or it comes across as too pushy.

Share Video

Did you know that 82% of Twitter users use the network to watch video and that Facebook users watch 100 million hours of video every single day? Video is perhaps the most important type of content and a great way to build community engagement.  If you’re cringing at the thought of having to master video editing, rest assured that they don’t need to be long or produced with fancy equipment.

You can create short 1 minute videos like customer testimonials or product reviews using your cell phone. Adding captions with apps like VideoShow for android or Vont for iOS is a great idea since 85% of people watch Facebook videos with the sound off.  Using videos to share more of yourself and build your personal brand is a great way to build community engagement.  If you’re at an event or in a meeting with a key influencer or happy customer, why not give Facebook Live a go too?

Post Regularly

Perhaps the most important way to build community engagement through social media is to be engaged yourself. You can’t expect to build much of a community if you only post once per week.  On the flipside of the coin, you don’t want annoy your audience by posting too often.

A good rule of thumb is one post a day for Facebook and LinkedIn and up to 15 tweets a day on Twitter.  If 15 tweets sounds a lot, remember that most of those will be retweets and replies and that the messages themselves are short.  Consider using a scheduling tool like HootSuite to set up posts in advance. But remember to mix in organic posts to keep your output fresh and engaging. 

Remember, every time you interact and network with other users on social platforms, you are building community and trust, and setting yourself up for social selling success.

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