Making meaningful headway with social selling is part science and part art form. Most that attempt to sell socially, fail. The dismal success rate that most experience would make you believe that social selling is hard — but in truth, the opposite is true. Social selling is incredibly simple, so long as you are committed to making it work. Most social sellers fail for many reasons, but chief among them is a lack of consistency and an inability to follow the critical principles that lead to social selling success.
For all of the blog posts, podcasts, webinars, and videos covering advanced social selling tips and tricks, being successful in social selling is actually a very simple process. By adhering to some basic principles, success is almost guaranteed in the long-term.
The principles that every social seller should follow include:
Identify and Purposefully Engage with Prospects
It may sound basic, but you wouldn’t believe how many people come to us having tried their hand at “social selling” without actually identifying a list of people that they want to sell to. That’s the first thing that any social seller should do!
But, you can’t just make a list of prospects and expect magic to happen. You have to purposefully engage with them as well. This includes both more overt communications like responding to their posts and joining conversations they participate in and less over micro-engagements such as liking their content or engaging with people in their peripheral. When your prospects see you adding value and engaging with people throughout their industry, you do a lot to establish yourself as a person to pay attention to.
Choose the Right Platform and Tools
Choosing the right platform(s) for your audience is so critical. Sometimes, you may want to be active on more than a single platform if you have the bandwidth for it. Either way, knowing where to find your audience and being able to identify the platform that will give you the best chance of success is critical.
Then you need the right tools, and the platform you choose will affect the tools that you use. Choosing tools that will facilitate and complement your strategy is so important because it sets the stage for you to focus on refining that strategy. If you are going to employ strategies that rely on automation and tools — you can’t truly begin testing things until you’ve pinned down the platform and tools that you will use. As you expand your strategy, new tools will have to be integrated.
Mix In Automation Intelligently
For social selling to be successful, you can’t rely solely on automation. You have to engage in genuine, unplanned conversations with your prospects to get anywhere. Still, automation has its place. You want to stay top-of-mind even when you’re not directly engaging with your prospects. That requires that you have a consistent presence on social platforms, delivering value and helpful content.
Finding that sweet spot can be tough. There are definitely ways to be too heavy handed with automation. Likewise, you can automate too little, keeping you from making the most of the manual interactions you take part in.
Track and Analyze Your Results to Improve
Another critical but often overlooked principle. Like in any form of digital marketing you have to optimize your strategies for success. You can follow all of the tips you want, but if you aren’t actively tracking what is working then you are going into every new engagement with a prospect blind. This relies heavily on having the right tools, as we discussed in a previous step. But it is so important to analyze the steps that you take and determine what works for you.