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Everyone in sales is talking about using social media to close deals. Social selling is an established approach to selling that allows salespeople to target, engage and build relationships with prospects and customers.

For those who still don’t use social platforms or who are new to sales, social selling may seem to lack authenticity. When done right, however, it is a powerful way to reach new audiences in the right ways. If you’re wondering how to begin social selling, read our tips for social selling beginners.

Set Up Social Media Profiles

The first step to social selling is setting up your profiles and accounts on different social media platforms. This isn’t as simple as entering in your login information – you need to build a personality and some depth on your profiles. For instance, you will want to fill out your work history and interests on Linkedin so that your prospects understand who you are and your areas of expertise. It’s also important to have a professional looking photo for your profile picture. On other social media platforms, you will want to fill out your bio and include a few photos so that your profile doesn’t look like spam.

Understand Different Platforms and How to Use Them

There are several different social media platforms, and for those that are new to social media, or simply just looking for different, creative ways to use them, there are few things to keep in mind about each one.

1. Linkedin

Linkedin is generally regarded as the professional social media platform, and so it is important that your posts, comments, and messages all reflect the type of image you want to have in the workplace. It is also a good idea to stick to topics related to career development, best practices in your industry or field, or other work-related information. Linkedin is one of the best platforms for prospecting, so it is a great way to build your funnel.

2. Facebook

Facebook is most often used for personal reasons, and so it is not a good idea for sales professionals to be overtly salesy on the platform. For instance, you are unlikely to have a lot of success sending your prospects cold outreach messages through Facebook. However, sharing interesting content, creating a discussion group for your industry, or running contests and events is a totally acceptable way to use Facebook in sales.

3. Twitter

Twitter is used for both professional and personal social networking, and can be a great way to engage with your prospects. Start by following them on Twitter and sharing or retweeting their content. You can also mention them in your own tweets if you have something relevant to share with them. Keep in mind that Twitter is a noisy channel, so you will need to tweet regularly if you want to build a following.

Begin Building your Credibility

In traditional selling, you have credibility with your prospects simply because you work for a certain organization or have a certain job title. In social selling, you need to focus on sharing your knowledge in order to build that credibility. Write posts that are intended to pass on a useful nugget of information. Engage with your followers even when these people are not prospects or customers. The more authentic and informational you can be, the more credible you look, which will help you when you do reach out to your prospects for sales.

It takes time and patience to see success with social selling, but once you have built credibility with your prospects, selling becomes much easier. In fact, you may build your brand to the point that leads actually come to you. 

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